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Date Title Body
02/05/2012 - 10:05pm 12 men on field penalty

If it's only five yards and repeat the down (but they don't put the time back on the clock), why wouldn't every team intentionally play 12 (or 13 or 14) in that situation (other side is out of timeouts, needs to go 50+ yards, and there are only 15 to 30 seconds left)?  It's like how Bielema used to go incredibly offsides on kickoffs near the end of the first half, knowing it could run down the clock and prevent the other team from getting the ball (before they changed the rule).

11/08/2011 - 11:35am Maybe they are not

pesco vegetarians?

Or maybe they are poor fishermen?

11/08/2011 - 11:14am LOL


11/06/2011 - 12:26am Denard last year

Big Ten player of the year and something like 6th in the Heisman voting.  If we're talking about the talent deficiency today, I hope you mean our OC (who went from Auburn to a MWC school), and our approximately .500 lifetime coach (who even put on a headset at the end!).  Hoke's a nice guy and I'll root for him, and our environment is so toxic that we need him to succeed (we'll never accept an outsider, and who is left of the Carr tree -- Ron English?!), but it sure would be nice for us to open up the checkbook to hire some assistants to add to Mattison.

11/05/2011 - 8:13pm Promotions for geniuses

Do you think the Auburn OC job was just a stepping stone for a coveted OC position in the Mountain West?

11/05/2011 - 7:27pm Martz

Was he ever banished to the Mountain West?

11/05/2011 - 4:28pm From SEC to Mountain West

The move from Auburn to a Mountain West team is not a promotion.  Why do people think Borges is a good OC?  Why didn't any decent conference want him after he washed out at Auburn?  This isn't rocket science, folks.

11/05/2011 - 3:40pm Denard needs a competent OC

Did you notice the last two drives we weren't pulling that crap of taking Denard out at QB every third play to force him out of rhythm?

Our OC is who we thought he is.  Our DC is who we thought he is.  One we pulled away from the Ravens with a boatload of money and the good fortune of him having a new grandkid in Michigan and a close relationship with Hoke.  The other went from the SEC to the Mountain West, which is not a promotion, folks.


11/04/2011 - 3:38am More pain

This thread caused me to search on the site for Sammy Watkins.  It was a little less than a year ago that TomVH let us know he heard we were in the driver's seat for Watkins.  Would have loved to see him on the field with Denard and company.

11/03/2011 - 12:33pm This is the question to ask (whether he used it in the past)

Does anyone know the answer?  I fear the answer is he hasn't used it in the past. 

(Meant to reply to comment above)


10/19/2011 - 9:43pm "How could Borges not adjust to this?"

Ideally, being OC at Auburn is not a stepping stone to the same position at a Mountain West school.

10/16/2011 - 3:42pm Talent gap

Do you mean the talent gap in the staff?  Because I have no idea what Borges, Hecklinski, Ferrigno, et al. were doing yesterday to address MSU's defensive game plan.

09/28/2011 - 12:54am I-formation

"Because Denard’s such a featured runner in our offense, I don’t know if the tailbacks are ever going to get huge numbers until we just jump into the I formation and start doing that every play, which we’re not doing as long as Denard’s the quarterback -- not every play, anyway."

I take it by "huge numbers," he is not talking about YPC.  Ugg.  I'm not looking forward to what we do two years from now.


09/13/2011 - 11:06am Best analysis I've seen yet on both sides of the ball

Thanks for posting this. Seems fair, and helpful for those of us who cannot find time to re-watch it and analyze each position (if we knew what to look for).  Much appreciated.

09/13/2011 - 10:37am Balanced MANBALL

To all the RR detractors, wasn't one of the complaints about last year the percentage of offense that was coming from one person?  (I remember that stat as one of the many memes in the campaign against RR's offense.)  Question: what percentage of this year's offense in the ND game came from one person?  Is that now sustainable because of the TOUGHNESS that comes from being around Hoke?

And to address the OP's point about stats, last year Denard had a 60% completion rate and zero INTs in the ND game.  This year he completed 45% of his passes and threw 3 INTs.  Not sure in which world 45 > 60 or 3 INTs is a better stat than 0 INTs.  We obviously moved into a very high variance, risky deep passing game.  If you think that will lead to more victories over time, or is a better overall strategy than a RR offense, that's your prerogative.

I also thought MANBALL promoted first downs, sustained drives, giving the defense some time to rest, etc.  Look at the number of first downs we had.  Look at the time of possession -- truly an old school, Carr/Hoke stat -- ND had the ball 15 more minutes than we did!  How many first downs did Michigan have in the first three quarters?  Last year, Michigan had sustained drives of 9 plays (Missed FG -- RR's fault, of course), 10 plays (Missed FG -- Hold the Rope means shank the FG), and 12 plays (TD).  This year we didn't have a drive greater than 5 plays.  Again, if we're going up-tempo, Oregon offense, who cares about TOP or sustained drives.  But I thought this is Michigan, and we hired someone who didn't need a map to the campus?  The offensive output on Saturday night didn't show that we were back to whatever platonic ideal of offense that TOUGH, practicing-against-spread-leads-to-meek-defenses, true Michigan Men want. 





08/01/2011 - 8:19pm JC transfers

Didn't Hoke have four of them last year at San Diego State?

Also, good thing that Mike Martin will finally develop some toughness thanks to Hoke's teaching methodology.  /s


07/21/2011 - 8:59pm 5th year at Ball State was 7-6 (Hoke)

That was the first year he tied or beat the record Bill Lynch had in the last year of his tenure at Ball State (6-6).  Let's hope Hoke doesn't "turn it around without anyone noticing" in the way he did at Ball State, or we are in for many, many years of pain. 

07/12/2011 - 11:39pm Need a new song

I love that song, and those videos, but that was the RR era.  I was and am a RR fan, and have my doubts about how we handled the transition (Brandon's comments about not needing a map of the campus, etc., etc.), cringe at the arguments people make against the old regime, etc., but it's the beginning of a new era, and Hoke/Mattison need a different song.  I'll have bittersweet memories of the past era (I'm sure some people will chime in and say, IT WAS ONLY BITTER), but let's leave that in the past and use a new song for the new era.

07/09/2011 - 7:15pm 7-6 -- over .500

If over .500 is atrocious, what is under lifetime under .500 (47-50) called?  What is 5 seasons under .500 (out of eight coached), with a sixth being 7-6 called?

Which isn't to say he won't do just fine at UM.  He won't be undercut at every turn, he brought in Mattison, nearly every starter is returning, etc., etc.  Bill Stewart put together three straight years of 9-4 with excellent assistants.  We should be able to return to that kind of success.


06/14/2011 - 2:42am Indiana's put together a nice staff

They've lost a few of the new coaches, but I respect the choices they've made. 

05/31/2011 - 3:11pm Winning record

The original poster was being honest and frank.  Despite the great things he has done during his tenure as the head coach of Michigan (recruiting), Hoke still does not have a winning record overall as a head coach for his whole career.  Tressel had one of the best winning percentage of any coach.  It wasn't that preposterous for the original poster to think that Hoke, while achieving success at Michigan, would not win more times than lose against a coach like Tressel. 

05/30/2011 - 11:10am Youngstown State

Can you elaborate about what Tressel did at YSU? 

05/27/2011 - 12:48pm Desmond's envy

When Denard first started to break out, I quickly got the sense from his on-air comments that Desmond worried he would be eclipsed -- that Denard's exploits (e.g., the 500 yard game, the Heisman pose that wasn't planned against Notre Dame, the longest run in ND stadium, etc.) would overtake Desmond in future Michigan highlight reels for the upcoming decades.  This incident reminds me of that.

04/23/2011 - 8:29pm Ball State

What turnaround?  He inherited a .500 team; his first four years he was sub-.500.  His fifth year he was half a game above .500.  In his sixth year, he had an abmorally good year, but couldn't finish it, losing as a ranked team to an unranked Buffalo, with Hoke then leaving before a beating a bowl game.  And the foundation he built?  Did they remain near the top of the MAC after he left?  If I roll a pair of dice 6 times and get an 11 once, I'm going to quit and start telling people that I turned the dice around.

He may succeed greatly at Michigan, and we might all love him in the end, but his resume is his resume.  I remember a month or two before we hired him, I was told the same thing by my fanatical sports lover brother -- there's no way Michigan would hire Hoke.  He went to a MAC school; I went to Michigan.  He didn't understand that we would put bloodlines above all else.

04/23/2011 - 1:17am Your response

Next time, consider responding thusly:

"You, sir, are a charismatic older gentleman, and I am sure you will go far."


04/22/2011 - 12:43am Intelligent, adaptable, and experienced?

The man may "get Michigan" or love toughness or what have you, but he has a lifetime sub-.500 head coaching record and has never even won his conference (even the MAC or the MWC).  Hate on RR all you want, but whether it's BCS Bowl Game victories, conference titles (Big East), or even success as an OC (Tulane's 13-0 season), he has Hoke beat on at least two of the three things you cite.  Really didn't wish we had to live in Crazytown if we're Michigan fans.

04/19/2011 - 1:57am 5 more months of RR

The problem is -- what can we talk about for the next five months?  That spring game did nothing to calm the fears some of us have about Borges and Hoke.  (Even RR fans wanted the D situation to be addressed; Michigan finally opened the checkbook and it looks like it's addressed.)  Hoke's resume (and the resume of guys like Hecklinski and Ferrigno) isn't going to change over the next five months.  And we have Brandon in our face about how now we're going to play Michigan football, and the media telling us that Hoke will recruit tough players (anyone here think Vincent Smith isn't tough?  Taylor Lewan not tough?) -- it makes me want to vomit.

04/19/2011 - 1:48am You are different than Brandon

He has publicly denigrated the Illinois win.  That's not "Michigan football" to him.  Can't wait to go back to the Oregon games -- MANBALL versus 21st century will be a blast (again)!

04/17/2011 - 5:28pm Fans will not be appeased

Hasn't Dave Brandon said that anyone who enjoyed the Illinois win last year is an idiot, and he would invite him to a basketball game instead?

This hire was about appeasing the old players and the old guard. 

Brandon does not care if "fans" want to see 21st century football, or "communist" football where the QB can run.  Hell, fans would turn up to see Les Miles do something crazy (4th and 12 from the 30?  Fake FG time!).  But we're going to get tough, manball, rarr, rarrr, toughness.  And Hoke will wear shorts in that weather -- tough!  Hour fifteen sure isn't very long, but maybe he didn't want to discourage the players or fans with any more of what we saw.

04/17/2011 - 5:12pm O line coaches

It will probably get lost in the Hoke/RR blood fued, but to those with knowledge of both coaches -- do people really think Funk is an improvement over Frey? 

04/17/2011 - 4:55pm Not worried about THIS GUY

Worried about what people like the 2008 head coach at St. Mary's High School (leading them to 5-5), who is on our staff, are going to do to this offense.  People complained to high heaven about "cronyism" with Rich Rod's staff -- can anyone tell me that the resumes (i.e., past success) of our offensive staff gives them reassurance?

04/17/2011 - 4:35pm Agree completely.

And the rest of the staff bears this out.  We aren't engaging in the arms race with the Alabama, Florida, Texas crowd.  We were very fortunate that Mattison loves Hoke, has a new granddaughter in Ann Arbor, and is at the right stage of his career to make this move.  Usually, this will not be the case, and we will be crippled in the future by our belief that the best coaches should feel privileged to coach here, and that only those with ties to Lloyd are worthy to don the Michigan cap.

04/17/2011 - 4:29pm Hilarious

RR has won conference titles in a BCS-qualifying conference.

RR has won BCS games.

We brought in someone with a lifetime sub .500 record (and 3 winning seasons against 5 losing seasons), who has never even won his conference (MAC, MWC).

Say that Hoke "gets it," runs good old fashioned "Michigan football," or whatever pablum you want, but bringing up track records just makes you look foolish.  Let's all hope Hoke can get his lifetime coaching record above .500 by winning consistently at Michigan.


04/17/2011 - 4:25pm Offensive staff

I love the Mattison hire.  There is plenty of room for debate about Borges, so let's put him aside.  What do you think of the rest of the offensive coaching staff?  Their resumes appear lacking, don't you think?

04/17/2011 - 2:19am Read the post I was responding to

It said today's nightmare of an offense was better than last years.  That is insane.

Yes, we lost to Wisconsin, etc., last year because of defense and special teams.  To think that RR's offense was the problem is lunacy.  Time to move on.

04/16/2011 - 6:59pm Really?

We put up 28 points on No. 7 Wisconsin, second highest total all year by any of their opponents.  You compare today's offense to that?  I think MANBALL has replaced Charlie Sheen as the drug everyone is on.

04/16/2011 - 4:56pm Next year

42, 133, Ohio.  Lots of slobbering by the Old Guard.  Woot.

04/16/2011 - 4:29pm Adaptation

Does anybody on this staff know zone blocking? 

04/16/2011 - 4:25pm You missed the point

The point is, if we get back to regular 9-3 type seasons, there will still be some fans who think Michigan, with a different approach, could be doing better.  If you think that there will be complete harmony with 3 loss seasons, you are entitled to that opinion.

04/16/2011 - 4:22pm I agree with you

Fans at the big programs all want to win the biggest games consistently, but there can only be a few programs at that level.  Add in disadvantages due to location and academic standards, and it will be difficult for Michigan to compete with the Alabama, Texas, Florida crowd consistently.  That's why some of us think that you really need exceptional coaching.  Look at the number of elite players that are committing to programs like Florida, Alabama, etc., versus our classes.  A straight-up, run over them MANBALL strategy may work against Michigan State, but the talent disparity between Michigan State and Alabama is significant (see bowl game). 

Finally, there is nothing wrong with going for a solid program that doesn't play on the BCS stage often.  Hoke and this staff may be put together a solid, respectable old school program.  Mattison is an elite coach.  But take a look at our offensive coaches.  Check our their resumes.  Even allowing for some room for disagreement over Borges, do you really think our offensive staff is elite?  That they provide an advantage along the lines that Chip Kelly's offense provides, or Holgerson's offense (a student of Leach) provides? 

I do think Hoke is completely likeable, and will be easy to root for.  I can see how RR rubbed certain people in Ann Arbor the wrong way.  But that doesn't mean I have evidence at this point, based on the body of work of Hoke and his staff for the past decade, to think that Michigan will be an elite program under his helm (like Florida under Meyer, Alabama under Saban, etc.).

04/16/2011 - 3:34pm Culture wars

Actually, they will probably continue when Hoke plateaus around 9-3 a year.  A lot of fans didn't like the 3 losses per year with Lloyd-ball.  Bill Stewart, probably the best analog of Hoke, has gone 9-3 consistently as a manager relying on a very good DC, which seems to be our game plan.  But some of us will always want to see an offensive mind like Chip Kelly, Holgerson, or RR running the team.  Add in the fact that we have Denard Robinson on our team now, with almost every starter returning, and the team being coached to run RR/Magee's spread for the past couple years, and some of us will always wonder what could have been with this offense.

04/16/2011 - 3:18pm Agreed

And did the defense get a lot more practices than the offense heading into today? 

Isn't it just possible that landing the Ravens DC makes a difference, while filling out the offensive staff with guys like the WR/Recruiting guy from Ball State (during the illustrious sub-.500 run) and a coach who went from coaching WRs at Cal to coaching a (.500) high school team (before being plucked by Hoke) also makes a difference?


04/16/2011 - 3:07pm Borges' playbook

Did they really say he had no running plays for a QB in his playbook?  I was listening to the WTKA audio.  Why don't we ask Mattison to implement a 3-3-5 as well?  Uggg. 

04/16/2011 - 3:01pm Perfect

This sums it up perfectly.  And it's disheartening.  Even if the overall win total doesn't drop significantly simply because we will finally have a competent defense, spending the next five months thinking about a competent defense but a huge regression on offense and the waste of one of the best talents ever in college football, who by every account is a great kid and loves our alma mater, is just not something that encourages me.

04/16/2011 - 2:55pm Let's see...

We scored 28 points against WI -- the second highest of any team that faced them.

Let's see -- Auburn (perhaps you saw how they did last year) put up 17 points and 348 yards against Miss. State, which had one of the best DCs in the country.  Michigan put up 14 points and 342 yards -- 3 points less and 6 yards less.

Don't let facts get in the way of your prejudices.  You got your old time Bill Stewart/Lloyd Carr -- you never have to feel threatened again! 

And say -- how many yards did Carr's masterful use of Henne, Hart, Long, Manningham, and Arrington put up against OSU in 2007? 


04/16/2011 - 2:49pm Borges and Hoke's offense

Remind me how games SDSU won last year against top 25 teams, including pretender temporary top 25 teams like Utah and Air Force? 

How did Hoke's ranked Ball State team do in its MAC champioship game against an unranked Buffalo?

Four of Michigan's losses last year came to the ultimate number 5, 7, 14, and 15th ranked teams in the country.  Against Wisconsin (No. 7), for example, Michigan scored more points (28) than any other team except Iowa (30). 

This meme among MANBALLophiles about our offense last year is stupid.  We had an excellent offense.  We had a terrible defense, and terrible special teams (kicking especially).  The old guard hates RR.  We threw everything out.  To think that we are going to get an upgrade on offense long term with Hoke/Borges is just silly.  What top teams were looking to pluck away Al Borges?  You think Auburn wants him back?  Hopefully the offense will be tolerable, and we will win based on Mattison's defenses.  Bill Stewart managed to go 9-3 three years in a row with Casteel heading up the D.  Let's hope for the same with our situation.


04/16/2011 - 1:35pm To quote Clubber Lang


(For us, obviously.)

04/16/2011 - 1:33pm I am a pessimistic person

And this game reinforces all my fears and preconceptions.  Mattison is a very good coach, and he'll make a competent or better defense with the talent he has (which is limited).

Hoke and Borges likely will not be able to maximize Denard and our offensive players; there will be a huge, painful period as the blocking scheme we've had since the last couple years of Carr gets thrown out the window; etc.  Folks, there is a reason RR was offered the Alabama job before coming to Ann Arbor, and Hoke was considered for the Indiana and Minnesota openings.  (And after Auburn let Borges go, which major program has clamored for him?) 

Bash me all you want -- that's fine.  I feel bad for the players, who will have to suffer through another transition, and the resulting losses. 


04/16/2011 - 1:22pm 2008 again

Best thing about the game was the punting.  Reminds me of 2008. 

Of course, we had just about everyone returning this year, including the Big Ten offensive player of the year, but at least we now have a coach that knows his way around Ann Arbor, and more of the old players feel comfortabe!

04/16/2011 - 1:19pm Borges hasn't had QB with positive running yards in ages

We have playmakers, if they are utilized properly.  In a paleolithic offense that is not playing against MWC defenses?  Maybe not so much.