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12/21/2018 - 12:34am I have absolutely no problem…

I have absolutely no problem with a student athlete making the decision to leave school early to pursue a professional career, when their season is over. At that point, they have fulfilled their commitment to their team, and their scholarship ends. 

But I do think it is a signficant issue when these student athletes decide that a game on the schedule, that their teammates are playing in is not worth playing in as they get ready to prepare for the NFL draft. Notice, most of these players are healthy and are NOT citing risk of injury as a reason to not participate. That is because serious injuries that drop the draft status of players in a bowl game are very, very rare. Now, I know that some of you will immediately provide a few examples, and that will go along with the old phrase, "the exception that proves the rule". You remember a few exceptions, but forget the overwhelming number of student athletes who make it through the game without any serious injury and go on to get drafted. 

This is about early preparation for their NFL careers, or hopeful NFL careers. Unfortunately, their teammates, the guys who have blocked, caught passes, made tackles for, thrown balls to, whatever, will be out their competing without them. For many seniors, this will be their last game, EVER. So while for a limited few it is just a worthless game, for the majority, this matters. And that is a terrible way to be a teammate and friend. 

Even more important, THIS IS PART OF THE REASON WHY WE CANNOT WIN AGAINST SUPERIOR PROGRAMS. If you haven't competed at a high level, nor served as a head coach at any level, you won't get this. But at some points, players play for each other. They motivate each other. They sacrifice for each other. Individuals playing for individual goals don't win in team sports. That is reality. Look at the programs where players are are choosing to leave their teams prior to the bowl game. You don't see it with the playoff teams. You don't see it usually with playoff contenders, or consistent conference champions. If a player from one of those schools do happen to leave, it is more of the exception than the rule. For some reason, at Michigan, this program has a me first attitude. Players are more concerned about their draft status than representing their university, and more importantly, playing for their teammates, their friends, and maybe even their coaching staff who has helped developed and prepare them. 

An honest assessment needs to be done with the consistent winning programs in FBS, and those that are pretenders, which right now, Michigan is. We haven't won a conference title outright since 2003. We haven't played in a conference championship game yet. We haven't beaten Ohio State since 2011, and that was with Luke Fickel, and overmatched interim coach. Tressel and Meyer were 16-1 against us. The team, the team, the team means nothing to this program, and that might be a reflection of our current coaching staff, the athletes they choose to recruit, or both. But if a select few continue to leave their team early to prepare for themselves, then perhaps, when things get tough, throughout the spring, the summer, and during the fall, individuals look out for themselves, and that might be why Ohio State, Michigan State, and Notre Dame have held the advantage on us for a decade or longer.  

12/16/2016 - 1:21am Antonio Bass

If only ... Antonio Bass

12/07/2015 - 8:01pm Heisman invite

The invite to the Heisman is based on the votes received by the Heisman voters. Three is the minimum. Depending on how close the rest of those receiving votes are determines how many are invited. So yes, Reynolds could finish 4th, but if he was say, 500 votes behind 3rd place, then he isn't invited.

I kind of like this, because imagine being invited when you weren't even close to being 3rd place, but started wondering if you could win it, because after all, you were invited. 

Plus, not everyone gets an honor, a trophy, a participation ribbon, etc. 

04/26/2015 - 3:23pm Inaccurate

It's also quite popular amongst hipsters 2.0 and above

03/05/2015 - 1:42am Failing orientation

Morning of day 2 of freshman orientation: basemen of east quad. We're all sitting around in our group and there is this new guy sitting in a desk just sawing logs like crazy. We ask who the new guy was. "Oh that's willie Mitchell, a huge new basketball recruit. He's doing orientation over again because he slept through or skipped too many orientation sessions the first time around." You don't say...

01/24/2015 - 3:31pm Great point

Deflating the ball for seven years and NO ONE has complained until now. Either it didn't happen OR its a common practice and no one wanted to call out the Patriots in fear of exposing their own team.

Second, people can improve on ball handling skills. Tiki Barber went from a fumble machine to the best in the league because he was taught to handle the ball differently and because Coughlin was ready to throw him overboard.

Third, how many Super Bowl wins since 2007 does the Pats have? So much for the advantage leading to SB wins.

12/21/2014 - 12:58am False

That's actually quite false to say that kids go to JUCO's because they can't meet NCAA standards for eligibility. 

Again, this might apply to all sports, not just football, but JUCO"s are a great way for a kid to develop with some solid coaching and attention, learn how to grow up a bit, and maybe catch up by competing for a few years, when maybe they were a bit behind their peers in high school. 

In a number of sports, this is what college coaches are looking for. Kids that have proven they can a) handle college life, b) have continued to develop and compete, c) are able to step in right away and compete. This is a huge advantage over incoming freshmen who might not be able to do any of the three listed above.

As for KU and KSU, they have a very extensive JUCO system, much like Texas and California, so I'm not surprised that both KSU and KU use JUCO's like they do. Those kids coming out of Kansas schools get to compete with kids from around the country and get up to speed to be D1 athletes.

Sure, are their a lot of guys who need help to qualify - sure. Are some of them just kids that didn't mature as fast, and realizing they are in the middle of nowhere Kansas or wherever, they might start taking studies seriously, sure.

But lets not make widesweeping generalizations regarding kids in junior college. 

12/20/2014 - 9:14pm slight correction

When have we fallen behind in track and field? US sprinters and field event athletes can and still compete with the best in the world, and usually win (okay, with the exception of one Usain Bolt). And in the longer races, American runners, both male and female have become competitive and are actually beating Kenyan and Ethiopian runners, FWIW. 

But there is a strong point to be made about individual sports needing Americans to win for Americans to care.


12/12/2014 - 5:09pm The landscape is changing

Yes, college football is a different experience than professional sports, but college football is still about entertainment. At Michigan, it has been and still is entertainment that is based on ritual and tradition. But ritual and tradition are losing pull in our culture rapidly. We have an entire generation that has been raised on electronic devices and quick, rapid forms of entertainment. 

The Michigan experience is amazing. For us who grew up in a simpler time. We go to the game, we tailgate, we walk to the stadium, we watch the game, and we go home. But that could be anywhere from a 4 to 8 hour ordeal depending on traffic, tailgating, etc. For kids who entered college in the last decade, to those who will continue to enter, they will rapidly become a significant portion of the fan base. They are very commercialized and see this as the norm. They need quick entertainment. 

I remember when people complained about putting video scoreboards in Michigan stadium because it might take away from the game experience. In fact, I found myself sometimes lulled in my attention knowing that there would be a video replay if I missed something. 

I guess my point is this, we are seeing a shift in how the public and even those who went to Michigan view the experience. I think Lochmann understands the reality of college athletics all to well, that it is just one of many experiences people can have on a Saturday afternoon, and that we, as Michigan fans, are forgetting that the world is evolving around us. At some point, the great traditions that are in places like Michigan and Notre Dame will not be able to sustain an overly commercial, short attention spanned, consumer driven fan base that wants the same things whereever they go. 

It's not a question of if Michigan stadium will have advertising in the stadium, it's when, and how will it have. 

12/11/2014 - 12:38am Surface level analysis when Brian wants who he wants

Someday, Tom Herman might prove to be a very, very successful head coach. He might even end up being a better success in the long-term than whoever Michigan hires soon, but right now, he's not the right man at Michigan.

In justifying the hiring of an assistant coach at a power 5 school, Brian tosses out a number of names to try to support the notion that we might not necessarily need an experienced head coach. The analysis is surface level at best, and doesn't reflect our situation at all. Michigan has struggled the past two hires, yet still has had one of the most electric players in college football (Denard) and has a BCS win in the midst of a mediocre stretch of football. Translation: we never became irrelevant. Michigan football is still big news, and if the wrong hire is made, we will sink further and really, really become irrelevant, not to mention continue futility at the hands of OSU. The new coach needs to be ready to handle the realm of being a head coach. In fact, it's one of the biggest knocks against Brady Hoke - that he wasn' head coach material at a major program, and this isn't a job of on the job training. The next coach needs to come in and win quickly, needs to be savy with the media, and needs to do things the right way. He can't come in and shred documents, screw up paperwork leading to an NCAA rules violation, or anything like that. He has to be pretty damn near flawless. It's just the way it is. 

When you look at the list that Brian provided that supposedly supports the idea that assistants with no head coaching experience can be successful it seems solid. But lets look at most of the supporting evidence to see that it isn't.

Bob Stoops: Bob Stoops had been a high level assistant coach under two legendary, highly successful coaches Bill Snyder (1989-1995) and Steve Spurrier (1996-1998) at programs that became high profile. Oh, he also was a GA and position coach under one Hayden Fry. That's an impressive group to learn from. In addition, he took over a storied program, Oklahoma -but one in a much different situation than Michigan is in now. Barry Switzer left after 1988 with the program beset on all sides by trouble. Oklahoma burned through three coaches in between, Gary Gibbs (44-23-2 - no higher than 3rd in a conference), Howard Schnellenberger (5-5-1) and John Blake (12-22 no higher than 4th in the B12 SOUTH). That's 11 seasons with no better than 4th in the conference. 11 years, and this after Switzer had gone 55-5-1 over the prior 5 years with 1 MNC and 3 top 5 finishes. So clearly, Oklahoma was desperate and beyond a cross roads. There crossroads were set. If Stoops failed, well, it was par for the course at this point. We've struggled, be we're not that bad ... 

Charlie Strong: Experience as a DL coach at Notre Dame in the 1990s, then worked as a DC under Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer in the SEC (South Carolina and Florida). So he had significant experience in major programs (ND and UF) and worked for multiple high profile coaches. Then, he got head coaching experience at ... the 'Ville. That's right, Louisville, a Big East school. This wasn't a pressure cooker. The school was in the Big East and Kragthorpe hadn't been successful there ... but the resources and ability to dominate a post Miami/BC/Syracuse/VT Big East wasn't too hard. So he learned at a middle of the road Power 5 conference school. Winning immediately and facing huge scrutiny wasn't necessarily one of his challenges. Let's see how this plays out at Texas.

Jimbo Fisher: QB coach at Auburn (undefeated season to boot), OC at LSU under Saban and Miles, OC at FSU under Bowden. That's 4 major programs and 3 pretty successful coaches. High pressure situation to succeed at FSU, but he'd been there.  

Bielema: Had a very successful program at Wisconsin and was groomed for that job. He also was a DC under Hayden Fry at Iowa and Alvarez at Wisky ... so yeah, he had big time experience under two very, very successful coaches (and a bit under Ferentz). Not similar to our situation either during the hire. Keep big OL, a mobile QB and fast running backs and you'll win. 

Bill Synder: Groomed under Hayden Fry and walked into a situation where he had nothing to lose. If he lost big - well everyone did that at KSU. He milked JUCO's out of Kansas' very successful JUCO system, played cupcakes and as Oklahoma and Colorado weakened, he filled the void to contend with post Osborne Nebraska. But how would he have done in a pressure cooker instead of a no lose situation.

Richt: A decade of amazing success at Florida State, working with two Heisman winning QB's and a number of other high profile gunslingers. A few national titles, and walked into Georgia. Yeah, not the same pressure cooker situation, nor the need to win immediately with all the attention. 

Tom Herman: 3 years OC at Ohio State under Urban Meyer. Prior - no experience with other high profile coaches. No other power 5 schools. Pressure cooker at Michigan - about as high as you can get. 

If you don't see how he doesn't compare favorably to the other elite assistant coach to top Power 5 school hires, well, you just don't get it. He doesn't have the pedigree nor long term exposure to big time coaches and big time schools to make it worth the risk. Find me an assistant with exposure to multiple big time coaches at multiple major programs and then turn down the heat at Michigan and I might be interested in an assistant coach with no HC experience. 

12/10/2014 - 11:54pm Watching alabama the past few years

If you have been paying attention, team can and so score on Alabama. It's called going deep on them. If your quarterback moves around and gets outside of the pocket and goes deep, the 'Bama secondary goes Derp .. Derp and gives up big plays. We experienced it a bit when we played them a few years ago, and nothing has changed. 

Watch the game against Missouri, while it was their only offense, going deep against Alabama showed their weakness. Now, you hit a couple of big plays, they make adjustments, and suddenly your solid running game starts to become more effective. 


12/09/2014 - 12:46am Todd Graham - Mercenary???

I don't get the catagorization of Todd Graham as a job-hopping mercenary? 

He spent a year at Rice and went 7-6. This, a Rice program that, despite dropping from the SWC to the WAC, to CUSA, had averaged 4.7 wins/year under Ken Hatfield, had only 3 winning seasons in 12 years, and is the second smallest D1 school. So when the time came to move up, he did. Again, I look at the Gary Blackeney situation at BGSU. If you stay too long at a small school, not only do you end up losing your opportunity to move up, but you might see other schools catch up, and you get wacked.

He spent five seasons at Tulsa and did about all you could do there. Nothing wrong with that.

At Pitt- this is where the controversy starts and is highly blown out of proportion. The reality is he was hired late after Pitt had to part ways with Mike Haywood because Steve Pederson (yes the guy who fired Frank Solich and replaced him with Bill Callahan at Nebraska) had fired the Moustache even though Pitt tied for the Big East title and then didn't check out Haywood really well. So while Todd Graham might have wanted the job, I have a feeling when he got there, he realized what a sh!t show Pitt was. 

Also, lets keep in mind that prior to his departure, a number of his staff, which had been with RichRod at WVU and Michigan, left after the regular season end to go join him in Arizona. So, here he was at a shitshow school, with a baffoon of an AD (Pitt is around .500 since then) and his staff departing for arizona. He had ASU calling, they refused him the right to talk to ASU (douche move), and so he took matters into his own hands.

Yeah, the players were pissed, and he did text them, but sometimes you don't get a chance to meet with them in person. I believe St. Hoke also did this at SDSU, and I think we know he cares about his kids (so much so he didn't want Michigan to play SDSU that next fall). 

You can argue we have a well travelled coach that has had plenty of short stops along the way in John Belein, but no one seems to call him a mercenary. (again, I don't question his character at all). But I do think we look at Graham and forget that he a) wasn't Pitt's first choice, b) bailed Pitt out allowing them to have a big name hire to cover up for there poor firing of Wannsted and botched hiring of Haywood, and c) his staff left immediately to join RichRod. 

Just a thought. 


12/08/2014 - 11:19pm Hindsight and maybe a bit of emotions

When I continue to see the love that Hoke's players had for him, the continual stories of how he helped mold them, remembering back to tough decisions like sitting Fitz for the entire Alabama game (and the comments he made to the media about the fact that someday these sons will be husbands and fathers ...), I really think we had something special in Brady Hoke that is so rare in college football, or any big-time athletics. 

I realize that it's important to win, but the job he did with making these men better ... amazing. Sometimes I wonder if his conduct and the way he cared about the university, and sought to do things the right way, if that maybe didn't merit another year, where you'd be more prone to fire someone who was about themselves, always complaining, and getting investigated for NCAA violations. 

Make no mistake, going to the football banquet had to have been very trying for Hoke. It's his dream job, it's a place he loves, and its only a week after they dismissed him. Few coaches would show up, definitely not his predecessor. 

I hope our next coach is an excellent coach, but an even better man. That his will to win is only exceeded by his will to be a father to young men who need one, and to help guide these men through a period of significant change in their lives. 


12/08/2014 - 9:39pm Sean and cheese toast

When he was on WDFN in the late morning hours (translation - when few were listening) he was quite hilarious. Not the best with his sports opinion, but entertaining, and yes, he did need someone to aggitate him or to aggitate himself. 

He used to play a game that required you to get 3 questions in row correct to win. Besides almost always throwing in questions about the Canadians, when running out of time to get a winner, would ask the callers for one ingredient of cheese toast (otherwise known as Grilled Cheese). To this day I'd laugh at how many callers would get this wrong ...

As for sports, meh, I wouldn't take much with his opinions. 

12/08/2014 - 9:30pm UCLA should be >> Arizona teams

UCLA is in a beautiful location in Southern California. With proper recruiting, prestigue and the playing in the Rose Bowl, this school should easily be 9-10 wins a year and challenging USC for the Pac 12 lead. Compared to facilities in Tempe and Tucson, and heck, Tempe and Tucson, UCLA is much, much better.

Word out here in Pac 12 country is that Mora, as a competent coach should have won the Pac 12 south this year, but lost to schools he had no business losing to. Combined with the soft wins versus dreadful Colorado, and improving Cal (which you still shouldn't lose to), and it's no surprise that no one in the Pac 12 is hailing Mora as a great coach. The coaches in this conference who everyone thinks has done a great job are Graham, Rodriguez, and of course, everyone is always talking about Mike Riley doing more with less than everyone (lets see what he does at Nebraska).

I'm underwhelmed with Mora as a pro coach, his college track record is very thin, and is one of those candidates that makes me think, meh - should have given Hoke one more year. 

Patterson, Mullen, Richt, Pinkel, Briles, Fitzgerald, Cutcliffe, Johnson, and Whittingham, with all their warts and unlikelihood to come to Michigan would still be better than Mora. Maybe even the horror, Schiano too. 

12/02/2014 - 1:26am All he needs

All he needs to do is start each answer with, "Well ..."

11/30/2014 - 3:31pm RichRod Competent?

I am beginning to believe that most of this board has forgotten the RichRod years. Now living in Arizona, let me explain one common theme of Rich Rodriguez. Anytime things went wrong for him in a game, he had that look on his face like he was about to wet himself. Go watch the Pitt-WVU game in 2007 when Pat White got hurt. The whole game he looked like, "What do I do, what do I do? Why is this happening to me ..." Which is what he constantly seemed to say during his years at Michigan (per JUB 3 and Out). 

The 2008 and 2009 teams were god awful and worse in many ways than this team. In 2009, when we lost, we got wacked, and weren't even in the games. Revisionist history sucks, and Angelina should know better. 

11/30/2014 - 3:15pm Consistent nails put into his coffin

People are forgetting that Nebraska has flirted with parting ways from Pelini in the past. There were the tapes of his ripping the fan base, the consistent truculance toward the media, his temper tantrums on the sidelines, etc. 

All of the above are tolerated when you are winning, or the hope that you'll break through and win the big ones still exist. But by year 7, it was clear that Pelini was much like Solich - good enough get 9 - 10 wins a year, but not win a title and get blown out by the best competition. Of course, that was always the knock on Tom Osborne until the mid 1990s. 

Anyhow, there decision was made over the course of years, not just a few games or days. The Hoke decision isn't a simple no-brainer. How he's fired might even affect how attractive this job is to some of the former players who are candidates, as well as some of the up and comers from smaller schools who might think twice about how we depose of Brady Hoke. 



11/24/2014 - 11:51pm Ignorance is bliss

Really? Go look at Hoke's offense at Ball State and SDSU. When he had competent line play and decent quarterback play, his offenses were explosive. Nate Davis tore up college teams including Nebraska and others.

Michigan's o-line has not transitioned well. That leads to poor QB play. Buss has not been an improvemYes. Thank youent. Yet too many on this boardseem to credit others with past Hoke teams success on offense (or ignore it) but put full blame on Hoke when our OC you we can now be sure of was forced out at Alabama fails miserably to call an effective game week after week.

Those who frequent mgoblog are getting what they wanted post-Borges. Good luck post-Hoke. We've become as bad as the fans of our rivals.

11/24/2014 - 10:34am Happens at least once a week ...

Somewhere at the highest collegiate level. I've been watching football for about 30 years and seen it more often than you claim.

Is it acceptable, no. But it does happen, even with good teams. Move on.

11/23/2014 - 9:08pm True

About sums it up

11/16/2014 - 7:00pm UW > UM right now

How is Wisconsin NOT a better job right now. 

1) Program stability: Wisconsin has had 3 coaches since 1990 and the last two have been to multiple Rose Bowls. Alvarez was considered one of the best in the country, and if it wasn't for Lloyd Carr, he'd probably have had more than just Rose Bowl wins (we owned him while everyone else in the B1G struggled against Barry). 

2) Consistency: Over those three coaches, Wisconsin has relied on a very stable formula of strong offensive line play, running backs who can follow blocks, and consistent defense. As long as their quarterback play was better than a dead stiff, they were a 9 to 10 win team and always in the hunt for a conference championship. Again, this is more than Michigan can say over the past decade.

3) Expectations vs. Reality: This is part of the quality of a job. Michigan fans have become delusional over what can be done. Tantilized by a football past and reality that no longer exists, we expect to run over the B1G every year like Bo did. But we don't have unlimited scholarships, the state and it's football talent is in decline, MSU has risen, as has Wisconsin, and Ohio State will almost always be good because they are the only show in a state that is football rich, even in a declining rust belt. Meanwhile, Wisconsin fans are a bit more realistic - which means an off year or two won't lead to everyone calling for your job, or laughing at you for clapping or not wearing a head set. 

4) Your athletic director is the football coach who built the damn program. Translation, yes, that's a lot to live up to, but he knows what it takes to make the football team successful. Other athletic directors can do a good job overall, but might not understand the specific support the coaching staff needs. Alvarez does, and seems to do it without interference. That's key! Meanwhile, Michigan continues to move through athletic directors with limited athletic experience, and eventually, the CEO as AD doesn't work, because they need to understand how athletics works internally. 

5) Madison is a great town, even in winter. It's not inferior to Wisconsin, and again, Wisconsin isn't a state in decline. I love Michigan, but Detroit has hit rock bottom. It might be approaching turn around status, but Wisconsin hasn't been hit like Michigan. Advantage Wisconsin.

When you start looking at it, the only advantage that Michigan provides over Wisconsin is alumni with deeper pockets and tradition, that anyone under 30 knows little about. Our last national title was 1997 - when I graduated from college. That was 17 years ago ... in today's world, that might as well have never occurred. 

Sorry, Gary Anderson, with no natural ties to Michigan would be making a lateral move into instabiltiy, whereas he has a prime program with stability and no reason to risk it. 


11/16/2014 - 2:45pm Fire Hoke in hopes of what?

Okay, don't support Michigan football anymore. Fine. But the one question everyone keeps forgetting is this: Who is out there that would be a better hire than Hoke that you KNOW you can get.

This is the scenario Michigan fans are ignoring or are just delusional with. Look at most of the major college football hires over the last decade and ask - who got their big splash hire? Or how many had to settle. And how many big splash hires actually panned out?

USC has twice hired since Carrol left for the NFL. Hires: Kiffy-Cakes and Sark. Neither very impressive - but rather, lets go and hire a former Carrol assistant and hope it works out.

Texas fired Mack Brown and got ... Charlie Strong. This is one of the premiere jobs in all of sport, and no offense to Charlie Strong - not the big hire the fan base nor alumni wanted. Swing and wiff.

Miami - Well, they used to be good, but in their two hires since firing Coker - Randy Shannon and Al Golden - coaches who had ties to the U - but not a homerun hire. 

Oregon - I know the timing wasn't great, but they were essentially forced to hire within. This is basically a school where money has become no object and uniformz galore. Yet they hired an assistant on the staff. Swing and miss - they still can't get over the hump.

Penn State - James Franklin. That's it, the coach at Vanderbilt. Meh. 

Tennessee - Lane Kiffin and Butch Jones. The first all flash and no substance. The latter, meh. 

Notre Dame - Brian Kelly. So you essentially hired a former D2, MAC and Big East coach at minor schools. Not the big hitter they hoped for. 

The home run hires: OSU - Urban Myer. But this was as much fortuitous as it was anything else. Urbz gives up on Florida a year later or earlier, or Tressel survives one more year, or Fickle is even halfway competent and this never happens. Lucky. Urban was out of a job (how likely was that to happen) and Ohio State needed a coach. Besides, if things went differently at Penn State, it's not crazy to think he'd be there. 

Alabama - Saban. Lets keep in mind, they lucked into this too. Saban had turned them down, repeatedly. And in the meantime, who accepted the job - Rich Rodriguez. And then he pulled out, and that gave them one more shot at Saban. But prior to that, look at the struggle they had landing a big time coach. 

Arkansas - Landing Bielema was a bit of coup at the time. 3 straight rose bowl appearances. But it took how many years for him to just win his first SEC game. So much for the big splash.

UCLA - Jim Mora, Jr. - he was a pro retread. Yeah, nice, but not splashy or a huge name. 

Louisville - Petrino. Uh, who else was going to hire him out of WKU after the mess at Arkansas and the Atlanta Falcons. And the way he left the 'Ville the first time. 

The bottom line is this, Harbaugh probably isn't coming. Miles isn't coming. Stoops isn't coming. Neither is Mullen, nor Patterson (he's a Big 12 coach now - he has a seat at the big boys table), nor Briles (not while Texas is down), nor any other big names. So which mid major head coach is up to the challenge, and that you fans won't go all Hoke on? 

Hoke gets another year. Yeah, he might suck, but it provides a bit of a chance for some more stability in the program before a change. It allows a new AD to really get an idea of what are the main problems with Michigan football (like the university, a decaying population base and wealth base in the home state, and a challenge recruiting football players and top faculty to a crumbling location), and then make an intelligent hire. 

Another year of Hoke is not as bad as going for a home run hit, striking out badly, and then limping to a mid major coach who is as bad or worse than Hoke ... killing this program for another decade. 

Besides, even if Harbaugh came here, who is the say he'd stay more than 4 years, or that he wouldn't alienate everyone in four years (winning or not)?

11/11/2014 - 11:37am Saban claps

After good plays and mistakes like a special teams player running into the field late - Nick Saban claps his hands. Fire him now!!!

10/30/2014 - 2:11am Failed NFL coach

Yeah, USC agrees with you after the Pete Carroll experiment.

And let's not talk about how Alabama has done with the Saban clown.

10/19/2014 - 6:55pm Do some research on NR sports benefitting the university

I'm not surprised to see ignorant comments about non-revenue sports perpetuated on mgoblog, but that doesn't stop me from commenting on them either.

Non-revenue sports are a recruiting tool to the larger mission of the university, which is attracting the best possible students. By offering competitive varsity athletic opportunities, you and attract and retain some very bright, engaging and successful student-athletes who might have decided to go elsewhere for their undergraduate education. Competing at division 1 athletics, regardless of revenue-generating or non-revenue generating athletics better prepares you for balancing the complexities of post-graduation life, and helps improve connections and obtaining desirable jobs. 

Therefore, having successful non-revenue sports gives Michigan an advantage of recruiting the female athlete who has a 34 ACT, 4.5 weighted GPA, and is a standout cross-country/track and field athlete who wants to study civil engineering, over say, Northwestern, which barely offers a program, or Rose Hulman, in which her athletic career would essentially come to an end.  When she graduates, with an engineering degree, and starts working, her ties to the university will be stronger than many of the general population at Michigan because of her athletic experience - therefore, more likely to make donations and contributions to the University. 


10/12/2014 - 5:08pm Michigan Brand

The jersey's were okay. The striping on the numbers were a bit different, as were some of the other effects. The Blue pants were okay ... but here is my biggest concern,

Watching the game, I couldn't tell if that was Michigan out there, or the University of Toledo, or some other blue and yellow school. Lost in this whole uniform craze thing is the distinctive look of a school. 

We played Penn State. Penn State has had that classic, sharp, nothing changed about it look for decades. Why not just have us match up with them in a classic looking game. If you're playing a school that doesn't have the same tradition, then sure, maybe that is a game to trot out something new. But when you play a school that is steeped in a traditional look, or a traditional rival, why do you think you need some new uniform that ultimately detracts from the clear recognizable look of the team. 

Just a thought. 

02/02/2014 - 11:58am It can be done

I ran briefly at Michigan, and there have been a number of XC/TF athletes in engineering. And for these athletes, you need to consider they are in competitive seasons from September - November, and then January - May; essentially the entire academic year. So there is no offseason.

You need to be focused, take advantage of priority scheduling, and utilized every resource possible. And those student athletes who take challenging majors will be much more attractive to future employers since they balanced academics and athletics whereas most college students barely balanced their academics.

02/02/2014 - 11:41am Getting there

As a coach, the recruiting process is quite interesting. As a 17/18 year old, you better have been getting your name out there early and often. You don't hold all the cards, they still hold many of them. Often, a recruit becomes more desired as more schools start to get to know them. Their ability might not have improved, but one of the big rules of recruiting is - if you lose, you better lose with the guys everyone else wanted, not the guys no one else wanted (you'll get more time if you demonstrate you're a good recruiter than if you don't).

As a kid, I'd really have to put down my goals and objectives and find out what's important to me in a school. It's important to eliminate schools and programs you wouldn't fit with. If you have academic interests, don't go to a school without that program. And as you eliminate those schools be honest with them. I would NOT take all my officials unless I really was interested in those schools. Your senior year is already filled, you would hate to visit somewhere that you ultimately know you would not be happy at, and it's just wrong to waste coaching staff's time on you. Remember, they have a job to do too, and time wasted on you hurts their chances with others, and could affect their job.

Finally - private social media to everyone, and completely scrubbed of anything that reveals too much about me. Recruiters are now asking for social media passwords - keep it clean and classy.

01/01/2014 - 3:15pm Wrapping my head around it

I can't begin to imagine how anyone could pull a U turn on a freeway and then head up an on ramp - and then manage to collide with another vehicle. Not only must alcohol or other controlled substances be involved, but they must be the worst driver ever.

What could you possibly be thinking to do something so dumb.

06/02/2013 - 11:38am Still haunts me ...

Freshman year. Up 26-14 in the 4th, crowd shouting overrated and singing Goodbye to Colorado ... 3 runs and a punt for multiple possessions, rush only 3 on the final play - knock the damn ball down!!

As a side note, I coaching at the AZ state track meet, watching shot put as one of our throwers was competing against Westrbrook's daughter. Then I look to my side - and there is Michael Westbrook - took everything in my person not to saying something classless like Sparty would.

I still watch the replays hoping one day he drops the ball.

03/01/2013 - 8:15am Bad things happening - it already has ...

I believe there were two incidents in the late 90s/early 2000s involving Nebraska football and Miami (OH) football players walking off the field as the crowd stormed it. In both cases a player, having lost, ended up striking fans (of course they were drunk) who were charging the field and intimidating them.

I might sound like an old man, but fans - you didn't win the game. You cheered but your participation rarely changes things. Celebrate in the stands - you don't need to rush the court, particularly more than once every few years.


02/25/2013 - 2:24am 40 times

Are quite inaccurate of a measurement, even at the combine. As a track guy, I laugh at the measurement. The NFL has what it needs, he's fast. Then you look at the tape and see how explosive he is, and the ability to run away from everyone on the field.

The biggest question for NFL scouts is getting off the line, getting into and out of routes and then being a reliable receiver. Particularly with the type of throws to maximize Denard's speed.

02/02/2013 - 2:18am A big issue

Alone this isn't a huge story unless your a UT grad and want pristine heroes. However late last year UT suspended their long time, very successful women's track and field coach just months after giving her a huge raise. She was let go at the beginning of the year just prior to the indoor season based on a consensual relationship with an athlete. She has since considered legal action vs. Texas (probably will claim discrimination based on her race, gender and sexual orientation).

While Major Applewhite appears to have not engaged with a subordinate as she did, it leaves Texas exposed should she pursue something legally. Just the threat of legal action is now increased.

On a lighter note, Chris Sims is wondering why that student never called him back.

01/05/2013 - 11:10am Makes sense

Weeden is a pick machine (even at OSU he made bad decisions he got away with). McCoy has good mobility and could do some zone-read if needed. Spread the field, give him options, and then have Richardson plow through a spread out D.

01/05/2013 - 1:44am Losing teams and alma mater?

I respect this young man and his respect for his school, his fans, himself and the game, but how often does the losing teams band play their alma mater, particularly on a road loss (which you could assume would be similar to a bowl loss)?

Great story and I agree with all the superlatives, but before I say the same about his teammates and coaches I would like to know a little more (I.e. did they even expect to hear or did hear it being played)?

01/04/2013 - 11:02am Correction

When he was hired, he was repeatedly assured the issue was a legal one and that any NCAA involvement would be minimal. That is why they changed his contract after the sanctions were handed down.

In a win now, win often business, you don't have long to improve. Those scholarship reductions mean that Penn State will be functioning essentially as an FCS school in FBS. Sure there talent will be better, but that will leave them with NO chance for recruiting mistakes. Just think about how many we endured under the latter years of Carr and Rodriguez and in the end, we had only two losing seasons.

I'd say he's in a Tommy Amaker type situation, but if he can win as much as Amaker over the next 3-4 years, he's a miracle worker. He'll be fired before his contract runs out.

01/03/2013 - 10:37pm Joining Ron English's staff

At EMU is the most likely spot. Get turned down at Iowa for OC and then witness the tire fire their offense has become - makes sense to leave.

12/04/2012 - 11:32pm Just for fun

Mike Leach!!

Charlie Strong. Sure, he's probably going to wait for an SEC job, but I think many schools won't consider him.

Doeren has to be kicking himself.

Out of left field - bud foster the DC at VT?

And since people have mentioned how an ND defensive coordinator worked in the past - the job Bob Davie did with the tire-fire that Locksley created at New Mexico is impressive.

11/19/2012 - 10:17pm Apparently reading is difficult

If you would actually read my post, I made a number of observations based on my coaching experience and compared to my days as an athlete. I'm hardly an old man (mid 30s), so perhaps you can go re-read my comments.

I never advocated blindly following anyone, but there was a certain amount of respect athletes had for coaches. Did I ever question my coach, yes? Was there a right way to do it? Absolutely. I never upstaged my coach, a trainer or staff during practice. I knew I could talk to them after practice. I'm not sure that Barker did that at.

As for stereotyping, I'm in the classroom daily and on the practice field. This is what I see. And from fellow coaches, many from 30 and over, they've noticed much of the same things. You see, sometimes us "old men" actually have something called wisdom. It comes from experience. You see things. You can track trends. You notice how things change over time. Sure, we're succeptible to comparing things to the days of old (these student-athletes are very fortunate today and I wish I had much of what they had ...). I realize that many of them have it harder in some respects - much of my friends grew up in stable home environments, which many of these athletes don't have.

BTW - I've shared this view with one of my friends who has done multiple tours, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he'd agree with the generalization. You might want to consider what a generalization is, and why people use it, effectively. I didn't say everyone was like this, but when I read the comments by the athlete in question, I instantly begin to wonder what his motives were, and if he's correct.

Post Script - we see Jerry Kill's response. He wasn't being a jerk by not rewarding the kid a scholarship, there was a time limit. Oklahoma had a similar situation with a running back a few years ago, and consider the walk on wide receiver at Michigan State a few years back. I believe he initially started when John L was there, and bridged over to the Dantonio era. Can't remember the name right now, but lets not assume the coach is a jerk because most kids today have been told they are great since day 1.


11/19/2012 - 12:03am Perspectives from a coach

Kids are much different these days, and it's mostly NOT good. 

There was something about the old days in terms of responses to an authority figure. One - in an age when sports medicine is so advanced, techniques for warmup and post-workout recovery is so high, yet athletes don't seem to want to put the time in doing it right. they're too damn worried about the latest video game, who's tweeting what, and the bs that goes with life these days. 

Two - injured athletes in general, don't approach rehab work the same way they do training. The best do, but most use it as an opportunity to slack. I've watched injured athletes skip rehab sessions, not fully stretch, ignore warnings, and even goof around and work the injured areas in non-workout activities, only to watch them complain about it later. I adopted a simple policy this year - if you skipped going to the trainers room before school for rehab (we have 3 certified AT's on campus), you're healthy enough to practice without restrictions. This generation thinks because they can google stuff that they are suddenly full of wisdom. Forget the fact that most of them don't actually do much research, but even when they do, that means they have information. They can't synthesize, analyze or evaluate worth anything and might be a generation dumber than any other in time. 

Three - everyone always says they work hard and are dedicated. Well, I started to hear that too much by athletes skipping rehab, skipping practices, eating poorly, etc. So I've put together a list of "What you'll need to do when you say, 'I want to get better'". This list is quite exhaustive, but it embodies the person who really means "I want to get better". That phrase is as trite and overused as "I love you". Okay, show me. I've adapted it to the classroom as well. Most athletes won't do half of what's on the list, so It's a good reminder of what they really need to do. 

Four - coddled. As a teacher/coach, these kids are the weakest and laziest I could imagine. They all think they are good because they are told that and they have the participation ribbons to show it. I had one of my senior athletes tell me in a written post-race evaluation that they were proud of their last performance because, even though they missed their PR by over 2 minutes, they fought hard on the course and attacked the tough parts, oh and finally beat a teammate that they never beat before in a race, but beat regularly in practice. Great, because there is nothing more that I want then you being happy with a horrible race performance and focusing on finishing ahead of teammates. 

I don't know Jerry Kill, and he might be an ass, but honestly, I know too many of these athletes today are spoiled, coddled, and their comments should be viewed with MASSIVE amounts of skepticism. My high school coach in one of my sports was a jerk. And yet I made sure that I ran for my teammates and myself, and I learned to deal with it. My parents supported me, but never offered to get involved. I confronted my jerk coach, and he listened, he made some changes, even though much of the damage was done, but we handled it like two adults.

Maybe that's the lesson here. Sack up, confront Coach Kill and deal with it. Great job quitting on your teammates. And then publicly crying about it during the season, not waiting until the season was over. Great way to rip your team apart.

Two words for a kid like that: Selfish d-bag.  

10/22/2012 - 10:25pm Ignorance is embarrassing

A track is more than just an oval of concrete. Whether indoor orb outdoor, you have a very specialized coating that goes over the concrete that is designed to provide some cushion while maximizing return energy for each stride. In addition, it has to withstand the spikes of the runners season after season, and in a place like Michigan constant use in the winter. It's sad that a school like GVSU has an amazing indoor facility with grandstands, huge video screen, beautiful locker rooms, great athletic training facilities, etc.

Track isn't cheap.

10/08/2012 - 1:51am I'm hoping your comment

Is as sarcastic as I suspect the OP was.

Did you see Zook's product. Talented but uncoached athletes are a disaster. You have to give a guy two years at least.

09/30/2012 - 7:38pm Troy Nunes

I think we racked up a safety or two in that game. For years hence Nunes became a verb among our friends and it was always followed by a reference to Dr. Zaius. Good times.

07/23/2012 - 10:48pm Worst case scenario for Penn State still isn't that bad

It's July 23rd, fall camps will start in a few weeks, meaning no juniors or seniors are transfering from Penn State, not starters who are returning for sure. Why would you transfer right before fall camp to coaches that don't know you, to a system you don't know, when you have no time to prepare. Good luck breaking into the starting line up. 

They'll be fine next year, as USC showed the first year of their sanctions, even with Lane Kiffin as coach. Seasons two and three will be rough and they'll probably bottom out to around 3 or 4 wins by the end of the sanctions period. At that point, as already mentioned, the facilities will still be in place, the huge stadium, Pennsylvania will still be pumping out football players, and if O'Brien is a bad coach, he'll be sacked, and an up and coming assistant or MAC type coach will be drooling over the chance to come into Happy Valley and rebuild the program. They'll have the instant selling point of starting immediately, by then, something horrific will have happened at another program and people will have lessened their hate, and the improvement will be on.

In fact, the worst thing that might happen to Penn State is they are mediocre with O'Brien during this period, they retain him, and perhaps they stay mediocre. While as a coach, it's hard to argue Joe Paterno build the program, and to a lesser extent the school, much like Bowden, the program had declined strongly under him, even with the occasional good season (see 2005). By falling flat on their faces during this period, they can begin a completely new building process. Oklahoma did this, Texas did this, USC did this, a lot of programs fell hard, and then rebuilt. Penn State has everything in place to do the same, and the region will remain loyal. 

07/23/2012 - 10:35pm Much ado about nothing

I personally like traditional, clean cut, simple jerseys. But I'm also a 36 year old former student and briefly athlete. What does my opinion matter. Am one of 85 men on scholarship to play football at Michigan? Am I an incoming recruit? No, neither of them, so my opinion means about as much as almost everyone on this board - NOTHING!

This does help recruiting. And yes, before you come running at me with Alabama, Texas, USC, and Oklahoma - lets just be honest here - how many national titles have these teams won in the past decade, or even played for? We had 2 straight losing seasons, a few 4 and 5 loss seasons, and honestly, no one cares about tradition of the program anymore. If they did, Notre Dame wouldn't still be trying to wake up the echos for the better part of two decades now. Furthermore, USC and Texas are the flagship programs in two of the most fertile recruiting states. Michigan, if you haven't noticed, isn't a hotbed for tons of top prospects. 

Even classic programs like Ohio State have done the alternate jersey thing (and at a much worse level), and they've played for 3 national championships in the last ten years (cheaters or not). 

Finally, I think Brian went through and detailed last year the history of the white road jersey - and it has been constantly under some sort of change. Maybe not every year, but at least once a decade, if not more. So it's not like they are messing with the home jersey which has pretty much remained the same since at least Ol' Number 98 was bringing Buckeye fans to their feet in the Horseshoe. 

My thoughts from an elder Wolverine. 

07/23/2012 - 10:08pm What makes our distinguished University sound stupid

Has always been the addition of You Suck at the end of Temptation. We didn't do it when I was a student ('98), but sometime shortly after it started. It's not even clever, it's offensive, and can't we come up with something better - oh yeah, Go Blue. And no, Go Blue never sounds stupid, up by 3 scores, down by 5 scores (oh, the RichRod era). 

As for doing it while the US Air Force Academy is playing us, and their cadets are watching ... you're right, they are tougher than almost every member of the student body. And I'm sure they won't even be able to make out what is being said, but that isn't the point. Remember, that entire student body has signed up to protect this country. While we can have different views on prior US military action (most of which is not decided upon by the military - our commander in chief is a civilian commander) they go and serve where they are told and when they are told. They put their lives at risk defending most of us, who live under and are able to do what we want because of that protection. Not always perfect, but definitely honorable. 

In summary, You Suck is a stupid cheer and should be cut out permanently. However, it might be a nice touch to do it starting with the Air Force game. My opinion.


07/17/2012 - 1:55am And what were his findings ....

As it relates to current or former employees outside of "the four". I am beginning to find it hard to believe that many, many others were aware of and involved in this situation. This to include PSU officials and current board members., coaching staff under Joe, other administrators, not to mention the entire Second Mile board and some or perhaps many community members.

06/10/2012 - 2:01am The state of track and field at Michigan

I briefly ran for the Maize and Blue, and so it's important to see them be successful. Michigan has had or did have many long-term coaches, some of which have left in recent years (Warhurst being the foremost). Henry (women's) and LaPlante (men) have been around for a significant amount of time, particulary Henry, and the program's haven't improved much. Now, Wisconsin is a conference powerhouse, and Penn State has had some good teams, particuarly on the women's side a few years ago, but Michigan should be more competitive. It might be time to replace the head coaches on both sides. Plus, there were questions about what really happened when, after Michigan's surprise title in 2008 (I believe) why Warhurst and LaPlante switched places. (being a distance coach, I'd rather just be able to do my thing and let someone else run the team, until it involves scholarships, that's a different beast). 

Gibby needs time, as he seems to coach more toward the 5 and 10k, longer distances, where Warhurst really, really excelled with that 1500 - 5000 type runner throughout his career. And I think Gibby is going to be good in the long run. 

Not sure what is going on with McGuire. The women were exceptionally tough, pushing Wisconsin to the edge or beating them, and then after the about 2006, it's been rough since. He's had some good runners, but not dominant like prior. And it was shortly after that run that Stanford allegedly came calling, and he turned them down. Of course, I don't think he has the professional group he had in the mid 2000s of Anna Pierce, Katie Waites, Lindsey Gallo, and others (another 1500 meter runner from Cornell). That might play a role.

I did notice the men had only 3 paid coaches, with 4 volunteer assistants. While two are probably Gibby's former runners still training with him, you'd like to see all the event groups at a Big Ten school actually getting at least part time pay. 

04/29/2012 - 12:13am Quick question

How does Toney Clemons get drafted ahead of Hemmingway? Sometimes I have no idea what NFL front offices are thinking. Then again, what does my opinion matter.