Sunday, December 23, 2007

Assistant Coaches

Rod fired everyone. And, now he's rehiring. What we think:

Fred Jackson: Fred has already been rehired. Consensus that this is a positive development for the recrutiment of one Sam McGuffie, youtuber extraordinaire. Want = 80% Probability = done.

Erick Campbell: This guy is a flat out great coach. And, he's a very solid recruiter. He should stay. Want = 85%. Probability 50%.

Scott Loeffler: Wildcard. I think he's a great quarterback's coach. He has recruited well, and helped develop some outstanding quarterback talent. The Wildcard part comes in with the spread running offense. We know Loeffler can teach dropback qb's. Can he teach a spread qb to read the defense too. Probably. We'll see. Want = 75%. Probability = 35% Want would be higher if not for the new potentially running based offensive qbs. Oh, and since Loeffler and Mallet don't get along (read Mallet immaturity here), consider a transfer by Mallet to be indicative of Loeffler staying, or if Mallet stays that Loeffler probably isn't.

Mike Debord: Want = 0%. Probability = done, as in NO WAY, Rod has an OC/Asst. coming with him.

Ron English: Want = 50%. Probability = well that depends. Is he willing to take a demotion? If so probability = 60%. If not, 10% (assuming they name the DC coming with Rod as an Asst. H.C. or something which allows for essentially 2 DC's -- which is also unlikely.) Ron is a good young coach. He should become an average to good head coach within the next 5 years assuming he is willing to use this as a jump to another power conference DC position (Washington?) or to an HC at a lower level (something like a San Jose State).

Vance Bedford: Want = 80%. Probability = 50% Vance is a good coach, who has really brought along several db's, including Donavon Warren, who was terrific in his true freshman year -- and Morgan Trent, who's progress at Michigan has been nothing short of fantastic. Morgan has gone from a liability to a defensive asset.

Andy Moeller: Want = not really. Probability = 5%.

Steve Stripling: Want = 20%. Probability = 60% His name has been mentioned as a possible rehire. The D Line progress has been, well, meehh.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Memo to Rod

Rod, you're new here. We'll cut you some slack. We won't give you a hard time if you don't go 12-0. We don't expect to go to the MNC every year. As much as we'd like to think so, we don't even expect to beat OSU every year. We're looking forward to your long and successful tenure at this great University.

There are mistakes that we can live with. And yeah, ND and MSU are big rivalries. No doubt. Michigan v Michigan State might be similar to your WVU v Pitt game. Or Alabama v Auburn. Or USC v UCLA. But if you learn only one thing in your first week at Michigan it had better be this:

Michigan v osu is not one of the biggest rivalries in college football.


I'm going to cut you some slack. You probably had about 3 hours of sleep in three days when you stood at that podium in Schembechler Hall. This time. After today, if there is one thing you have learned, it must be the significance of THE GAME.

Farm System . . . . Doh!

Watch the presser of Bill Martin and Rod on if you get a chance. It was choppy for me, probably b/c so many were watching it. But if you get a chance to watch it -- please do. It is worthwhile. Among other things both Bill Martin and RRod took pains to avoid any discussion of the search process, or when he was first contacted by Michigan. My only point here is that, unlike the basketball hire where Bill Martin made it known that he had filed away Johnny B's name for future reference, Bill claims no such intent this time. Mmmm. Not so much, because, well, like yeah: Rodriguez > Schiano > Miles > English > Hoke > Debord. So, ok, I guess.

This article is damning. Of the supposed list that contributed to Rod's departure (not that he wouldn't have gone anyway) some may have been in WVU's control:

• Allow at least an additional $100,000 in bonus money for his assistants.

• Allow scholarship players to retain possession of textbooks at the end of each term, which meant they could have sold them, as apparently happens at other programs.

• Waive a $5 ticket fee for each high-school football coach attending Mountaineer home games, a fee that generates an estimated $5,000 for the university each season.

• Hire seven graduate assistants and a new recruiting coordinator, to ease the duties performed by secondary coach Tony Gibson.

So, ok you can understand this reaction:

But after Beilein, now Rodriguez, and this:

Mr. Hartley said he found it "amazing" that in the last year, WVU lost its basketball coach, John Beilein, to Michigan; the head of the Mountaineer Athletic Club, Whit Babcock, who was instrumental in last December's rally that kept Mr. Rodriguez, to Missouri; the swimming coach, Sergio Lopez, after winning the Big East title, to a Jacksonville, Fla., high school swimming program; and women's soccer coach, Nikki Izzo-Brown.

the natives are way beyond restless. Worse yet, that 2.5 million buyout for Beilein which Michigan lawyers negotiated to 1.5 million -- that's going to be close to what the Rod buyout is after taking into account that only 2 million of the 4 was due by fall 2008, and the remainder in 2010, compounded by WVU's possible failure to live up to its obligations of the contract which may negate in part the buyout in the first place:

Some of the items discussed were part of the contract extension signed Aug. 24, more than eight months after the details were first hammered out last December. Mr. Rodriguez's representatives maintain that university administrators agreed to other requests that haven't been met, though they decline to publicly specify them. In short, it means Mr. Rodriguez might contest the $4 million he owes WVU to buy out his contract, by claiming the university acted in bad faith or fraudulently.

Not like we needed any more help. And, the WVU donor, they're not particularly happy about their status:

"Maybe we should be a farm system," Mr. Hartley added, "until our coaches get good enough that they can coach at Michigan."

Ed Pastilong, How Do You Feel:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Terrelle Pryor

Has a website all his own. He also now has Michigan on his list. Expect Mallet transfer rumors which have persisted to become true, and that Steven Threet may be Michigan's quarterback on August 30, 2008.

Pryor Youtubes. Turn the volume off before you watch it. Trust me. Oh, and if we bring this guy in, Pryor and McGuffie = LOTS OF RUSHING YARDS.

On Pryor:

For West Virginia, the most important fan among the 60,000 in attendance tonight will be Terrelle Pryor, a Pennsylvania high school quarterback. He’s the consensus No. 1 player in the country and seemingly an ideal fit for the Mountaineers’ spread offense. Terrelle Pryor is most often compared to the former Texas quarterback Vince Young and has narrowed the list of universities recruiting him to Ohio State, West Virginia, Florida, Penn State and Tennessee.

In this interesting diary in The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Terrelle Pryor talks about how he’s rooting for W.V.U. and O.S.U. to play in the title game. Terrelle Pryor is 6-foot-6, 225 pounds and as prolific a thrower as he is a runner. He was scheduled to play in a playoff game this afternoon for Jeannette High School and make it in time for kickoff.

The West Virginia staff couldn’t have scripted a better environment for Terrelle Pryor’s visit. The atmosphere here is expected to be the best in the history of the state. If you don’t believe the hype on Terrelle Pryor, pick your poison on these You Tube clips. You don’t need to be Tom Lemming to see Terrelle Pryor’s boundless potential.

Rodriguez to Michigan

Metronews Morgantown now confirming that Rich Rodriguez will announce today that he is Michigan's new coach.

According to WVU players, at a team meeting Sunday afternoon at the Puskar Center, Head Football Coach Rich Rodriguez announced that he is leaving West Virginia University to take over the football program at the University of Michigan.

Rodriguez left the meeting without talking with reporters.

Rodriguez's wife, Rita, was seen crying both before and after the meeting.

She did speak with reporters but would not comment on what was said at the meeting.

Who's Next

There are rumblings that Rod could receive an offer. There is also a report that Michigan may also have interest in UConn's coach Edsall.

ESPN's Joe Schad reported Thursday that Michigan officials have contacted Edsall about the job that opened when Lloyd Carr announced his retirement Nov. 19.

"A source familiar with the situation said that intermediaries from Michigan have reached out to Edsall several times to see his interest in becoming head coach," Schad said on ESPN.

Edsall Wiki here. UConn site here.

Youtubes. There's a short view in here of Edsall in the post victory locker room:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

No Offer -- There is a Big One on the Line is reporting there is no deal. In other words, Schiano II. I was reading the infamous EErhole earlier today and thought that Rod might not be happy with the administration at WVU -- statements like lost all faith etc. (EErhole appears to be in the WVU A.D.) CFN confirms that Rodriguez may be ready to take any job.


Although there was talk late Friday that West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez was close to an agreement to leave for Michigan, we're hearing that that is not the case.

However, we're also hearing that because Rodriguez does not have a good relationship with West Virginia Athletic Director Ed Pastilong, Rodriguez will consider any high-profile job that comes along as long as Pastilong is his boss.

As for Pastilong, he told the Associated Press of the meeting Rodriguez had with Michigan, "Rich has not mentioned anything of that nature to me. ... I think it would be unusual that he would be doing that without sharing it with us."

However, Tom Dienhart of The Sporting News reports that West Virginia has given permission for Rodriguez to talk to Michigan.

You can track all the latest coaching news at the College Football Talk coaching changes page.

I see two possibilities. Either we have a fish on the line no one is actively talking about; or I may have jumped the gun when I said that UM had no interest in Miles. I don't believe we have an interest in Miles. I think we're done, and were done with him before the search even started.

RRod Contract Stuff

Apparently, RRod and WVA have STILL been working on finalizing the contract Rich signed after flirtations with Alabama. President of the school with all of those fantastic lawyers we know so well from the hoops hire says that they have spent 50k working on tax deferrment issues.


One ranking University official said the news was surprising because they were under the impression after the last contract was signed just a few months ago that Rodriguez would retire at the university.

The official said WVU is in the process of putting the finishing touches on a critical part of the new contract that allows Rodriguez to defer large amounts of his salary to avoid a huge tax burden.

That single aspect of the contact cost the university an estimated $50,000 just to put together.

And this tidbit:

Meanwhile, a longtime friend of Rodriguez, who spoke confidently, said he could understand if the coach were interested in the Michigan job. The friend complained how some Mountaineer fans reacted after WVU lost the Pitt game, ending chances for a national championship.

Some fans booed and criticized Rodriguez, while kicker Pat McAfee, who missed two field goals in the game, reportedly received death threats.

RRod Presser

The Question: Has Michigan Decided to Offer RRod or Not? There may still be 2 or 3 other coaches "in play". RRod's comment after his Fiesta Bowl Presser today:

"It may be disappointing to you, but I'm not going to talk about any rumors or innuendos or jobs or whatever else is floating out there. I'm not going to talk about that at all," Rodriguez told reporters. "I'm not talking about anything other than this year's team, this season and this year's bowl preparations."

When pressed, Rodriguez told reporters "You all have not understood what I just said. One more question and unfortunately this conference will end."

Rodriguez You Tubes

Last is a CFB live interview with RRod where he talks about this team and emphasizes the tempo involved in practice and the game. Definitely worth a listen.

RRod Returns From Toledo:

Desmond on RRod:

Glenville State Celebration:

WVU Celebration:


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Les Miles Conversation with Mary Sue Coleman and Bill Martin

The conversation on Sunday night between Les Miles, Mary Sue Coleman, and Bill Martin went something like this:


Les Miles in Baton Rouge on the phone. Bill Martin at Mary Sue's home on South University. Mary Sue and Bill are sitting around a walnut table with the conference phone in the middle of the table.

BM: Les, thanks for calling. I've been taking a hell of a lot of of crap up here because your boys are all saying that we'er not interested. You even had Bill McCartney come out and say that he couldn't believe we weren't consideringyou for the job. Now, Les, I want you to know that we did consider you in our pool of candidates. Les, you know Bo put a premium on Michigan Men. Hell, he fired Bill Frieder when Bill took the ASU job on the eve of the NCAA tourney. You know, we did ok with that one Les.

MSC: Les. I felt it important for me to get directly involved at this point. We've got a lot of imporant alumni, most football players under Bo, and a lot of offensive linemen from the research we've done. And, Les you were, what a left guard, I think. Right?

Les: Ms. Cooolmmman. I have a damn strong football team. I was a damn strong lineman for the University of Meechigan. Bo was my mentor. I mean, ya kno, Bo and I go way back. We were like this (crossing fingers). You know I've alwayz, alwayz Mary Sue wanted this job. It's my dream job.

MSC: Well Les, we've got a problem up here. You were on our list. Les, you were in the top 5. Bill, Lloyd and I compiled a list last summer. In July. Lloyd came to us shortly after he told Laurie he thought he was done. You know, Les, Lloyd actually mentioned to us about a year and a half ago that he though he was ready to retire, but we talked him out of it. And, it wasn't that hard, because Lloyd has really developed a bond with those kids. Jake, Chad, Hart. I've met those kids, Les, and they've received quite an education here at Michigan. We're proud of that, Les. And we know you would be, too.

BM: And, Les, we know that you understand a good education. Les, you obtained a fabulous education at this academic institution. Hell, Les, you got a degree in economics. Now, I'm kind of partial to that degree, I mean I'm a business guy. I respect econ majors. And, I know that you took some english classes here also, Les, we've checked your Michigan records here and you did well by yourself, Les. Those classes obviously worked out for you because you have very carefully chosen your words Les. We thought we'd lost you for good when you said you'd be in Louisisana next year. But then you came back again, and again begging for the job, even after you're team was prepping for the championship. Frankly, Les, I was surpised. I thought you were more of a meathead than a linguist, Les. You know I only met you once. But it turns out you've managed to really put the pressure on us.

Les: I've got a damn strong ball team, Bill! I am a MEEEEECHIGAN MAN. I was Bo's brainchild. I am the damn strongest football coach east of the Mississippi, and it's time for me to come home.

BM: Les, we know your love for the UM is true. Sincere. We know that you are, as Skip said, more noble than most coaches (at least Louisiana coaches) but we knew that you wanted this job more than anything else.

Les: Damned strong, Bill. Damned Noble!

BM: Well, as I said during our coaching search, we've done some research on our candidates. Well, Les, candidly, it's been more than some research in your case. We were a little surprised by your early and constant campaigning for the job. And, Mary Sue and I haven't been impressed with your slights on Lloyd after the 2005 season. Les, I want you to know why we called. We've reached out to you today, because, even after the SEC championship victory and your championship game coming up, you haven't let up on your campaign. If nothing else, you are persistent.

MSC: We've had enough Les. We were willing to let you take the spotlight for a time. But, Les, you knew we didn't want you. You knew that because we hadn't called. Bill and I have been working on a very short list since last August. And, it's time for us to move on and move beyond the Les in 08 campaign. And, now, Les, this has gone on too long. It's time to stop. Your campaign has caused Bill a lot of pressure. He's waves pretty well, Les. But, I've had enough of it.

Les: It's my time. Time to come home. Hell, Mary, my wife has been looking for houses for a month now. We've got one all picked out in Barton Hills. I don't care about the money. I'll take 2.5. Just give me leeway on my coaches, no supervision by Lloyd and I'll be here.

MSC: Les this isn't about money. It isn't about Lloyd. Lloyd hasn't said a bad word about you.

BM: But she did ask me to be sure to conduct an extensive background check, Les. I mentioned that during Lloyd's press conference, Les. Did you see that?

Les: Live, Bill. You said my damned strong team was 11-1.

MSC: Les, about that background search. Well, we turned up quite a bit. And we've put together a press release which we'll be putting out at a brief press conference we've tentatively scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Now our background on you was extensive. And we found some things, well some personal things that were surprising. But, that's not the real issue. We have no desire to hurt you, Les. We didn't want it to come to this. We though you'd let it go. Well, we hoped so. Anyway, Les, here's what we've got.

BM: When you were coaching against Stoops over there in the Big 12, you had a good record, Les. But you didn't even have your kids go to class. After you left, OK State cleaned house, including cutting players you recruited. That's unusual, Les. And we talked to those players. We talked to some professors at Okie State. And what we found was not pretty, Les.

Les: I have a damn strong commitment to my players Maay Sue. I love this team. I am a damn strong coach of the damndest strongest footballest team in this county, Mary Sue. I am a Michigan Man. I am the Michigan Man that Bo wanted to succeed him at this damn fine institution. Mary Sue, I assure you that I can teach smarts. Had that tight end of yours been coached by me, in the mold of Bo Schembechler, my idol, he wouldn't have run out of bounds in that Alamo Bowl. He would have known and understood that he was a damn strong tight end on the damndest strongest football team in the county, and he would have run his damn fine ass off and pitched that ball to Breaston before he ran out of bounds.

BM: Well, that's football smart Les. That's important but, I think Mary Sue and I had something else. . . . anyway, Les we already knew about all the academic problems at OSU. And that alone really sealed the deal for us, Les. A true Michigan Man wouldn't have allowed his players to not attend any classes, to cheat and have fill ins take tests. At Michigan, Les, we pride ourselves on getting kids an education. Something to fall back on in case they don't make the NFL.

MSC: Les, I've got to tell you I was shocked. I don't know what life is like in Stillwater, but I just cannot imagine not requiring players to attend class. Lloyd told me that you were a basically good man. A little aggressive, and not really into detail, like having guys attend class, but a good man. But he also said once you set your mind to something you're a bulldog, Les. And we knew that a press release with academic scandal alone might not be enough to call off the hounds. Some people already knew that about that deal.

BM: But, ya know, Les, you kept campaigning for the job, as though its a right of yours to occupy the head coaching position at the this University, Bo's alma mater, and the winningest program of all time. All time, Les. With a squeaky clean history. Sqweeekky Cllleeeeen. We've managed to uphold that tradition of academic and athletic excellence, Les, without any problems. No investigations. Nada, zilch, zipppo.

MSC: Well, Les, we just couldn't put up with anymore. So, Bill, door number 2?

BM: We've done a lot of talking about you over the last year and a half. We know all about your transgressions at Michigan. We know things not even Lloyd or Bo knew about. That's one thing about wanting to come back, Les. We've got a lot or resources closeby. You bit a guy's ear off in bar fight, Les. We know you had a propensity to hit on college girls while you were here. We know that you liked to drink a lot. All of this, you know is nothing to stop you from being a viable candidate, Les. You're not running for President. And, you're entitled to make mistakes, especially when you're young. The time that you were a GA here, we really didn't let that weigh on our decision here.

MSC: Bill, door number 3?

BM: Now, we're getting to the good stuff, Les. When you left Michigan for Colorado with Bill McCartney in 1982 things up there in Boulder started to get out of hand. Les, some of the things I've heard about that happened up there are, well, to put in mildly Les, just despicable. And that police unit you guys set up out there in Boulder to cover up the transgressions of your players, Les? Well?

Les: I've got a damned strong football team down here in Baattooon Ruuuujje. We've got a chance to win the whole thing.. And, I'm a Bo Schembechler prodigy. I'm the heir apparent of that damn fine football coach that passed away last year.

BM: But Les, our background turned up more than just your time at Colorado. We know that when you came back to Ann Arbor, there were rumblings about you. About Gary. And, well, you know what happened to Gary. Too much time partying. Too much time drinking. I liked Gary. A personable fellow. You know, Les, there are two thing about you and Mo that remind me of one another: you both talk a lot of nonsense, and neither one of you could manage a game clock, but that's only an aside. You've won everywhere you've been. And I know that's the only important thing at most schools.

MSC: And, as much as Bill wants to hire a winner Les, I just can't get over all these things that came up in your background. Can you explain any of this?

Les: Mary, you see, I grew up with Bo. Football is everything to me. I will make this University proud. I will beat that team down in Columbus. I live and breathe football, Mary. That's the bottom line. And, I've developed a damn strong team down here in Baatttoooon Rujjje that's going to win that championship trophy over that school down south.

BM: Well Les, you know when I took over, I knew who you were. I've followed Michigan football forever, Les. And, I know that you revere this University. And that you revered Bo. And, when I first learned that Lloyd was considering retiring a two years ago, I considered you the best candidate for the job. But I didn't know everything, Les. For instance, I didn't know that you and Bob Simmons, who coached with you and McCartney out there in Boulder, took the same escapades you developed in Boulder to Stillwater. A lot of what went down out there in Boulder and Stillwater got back to Bo. I didn't know that Bo had told Lloyd that you were never to coach here.

MSC: Les, when I learned about that Oklahoma State rape in 99 I was sick. Sick. I know you were with the Dallas Cowboys when that girl got raped by four football players, but you know what they said Les, you and Simmons brought that culture to Stillwater from Boulder.

Les: Well, now you know, Mary Sue, I've got a damn fine football team here at this school I call home. It's not just fine, its a damn strong team, Mary Sue. And, I've got a chance to do something that old Bo never did. I've got a chance to win a championship, Mary.

MSC: Lloyd won a championship, Les. In '97. Have you?

Les: This year, we're going to beat those damn Buckeyes, Mary Sue. I know you want to beat those Buckeyes. Some day, Mary Sue with the right coach back in charge this great University will beat that school from down south.

MSC: We want to win it Les. That is the goal at the beginning of every football season. And Bill and I are on the same page on this, we expect to compete for the big 10 title every year in every sport and a national championship once every 2 or 3 years. But, at Michigan, Les, we win with integrity. Integrity, Les.

Les: You've heard Bertman. I am a noble man, Mary Sue. Nobler than most!

BM: Maybe so, maybe for the SEC. Those guys down there are rampant about their football. Maybe your LSU players can get away with not going to class down there, but here, Les? No.

MSC: I know Betsy Hoffman. She was a colleague of mine. Did you know that whe lost her presidency at Colorado in 2007? Do you know why?

Les: No idddeee. Mary Sue. Did the football team not win enough games?

MSC: She resigned because the school did not closely enough monitor its football program, Les. You know, Betsy told me the problems at CU went all the way back to McCartney's hire there. And that tradition you and McCartney set up in Boulder and which went unchecked by Nieuheisel ended up costing the football coach, athletic director, and even the president their jobs over in CU. It's no secret, Les.

BM: Les, we can't and won't let that happen here. We've already endured a fiasco with our basketball program, as you know. That will not happen here again, Les. You know, I know Steve Fisher. I know Bill Frieder. Bill was a character, as you know, Les. And Fish, well, he won a championship for us, before my time. But, the scandal that arose during Fish's tenure cost the basketball program, the athletic department, and this University far more than that championship brought us -- in both prestige and dollars.

MSC: We're just not convinced that you're the right man for this job. Some of these things, maybe you've outgrown them. But, we're not comfortable with it. We're willing to do this one of two ways. You're a Michigan Man, Les. And up here, we have respect for that term. Bill?

BM: Les, here it is: You're not going to be the next Michigan coach. You will never be the Michigan coach as long as Mary Sue or I have any power here. But your commitment and devotion to this University must be respected. And, as much as Mary Sue and I despise your campaign for this job, we are going to let you tuck your tail between your legs, and head on back to LSU. We won't bring up this investigation. We won't make any references to your time in Colorado or OK State. And we won't bring up anything about your recruiting tactics at LSU. You can go on ESPN Tuesday, and announce that you have withdrawn your name from consideration for the head coach of the University of Michigan. And, Les, you will call off the campaign. Call off the dogs.

MSC: Or, Les, we will hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. At that press conference Bill will identify the reasons that we have removed you as a candidate. We don't want to do that, Les. But we will if you don't take care of this.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Who Will Be Michigan's 4 Million Dollar Man?

Fred Girard wrote a nice article today.

Does Martin have a choice, other than to spend the money needed to compete for one of the handful of white men the media have ordained candidates?

No, says David A. Brandon, a man thoroughly familiar with the business world. Brandon, chairman and CEO of Domino's Pizza, was a U-M regent for eight years.

"The marketplace is one that's easy to identify," Brandon said. "It's very clear to see what you have to pay to get an outstanding coach, and truthfully, you would want a coach who wants to be paid fairly.

"The talent that's out there and capable of running and succeeding at a big-time program like the one at Michigan, that talent knows that it's talent, the marketplace knows that it's talent, and you're going to have to pay for that."

And, Wojo says we should revisit Les:

Martin and others at U-M had much of the autumn to mull their move, knowing Lloyd Carr was expected to retire. The lack of decisiveness is a concern. I don't think it's incompetence; more likely, it's naivete.


Michigan isn't different, and that means it must be more aggressive in its courtship and in its financial commitment. Should Martin revisit the Miles candidacy? He should try. Last I checked, Miles has a team in the national championship game, has a 33-6 record at LSU, has deep Michigan ties he proudly extols, has the same $1.25-million buyout clause in his amended contract and has the rabid support of many former players and alums.

Again, it would take incredibly tricky maneuvering, and it's a longshot. It's also silly to think Miles is the only ideal candidate. There are others, although U-M is learning the hard way they're not so easy to find, or land.

But, Woj, we already have Les wrapped up as our expensive fallback. And, Girard points out that Schiano's contract wasn't 1.6 million, but instead it was upped to 2.3 million last February. The only rumor about salary discussions to have occurred between Schiano and Martin, and it was not a credible quote or source, was that Schiano might have been offered a similar package to what he earned last year. That would be less than he was making at Rutgers.

If Bill Martin is anything, he is a shrewd business man. Do you really believe, that if he wanted Schiano, he would have offered less than he was making right now? I don't. There will be many a cynic that say, "Michigan wants to pay less than the going rate, they're living in the 1960's and relying on the program's storied history.

Or, there is another explanation. There are some regents, as pointed out by Girard, that salary coaches are just too high. That we shouldn't be paying BIG CASH for a football coach. That we should be looking to the Chuck Martins or Brian Kelleys of the world. And, he is right. We should be able to pay less. And, we could probably find another Bo. But, is now the right time to do that? His thought process:

"Any time you go after a top coach at another school who's already making over a million dollars, you're going to pay a lot of money," said another regent emeritus, Muskegon attorney James L. Waters. "There are many coaches out there around the country that could do as good or a better job at less money" -- citing Brian Kelly of Cincinnati, Chuck Martin of Grand Valley State and Butch Jones of Mid-American Conference champ Central Michigan.

"You can get someone like that probably for half the money you'd pay Miles -- even less, probably a third. I don't think I've seen any black coaches mentioned, either. I know there's a lot of top assistants out there, there's some in the pros that would do a good job.

"I think we're missing out on a lot of good people, and for a lot less money. The costs are escalating so high, the season-ticket prices are just unreal. If you want to get into any of that favored seating, you pay a $500 donation, plus a season ticket is $900."

I pay a LOT for tickets. I pay a LOT for golf course tailgaiting. I understand and to some extent agree with his position. But, Michigan Football is the flagahip of our school. It is, as Bill Martin pointed, the first thing people think of when they see the UM.

By the way, Regent James L. Waters, from Muskegon, that's the same Brian Kelley that just wanted to renegotiate his Cincinnati contract (a five year deal) after ONE year. Yeah, that's a guy we can count on! But, he's really only representing his constituency in West Michigan by plugging the former and current GVSU coaches. At least he's not hiding it.

The major media, and many blogger fans, (a/k/a "blog fags" -- a term I just learned that aptly describes my incessant need for updates on the coaching search) are taking this coaching search as a royal clusterfuck. I'm not so sure.

Martin has spoken to or visited with the following:

Ferentz. Who is paid about 4 million each year, and is friends with Mary Sue Coleman. A favorite of Bo and Lloyd. He was contacted in deference to those three, and likely has also been used as a source by Bill Martin to evaluate coaches, and even perhaps as a contact point with other coaches. Mary Sue and Lloyd both trust Kirk Ferentz, and know his reputation to have a tight lip. Expect Ferentz to have been involved in discussions with the lady who hired him about how to structure an attractive deal for a top tier coach. Ferentz would also speak favorably of the UM and Mary Sue. So, who would Kirk contact on behalf of Michigan? What pro or college coaches does he have relationships with? Who is he in a position to evaluate?

Les Miles. Through backchannels -- mainly Johnny Wangler I assume. According to Scoop Herbrsteit, the salary and coaches were already worked out with Les. This is normal operating procedure, and does NOT reflect that an offer would be coming. That salary discussion: 2.5 million. Now, Les probably didn't think that was enough. And, it is certainly not beyond Les to try to up the ante. As Les has said, he loves Michigan, and he would leave, but he does want to be fairly compensated (actually I believe that was a quote from Wangler about a month or so ago). Les' comment that the AD here wants me is an obvious reference to Bill's alleged unavailability on the night before and morning of the SEC championship game. But, was probably also a reference to Michigan to come to the table and "pony up". Of course, if you're Michigan, why pony up at that point if you're not even sure you want him? Pay is relative. Does Michigan want to make Les Miles one of the top ten paid coaches? Top five? Is he really worth that cash?

Brady Hoke.
With Brian Kelly out of consideration, for relatively obvious reasons having to do with his tenure at CMU and penchant for constant politics, he is not and will not be a candidate. Lloyd nor Bill could trust him. Could you imagine Lloyd Carr or Bo Schembechler asking to renegotiate their contract after the first of a five year deal? I don't think so. This is an effort, hopefully to find out what an opponent thought of Schiano, and, perhaps, contact to the equivalent of a Brian Kelly/Chuck Martin candidate. And, Lloyd and Bill know and trust Hoke and Terry Malone. They can certainly be a source used to evaluate and contact other coach candidates -- much as Kirk Ferentz.

Greg Schiano. A good coach. A coach who cares more than just about winning, and has a track record Michigan would strongly consider. I would have been happy with a Schiano hire. I've watched that team interest for 3 to 4 year, and saw a Mini Michigan. The Schiano interview was likely a serious interview for Bill Martin to evaluate him. Dollars were not discussed, but it was probably made clear to him that any offer that might be made would be in the ballpark of Miami and his current salary. Why? If Michigan is stuck paying 2.5 to 3 million, shouldn't you know who else will be willing to take that job for the same amount that's on your list? In other words, for approximately the same money, would Michigan want Miles or Schiano? While blog fags seemingly would choose Miles, I don't think Martin or Lloyd would see that the same way.

Ron English.
A must interview, out of respect and to satisfy the minority requirement, if nothing else. If the coaching search is as bad off as Colin Cowherd and the rest of the media wacks make it out, he could end up as a permanent coach. As for me, I don't think so. I have confidence that Bill has been working on this for some time, and may have this thing already wrapped up. You can't announce a coach has taken a job who's in the NFL or a BCS bowl until after the bowl. If Ron English is named coach, it will most likely be on a temporary basis, until January 8 or upon conclusion of the NFL coach's season.

Mike DeBord. Well, yeah. He was interviewed out of loyalty to the program. For nothing more or less. He deserved the opportunity for his service here. He will not be the coach.

So what to make of this.

Either this: Michigan has formally interviewed, in Schiano, one of its 7 candidates. He is now off the list. Doubtful, though I think he would have been a good hire, that he was in the top 4. Les will be interviewing this weekend, or may already have done that. Les is probably in the 4-5 area on that list, depending on who at Michigan is doing that ranking. Ferentz was on the list, and removed his name -- though Ferentz may also be acting as an intermediary and is consulting with Michigan in landing a really big coach. Who are the remaining top candidates? And to those of you who doubt that Lloyd Carr, who reveres this program as much as a man could, who would NEVER put himself above the program, then call me a Lloyd apologist.

Or, for ye of little faith this: Ferentz and Les Miles were Michigan's number one candidates. A split in the AD was between Ferentz and Miles, and Lloyd has done everything possible to avoid a Miles hire. Lloyd and Mary Sue pursued Ferentz hard, but couldn't sway him to leave Iowa. Martin wanted Miles, but boondoggled the inteview process by sailing in Florida when he should have been assuring Les that he was THE GUY. Martin got frustrated and moved on. He's now seeking second tier candidates.

And, in light of David Brandon's comment, who by most accounts is quite involved in this search, Michigan IS going to pay a competitive salary. This comment is not out of line with what Bill Martin said at Lloyd's retirement presser: That he willing to consider big cash, and that to do so would be a change in the culture around here.

If we are really going to pay the big money, the top candidates appear to include: Stoops, Gruden, Meyer, Rodriguez, maybe Cowher? (though we would not have waited this long if he had interest since he's not currently employed). Does Les really deserve to be paid that kind of money? Probably not. He's a wrung below, and we can probably get him for the 2.5 to 3 million range, even if he wins the MNC.

It is worth remembering the way Bill Martin conducted the hoops search less than a year ago. Michigan fired Tommy. Bill Martin had identified Beilein as a coach he was interested in even before firing Tommy. As he said, he filed the information away. When it came time to fire Tommy, we conducted a search, but, the search wasn't really a "search". We got the guy Martin wanted all along. But he WAITED until after the coach's season was over to pursue that interest publicly and nail down a deal. When it was said and done, Michigan agreed to pay Beilein twice what it was paying TA. All the while, fans saying that Michigan won't pay its basketball coach. Michigan isn't committed to the basketball program, etc. etc. Martin surprised many with that hire. He surprised many with the salary. I think it was a great hire, and so do most others.

Do you really, after having any rational thought (no, I don't mean the emotion reaction that, holy bejeezuz, we're screwed because we so and so withdrew his name)think that Bill Martin had names filed away in his head for this job. That Bill Martin, the guy that agreed to double TA's salary, would not AT LEAST double Lloyd's to get the coach that will define Martin's legacy here? And if we're talking about at least doubling 1.6 million, where does that put us? In Ferentz territory. And who will be Michigan's 4 Million Dollar Man? Oh, and you don't believe we're going to pay that, do you. Remember that Adidas contract? 8 Million annually. It wouldn't surprise me to see us lock in that top tier coach now, for at least a five year contract to coincide with the Adidas contract. Maybe up to ten years since Michigan can extend that contract, at its option, with a guarantee of nothing less than that 7 million, but with the upside of annual cpi adjustments and a GUARANTEE that Michigan will receive more money than ANY OTHER SCHOOL with which it has a contract.

About that contract, according to Bill Martin:

I'll name some of the unique features in this contract. There is a $6.5 million signing bonus. There is never a signing bonus. We're going to get it in two weeks. What am I going to use it for? I have to finish up this facility stuff and get Crisler going. If I had any spare bucks, it'd go into endowing scholarships. It's pretty simple.

We've got an annual (Consumer Price Index) escalator. Annual.

We got a most favored program clause. There's never going to be an Adidas school that gets a nickel more than us, either in product or money.

And, Bill negotiated the deal so that we've got that amount locked in for up to 13 years.

Q: It's interesting to me how much that particular clause has meant to your fans. It's gotten a lot of buzz.

Martin: Did it? That's a pride factor. Nobody is going to be better than us. I'm glad they recognize that, because it was important to me. It makes me feel like I did my job.

The other thing we received is that ... you know, markets go in cycles. Eight years from now, who knows what the situation is going to be economically. The market may be way below where it is now. I've seen that happen in my business career. Well, guess what? We have the option to extend. It's no lose. If the market's gone up, we negotiate a new deal. If the market's gone down, we say we like this deal and we'll keep it another five years.

So lay off of Bill. Dufek, Leone, and all of you former teammates of Les Miles: Knock it off. Les is campaigning for a job for which he is not the best candidate. I don't blame him. I would do the same to return to my beloved alma mater. But, Les, I don't think you're Michigan's 4 million dollar man. He's already told you that Miles is campaigning for the job. Lloyd has already told you that Michigan was going to hire the best coach in the country. Write that down, and take it to the bank. Call me after our hire, and I won't say "I told you so", but I will ask you to apologize to Bill Martin, Lloyd Carr and Mary Sue Coleman.

As to who that $4 million dollar coach is for Michigan, I think Bill, Lloyd, and Mary Sue already know who it is, and it's not Les Miles.

Friday, December 07, 2007

No Schiano for You.

Martin interviewed Schiano. This is exactly the process that Martin identified on Sunday night. Schiano was obviously among the top 3-5 candidates for the job. Unlike back-channel talks with Les and Ferentz, the details of a proposal were never discussed. Schiano considered whether to further follow up, and declined, removing his name from consideration in a press release today.

Interesting that 100% of this information is coming from New Jersey. The only real information we have is this:

An offer was never formally made to Schiano, nor were specific contract details discussed, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

And this:

"I was contacted earlier this week about the Michigan coaching vacancy, but I have decided to remove my name from consideration," Schiano said in a statement. "I look forward to our third straight bowl game and to bringing a national championship to Rutgers and the state of New Jersey. I will have no further comment."

The Star-Ledger reported Thursday night that Schiano met with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin "for quite a while" Wednesday in New York City to discuss the Big Ten school's coaching vacancy. Those talks were described by a person who speaks regularly with Schiano and confirmed by a second party.

That may or may not have been an interview that could have resulted in an offer. Martin has already conducted interviews of Ron English, Mike DeBord and Brady Hoke, none of whom are first string candidates for the job. Given that those are the only interviews to have taken place, none of whom have been given an offer, why do we assume he was going to receive an offer? I would liked to have seen an offer -- I think Schiano would have been a good hire. He's in my top 5 candidates. But, it looks like Bill may be stalling to me.

Michigan Contacts 2006 Coaches of the Year

Greg Schiano

I really like the look by Bill Martin to Greg Schiano. Classy guy. Great academic success with his team at Rutgers. I think he would make an outstanding coach. I actually like him better as a coach than Les. And, the upside is significantly better, including that Schiano is only 41, 13 years younger than Les. With Schiano, we'd be looking at a 20 year type hire conceivably. Apparently, Bill is looking to hire his own Bo. He won the 2006 coach of the year award.

Fittingly, here is an interview with Kirk Scoop Herbstreit:

In football terms, Schiano would carry on with the pro style offense, which allows Michigan the opportunity to keep winning with our current skill position talent. Namely, Ryan Mallett or Steven Threet. His offenses will also run the ball a lot, which is nothing new.

You probably know that one of Schiano's catch phrases is "keep chopping", as in chopping wood. If hired, our little brother may never see this again:

Sean Payton

And, we have now contacted NFL coaches: Sean Payton. Gruden likely has also been contacted by now. Payton, like Schiano is in his early 40's and could coach for a long time. He was born in San Mateo, California, the hometown of Tom Brady,and grew up in Naperville. This is a very big contact, as Payton probably is making a little more than 3 million a year. As you know, the Saints went to the NFC conference championship last year. Payton was the 2006 NFL coach of the year. He is known as a quarterback guru. He likes guys that want to win:

Martin is going balls out. He didn't want Miles.

Monday, December 03, 2007

God changed His mind...again.

Alex Legion's mother talks to God. She is a prophetess. She moved to Lexington to be with Alex at UK and to speak the Word to the 25 members of the parish she joined. God wanted all of this. Now God changed his mind. Legion has asked for, and will be granted a transfer from Kentucky, after 7 games. Reports are that he doesn't like Gillespie. My guess is that he ends up in Minnesota with Tubby Smith. Would Beilein entertain the idea of him recommiting to Michigan? After decommiting already twice? I guess we just have to wait for God to have time to ponder this decision.

Update: Legion's high school coach says he is interested in returning to Michigan. And this from his Oak Hill coach:

Steve Smith, who coached Legion for one season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., told The Detroit News on Thursday that Legion discussed with him earlier this week the possibility of donning the maize and blue.

"Alex asked me if I thought he would fit their style of play," said Smith, who was also asked by Legion about Notre Dame. "I guess, as a coach, he figured I would know. I don't watch those teams that much, so I can't say, 'Hey, you're a perfect fit,' or, 'You're not a perfect fit.'

We could use some more talent, but geeissh. I don't think I want him.

FIIIIIIIIIIIIRRE! Smoke she is A - Risin'

Les Miles on Mike and Mike this morning. Confirmed never contacted Michigan. Michigan never contacted him.

He said probably 15 times how much he loved Michigan. He said he loved and enjoyed his TEAM at LSU.

Greeny asked him, at the conclusion of the interview: So to put this to rest and clarify: To your knowledge neither you nor your people contacted Michigan? Michigan did not contact you. There is no way your're going to Michigan.

Reply: Take the "to your knowledge out of it". "I did not contact Michigan. They did not contact me.


Terry Foster and Me

Looks like Bill is moving on. Terry Foster thinks (note oximoron) Miles is coming to UM. When Terry Foster speaks the same opinion I stated here, I begin to question myself. FWIW, this is the press release from Bill Martin tonight.

"This past weekend, the media frenzy before and after the SEC Championship game concerning the head-coaching fate of Les Miles did indeed take on a life of its own. I want to set the record straight as it concerns Michigan's process in its head-coaching search. We asked LSU for permission to talk to Les Miles last week and we were given permission to talk to Les but not until after the SEC Championship game on Saturday. Les Miles was one of our candidates. I did not talk to Les Miles or his agent this past week in accordance with the wishes of Skip Bertman and the LSU Athletic Department. This morning I did speak with Les' agent (George Bass) and he reaffirmed what Les said during his press conference yesterday -- that he was staying at LSU. We wish Les and the LSU Athletic Department the best of luck in the future. As for Michigan, we are continuing with the process we established and will continue to talk with and research our list of candidates."

The only thing that I can say here, that would shed any doubt about this as being a final done deal is this: Les has not signed a contract; Martin says "we . . . will continue to talk with and research our list of candidates" which includes Miles; and that yesterday, Les said "I represent myself", so the fact that BM spoke to Bass today, may be additional smoke. I doubt it, but it's possible. Discount this possibility significantly now that Foster thinks Miles is still going to be the coach.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Smoke Is Rising

Les Miles wants nothing more than to win. He wanted his players to play hard yesterday. He didn't want them distracted. Which looked good until Kirky's report. Then, the distraction set in:

I go down to chapel and when they see me, they're sitting there going, 'Coach, sounds like you're catching a plane on Monday.' That's not true. I had to tell them.

He did what he had to do to get them ready to play. LSU played hard, and they won. His strategy worked. Here is Perriloux's quote:

"Well, it's definitely good to hear things like that," said Perrilloux, the heir apparent quarterback with injured starter Matt Flynn in his senior year. "We know coach is here with us, and we know coach has been sticking by us from the beginning. And for coach to say that, that definitely put ease on a lot of our people's minds and hearts. We just went out and played for coach, and coach coached for us. And we won as a team — SEC champs."

Les now has won the SEC championship, which guarentees him to be one of the top 3 paid coaches in the SEC. And, he gets a shot at being one of the top 3 paid coaches in the entire country when LSU is in the title game, and if they beat OSU. With Michigan out there, and a title shot on the way, I'd be surprised if that deal gets signed before Martin meets with Miles.

The details of the agreement (unsigned of course) that Bass (Miles' agent) and LSU negotiated has not been disclosed. Supposedly it's about 3.4 mill or so per year. So Les has got himself a sure fire wad of cash, if he wants it.

But there are some serious inconsistencies in the LSU story. This is a pretty good capsule of the events that went down with some quotes that are far from definitive.

Bertman said Miles told the team Friday night of his intentions. LSU receivers coach D.J. McCarthy told WBRZ that Miles addressed the issue with the Tigers at chapel services Saturday morning shortly after a report by ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said Miles would be named Michigan’s coach next week.

I'm sure that Les' conversation with players on Friday went like this: "Men, I'm the coach at LSU. I love this team. I love this University. I am the coach of LSU and will be the coach of LSU. Let's go out and win the SEC championship tomorrow."

Then, Saturday a.m. Kirky Herby comes out with this new story. Even though there really wasn't anything new in, other than Tenuta. All he really said is that Miles will take the job at Michigan. Herby couldn't report that Michigan had offered, because Martin hadn't even met with Miles yet. So, really Herbie's report was just the same thing Wangler and others had been reporting for weeks, other than Tenuta.

The Tiger players wake up Saturday a.m. to hear this and are crushed. They already know that Pellini is leaving. And now, the way the Herbie report is presented, they think they're losing their head coach, too. This righfully so pisses off Miles. So LSU holds a presser to report what everyone knew, and or should have already known after learning the Bass met with LSU officials on Thursday and Friday: that he negotiated another contract as LSU best counter to the upcoming Michigan offer. This information was given by BERTMAN to the media. Not by Miles. It is important to remember what Miles said, "I represent myself". Which, in this case means, I have not agreed to an extension. My agent has negotiated the best deal he can. But I have not agreed. And, the manner of this presentation by LSU pissed off Miles, so that now he is stuck in the middle. He wants his players to have focus after Herbie's rumor. He is pissed at Bertman for the false presentation of info.

Check out the glare that Miles gave Bertman:

So after the game. Here is what is said after the victory:

"To think that there's anything less since than the relationship that I have with my team — there's nothing more important," Miles said. "The school here wants me to stay, and this is a great place and I've got a great team. I've got a great recruiting class started, and it would appear that we'd be able to finish it very strongly. There's a lot of plusses right here."

Game day morning did not start out quite so positively, though. An ESPN report said Miles was indeed headed to Michigan as head coach.

"I've got a team that's sitting there and they see me," an angry Miles said. "I go down to chapel and when they see me, they're sitting there going, 'Coach, sounds like you're catching a plane on Monday.' That's not true. I had to tell them. I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed that my name was on ESPN. I was embarrassed for my team."

The Team. The Team. The Team.

Les would not put himself above the team. He did what he needed to for them to win. He still wants to coach Michigan. He still has not received an offer. He has not rejected or denied interest in an offer if made.

The question which remains: Will Michigan make him an offer? We'll see in the next week and a half to two.

Miles is Still Coming