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Comment 28 Jul 2014

There's no doubt Urban Meyer is a great coach and is doing a great job. But I honestly think Hoke is doing just fine. He isn't on the so-called "hot seat." Offensive Line recruiting was terrible under Rodriguez, and it takes time for an O-Line to be up to speed. This year should be better than last year, and next year better yet. Michigan fans believe that virtually every unit of the team will improve from last year. We look at the linebackers as a strength, the defensive backfield being stronger, the QB with more experience, the receivers more seasoned, and the RB corps improved. The big question will be how long it takes for the OL to gel as a unit. I honestly expect 9 - 3 this year (expecting a loss to OSU, MSU, and one other game.) Am I satisfied? Nope. But I'm willing to be patient. 2015 and 2016 are the seasons where Hoke will rightly be judged.

As regards recruiting, there seem to be plenty of recruits who still want to play for Michigan. While "stars" don't ultimately matter, right now, Michigan has the highest rated recruits in the Big 10 on average for 2015, even including a kicker. The class is small, and so far, Michigan has filled it's needs. I personally love Hoke's style, and the staff he has assembled. Mattison is no slouch, and neither is Nussmeier. One last thing:  the fat jokes are fine. At least Hoke isn't insufferably arrogant (like Charlie Weis.) And I seem to recall a former Buckeye coach who wasn't particularly svelte. This didn't affect his record, as I recall.

Comment 14 Jul 2014

Fireworks are nice and all, but I completely agree with Eleven Warriors . . . what will attract fans is a quality winning program. Winning cures and fixes lots of problems. I do, however, think that Michigan will win more this year than last, and more next year than this year. I especially am looking forward to what the defense under Mattison will do.

Regarding Brandon, free donuts won't attract anyone. Who cares about a donut. What really cheeses off some Michigan fans is nickel and diming us for every last thing. You can't bring sealed bottled water in with you, and they were trying to eliminate seat cushions. You have to pay for seat licenses, more for parking, etc., etc., etc. Some of us old crabby people feel like he would allow any advertiser in if they paid enough money. And I'm just waiting until there is some stupid faux Wolverine mascot. "Get off my lawn."

Comment 07 Jul 2014

Well, ok, let me explain why I justify Hoke in terms of recruiting.

  • He comes onboard in January 2011. I don't blame Hoke for recruiting when he had about a month, and think he did pretty well for that short time span.
  • Year two is 2012, the first year he really stacks a bunch of OL recruits (five total.) Most redshirt, as is the case for 90% of the OL.
  • Year three is 2013, with the OL recruits from year two (2012) now freshmen, and the year three recruits (2013) largely redshirts.
  • Year four is 2014. On the OL, we have zero junior or senior tackles, and zero junior or senior guards. There is a single junior at center, who was a walkon. (Glasgow.) There are five with sophomore eligibility, six with freshman eligibility.
  • Year five, 2015, we should have a healthy mix of juniors, sophomores, and possibly a freshman. And still, no seniors with the exception of one walkon.

This is why I am among those giving Hoke a pass.

As regards Urban, I agree that he is a great coach. I personally like Hoke's style more, but you can't argue with Urban's results.

Comment 07 Jul 2014

I always appreciate hearing the perspective of Eleven Warriors as regards Michigan. That whole thing about keeping close to your enemies applies here.

It is hard for Michigan fans to predict what the current season will bring. As a long time follower of Michigan football, I will say that Michigan fans were spoiled by many years of success. Being down for some time is not easy. I am one of those who attribute many of the problems to the woeful OL recruiting under RR. If you were really interested, you could look to several years where OL recruiting was abysmal. And once your line is gone, you're sunk. It takes years to build a solid OL & DL. Honestly, I still think Michigan is a year away from having both talent and experience in line play on both offense and defense. Having a bad interior line just ruins any kind of running game.

Because the OL is still young, I believe that Hoke isn't particularly on the hot seat in 2014. If Michigan wins 9 games, that will be ok this year. The real test comes in 2015 and 2016. If there is improvement in 2015 (while breaking in a new QB,) and even more improvement in 2016, Hoke will be set.

Regarding comparisons between Hoke and Urban, I don't think enough information is available yet. Certainly long term, Urban's record is much, much shinier. However, I think that Urban came into a much better situation (in terms of the recruiting cupboard not being bare.) And, to be sure, while Urban has done well during the regular season, the post season and Big 10 championship record in 2012 and 2013 has to be disappointing for Buckeye fans.

Comment 12 Jun 2014

I'm sure that there are other school fans who stoop to impersonating asshole fans of their rivals. (But I don't think any of the examples given by Ramzy fall in that category. For instance, I don't think someone from OSU was pretending to be Twitter CEO Costolo.) Trolling another team by pretending to be the fan of another school, that's a whole different kind of assholery. Honestly, I think that anyone doing that needs to get a life, and has way too much time on their hands.

One other thing:  The Big Lebowski and the Dude . . . is there a more perfect movie to comment on assholery?

Comment 12 Jun 2014

This article was so good, it was linked on the front page of mgoblog by Ace, who focuses on recruiting. This is required reading. In fact, I hope there is a permanent tab to this article at 11W. I'll be linking to it regularly if there is. I've already referred another mgoblogger to the article . . . someone who doesn't get why the coaches have given an offer to a mere "3 star," a guy who wasn't offered by Alabama or Ohio State, etc., etc.

As an aside, I generally enjoy 11W. As miserable as it is to have lost to OSU so many times, I hold out with hope that things will eventually improve. I'm one of those who is glad RR moved on, and think that Brady Hoke and the Wolverines will be doing well by 2015.

Comment 12 Jun 2014

Great philosophy! Seriously, Urban Meyer and any decent coaches have their own means of assessing talent. The number of stars, or group think on who is good, simply isn't nearly as important. I'd rather watch the games than follow all the recruiting drama.

Comment 05 Jun 2014

MordenoftheSith, your pithy, succinct wit and fandom are outstanding. You, sir, are a wonderful example of an OSU fan. My hat is off to you. I am sure your eloquence was appreciated by said skunk bear. You left a Michigan fan speechless, with no response. After all, what could he say to such brilliant repartee? The next time I have a drink, I'll tip my glass in memory of your cleverness. For Buckeyes everywhere, you epitomize that difficult to define "je ne se quoi," that essence of all that is of THE Ohio State University. I too, smile as I contemplate your recent verbal exchange. Please, continue your endearing interactions with your Michigan fan co-workers. It underscores and highlights the beauty and brilliance of Ohio State.

Comment 19 Apr 2014

We've seen evidence of the payouts before, and we'll see it again, "but you can't prove anything." The whole system needs to be blown up.

Comment 21 Mar 2014

I completely agree with you. Craft was awesome, but I just think that athletically and offensively, it was too much to expect him to be "the guy." Craft couldn't carry the team. He really needed Tank, or Sullinger, to generate offense. Frankly, if I was disappointed, it would be in some of the other guys on the team. I think it will be critical for Matta to recruit well going forward, although iirc, you have a great incoming class.

Comment 21 Mar 2014

As a Michigan fan, I will say straight up that Craft was an awesome basketball player. His defense was amazing, but then, that's obvious. I actually don't think he gets enough credit for his offense. The problem wasn't so much Craft. The problem was the rest of the team around him. OSU just has not had any real offense to speak of.

Some Buckeyes have lamented that Burke and LeVert didn't end up in Columbus. I'm not quite sure why Matta didn't recruit them. I guess there wasn't room for Burke. Part of Coach Beilein's genius is identifying under the radar talent. Having said that, I want to go in a different direction:  Craft is one player that I wish had been at Michigan. With his defense and his discipline, he would have been a natural under Beilein. He wouldn't have been "the guy" as much as he was at Ohio, but with Craft as part of the Michigan team, the Wolverines would be much harder to beat. His defense would have helped Michigan tremendously, but with Stauskas, Robinson, LeVert, last year McGary, there wouldn't have been the pressure Craft had to carry the team offensively, and he would have flourished. Think of how Craft did with Jared Sullinger and DeShaun Thomas. Having strong offensive options and a post presence allowed Craft's gifts to shine. He just didn't have that this year.

Good luck with your incoming class. Matta will have the Buckeyes at the top again very soon. You will miss Craft, but time moves on.

Comment 21 Mar 2014

From my perspective, there have been a number of good arguments for and against the Dayton fan in the GIF. On the one hand, Dayton is a tier 2 school, and they just beat OSU, the flagship university in Ohio. Of course the fan is going to be exuberant, ecstatic, and happy. On the other hand, he was acting like a jerk, and rubbing it in the face of the losing team as they went to the locker room. Of course he was over the line. You can make an argument either way.

I have two observations.

  1. First is that you can't do anything about this, the fan's douchiness is done, and being Dayton's mortal enemy is a waste of your time. It will be a long time before the basketball team plays Dayton again. And if you play them in football, they're just an unsatisfying snackie cake in early September. Let it go . . . he had his 15 seconds of fame, and they'll probably lose on Saturday. Check:  there's absolutely no way they win against Syracuse.
  2. Second, remember this guy's behavior the next time OSU wins and you want to rub it in the face of the losing team's fans. Don't be that douche guy. Specifically, I know most of you hate Michigan. Fair enough. But whether you're in Ann Arbor or Columbus or your work place, and some other venue, don't be like the Dayton fan in the GIF. You should be better than that. I don't care whether you are a Buckeye fan or a Wolverine, you're at a big time, successful program, and being an obnoxious jerk is beneath you. Act like you've been there before. You have.

p.s.  I'll bet you a tub of wings that Michigan doesn't troll OSU at Crisler next year with a video of Craft missing the last shot (against either MIchigan in the Big 10 Tourney or against Dayton in the NCAA Tourney.) Just sayin'.

p.p.s. I'm annoyed by the different font sizes, but don't see how to edit on the tool bar. Mods?


Comment 14 Mar 2014

Congratulations, Buckeyes.

FYI, things look great for OSU tomorrow. Michigan has NEVER won against you in the Tourney. Here is Michigan's record vs OSU:

1998: Did not face OSU

1999: Lost to OSU in quarterfinals

2000: Did not face OSU

2001: Did not face OSU

2002: Lost to OSU in quarterfinals

2003: Did not face OSU

2004: Did not face OSU

2005: Did not face OSU

2006: Did not face OSU

2007: Lost to OSU in quarterfinals

2008: Did not face OSU

2009: Did not face OSU

2010: Lost to OSU in quarterfinals

2011: Lost to OSU in semifinals

2012: Lost to OSU in semifinals

2013: Did not face OSU

Comment 13 Mar 2014

A win is a win. Matta and the Buckeyes do a great job in the Big 10 Tournament. I don't know if their record will ever be broken. I'm sure they'll all be very focused tomorrow against Nebraska.

Comment 03 Mar 2014

For almost all other teams in the Big Ten, yes, stats decreased. Michigan however:  8 - 4 non-conference, or .667, 12 - 3 Big 10, or .800. Apart from being a Michigan fan, I have always thought that it makes sense to schedule difficult teams as part of the non-conference schedule. Playing Duke and Arizona in the non-conference month of December led to losses, but pays dividends in the long run. Izzo at MSU has long been a proponent of scheduling highly ranked opponents. This is also true for football, and OSU has benefited when it plays a more difficult schedule. 

Comment 26 Feb 2014

I am a Michigan fan, and I want as full of an investigation as possible. If Gibbons (or for that matter, anyone else involved in this affair,) is found guilty, I want to see them held accountable for their actions. Conversely, if they have been falsely accused, I'd like to see their names cleared and the different parties cleared of any charges.

The center of the whole thing is Gibbons and the woman at the party. My own suspicion is that Gibbons was at the very least guilty of bad judgement and inappropriate behavior. Potentially, his actions were worse -- but none of us know the details. The problem is that this kind of event typically reverts to "he said, she said," and a question of "who are you going to believe?" Without witnesses, and with judgement and recollection likely clouded by alcohol, the situation becomes murky. I suspect that Gibbon's expulsion is basically a statement by the University that "we believe you were guilty, but we can't prove it unequivocally in a court of law, so the most we can do is expel you from the University." Having a government investigation, with teeth, seems the best possible thing that can happen to clear things up, if they can be cleared up.

Comment 25 Feb 2014

It would be helpful to be able to account for three factors in recruiting rankings:

  1. Class size.
  2. Number of top 100 rated recruits.
  3. How recruits fill needs.

I think most would agree that a class of 12 or 13 stacked with 2 or 3 five star recruits at the top might be more desirable than a class of 26 recruits made up mostly of 2 or 3 stars, with a few 4 stars. Unless you over-recruit (i.e., SEC & Alabama,) you are limited by the number of scholarships available.

I also think that some of the athletes at the very top of a class can have a disproportionate affect on wins & losses. Someone like Clowney is just in a different class. Even among 5 stars, he is a man among boys. As a Michigan fan, the hope is that Peppers is like that. Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines covet Damien Harris for the same reason:  a talent like that can make or break a class.

Lastly, you have to really recruit to fill needs across the board. When you do that regularly, and have depth at every position, you can afford to recruit "the best players available." When you lack depth, it is more important to recruit so that you have all positions adequately covered. Because of the learning curve, and the difficulty of predicting the play of future linemen, it is particularly important to maintain depth on both the offensive and defensive lines. What I'm trying to say is a solid 3 or 4 star is more important to a school at a position of need than a 5 star at a position where you have lots of depth. Of course, you always make room for monster players, but the secondary can't cover a substandard DL, nor can an excellent DL compensate for a crummy LB corps.

Comment 09 Feb 2014

Very sad to hear this news. Will definitely be praying for the family, especially for his father's health. I hope there is opportunity for recovery. It would be great for the buckeyes if he could take off a year or two and then come back.