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Date Title Body
10/03/2014 - 12:15pm Exactly

Excellent post. I couldn't agree more.

04/11/2013 - 2:06pm Full game in HD on YouTube

The phantom foul on Burke is at the 17:05 mark, btw. Don't let Hancock's fake grimace fool you. At the very most, he was brushed, even before going into a shooting motion. There's a great still photo of it, but I don't know how to embed photos from my desktop. Btw, do .gifs cause anyone else computer to slow down and heat up? So tired of that sh*t.

04/10/2013 - 4:56pm Spike dodges a bullet

In related news, seems as though our own Kate Upton has gone pro. Wasn't it P.Diddy who once said, "If you're a ho, I'm a pro."   /jk

Probably explains why Spike didn't get a reply to his tweet.

04/10/2013 - 4:05pm An idea

This picture, along with the .jpg of Burke's block, are pretty compelling. They say a lot without words. I think it would be pretty cool if someone created a montage or scrap book (or some combination) of all of these bad calls from the championship game and made it "circulate-able." Then we hammer the sh*t out of the NCAA's inbox.

Why? I don't know. Teach someone a f*cking lesson maybe. Who knows, perhaps Greene's officiating career gets negatively impacted. Or maybe it will stick in some ref's mind, and they'll give US the breaks later down the road.

Speaking of which, I remember when MSU got royally jobbed against Kansas in the Sweet 16 of the 1986 tourney (they didn't start the clock when State had a 4-pt lead late in the game - see 2:00 mark of this video). (Also, check out Larry Polec's improbable shot from behind the backboard, after the whistle, at the 6:00 mark of the same video. LARRY POLEC!).…

Then again against GA Tech in 1990 (clock expired before Kenny Anderson got his shot off, 3:40 mark of video). I kind of wondered whether MSU's horribly officiated tourney game against Iowa State in 2000, where Eustachy got ejected (lopsided in favor of MSU), was somehow the NCAA's "make-up call" for their earlier f* up's. Kind of far-fetched, I know, but there's always the karma argument too.

04/10/2013 - 2:35pm Thanks for the Dan LeBatard commentary

Found it on ESPN radio, at the 6:00 mark. Also, at the 3:00 mark, he talks about the fireworks scaring the sh*t out of Pitino but Beilein not being phased. Something to fear Pitino? I was thinking the same thing when that happened.

Also, if you didn't hear Gottlieb's interview yesterday, he says the same thing about the refs at the 5:05 minute mark.

Neutral fans of the sport who are saying what we UM fans have been saying about the refs, and the fact that MSU fans are so adamant that officiating played no role, are pretty good indicators of how bad it was.

04/10/2013 - 2:00pm Jamal Crawford talks Fab 5 & UM Basketball on DP Show

I don't have enough points to start a thread so just posting this here since it also involves a former UM athlete recently getting interviewed by Dan Patrick. Just the first 4 minutes.

Jamal Crawford talks about the influence the Fab 5 had on his decision to attend Michigan. Also talks about how good Trey Burke is.

Given he was a one & done during the Dark Ages of UM basketball, I don't think a lot of people know much about Jamal. He's very articulate and still bleeds maize & blue.


04/09/2013 - 2:22pm Beilein

Beilein got this team to a championship game. In my estimation, his only mistake along the way was not keeping Burke in the game at the end of the 1st half to slow down the Hancock effect. But that's kind of something you're forced to arrive at in retrospect. If we would have won, we'd all be praising Beilein's foresight for saving Burke until the 2nd half.

The lack of fouling earlier had very little impact IMO. In fact, I didn't have any problem with how they played it. Michigan should have had the ball with :50 seconds left and down 4, but they didn't call Behanan over the back. They went up 6 after that and the game was effectively over. Fouling would have probably just changed the margin of defeat.

And for anyone who doubts whether we have the best coach in men's college basketball on our side, just listen to this short and sweet interview Beilein did with Andy Katz after the game.

Seriously, I enjoy his personality and coaching style even more than Bo's. And the best part is that we get to have more kids that fit his mold for as long as he decides to coach. If that's not awesome, I don't know what is.

04/09/2013 - 1:05pm Best performance by two teams I've ever seen

I think the opening comments between Gottlieb and Patrick in this clip pretty much summarize my sentiments. Best NC game Gottlieb had ever seen and recognizes how the crowd appreciated it too.

For those wondering whether any pundits had something to say about the officiating, tune in to the conversation at the 5:05 mark.

Patrick is from Ohio -- and has made his views towards Michigan clear in the past (i.e. he does not despise us, but he is definitely not a fan. Listen to his interview with Denard from Feb 2013 to get the gist) -- and I think that explains why he's so quick to claim that the charge Morgan took at the end of the Syracuse game was an "obviously bad call." It was anything but an obviously bad call, as described here by Brian on Sunday. In real-time, and in replays, it looked like a charge and the referee did not hesitate to call it one.

Anyway, this was a fantastic game. I just kept telling my gf, who doesn't watch much basketball, to enjoy what she was seeing, because it was the kind of spectacular performance I had never seen before. May never see again. So proud of this team and how they left it all on the court yesterday.

04/09/2013 - 10:51am Thanks for the psychology lesson

How about, just shut up. Spare us your self-righteous b.s. Or maybe make your points at a more relevant time, like perhaps if UM fans were bitching about the refs in any of the 7 games we lost this season. This didn't happen.

Some of us are capable of looking at things objectively. I almost always find myself saying, "I didn't have a problem with the refs" when we lose. What pleasure do people like you derive from coming around here and telling other fans they're delusional? Do you think it somehow makes you better than us? Above us?

Check the comments sections of all of the articles from the major websites following this game. They're littered with neutral fans taking issue with the officiating. And the consensus is that UM got the short end of the stick. That's how you get a pulse on whether the officiating was so bad that it deserves to be called out.

Why call it out? I don't know. Maybe because it's therapeutic. Or maybe the feedback will eventually reach the crew who called that game and give them pause to think about how they just denied Trey Burke, the University of Michigan, and college basketball fans everywhere, what should have been one of the greatest blocks in college basketball history.

Michigan teams are rarely the benefactors of huge blown calls -- in very important games -- and for some of us with a good memory, it just plain sucks. For me it started as a fan when a #1 ranked UM team saw Desmond Howard tripped in the end zone of the MSU game. There was also Spartan Bob the clock keeper who gave Sparty more time than it deserved to throw a last-minute TD. (We were ranked #6 in the country going into that game). The horribly lopsided refereeing Red has had to put up with in the NCAA tourney over the years can't be overstated (examples too numerous to list but John Gravelese's disallowed OT goal against MIA for a right to play in a Frozen Four in Detroit in 2010 is indicative).

It's not to say we've never had a huge call go our way in a very important game. It's arguable that Rumeal Robinson wasn't fouled at the end of regulation in the 1989 Seton Hall NC game. Doesn't mean he wouldn't have made a layup instead of free throws, but that is the only game I can remember where I felt like LOU fans must have felt on multiple occasions last night. And don't tell me about Morgan's block that was a called a charge against Syracuse. In real-time, and even after replays, that still looks like a charge to me.

Compare these to the breaks our rivals got in winning their NC's. MSU was the benefactor of the worst officiated game I ever saw against Larry Eustachy's Iowa St. team the year they won in 2000. And OSU had lost to MIA in the Fiesta Bowl, until a ref named Porter called a phantom PI penalty in the end zone giving them new life.

All I'm saying is just shut up. Don't lecture fans about being bad fans because they possess critical thinking skills. Your broad generalizations about fans and officiating and the deterioration of sports in general because of the collective mindset of complainers like myself is sickening. Just shut up and stop "obcessing" about how people like us are ruining sports.

04/09/2013 - 9:22am Like Jim Joyce denying Armando Galarraga of his perfect game.

A few disclaimers before I address the refs. I thought the teams were evenly matched and the game itself was the best championship game I’ve ever watched. Both teams played excellently. Louisville didn’t miss many shots, Siva was dynamite and Djieng hit some huge buckets down the stretch (i.e. FT extended jumper, hook shot). The game probably would have come down to a final possession – essentially a coin flip – but the refs took that moment away.

Yes, the refereeing was bad and it made a huge difference. The fact that the national media isn’t acknowledging it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The fact that Jay Bilas and Jay Williams say “Behanan was just tougher and got hammered too (but didn’t complain)” shouldn’t affect what you know. And here’s what you know.

-- Djieng’s obvious goaltend took away 2 points for us in the 1st half.

-- Burke’s 2nd foul was a bad call. There’s stepping into a guy who gets busted for leaving his feet, and then there’s throwing yourself at a defender who has floated out of the play. Removing Burke from the game enabled LOU to exploit a talent mismatch between Hancock and LeVert. Those 4, 3-pointers in the 1st half made all the difference in the world. Could have Beilein rolled the dice and left Burke in? Yes, and I would have if I was in his position, but the decision should not have needed to be made. It had a huge impact on the game. McGary feeds off Burke and without Burke, to some extent, McGary was nullified too.

-- Burke’s 2nd half block was “all ball.” It was a game-changer. Momentum was on UM’s side and Burke’s liftoff and challenge was building upon that momentum. The refs don’t make that call and Michigan has a chance to even up the game on the next possession.

-- Hancock’s ORIGINAL 4th foul – that was attributed to someone else – made a huge difference. He couldn’t have made that pivotal 3-pointer if he was on the bench along with McGary. (btw, I have no qualms with all of McGary’s 4 fouls).

-- Djieng traveled and then Behanan fouled before that momentous high-glass putback by Behanan. At best, Behanan may have earned a tie-up on that possession (arrow favored MICH), but that was not a case of  “man against boy” BEAST mode winning the day. (I love how they call a tie-up in the Witchita State game when it wasn’t nearly as close to a tie-up as the one they let Behanan get away with.)

-- Behanan was also over the back and resulted in LeVert getting pushed out-of-bounds on that key stop – that we earned -- when we were down 4 points with 50 seconds left.

Look, I realize that Michigan was the benefactor of a couple of questionable bumps, hand checks and in-bounds warnings. But those types of calls aren’t the issue. LOU were benefactors of those "meh, play on" and relatively unimportant calls too (e.g. Siva charge in the 1st half, Robinson getting hacked on a made jumper in the 2nd half, McGary getting undercut on a rebound that resulted in a tie-up instead of an obvious foul on LOU).

The calls I’m noting here were massive game-changing mistakes that had a huge impact on how this game played out. It is sad. And just because the talking heads in the media don’t address it – and other fan-bases will call us whiners – doesn’t change the fact that we were on the wrong end of bad officiating and it is perfectly okay to be disappointed and sad about it. It’s a shame that an unbelievable game like this didn’t have a chance to find its natural ending. That’s what refs can do sometimes. You just hope it doesn’t happen during a once-in-a-lifetime contest like this.

After thoughts…

The One Shining Moment (OSM) basically says it all when it comes to what people outside of UM think of UM. “They” don’t like us. We are not liked by anyone. From what I can remember, OSM featured a crowd shot, The TREY, a Robinson alley-oop and an Albrecht 3-pointer in the championship. Craft’s buzzer beater seemed to receive the OSM glorification more than The Trey. THE TREY for Pete’s sake!

John Beilein is my favorite UM coach of all-time. Just getting to hear what he had to say during halftime and then the post-game interview with Tracy Wolfson, made me appreciate him even more. Pitino is a phony sleaze ball, and I have no idea how HE got the breaks in this game. How does that happen? Beats me.

Also, this UM team is my favorite of all-time. And I’ve been watching for many decades. All class, all heart and intelligence to boot. What a pleasure it was to watch those guys. All I can say to those fans who are younger than me, appreciate this run. It was truly fantastic and defied so much logic. I was already a huge fan of UM in 1989 and attended Michigan during the Fab 5 years, and this tourney run could easily be the best I ever get to see in my lifetime.

11/26/2012 - 3:20pm The trend becomes clear, next year...

Replying because your post is one that I want to re-visit from time to time. My guess is that it adequately describes the sentiment shared by a good chunk of the fan base at this stage of Hoke's tenure.

My heart is wholeheartedly aligned with your optimistic take on the future, but my brain is agreement with Brian's "wrong side of history" assessment. For better results, a lot of it will depend on whether Michigan can still land some top-flight skill position players in this year's recruiting class (e.g. Isaac, Green, Treadwell). If not, I believe things are going to look like they do now, both next year and for the foreseeable future. Let's hope Hoke and company can nab these important prospects down the stretch.

I like how you're comparing Hoke's record to Harbaugh, Meyer, Kelly and Saban. If he follows a similar projection, I, for one, will admit I was wrong about having doubts and will give him all the credit in the world. I hope others from our divided fan base will do the same. On the flip side, if that doesn't happen, I hope our admin doesn't hesitate to move in another direction, unlike the unyielding support it gave to Carr in the latter half of his career, despite losing to App State, losing 6 of his last 7 to OSU, etc. "The trend becomes clear next year" (i.e. Year 3) seems to hold some water as far as NCAA coaching changes go.

Kind of OT, but I still think Harbaugh is a longshot to coach here someday (many years from now) after he's fulfilled his NFL goals. If a few things wouldn't have come to pass in A2 like they did, we might have already seen him on the sidelines. That said, for a coaching legend-in-the-making like Harbaugh, a NC is a "must" for the mantle. And there's no other / better place than UM for that to happen.

In the meantime, let's hope your "sky is not falling, the program is still trending in the right direction" is the right call! GO BLUE!

11/25/2012 - 8:03pm Loeffler

Not going to debate your opinion re: Loeffler's abilities as a coach. I think you'd find the UM community divided. Auburn fans probably aren't divided (…) . It's a worthwhile discussion b/c I could see Hoke bringing him back on staff when he leaves with Chizik, though maybe not until 2014.

Some relevant statistics are in order. I couldn't find where "QB rating" was tracked during the Navarre years, but here's his career stats at UM sans QB rating. Also, here's what it looked like for Henne, Tebow (2009 only) and Brantley (2010 only). Also including numbers re: Temple Total Offense (2011) and Auburn Total Offense (2012).

John Navarre (2000-2003 -- Yardage and Completion% improvement. Big 10 Champs 2003, 10-3)

Chad Henne (2004- 2007 -- Yardage and Rating drop-off. Co-Big10 Champs 2004, 9-3. 0-4 against OSU.)


Career Statistics
  Passing Rushing
Year GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds Lng TD Int Rat. Att Yds Avg Lng TD
2004 12 12 240 399 60.2 2743 69 25 12 132.6 55     9 2
2005 12 12 223 382 58.4 2526 54 23 8 129.6 54     18 1
2006 13 13 203 328 61.9 2508 69 22 8 143.4 47     14 0
2007 10 8 162 278 58.3 1938 65 17 9 130.5 24     9 0
Total 47 45 828 1387 59.7 9715 69 87 37 133.9 180     18 3

Tim Tebow (2009 only -- QB Rating drop-off)


    Passing   Rushing
Season Team GP Rating Att Comp Pct Yds TD INT Sack Att Yds TD
2006 Florida Gators 14 201.7 33 22 66.7 358 5 1 0 89 469 8
2007 Florida Gators 13 172.5 350 234 66.9 3,286 32 6 13 210 895 23
2008 Florida Gators 14 172.4 298 192 64.4 2,747 30 4 15 176 673 12
2009 Florida Gators 14 155.6 304 213 70.1 2,895 21 5 25 217 910 14
  Totals 55 170.8 985 661 67.1 9,286 88 15 53 692 2947 57


John Brantley (2010 only -- QB Rating dropoff)…

Temple Total Offense 2011: 63 out of 120…

Auburn Total Offense 2012: 115 out of 120

Conclusion: Body of work is a mixed bag, IMO, but the trend doesn't appear to be a favorable one.

11/24/2012 - 11:38pm Great accomplishment by ND

Congrats to ND and Jack Swarbrick for having the foresight to hire Brian Kelly in 2009. A lot of old time MGobloggers were clamoring for BK to get hired back in 2007 but we got what we got as Sailor Bill was perfecting his squash game. I doubt ND survives the SEC winner but still an amazing job in just 3 short years. I only wish we had the same expectations for our own program. Alas, even the holy grail of a Big10 Championship has eluded us for nearly a decade now.

10/27/2012 - 11:09pm Right Dude

Right dude. Gardner didn't improve enough to beat out Russell Bellomy for backup QB responsibilities. Or even 3rd string responsibilities when things get utterly desperate? Like right now? Gimme a break. This is poor decision-making by the offense coordinator (and by extension Hoke), plain and simple. And it's sad. Because people like you will be making excuses for it over the next 5+ years. Just like y'all did for Lloyd. Whatever. I don't care anymore.

10/27/2012 - 10:41pm A BackUp QB

There's no excuse for Borges not being able to turn to Gardner in this situation. When your redshirt backup QB can hardly lead the team to a 1-yard gain, there has to be a better option. Gardner is a talent and should be able to come in at this moment and give Michigan a chance to win a game where the defense is playing so valiantly. Darn shame folks.

07/02/2009 - 11:38pm None (tribute to Haloscan)


It's early yet, you know that. If Lloyd could lose 6 of his last 7 to OSU, then you have a better chance of going sober for 48 hours than RR has of getting canned in less than 3 years. What's the point of bellyaching now?

The "silent majority" you refer to does exist but it's also a sensible majority that realizes the past is usually a good indicator of the future and RR is a pretty passionate dude about football. He'll win games, lots of them which I know you believe as well. My concern with RR, since the hire, was will he win the big one? He hasn't yet but every championship coach must start somewhere and it seems like more often than not, a championship coach wins early in his tenure (e.g. Meyer, Tressel, Carrol, Stoops) or then the "can't win the big one" label gets smacked on them and the head games begin. Sure, there's the Lefty and Roy Williams type, who eventually get the job done, but I don't think that's what most of us had in mind with RR and to some extent, are afraid of - sticking with an underachiever for too long like likeable Lloyd (that's a lot of L's!). Year 2 is important. I think people get that. Correct me if I'm wrong but your point also seems to be that RR should be held to the same success timeline as the other elite coaches in college football and you can't understand why everyone who posts on this blog is enamored with him after a 3-9 season.

I'd say people just want to give him the benefit of the doubt. In the big picture, we hired RR to bring excitement to the Big House, beat OSU and win championships. He's already accomplished 1 of 3 in just one year, which is pretty impressive given the rich history and tradition of UM football. Would Les have changed our stagnant culture as much? He has 2 more years to figure out the other 2. If he doesn't you'll see the tide change and yes, TBS, you'll have been out in front of it.

In the meantime, don't forget the big picture:

Wise little girl, that Lisa Simpson.

06/02/2009 - 7:30pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

When fans discuss and debate my beloved Loins, I just don't get it. Those that believe in the Loins or are disappointed in the Loins, usually just haven't smelled them long enough. The Loins are the most consistent thing in all of sports. That's the beauty of the Loins. They ruin everyone. You can be the greatest football player in the league and and you will be ruined once you don the Honolulu Blue. I don't want my Loins any other way. STINKY.

04/12/2009 - 12:19am None (tribute to Haloscan)

Yeah, he sounded a lot different to somebody who is tired of all the b.s. (he had deal with last year) and just wants to start kicking everyone's ass. He's being more public about his controller self and that works just fine for me, especially when it comes to the impressionable young gangsta type - his players of course, not the media. Though Drew Sharp might have some gangsta in him. The more I think about it, I'd like to see RR coach up Drew Sharp. "Yo Rich, take that!" and a spoon of pudding goes flying past RR's head. "Aw shucks, that's just Drew.. it's in the past. I'll forget about it if you don't write something negative about my son Rhett, UM QB, Class of 2017."

03/04/2009 - 6:41pm None - tribute to HaloScan

You clearly have no idea what you're talking with regards to Morrison. He's 32 and his playing days are far from over. So which beverage cart girl are you anyway? I'd like to say "hello" to you at the next hockey golf outing.

02/06/2009 - 1:11am None (tribute to Haloscan)

Agreed re: your analysis of the Kellogg's decision. It's not like Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes are marketed towards kids. Those hypocrites at Kellogg's should know by now that eating sugared cereals is no less harmful than smoking pot when you get right down to it. Anything to save a buck, these faceless corporate a-holes.

02/04/2009 - 12:50am None (tribute to Haloscan)

Well, you don't know me do you? And I don't know you. Hence, I have no name for you. I just know what you contribute to this blog, which is pretty much garbage. Calling someone a douchebag because you don't agree with their post is about as thoughtful as your colorful handle. When people can't create their own original ideas they resort to name calling, much like a 5-year old, probably b/c they're still in grade school (pretending to be a college student) or have not or will not ever develop certain critical thinking skills.

The fact that Brodie and wolverine1987, solid contributors to this blog, share my POV should tell you something about your own. Commenters like you seem to thrive on cutting & pasting articles in your posts, asking questions of the community, perhaps to show you've done your homework, hoping someone will give you a little pat on the back.

I spend the time writing this simply b/c you've been posting a lot lately. Perhaps you should think about not posting a lot. Or like, not posting.

02/04/2009 - 12:49am None

see above

02/02/2009 - 1:51am None (tribute to Haloscan)

02/02/2009 - 1:26am None (tribute to Haloscan)

Ugh. I recall you getting your panties in a bunch on a thread where some commenters, including myself, said RR's 3-9 first year at UM didn't warrant a passing grade.

Look, people are entitled to be turned off by certain things. This doesn't make you an asshole or anti-Revolution. I like optimism and I don't like bragging. If Tate Forcier turns out to be a great QB at Michigan then clearly my concerns were just concerns, except they'll have been unfounded.

Obviously you must know Tate and Jimmy Clausen, which puts you in a much better position to compare the two. I apologize for insulting your friends.

02/02/2009 - 1:08am None (tribute to Haloscan)

You're right that I don't know Tate Forcier. In fact, I have nothing to go on except what I've read. Which is, the family's very odd self-promoting website (links below). Somebody's diary posting about his game time demeanor and this snippet from his myspace page. I don't know, it's probably more of a reflection of the way kids are nowadays. I won't kid you though, the picture of him where he is dwarfed by RR and the Clausen brother precedent thing scares me a little.

Most people here like predictions (at least THE KNOWLEDGE told me so) so here's mine: Threet will be our QB for the next 2 or 3 years with Robinson coming in to switch things up. Gardner will follow and Forcier will play the role of Gutierrez or, I don't know, maybe Jason Forcier whilst at UM. (Cue the booing.) If I'm wrong, I imagine I'll be banned and all my online credibility will go to hell in a handbasket. I have no idea what I'll do then.

02/01/2009 - 11:36pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

IF, IF, that's really really Tate Forcier's writing, there's just something about that tone. And that website, QB Force. I don't like any of it. Reminds me of a spiky hair SoCal flake pulling up in a limousine and making his announcement . I hope Tate Forcier succeeds at Michigan, don't get me wrong. And he's just a kid so his tact will change over time. Aside from that, I like Steven Threet. He wasn't all-Big10 last year but not too many redshirt freshmen are right? I don't care who leads us to better than .500 next year, but my money is on Threet.

01/31/2009 - 4:22pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

ESPN has the video up now. It's really tough to see the contact, if it's there.

01/29/2009 - 11:46am None (tribute to Haloscan)

No sarcasm here... Could someone (perhaps the WLA who seems to be very good at this sort of thing) breakdown the difference between the Novak elbow and the Conboy takedown?

I get the difference between Novak and Tropp's hit, but cheap shot elbow to the front of the face vs. cheap shot sucker punch to the back of the head don't feel like a 1-game suspension vs. expulsion difference apart. Perhaps if a flagrant elbow to the face ended someone's basketball career, like Bertuzzi did to Steve Moore, we'd have a different feeling about it. Then again you can't get to someone's spinal cord through their nose. I may have just answered my own question but the disparity still seems out of whack to me.

01/23/2009 - 11:53am None (tribute to Haloscan)

Leave it to Ward and the Beaver to remind us all that it's never too late to revisit family values.

12/02/2008 - 9:48am None (tribute to Haloscan)

GVSU: School's first national championships in 2002 & 2003. Coach of the Year 2X's. 41-2 over his final 3 seasons.

CMU: Resurrected the program after Debord drove into the ground. Won first MAC championship in 2006 since 1994. Team won it again in 2007 after he was gone.

Cincinnati: First Big East Championship & BCS bid in school history, 2008 (with Sheridan-like problems at the QB position). Coach of the Year in first season, 2007.

Obviously the difference between good and great is subjective so you can come to your own conclusions. I think there are a handful of coaches who can consistently win the big game, especially championship games. Me personally, I believe that coaches who win national championships, at any level, must be great football coaches.

Tressel won 4 NC's in his 15 years at Youngstown St. Never had any D-1 head coaching experience before taking the OSU job. As mentioned, BK won 2 NC's in 13 years at GVSU. His teams were unstoppable towards the end and it's conceivable he would have picked up a couple more NC's if he'd have stayed a few years longer (matching Tressel's success).

I've heard several interviews BK has done and that's what impresses me most about him. He's very articulate and from what I can tell, very intelligent. Seems to me the best of the best coaches usually have that going for them in any sport.

12/01/2008 - 5:54pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

Dude, seriously. Do you have any idea what the rosters looked like on all the teams I note above? Because I sure as hell don't and there's no effin' way I'm going to go back and research it. My guess is you don't have any idea either.

Results are results. Each team has their own unique set of obstacles to overcome. I'm sure the teams I mention had similar challenges and to think they didn't is naive. RR had a talent disadvantage to be sure but are you telling me that there wasn't some failure on the part of the coaching staff to work with the talent available to them? (e.g. judging Sheridan as the better QB coming out of the preseason, not featuring Minor until midway through the season, and ARGUABLY driving key offensive players to transfer or go pro (major emphasis here on ARGUABLY, we'll never know whether they would have stayed or gone).

While you're researching the roster differences of the above teams I noted perhaps you can research the attrition rate of teams that RR has coached in his first year vs. other teams lead by other coaches? My hypothesis is that RR has a higher attrition rate. Does that make him a bad coach? FUCK NO. He's made it pretty clear that he's a guy who wants to work with people who are willing to play by his rules, who are loyal, etc. He probably bends over less than other coaches to reach all types of personalities and this approach hurts him during transition years but pays huge dividends down the road.

His Year 1 results were terrible. Ask him, and I'm almost certain he'd say the same thing. In fact, I bet he would have graded his results with an "E" or "F" based on what he's said in the press. I was being generous with a "D."

12/01/2008 - 5:32pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

FYI.. The primary player(s) involved in the CMU murder ordeal were also NOT BK's recruits. He inherited them from Debord, no less. And he sent his star player packing for another program when it was obvious his connection to the murder was sticky enough to make CMU look bad.

12/01/2008 - 5:28pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

As a huge proponent of a BK hire last year I researched this long and hard. I think I read every possible bit of info that was out on the web pertaining to the CMU murder investigation, which seems to be the only publicly discussed sticking point with BK. This has been covered at length on this blog so I won't rehash. BK is a dem who called a spade a spade and that rubbed some people the wrong way. His analysis was right on and harmless.

Outside of that, I have found absolutely nothing else. I will be surprised if someone here posts something to the contrary.

If ND, PSU or WASH pass on BK then I'll believe there are some skeletons in the closet we don't know about that any school should be george o' leery about (e.g. stuff like a catholic guy drinking problem, DUI's, etc.)

For now I've concluded that MSU passed on him b/c he wasn't the kind of stable, hard ass coach the program needed. UCLA interviewed him but inevitably hired another strong coach with alma mater ties to the program. Nebraska interviewed him but couldn't pass on fan-favorite Pelini a second time. These were the top-notch jobs available. I am purely speculating that BM passed on him primarily b/c of cronyism and poor research. But is that so far fetched given his general bumbling of the search?

BK is also arrogant but so what? He is a hero and already LOVED in Cincinnati, a city I lived in and have friends who are alums.

I'm really hoping some dirt will turn up on BK so I won't continue to harbor resentment towards BM for not at least interviewing him. This would also be a great opportunity for me to look stupid for changing my handle to "BKWSDU" (Brian Kelly Will Someday Destroy Us) after it became obvious he was never going to get an interview.

12/01/2008 - 4:49pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

Could you provide any evidence/support for why you believe Brian Kelly is "slimy?" What exactly has brought you to this conclusion? Just curious more than anything.

12/01/2008 - 4:32pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

The reason I feel like TT has to be moved down in the H2H discussion is they're the only team to have gotten embarrassed by one of the 3 teams in play. Also, their victory over Texas was a home night game and via a last second touchdown.

An OT win against Nebraska (in Lubbock) and a nail biter against 4-8 Baylor (also in Lubbock) in a statement game also should be considered.

Other factors that favor Texas for me personally are that Oklahoma's defense was terrible against Ok St, giving up 41 points. The game was much closer than the final score indicated and this was Oklahoma's chance to make a statement. The Texas D has done a much better job down the stretch. Oklahoma has been running up the score to compensate for the obvious, a glaring loss to a team that would finish with the same 11-1 record. Texas was not in the same position.

Also, should recent BCS failures count for absolutely nothing?

2003: LSU 21, Oklahoma 14
2004: USC 55, Oklahoma 19
2005: DNQ
2006: Boise 43, Oklahoma 42
2007: WVU 48, Oklahoma 28

All of this is really crappy logic, I admit. But the system requires the best crappy logic to pick the winner. To me that's Texas.

EDIT: Hypothetical here. If Texas and Oklahoma would have played their annual rivalry game this past weekend, instead of 10/11, and all results in the Big 12 were exactly the same including Texas beating Okla 45-35, would people still put Oklahoma ahead of Texas? Probably not. Sadly it's people with a poor memory, fascination with final scores (e.g. perceived style points) and empathy for outgoing legendary coaches (see Nebraska 1997) that decide the MNC.

12/01/2008 - 1:05pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

When very intelligent people find rationale to weigh other factors ahead of the head-to-head results it's obvious we need a playoff immediately. If two teams are 11-1, and one beats the other on a neutral field, how can you let any other more subjective factor outweigh the obvious?

Texas got screwed. It's really that simple.

11/30/2008 - 11:46pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

You misinterpreted my post.

No where do I say "we should have beaten ND." My point was simply that we had enough talent on our roster to beat ND. Look, the argument about who is to blame for certain losses - the coaches or the players - has always been retarded in my book. You could always argue either way but in the end the coach is accountable for getting W's, like it or not.

Why can't some people understand and accept that Michigan, under RR's leadership, had one shitty year? I'm not saying RR is a bad coach or his tenure at UM will be a bad one. I'm looking at one frickin' year and basically saying it sucked. I'm not giving RR a lifetime grade or saying we're doomed with him at the helm.

If the question was, "What grade do you think RR should get for his entire body of work as UM's coach?" I'd say "Incomplete." However, the original commenter asked how would you grade his Year 1 results.

I don't comment much on this blog b/c I get tired of seeing other posters jump on here and rip on others for expressing their POV. My advice to you is don't be one of them.

11/29/2008 - 9:29pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

You could argue everything that is discussed here is pointless. Watching sports is pointless in the grand scheme of things. I opt to numb my brain by watching sports. So if I'm in to doing that, I also like to imagine and discuss useless scenarios like "what if" we had a college football playoff. Or, what if we could come to some objective consensus of what a good vs. bad coaching job would look like so we could all be united behind our team's success or failure. Then we wouldn't have to hang on to coaches who are underachieving or put up with whiners that bellyache about their team's misfortunes a year after winning an MNC. It's pointless for me to fantasize about Glen Mason's hot wife but I still do it ever since your avatar showed up.

As a fan, what isn't pointless to discuss here in your opinion?

11/29/2008 - 7:43pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

I like the brand of football Boise plays and their results speak for themselves. From an article I read, I believe that Petersen is being sincere when he says he really has no plans to leave Boise. He makes a lot of money to live comfortably there and really enjoys the area.

btw, I also think UM had enough talent on its roster to beat ND & NW. After all, 3-9 Syracuse beat ND (in South Bend) and 3-9 Indiana beat NW.

To me, it just makes sense to reserve judgment until after the transition year. If you're giving out pretend grades based on a 3-9 record with wins over Wisconsin, Miami and Minnesota, I'm not sure how anyone who is being objective can give RR a passing mark based on what other first year coaches have achieved.

11/29/2008 - 7:08pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

A: 12-0, 11-1, 10-2, 9-3, 8-4, 7-5
B: 6-6
C: 5-7, 4-8
D: 3-9. 2-10
E: 1-11
F: 0-12

I was one of the people who thought he could work miracles with inferior talent based on all the recruiting analysis that was shared here. It didn't happen. I think we should have beaten Toledo and Purdue, which would have made RR's first season a C for me. I'm of the opinion that a 3-9 record does not warrant a passing grade, regardless of the obstacles we're all familiar with.

For comparison, other first year marks:

Tressel at OSU: 7-5
Meyer at Utah & Florida: 10-2, 9-3
Stoops at Oklahoma: 7-5
Carroll at USC: 6-6
Weis at ND: 9-3
Miles at LSU: 11-2
Petersen at BSU: 13-0
Hawkins at Colorado: 2-10 (6-7 and 5-6 since)
Pelini at Nebraska: 8-4
Richt at Georgia: 8-4
Spurrier at S.Carolina: 7-5
Nutt at Arkansas & Ole Miss: 9-3, 8-4
Petrino at Louisville & Arkansas: 9-4, 5-7
Kelly at Cinci: 10-3

Better records by first year coaches are not uncommon. He'll get his grade up. As Brian mentions, he might just not be that good at delivering great results in transition years. Others might be better at it. Since we're looking at the long run, the transition year should be dismissed if we make solid strides next year (e.g. 6-6 minimum) and start contending for a BCS game by Years 3 & 4.

11/29/2008 - 5:27pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

Let me preface the following. All of it, pure speculation.

Possible reasons he didn't get the job:

BK’s image issues. The gist of the bum rap he received during the CMU murder investigation was that he instructed his players not to comment to the police w/o legal representation. His explanation included a questionably (racially) insensitive explanation that involved African Americans being targeted by cops. IMO, BK is just a smart guy who leans left and broke it down for folks - i.e. to paraphrase BK, generally speaking African Americans have a rougher go of things, don't get all the tools to break the vicious socioeconomic cycle they're born into, etc.

UM’s cronyism: In addition to the PR concerns, my guess (pure speculation) that LC received some inside info from Debord that he passed on to BM and this cronyism hurt BK's chances as well.

BK’s ego: I once talked to a guy who played for him at CMU who said he could be an arrogant prick at times but a great coach who knew how to win.

I hope there are more reasons because none of these should have prevented him from being considered IMO. If other elite programs from the midwest pass on BK then l'll believe the skeletons in the closet and reasons were deeper than I'm privy to and accept that BM was not wrong to give him a look. However, If ND hires him (and I think they will) and consistently beats UM then the hell with BM's reasons, IMO.

Here are reasons why BK is the best coaching prospect in CF:
1. Wins championships everywhere he goes (GVSU, CMU and now Cinci)
2. Articulate / represents his school well
3. Doesn't blow his lid during games
4. Wins championships everywhere he goes.

Looking on the bright side he's developing a Fulmer belly and I'm sick of looking at fat people.

11/27/2008 - 1:02pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

I liked the "Coooommmee to Pennn Shhhhhtaaate!" part. And your avatar with Red wearing the #9.

Your post gave me another thing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. Just learning that any one could find merit in a DeBord hire and/or a Loeffler promotion (in retrospect or at the time) makes me incredibly thankful we hired RR in the end. This blog covered DeBord's failures during the frustrating parts of the search. I have even stronger opinions about Loeffler too.

My biggest concern these days is the prospect of Brian Kelly going to Notre Dame or Penn State.

11/10/2008 - 12:41am None (tribute to Haloscan)

I thought this was kinda funny:

”for the oldest rivalry trophy you have to go out west for the territorial cup between arizona and arizona state. they’ve been playing for it since 1899…no, i won’t say that john mccain was there for the first game, but it was tempting." - Pam Ward.

10/27/2008 - 6:43pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

Nice work. Posts supported with data and analysis (even if a little subjective) are my favorite.

10/27/2008 - 5:40pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

Excellent post JM. Always enjoy reading your stuff. Secondary play is a huge differentiator between the 2 D's as was noted on the MBoard post yesterday. And we've had 4 Seniors back there compared to zero for MINN. I'm anxious to see guys like Cissoko develop under Shafer and the current staff. Should be fun to watch.

10/26/2008 - 7:03pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

Just a few numbers to consider regarding the comparison between MICH & MINN on defense.

  • MINN is ranked #8 in total defense, MICH is #9.
  • Both Pass Defenses are equally bad ranked #10 & #11 and giving up nearly 250 yards per game.
  • Of the 46 defensive players listed on the MICH roster, 24 have played 6 or more games.  These are the contributors.
    • 8 Seniors (33.3%)
    • 4 Juniors (16.7%)
    • 5 Soph (20.8%)
    • 7 freshmen (29%)
  • Of the 42 defensive players for MINN, 25 have played 6 or more games.
    • 5 Seniors (20.0%)
    • 12 Juniors (48.0%)
    • 3 Soph (12.0%)
    • 5 freshman (20.0%)
  • As Chris notes above, turnover margin is the glaring stat with Minn ranking #1 in the Big 10 and Mich ranking #10.
  • The Minnesota secondary is contributing greatly to this T/O margin with 12 interceptions (#2 in Big 10), compared to 5 picks for MICH.
  • Minnesota's DB's:  2 Juniors, 3 Soph and 3 Frosh
  • Michigan' DB's:  4 Seniors, 1 Junior, 2 Soph, 2 Frosh

Until we have more common opponents I don't think it's useful to draw conclusions about how these D's, both under 1st year DC's, compare.  To gsimms point, MINN has more overall experience on D especially at LB.  But they also have less experience in the secondary.

Without seeing any MINN games I can't say whether the 12 INT's they've recorded from a much younger secondary than ours are having a big impact on their record.  We all know that MICH's poor play in the secondary is a big reason why we're 2-6.

At the end of the year when we have more common opponents we can assess whether MICH gave up more big plays for TD's and whether our D took the ball away from our opponents more.  At this point, the MINN D is doing a better job with regards to those measures.  Is that inexperience?  Is it coaching?

I'd say not giving up big plays is coachable.  The INT's not so much.  By no means does having played DB in H.S. make me an expert like gsimms but I do recall that preventing big plays was something we were drilled on repeatedly (through agility drills, pursuit angles, open field tackling) but the INT's were just a matter of who had good hands and who didn't.  Sure there's a tip element that can be coached but most of the time either a guy has good hands or does not.

I'm not passing any judgment on Shafer until the end of NEXT year.  I want to see how his recruits and first-year guys like Cissoko, Michael Williams and Fitzgerald progress.  I thought MICH's defense showed a glimmer against MSU when it came to pass rush.  That gives me hope. 

10/26/2008 - 2:54pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

hat, I agree with you especially if the year-end statistics hold up for both Minnesota & Michigan. Mich's defense has obviously been disappointing and how both Minn & Mich played our one common opponent (Illinois) is a valid comparison.  Though I'm sure someone will find a reason or an excuse for why it's not a valid comparison. (e.g. our offense is so bad that our defense is on the field more, etc.)

We'll see how the rest of the year plays out.  Minnesota doesn't exactly have a quality win on their schedule (N. Illinois, Bowling Green, Montana St., Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue) and did give up 35 points to tOSU on the road.

I haven't seen Minn play this year, nor am I an expert on these things, so it's hard for me to evaluate whether their DC is getting more out of his crew than Shafer.  The recruiting rankings are just about all we have to go on.

I don't have much of an opinion about Shafer yet.  It's too early.  I did find it odd that RR sort of found him in the coaching yellow pages.  That is, RR pretty much relied on what he knew about Shafer (e.g. reputation, statistics, etc.) and didn't really have any kind of personal relationship before becoming leaders of this team.  That probably happens a lot and more than I know, but I can't see it not mattering at all.  I wonder if Brewster and Ted Roof go way back or coached together some where?  Perhaps RR & Shafer's styles are taking some time to gel and that is contributing to some of what we're seeing so far.  You know, the big picture stuff instead of all these details relating to scheme and personnel.

Anyway, thanks for the comparison between 1st year DC's.  I wasn't aware that Minn had a new DC too.

10/26/2008 - 12:45am None (tribute to Haloscan)

Did you really just call me "bro?"  That's pretty much "brah" as far as I'm concerned.  Surely you went to MSU.  I'm embarrassed for you.

10/26/2008 - 12:41am None (tribute to Haloscan)


Don't associate my anger with Appalachian anger ok?  About the only thing that Yoopers have in common with mountaineers is drinking a ton of beer, living happily below the poverty line, hunting, wilderness, mountains (porcupine), the state of our local economies, the size of our school districts, the way we talk, walk, read, write and the politics we follow.  In short, we couldn't be more different.

Sorry I didn't troll the WVU boards during the time (or ever) you speak of.  Can you enlighten me on how my anger about losing to MSU - which is not directed towards anyone in particular - is the same as that vitriol?

To clarify, I'm mad because we lost to State.  I'm not mad at the current or past coaches or the players or the game plan or the fans.  I'm not calling for anyone to get fired.

I'm just pissed we lost.  And I'm really disappointed we're 2-6.  And if we have a repeat of this level of suckiness next year, well, that just won't do.

10/25/2008 - 8:31pm None (tribute to Haloscan)

Doxa, your post made me think twice.  You're right.  I'm actually NOT fucking pissed.  I'm not pissed that we lost to MSU!!!!! MY TEARS ARE NO MORE!  I am liberated!!!!! WHAT A GREAT FUCKING DAY THIS IS!!!!