Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The coaching search continues

First Jim Harbaugh was a lock. Then Brady Hoke. Then Les Miles. Then Brady Hoke. And now, there's a Dominos plane that's flying to Southern California because, gasp, there's a Dominos presentation in--you guessed it--Southern California.

I've complained about ESPN a lot in the past year. From the Brett Favre waffling to where Lebron would go to various coaching jobs to Michigan's own NCAA violations, all of which they've reported on and been wildly wrong about. And now the Michigan blogosphere, like scorned lovers, are feverishly watching Flight Tracker in the hopes that it will give them some clue as to where Dave Brandon might be going in order to talk to prospective coaching applicants. The world has gone mad, and sports reporting--whether it be through traditional sources or the usually more reliable blogs--is probably the reason for it.

I continue not to have much to say about this coaching search because I'm not watching planes fly around the country and because most of the "sources" that people trust are as flamboyantly wrong as Random Dude on a message board that says his brother is married to Coach X's daughter and she heard through the grapevine that Les Miles is a holy lock to come to Michigan. My sources indicate Wet Owl, and until further notice, I'm sticking with that.

Until the time comes that there's actually real news (and not just the kind of news we got today about Les Miles accepting the Michigan job), I'm not going to have much to say. There's nothing for me to speculate that hasn't already been said. My feelings toward Dave Brandon remain the same, if not become more amplified: For all the talk of trying to unite the fanbase, it's becoming clear that Brandon was one of the partisans. Rich Rodriguez was never good enough for him. And for this public display of incompetence (though not that belief in Bo Schembechler's Michigan), Brandon should probably be put on the hot seat if not fired outright. This is a debacle of unthinkable proportions.

For now, I'll be on Twitter expressing my extreme hatred for everything that's transpired in the last 10 days and badgering Brandon to make a decision that won't further bury Michigan. This is not a good day.


Lankownia said...

wow...from trust to fire, and so quickly.

Lets hope Brandon pulls a Gruden rabbit out of his hat. I wouldn't fire him just yet. He looks totally incompetent in this, but the job isn't complete.

Even if it's Hoke...you never know. There is blueprint for Head Coaching success. Mack Brown, Urban Meyer, Gene Chizik, Chip Kelly, Jim Tressel, Lloyd Carr - none of them followed the same path to success.

Not that I'm betting on it, but wait and see remains the best approach in this frustrating time.

Lankownia said...

I'd encourage/welcome a more thorough undressing of Hoke. MGoBlog has basically said "cronyism" and quoted Hoke's neolithic view on the spread offense -- Discouraging but not totally damning (one wonders if Carr and Schembehler don't agree). You, and others, have pointed to Hoke's overall W-L record.

While results are ultimately what matters most, both Ball State and SDSU seem and seemed extremely content to keep Hoke. They've been happy with the results, which have ended on a high note. A more thorough takedown might convince some "anything's better than RR" crowd. Not that comparisons to RR are relevant, but because it represents an "old guard" mentality. That mentality, while dubious, isn't inherently wrong just because younger bloggers say so.

Andy said...

I think you run a pretty respectable blog here, but I think you're completely off on Brandon here. You say...

"For all the talk of trying to unite the fanbase, it's becoming clear that Brandon was one of the partisans. Rich Rodriguez was never good enough for him. And for this public display of incompetence (though not that belief in Bo Schembechler's Michigan), Brandon should probably be put on the hot seat if not fired outright. This is a debacle of unthinkable proportions."

But, you even say yourself that there is no real news. You have no idea what's going on with this coaching search and you even admit you don't want to know the details. So how is this a debacle of unthinkable proportions? It isn't fast enough for you? They aren't hiring who you want? I'd suggest waiting for an actual hire and then seeing how they actually coach before you come to such broad and ridiculous conclusions about this coaching search. You basically just come off as whining because Rodriguez wasn't retained.

Brandon talked to Harbaugh, met with Miles, has been at the coaching convention in Dallas... what more do you want from him? This isn't about getting a snappy name to save a few recruits this year. This is about getting the right guy for the next 10-15 years and the overall health of this program. Whatever you think of Rodriguez, this program is in much worse shape than it was at the end of Carr's tenure and it can definitely get worse. This is a huge decision that needs to be correct. Let it happen.

Chris Gaerig said...

Lankownia: Yeah, my feelings on Brandon have flipped pretty drastically. But Michigan is in an incredibly vulnerable place right now and having someone lead (in any direction) is important. Brandon hasn't done that. From the outset, it was clear he was lost. We were all taking it as a given that Harbaugh was the next coach, but beyond that Brandon didn't seem to have any plan. His incompetence here, regarding the most important aspect of his job, is deeply concerning. If he can't do this well, what did we hire him for?

Chris Gaerig said...

Andy: Brandon's job is specifically to get a good coach. I don't care about names. I don't care about this recruiting class. I want a good coach. As more and more candidates reject the position, some of whom weren't even contacted, it becomes clear that Brandon is failing miserably. And by the time I wrote this, it was clear that Hoke is the next coach.

Hoke could possibly turn into a good coach but his resume says he's not. Brandon has embarrassed one of the proudest universities in the country as he tries to find a Schembechler (to the core) guy and ignores more prominent and proven candidates. There is no way to review the situation as it's happened and conclude anything other than Brandon failed at his most important task.

Chris Gaerig said...

Oh, and Lankownia, yeah, I plan on doing a more thorough fisking of Hoke's teams now. His record is scary but maybe there's a silver lining? Maybe?

Lankownia said...

I think if you look past the most banal of evaluations (W-L record) you'll see a lot of good things about Hoke. W-L record is the same simplistic analysis that drove the anti-RR faction which you strongly argue against.

I think RR is a better coach than Hoke, but that doesn't mean Hoke is a bad coach.

Look forward to reading the fisk and learning more about our new HC...

Chris Gaerig said...

I might even dig around and see if there are any torrents of SDSU games. (I can't believe I just typed those words.)

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