Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now it's over?

We all knew it was over yesterday, but maybe now it's official?
The speed at which this happened leads me to believe that Brandon made some headway last night with whatever coach he was trying to bring in. You don't sit in a multiple-hour meeting with a guy you might fire, only to fire him the next day within a few minutes. Either that or Rodriguez was canned yesterday and everyone was staying mum. Either way, this appears to be over. Next up? Who knows.


Lankownia said...

The most fascinating thing about this process is that even though Dave Brandon has shown no evidence whatsoever of being good at his job (at least as it relates to football) people want to keep giving him the benefit of the doubt that he has a master plan behind the scenes.

Heres an idea: He doesn't. If he did he wouldnt have waited till December and he would have a coach in place, or nearly in place when he announced the firing of Rodriguez.

Michigan fans are beaten down and desperate and putting all their hopes in a savior. Dave Brandon isn't who Michigan fans imagine/want him to be.

Brandon has done what he said and said what he's done. I don't know why you'd assume he made headway in coaching negotiations last night when it took him hours yesterday and another meeting today to reach a conclusion that everyone saw as inevitable in November. Brandon said he made the decision last night. I doubt he did that while negotiating a contract for the new coach.

Chris Gaerig said...

Brandon's press conference today was terrifying: aside from the fact that he essentially wants Lloyd Carr to be Michigan's next head coach, the fact that he hasn't even begun the search yet is terrifying. Before this, Brandon hadn't done anything to make anyone think less of him. He handled the NCAA investigations and sanctions well and was a wonderful public figure. This is his first real task and it's not gotten off to a great start.

Lankownia said...

I disagree. There are two major reasons to doubt Brandon's effectiveness.

The first: The B10 division fiasco that placed UM and OSU in different divisions. The rivalry, while not destroyed, is diminished forever. Now, your best case scenario involves an immediate rematch on a neutral field. Most other scenarios are not even that positive. They needed to remain in the same division, which everyone acknowledged. That is, until being distracted by (red herring) October scheduling. The degree to which Brandon could have fought or prevented the division alignment is unclear. However, what we do know is that he put up no public resistance and made no public case for maintaining the rivalry beyond keeping it in November.

The second: Before today, we knew Brandon was making an unorthodox decision to neither support his head coach nor fire him. This was immediately questioned by many, primarily on the grounds of recruiting impacts, but also because it made finding a new coach and transitioning to a new regime more difficult.

Some people (maybe most people) assumed that there were good valid reasons for Brandon to do this; that he was taking action behind the scenes while Rodriguez was a dead man walking. That Brandon had a plan for succession. That assumption was wrong. That faith in Brandon, proved unwarranted. Today's press conference disproved many people's faith, but if you didn't possess that faith in the first place, what you learned today was nothing new. It was the inevitable outcome of publicly saying (in November) you'd decide your coaches fate in January.

In short, nothing new or unexpected happened today. The general expectation was met - Rich Rod was let go. Its only terrifying if you assumed that Brandon was ready to install a new coach, even though he had publicly stated many times he would follow his "process" regardless of consequences and public opinion against it.

Actually, I take that back. One comment by Brandon DID strike me as terrifying: His statement that he had to find a defensive-minded coach who is focused on that side of the ball. It seems like one of the major flaws of Rodriguez was that he focused too much on one side and not enough on the other. It seems like Brandon hasn't taken that lesson to heart.

Anyway, it was a sad day. People lost their jobs. The hail mary that was faith in Brandon landed incomplete. Committed recruits are in limbo for an indefinite period of time. The Michigan football program remains adrift.

Chris Gaerig said...

I think you're being a little alarmist about our AD here.

First of all, the contention that he had significant power over the placement of Michigan and Ohio State in separate divisions is ridiculous. Many people voiced their opinions on the matter and whether or not he did so publicly is not a strike against him. Now, your general distaste in their separation is something that you have to rectify, not something that is inherently bad/wrong. So you're upset that a collection of dozens of individuals came to a conclusion that Michigan and Ohio State should be split and are placing blame on one of them for not yelling loudly enough? Regardless of how hard he fought (if he did at all), my guess is they would've ended split.

As to this whole process: Yes, he's performing poorly. But this (as outlined above) is not some overarching problem that we've seen persist. Brandon has done an excellent job otherwise: NCAA investigation, scheduling a prime time game in the Big House, a neutral site game with Alabama, and public plans to renovate the Big House scoreboards. And these are just the public things that we know about for football.

As it currently stands, this coaching search is looking like a massive misstep, but so too was the last one until we stole Rodriguez away from West Virginia. That, obviously, didn't end that well, but his hiring was an unquestioned success. Let's not pass judgment until we see how this all plays out. The early returns, however, are not promising.

Lankownia said...

I've been amused and confused around the cult of personality surrounding Brandon for many months. I don't mean to sound alarmist but I have had and continue to have serious doubts about Brandon.

You could be right about the divisions or you could be wrong. Its pure conjecture. None of us have any access into the process. But logic says that none of the other 9 programs have nearly as much interest in whether OSU and UM are in the same division or not compared to OSU and UM maintaining their signature rivalry. I find the contention that Brandon has no power in the process to be ridiculous.

You make a decent case for Brandon, yet, beyond the NCAA response, none of the other activities are especially impressive. Bill Martin renovated the entire stadium and Goss renovated the scoreboards as well. Both scheduled interesting games. These are small time moves.

Its true that Brandon hasn't yet established a pattern of incompetence. He's been around for a year after all. I'm not saying the guy should be canned, I just don't think he's earned the benefit of the doubt or faith that most fans seem to be giving him.

I don't see how you can argue the hiring of Rodriguez was an unquestioned success when it failed so badly. From the outset, it created an immediate media backlash (the WVU buyout and shredding controversy) and two of the premier players immediately transferring, others departed shortly thereafter. His hire led to 3 of the worst years in Michigan football history. In the abstract, Rodriguez was a good coach, but obviously the transition was way more difficult than anticipated and he was an awful fit that ultimately failed. His hiring was not a success.

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