Michigan and Brady Hoke

As I have said in my blog many times, I am a weirdo. I like Michigan, but I also like Ohio State. I like Auburn, but I also like Alabama. I like USC, but I also like UCLA.

I like Florida State, but I also like Clemson, Florida and Tennessee. I suppose what I am trying to say is that I love football and I don’t really get into the hate that a lot of fans have.

I love the old school Michigan teams. Bo Schembechler was one of my all time favorites in the

bo schembechler

Bo Schembechler

college football world. Detractors will say that he was overrated because he never won a national championship and choked so many times in the Rose Bowl. While they do have a good point,  I will always love the memories of Bo and his Wolverines and the brand of football they played. I love recollecting about all the old games between Bo and Woody Hayes, the long time Ohio State coach. The games between Michigan and Ohio State back in those days were classic.

I loved all the old time players like Jim Harbaugh, Anthony Carter, Rob Lytle, Butch Woolfolk, Tyrone Wheatley and so many others.

I have never been to the Big House in Ann Arbor, but I love watching games played there and I love the banner that Michigan players run under and  jump up and touch. I love college football and all of it’s old time traditions and everything about it including the changing of the leaves into the Fall season with Halloween and Thanksgiving as the main festivals.

It’s just a great time of year for me.

Tyrone Wheatley

I like Michigan’s helmets. But, then, I also like Penn State’s helmets. I like the traditional, old school look.

 

Those Michigan teams played defense. They swarmed to the ball and they were tough to play. You could always count on the Michigan Wolverines to play good old fashioned, hard nose football and ran the ball with amazing efficiency.

But, watching today’s Michigan Wolverine football team is sort of painful.

This is one of those situations when one from the outside doesn’t know where to start. At first glance, the problem appeared to be Quarterback Devin Gardner.

Gardner played mostly poorly again against Utah with 148 passing yards and no Touchdowns. What is seemingly typical, Gardner threw 2 interceptions. In all fairness, one pass that was picked off was right in the hands of All American Wide Receiver Devin Funchess’ hands and he didn’t make the catch and it was intercepted.

Gardner was bad last season and he was less than satisfactory in the Spring Game and again so far this season he is not playing well. He just never has played up to expectations.

Shane Morris is not the answer, either. Michigan pulled Gardner and installed Morris and he was even worse at 4 completions out of 13 attempts and another interception thrown. In 86 career attempts, Morris has 5 interceptions and 0 Touchdowns.

To make matters even worse, the Wolverines rushed for only 118 yards on the day. Michigan does start true freshman Mason Cole at one of the more important positions on the team, Right Tackle. So, it’s not all on the feet of Devin Gardner and Shane Morris. It really never is totally all about the Quarterback as fans love to believe.

Against conference rival Minnesota on Saturday, the mighty Michigan Wolverines only rushed for 83 yards in the game.

The Wolverines just looked listless. They looked helpless and beat down and without hope.

 

Sometimes, making changes with coordinators does fix the problems. Brady Hoke hired Doug Nussmeier from Alabama as his new Offensive Coordinator this season.

Most of the time, changing coordinators is just an act of desperation by a coach in trouble and about to get fired. It’s a means to slow down the disgruntled alumni and powers that be and to temporarily stop the wolves from howling.

Michigan Head Football Coach Brady Hoke is in trouble. Make no mistake about that, he is in serious trouble in Ann Arbor and may be gone by the end of the year. The offense doesn’t look any better this season and has already been shut out by Notre Dame. Nussmeier may need more time, but the question is will he get that needed time.

Both Hoke and Nussmeier are in trouble unless the Wolverines can start winning immediately.

Michigan fans are just like other fans. They have pride and they have hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams are not about getting beat 31-0 by Notre Dame.

Nor, do Michigan fans particularly like losing to Utah 26-10 and looking bad doing it. Nor, do they like this last game against Minnesota, 30-14.

Losing games like these will not cut it at Michigan, or at Alabama, or LSU, or USC or any other big time program.

Michigan’s schedule is favorable and the Wolverines could turn it around. However, I don’t see it happening with Devin Gardner at Quarterback, or Shane Morris for that matter.

Stranger things have happened in football, but this team looks to have laid it down.

3-1 Rutgers is the next team on the horizon and Rutgers will come to play and the Michigan that played Saturday will not win at Rutgers.

Penn State is next. The Nittany Lions looked pretty bad on Saturday against Northwestern, but they will play hard against Michigan.

The following game, on October 25th, is against in-state rival Michigan State. I don’t see any possible way that the Michigan Wolverines can beat the Michigan State Spartans. There’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell of a Michigan victory over the Spartans.

Indiana follows Michigan State and the Hoosiers lost to Bowling Green and then they beat ranked SEC defending East Champion, Missouri. The following week, they got roughed up by Maryland, so which Indiana team will show. I can assure that Indiana will come ready to play because of so many past losses to the Wolverines over the years.

Northwestern is a program in shambles and a team divided and should be an easy win for the Wolverines. Oh, wait, they came back to life and beat up on Penn State on Saturday.

Maryland is next and they are pretty solid.

Michigan then finishes out it’s season with their biggest rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State has had it’s struggles this season, but compared to Michigan right now they are looking really good. Losing Braxton Miller set them way back, but they seem to be recovering and looking better and better each week.

From my viewpoint, a 2-10 season is entirely possible. Not likely, but I don’t see this team winning more than 3 to 4 more games and if they play like they did Saturday a 2-10 season is a real possibility. The Michigan Wolverines with a record like that is almost shocking.

Michigan fans and their internet message boards remind of the Texas Longhorns last season. Texas is another traditionally rich program that is a mess right now.

jim harbaugh at michigan with bo

Michigan QB Jim Harbaugh with Bo

Last year, all the Texas internet message boards were busy with the nonsense talk of hiring Nick Saban away from Alabama. Or, Jim Harbaugh away from San Francisco, or his brother John away from the Baltimore Ravens. There was mention of luring Ohio State Buckeye coach, Urban Meyer, down to Austin. All of these guys, and everybody else they mentioned, were pipe dreams at best and in the end they ‘settled’ on Charlie Strong of Louisville.

Unlike Texas, Jim or John Harbaugh actually make sense for the Michigan Wolverines. The brothers grew up around the program and Jim actually played Quarterback for the Wolverines before going on to a long NFL career. The Harbaugh’s have connections at Michigan and both are outstanding coaches and would kill it there.

John Harbaugh

But, successful NFL coaches rarely, if ever, drop from the NFL back down to college football. Why would they? The NFL may be boring as watching paint dry to me, but for most football fan the NFL is the pinnacle. The vast majority of football fans love the NFL and it’s the top of the line. There is a reason many call it the No Fun League and I find it a letdown after college football. I went to sleep in the only NFL game I ever attended life, while I have been to hundreds of live college games and the atmosphere is incredible and it’s a lot of fun.

Coaches don’t leave the NFL, generally, unless they are fired. There are a few exceptions.

I read a discussion just yesterday morning of how John Harbaugh would be a good fit at Michigan, and he would. But, it’s just not going to happen.

Brady Hoke, by most accounts, is a stand up kind of guy. I have never heard anything but good things about him as a person and he’s probably a pretty good coach.

Hoke started his Michigan career off with a bang going 11-2. But 2012, his Wolverines dropped to 8-5 and then last year saw them at an even worse, 7-6. This year so far they are 2-3 and a long way to go from being good. Losing any more games this season is not going to sit well with the people that make decisions, or with the fans and might even start to affect recruiting.

I was going to write about Brady Hoke after the last loss and I figured he deserved another chance. But, after seeing how the team performed on Saturday against Minnesota it appears that Hoke is just not going to make it happen at Michigan.

Les Miles #63

I don’t have any answers for this problem. All I can say for sure is that Jim and John Harbaugh aren’t realistic hopes for Michigan’s situation. They can probably cross off Les Miles from LSU as well even though most LSU fans would love for him to go.

Nick Saban’s probably not going to come.

 

 

But, have hope Michigan fans. Michigan is still one of the more elite programs in the country and has won more college football games than any school. It’s a high profile program and somebody good is going to want the job.

 

 

It’s just probably not going to be a man named Harbaugh with a first name of Jim or John.

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