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08/28/2015 - 2:08pm Vincimus Utah quia Deus vult.

Vincimus Utah quia Deus vult.

06/26/2015 - 3:31pm I personally agree, for what

I personally agree, for what it's worth. I think my point is that even if the program is utterly blameless in reality, this will not play well outside the fan base, which is a problem unto itself.

06/26/2015 - 2:03pm I think we can all concede

I think we can all concede that's a possibility. The problem is, that's not what Pipkins believes, and the best case scenario is this creates an unjustified black mark on public perception. Maybe Pipkins does have legitimate health problems, or maybe he can't take the pressure and pace Harbaugh demands of student athletes. Or maybe it is as he believes, a conspiracy to force him out. The truth behind the curtain doesn't change the problem this kind of PR problem this creates.

06/26/2015 - 1:33pm Seems, from a journalistic

Seems, from a journalistic perspective, they could at least have TRIED to get Michigan's side of the story on this...

06/26/2015 - 1:30pm Interesting point, I hadn't

Interesting point, I hadn't thought of that. There isn't much in the way of a benefit to not letting him finish his last year, if he is indeed healthy enough.


06/26/2015 - 1:28pm We need a witch doctor to

We need a witch doctor to clear up the bad juujuu following us around. My god, I need a drink...

06/23/2015 - 6:31pm Heyoooo...


06/23/2015 - 6:30pm (No subject)

06/19/2015 - 7:31am Given that Ferentz makes so

Given that Ferentz makes so much money Iowa can't even afford to fire him, Ferentz has no incentive to do anything more than is absolutely required of him. If the NCAA bans sattelite campuses, he has an excuse to do less work for the same amount of money.

11/13/2014 - 3:25pm Bravo.


11/03/2014 - 12:00pm This is a very good point,

This is a very good point, but I think it also gets at the basis of the problem here. The Athletic Department did Yeoman service for the Mealer family, which is fine, and if that's why Elliot Mealer feels obliged to carry their water, that's understandable.
Butr it misses ehy this whole "muggle"/"civilian" issue matters. There shouldn't BE a bunker mentality about this. The Athletic Department shouldn't be seen is seperate from the fans/alumni/students, because it all falls under the same institution. All these groups are extensions of the same entity, which is the University of Michigan. The relationship is meant to be symbiotic: without the fans there can be no team, and no AD to take care of them. If you start to see teh fans relationship to the team as parasitic, and seperate from what the AD does, you're not seeing the forest for the eco-system.
I mean, if you want to see the players, the fans and the AD as soldiers, civilians and state department fine, but in that metaphor, we're still one nation. Can you imagine the metaphor if soldiers started to see themselves as so removed from civilian affairs that they constituted a different species? Chilling.

10/31/2014 - 11:26am The Day Has Come

There's no bread, let them eat cake
There's no end to what they'll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth 

But they're marching to Bastille Day La guillotine will claim
Her bloody prize Free the dungeons of the innocent The king
Will kneel, and let his kingdom rise 

Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
Naked fear on every face
See them bow their heads to die
As we would bow as they rode by 

And we're marching to Bastille Day La guillotine will claim
Her bloody prize Sing, o choirs of cacophony The king has
Kneeled, to let his kingdom rise 

Lessons taught but never learned
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago the mould was cast 

For they marched up to Bastille Day La guillotine -- claimed
Her bloody prize Hear the echoes of the centuries Power isn't
All that money buys

10/17/2014 - 10:24am Negatory, sir. Pitt's OLine

Negatory, sir. Pitt's OLine was also stripped of talent and experience when Chryst took over, and its last two recruiting classes were decimated by no less than three coaching changes. Chryst essentially inherited a program on the brink and cobbled together some success. I wrote a longer post about this further below.

10/17/2014 - 10:21am Some Context on Chryst

I talked about Todd Graham to add a "boots on the ground" context, so I might as well chime in on the subject of Chryst.
While Chryst hasn't had a lot of success at Pitt on paper, there are some things that should be noted. First, most importantly, don't underestimate what a trainwreck Pitt was when he took the helm. The Panthers managed to burn through three head coaches in two years, not counting interim head coaches, complete with two scandals. Two successive recruiting classes fell apart, and they went from pro to spread to pro in three successive seasons. They had much the same problems with youth and depth on their lines, and an underwhelming picture at QB. Chryst exacerbated this by running a clean ship and getting rid of problematic student athletes, like 5* Rushel Shell, further limiting his talent pool.

Chryst is a first time HC, and the warts are there. Particularly, his cloack management has been poor, and some rushed decisions at critical times are noted; that could be the result of inexperience, but it alsio seems to be a running theme with pro-style coaches.

That said, Chryst has shown some real upside, and I've often used it to highlight Hoke's flaws. He recruits well, he's been getting some big name kids to stay home, and whateeeever else you want to say, Chryst can identify and develop talent. He saw Tyler Boyd, whose third to choice after Pitt and WVU was Michigan State pretty much by default, and saw talent; Michigan can't offer everyone, obviously, but Pitt fans were aware of what a talent this kid was supposed to be and what a big target he was for them, and he wasn't on Michigan's radar. Sure enough, he'll probably be in the pros after next year.

More notable, I think, is James Connor. Connor was a non-descript, 3* DE in his last year of HS. He committed to Pitt, and suddenly it was declared they wanted him to be a running back. Pitt fans shrugged. Yet Connor became, from his first year, a better RB than Michigan has had since Mike Hart, and with an equally talent and experience-denuded OL. I look at him with some whimsy as he does all the things I know RBs are supposed to do, like break tackles, burst through holes and drag piles, make yards after contact. Michigan wouldn't have recruited Connor anyway, because the kid had grade problems in HS, but that's not really the issue. Chryst looked at a no-name DE and saw potential, and then quickly realized that potential into performance, which are skills Hoke has lacked. 

He can develop QB talent too, for what it's worth. He got Savage drafted, and that was not seen as a likely feat when he took over. People in Pittsburgh see his work with Savage as a continuation of what he did with Russell Wilson.

Boyd, Savage and Connor are anecodtal examples, I know, but I hold them out as examples of what Chryst does right. He took a program that was worse off than I think anyone unfamiliar with the program realizes, and has largely stabalized it. I tend to think given two more years the Panthers will be doing well enough that Chryst will be a much hotter commodity, which is, all-in-all, not a bad trajectory for a first HC job.

At Michigan? Well, he's obviously a gamble, but I think there are riskier gambles out there that are being talked about. I think more highly of the job he's done at Pitt in three years than the job Hoke has done here in four, especially given the disparity of experience, resources and prestige.

10/15/2014 - 3:33pm I don't disagree in any

I don't disagree in any particular. I think, though, that the difference between Graham and the other coaches you listed is slightly more than an issue of bad etiquette in the manner of his departure. That is to say, nobody blames a coach for moving up the ladder as a buisness decision (or at least, not too loud or for too long). I think the difference is, it's expected a coach on the rise leaves the program in better condition than when he inherited it.

Most of the coaches you listed remained for multiple years, or in Brian Kelly's case, which is illuminating, for three, which is ample time to make your bones and to improve the school's situation for the next guy. The difference between one year and three can be dramatic, but I'm not trying to make that case, per se. Obviously Rice was better off, in a sense, than when he first came there.

Pitt, on the other hand, actually suffered from his year-long tenure. And that, I think, is more the issue. I think I made the comparison to Chryst, somewhere in all this, who had the opportunity to leave and did not. At a minimu, whether it was the focus of his decision or not, he had to be aware that if HE left after a year, he would be the fourth Panthers coach to depart (willingly or not) in a three year span, and a program already on the brink would probably have collapsed in a fairly definitive manner. I think the fact that he remained reflects well on him, and he has done a great deal to restore the Panthers roster and on-the-field product to, if not exactly the heights of football, then at least out of the gutter.

10/15/2014 - 2:58pm I believe he was at Tulsa

I believe he was at Tulsa longer, but he was certainly one-and-done at Rice and Pitt. His departure from Pitt was used against him in recruiting with some success at ASU, at least initially, although I assume his extending tenure and winning ways will have silenced most of that. Of course, the more he moves around, the more some of that negativity will resurface.

10/15/2014 - 2:53pm I wouldn't contest that, but

I wouldn't contest that, but as a counter argument, it is believed (at least by the locals) that Paul Chryst received inquiries about the Wisconsin job after his first year and had the opportunity to take it. With that in mind, Pitt fans were resigned, and couldn't really fault him (being a Madison local/lifer). The story has it he stayed because he understood Pitt would completely unravel if he lleft, and he felt an obligation to build up the program before he moved on and upwards.

Not groundbreaking stuff, again, just context. I do think most coaches feel an obligation to stay in a program for longer than a year. I don't even think Graham was much of a cultural fit, so perhaps it was for the best. I would draw a distinction between Hoke taking a job he was clear from the onset that he always wanted and would take and Graham, though, largely for the other, oh, we'll call them flourishes.

10/15/2014 - 2:48pm I'll add this too, but just

I'll add this too, but just for context: he did face some of the same problems Rich Rod did trying to take the Panthers from a pro team to a spread team, including the tempo-fatigue we became familiar with. The pro-style linemen he inherited would wear down under the fast tempo, and their play would unravel in the latter stages of the game. Much the same with the defense, if the the offense couldn't remain on the field.
Naturally, that's a self-correcting problem over time: the players become more accustomed to the tempo as time goes by, especially as new recruits selected for the system come up. It didn't make for a pretty sight over the course of one season, though, especially given how it ended.

10/15/2014 - 2:42pm He's a Texas native, who

He's a Texas native, who seems most at home coaching and recruiting in that region, so you may be right. On the other hand, never underestimate a freebooting mentality. He might come to Michigan if the price is right, and to climb the ladder of school prestige. In that regard, though, he would be a flight risk as soon as a better, or perhaps even equitable, job opened down south.

10/15/2014 - 2:36pm I was in Pittsburgh the year

I was in Pittsburgh the year Todd Graham (now known in the Steel City as "Fraud Graham") coached the Panthers and fled. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to reject the guy without delving into stereotypes of accent and religion.
It wasn't just that he pulled a one-and-done in Pittsburgh, he lied to everyone, including administrators, players and recruits, along the way, and wrapped it up by leaving the AD standing on his doorstep when rumors made their way into the news and questions required answers. Then he texted the team a quicck goodbye on his way to Arizona.
Once at ASU, he gave what was essentially the same speech he gave when he got to Pittsburgh, a great to do about the school being a dream job, integrity, yadda yadda.
Maybe not as well known in Michigan, but go to a Pitt fansite and ask them their opinions about Graham. I guarantee you, faith and folksy mannerisms will not be in the top ten list of negative things you hear.

10/02/2014 - 9:41am Cue gifs of animals that look

Cue gifs of animals that look!

10/02/2014 - 9:40am It's fun how you can be

It's fun how you can be anyone on the internet, isn't it? Except, as you noted, someone who can spell.

10/01/2014 - 4:22pm My first thought as well.

My first thought as well.

10/01/2014 - 4:21pm The eastern world, it is

The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say
Can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin' away
There'll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Yeah, my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'
I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace
And, tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe
We're on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don't believe
We're on the eve
of destruction.

10/20/2013 - 9:29pm Sugar Bowl and the '99-'00

Sugar Bowl and the '99-'00 Orange Bowl (Hail Brady!). So there's two off the top of my head...

10/07/2013 - 1:57pm Being a true freshman QB is a

Being a true freshman QB is a lot less of  aproblem when you are A.) An elite talent, B.) throwing to an elite WR, and C.) Facing a team with no pass rush. Right now that's check, check and check. Which in not to say that we WILL need him at PSU, but on the road, in a very hostile environment, we may. But your statement was broader than that, and if you don't think we'll need him against MSU, or maybe even to generate some pass rush against pass-happy Indiana, I don't know what to say. 

10/07/2013 - 1:45pm That's, like, your opinion,

That's, like, your opinion, man.

10/02/2013 - 1:07pm It's purely anecdotal, so

It's purely anecdotal, so take it for what it's worth, but in a similar situation I've seen a similar move produce positive results. In Wannestedt's last year, the O-Line was thin, the center an undersized JUCO. The Panther's got off to a woeful start, couldn't move the ball against lowly New Hampshire, got trampled and embarassed on national TV by Miami. They reshufled the O-Line and had a substantial increase in tehri play. They wound up with a respectable(ish) 8-5 record, which they likely would not have had if they stuck to the original configuration for consistency sake. As I said, it's anecdotal, but it impressed upon me that O-Line, like everything else, must be subject to change, and that change may potentially yield positive results.

10/01/2013 - 11:26pm Welcome to the family. You

Welcome to the family. You will not regret your choice.

07/21/2013 - 9:27pm It's actually a surprisingly

It's actually a surprisingly well written story. Now, the key is it may not be a very entertaining story. But the underlying metaphor is very well crafted. In an age of movies without any form of plot or structure, I appreciate the competence of the storytelling as much as the homesickness inducing tour of A2.

07/12/2013 - 3:18pm Surely you can't be serious?

Surely you can't be serious?

07/06/2013 - 12:00pm That's what I figure. Depth

That's what I figure. Depth chart going forward has to look mighty appetizing to players who want playing time, on top of the usual assets PSU has. Silver linings.

I'd also say, it's reasonably encouraging to see so many NJ and MD athletes scatering across the Big Ten. To the degree that we expanded to improve our footprint in recruiting areas, that seems to be paying off some returns.

07/03/2013 - 7:53am Also forgot G: "Bunk"

Also forgot G: "Bunk" Westmoreland: Built low to the ground, good with leverage. His motto is "to protect and serve" his QB. Possible drinking problem.

07/03/2013 - 7:47am I've always thought of

I've always thought of Barksdale as a Pro-style QB: real gunslinger, prefers to stay in pocket. But I hear he might have a real challenge this season holding of unheralded recruit, Marlow Stanfield.

06/30/2013 - 10:21pm Please believe me when I tell

Please believe me when I tell you, just because an academic institution is accredited, that doesn't make it a fully functional academic institution. LOTS of schools in LOTS of fields have been accredited contrary to the common good of all mankind.

06/29/2013 - 10:49pm You know, to the downvoters:

You know, to the downvoters: that was a legitimate comment. If his offer holds true, with Watson's committment, this could be his last chance to commit, if he's worried about another DB taking his place. the same manner as O-Linemen dropping earlier than they expected because their potential places started filling up: maybe it's Westphal.

06/29/2013 - 10:38pm Maybe Westphal?

Maybe Westphal?

06/27/2013 - 11:07pm It is indeed great to be a

It is indeed great to be a Michigan Wolverine.

06/27/2013 - 9:29pm Spurs. Liked them since David

Spurs. Liked them since David Robinson. And they're not the Pistons. 

06/27/2013 - 3:21pm Oregon and Nike have had a

Oregon and Nike have had a quid-pro-quo relationship for years. Orgegon gets all the trashy uniforms they want, and Nike gets a professional football team.

06/27/2013 - 3:19pm Is the bear?

Is the bear? the guy?...seems like more of a game warden thing, to me...

06/27/2013 - 3:16pm Well then I hope you have a

Well then I hope you have a flexible definition of "soon."

06/26/2013 - 12:57pm Grimm committed to Pitt about

Grimm committed to Pitt about aweek ago.

06/26/2013 - 1:23am Largely well said. This is

Largely well said. This is essentially the same schedule that got us to the Sugar Bowl, but with what seems to be a more talented team. To me, 8-4 would be a pretty substantial let down. I would imagine we split the ND and OSU games, and likely a split on the MSU and Northwestern road games. The possibility of a loss to one of Nebraska or Penn State is real enough as well. But generally, I think the firepower is there to win 9 or 10 games, barring unforseen exigency.

06/25/2013 - 2:45am WOOOOOOO!


06/24/2013 - 10:18pm You snooze, you lose Runyan!

You snooze, you lose Runyan!

06/22/2013 - 6:34pm It's not really fair to cast

It's not really fair to cast it as "underperforming." He's only going to be a true sophmore, and the common assumption going in was that he would need a redshirt year to work on technique, if not size (which as it turned out, he needed as well). I think the fact that you hear so much about Bolden and Ross is because of their talent (especially with Ross) and depth issues.

06/22/2013 - 5:53pm I think we could well use

I think we could well use another WILL. Some think Gedeon will wind up at MIKE, which, if true, doesn't really leave that much behind Ross, who may well be a three year man based on his potential. RJS is his backup now, and Gedeon could be a WILL, but if you remove Gedeon it gets thin fast.

06/22/2013 - 4:57pm We're also keeping a close

We're also keeping a close eye on Dru Tranquill, for what it's worth. Hasn't been offered yet, but has exploded in camps and may well get one.

06/19/2013 - 8:10pm I truly am weary beyond

I truly am weary beyond imagining of the "They Have Hotter Women" meme that seems to come up whenever we're talking about schools from the SEC. Honestly, I suppose now that Mizzou is part of the SEC, their women have been promoted to goddess status as well. In my years at Michigan, I never once thought to myself "Why, why oh Lord, why did I go to a school populated by a race of savage turtle-women?" You know what I remember? Attractive women. And I wasn't even a football star. Then someone will bring up parkas, as if UofM girls walk around completely obscured like Kenny from South Park; as if they wore parkas in class and in the bedroom; as if it doesn't get cold in Lexington KY (it does). Honestly. Women don't become more attractive because they live south of the Mason Dixon Line.