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Date Title Body
02/19/2015 - 12:22am An End of a Very Dark Five Years

The thing that saddens me the most is that Dave Brandon's self aggrandizement played out in ways that portrayed Michigan as an institution in a light that runs so completely counter to the values that makes Michigan so great. The craven hunt for every last possible dollar. The lying and deceit. The arrogance and chest thumping. The contempt for the very people who make an athletic department of this size and success possible. Dave Brandon's Michigan is not the Michigan I know. Michigan is about integrity, inclusion, and a quest for excellence on the field and in the classroom. Not money, not buzz, not wow experience ... just great kids who give it their best and get the support they need to reach their full potential in life from passionate staff, alumni and friends. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less.

And yet this not what other people have heard and seen from us as an institution for the past five years. They saw just the opposite. Emphasizing the wrong things. Acting the wrong way. Did Dave Brandon learn anything from Bo at all? I would expected this type of crap from someone who played for Jackie Sherrill or Barry Switzer, not Bo. What a colossal failure of character. We don't stand for any of that. We're Michigan, dammit. The Leaders and Best are really that way in every day life. It's not just some slogan. This is a lifetime aspiration that each of us has a responsiblity to uphold. I'm glad we're finally going back to acting like it!

10/29/2014 - 7:59pm List of NFL HCs who jumped to college HC roles next year

Since NFL-AFL merger, there have been seven cases of NFL HCs leaving their teams specifically to move to a college HC position (years referenced are the season when the coach started the college job):

 

Lou Saban left the Bills for Maryland in 1966

Dan Devine left the Packers for Notre Dame in 1975

Chuck Fairbanks left the Pats for Colorado in 1979

Ray Perkins left the Giants for Bama in 1983

Al Groh left the Jets for Virginia in 2001

Nick Saban left the Dolphins for Bama in 2007

Bobby Petrino left the Falcons for Arkansas in 2008

There are also eight cases where an NFL head coach was fired/resigned without a gig lined up and wound up coaching at a major college program the next year:

Lou Holtz (Jets/Arkansas/1977)

Lou Saban (Bills/Miami/1977)

Gene Stallings (Cardinals/Bama/1990)

June Jones (Chargers/Hawaii/1999)

Dennis Erickson (Seahawks/Oregon St./1999)

Bill Callahan (Raiders/Nebraska/2004)

Dave Wannstedt (Dolphins/Pitt/2005)

Lane Kiffin (Raiders/Tennessee/2009)

In every other instance the NFL HC either took a year or more off or spent time as an NFL assistant before jumping to a college HC role.

Fairbanks would be the far most comparable situation to Jim Harbaugh as he was feuding with the Sullivan family and had some really good teams in NE.

Perkins, Stallings, Wannstedt and Groh were all alums going home. Perkins was following Bear Bryant. Stallings and Wannstedt were the best available candidates at the time with university ties. Groh somewhat bailed due to regime change with the Jets (Woody Johnson had just bought the franchise from Leon Hess, Bill Parcells was on the outs) and lucked out that George Welsh happened to retire at the right time.

Devine was a finalist for the ND job in 1964 and was in trouble with the Packers due to "not Lombardi" and a disastrous trade with the Rams for a washed up John Hadl. The ND job coming open was a real savior for him.

All of the rest except for the Lou Saban moves were just guys getting a better situation in college than what they could find in the NFL.

Lou Saban was a piece of work. Read his bio sometime. Wow. Nick Saban is a distant relative - you can see where he gets it.

08/11/2011 - 4:30pm SD St 2010 First Down Play Calling Data

Took this from the ESPN play-by-play records (no PBP listed for the Air Force and New Mexico games) (did this by hand, so there might be a little human error on this):

 

Game Run/Pass

Nicholls State 19/11

NM State 26/9

Missouri 18/14

Utah State 17/9

BYU 9/14

Wyoming 16/9

Colorado State 22/8

TCU 10/11

Utah 12/25

UNLV 22/18

Navy 21/10

Total for 11 games 192/138

58/42 Run/Pass ratio.

 

08/09/2010 - 12:54pm Been in the works for a while

Illitch started telegraphing this move when he hired Tom Wilson back in February to work on a new downtown stadium. Illitch won't be able to get as much public funding for a new Wings-only stadium given the state of the local economy, so buying the Pistons and developing a property that has 80 guaranteed dates at 15,000-20,000 in foot traffic instead of 40 makes a lot of sense. He will be able to get more private development money for the stadium with that type of utilization rate. Throw in his theater, restaurant and casino holidngs in with the Tigers, and Illitch practically controls all of the events-driven traffic flow into downtown. Plus, the NBA is salary-capped, so like the NHL, there is a lot of cost certainty in that business. Even at $500 mm (and I bet the Pistons don't end up selling anything close to that given that Illitch is basically the only logical local buyer), this makes a lot of sense for him.

07/10/2009 - 12:54pm Some possible explanatory effects ...

I certainly would agree that regression to the mean is probably a big explanatory effect in many cases.

I think these three factors will describe most of the season to season improvements across teams:

A Team with an established high level of performance falls off for one season for some combination of factors and then snaps back

B Program undergoes a successful transition in philosophy from a coaching perspective and suddenly gets better results

C Marginal program gets lucky and winds up with an elite player who temporarily takes team to new heights

Just looking at the Big Ten data, Minnesota 08 fits A from a trend line perspective, although there was a coaching philosphy change in the mix as well since Brewster's system is very different from Mason's.

Ohio St 02 and Penn St 05 could fit explanation A as well, although the established performance level for both schools was considerably lower in the 2-3 preceding years than their historical reputation. Ohio St also seemed to benefit from a coaching change, as Cooper seemed to be losing some institutional control at tOSU and may never have had the ability to reattain his previous successes in the mid-late 90s. IIRC, JoePa started delegating a lot more to his staff around 2005, which could be called a coaching change of sorts.

I hate to give explanation B for Illinois (Zooker as genius?) but he did raise the talent level across the board rather than just get lucky with one player, so B is a better fit than C.

Purdue and Northwestern were clearly B.

C type explanations are almost by definition for non-BCS schools.

Another study for another time, I guess.