Friday, December 07, 2007

Michigan meltdown: Does anybody want to coach the Wolverines?

I know that I've been posting quite often about the Michigan coaching search. I'm sorry, but I can't help myself. I'm watching a slow motion train wreck. It's horrifying, you should be taking cover, yet you can't turn away.

The so-called nationwide coaching search has taken on the appearance of total farce.

With Greg Schiano turning down he maize and blue, the fanbase and alumni are now in a frenzied state of panic, and in near revolt.

The shit is beginning to publicly hit the fan. Tonight in the A2 News are the accusations of former players that Lloyd Carr is responsible for undercutting Les Miles' chances for the Michigan job.

(Bill) Dufek and another former teammate, Mike Leoni, said they believe Carr sabotaged the pursuit of Miles because of personal animosity, or "petty jealousies," as Dufek said. At his retirement press conference in mid-November, Carr emphasized that his role in the search process would be strictly defined by Martin and added, "I'm not here wanting to name the coach."

But both Dufek and Leoni said they're certain that Carr positioned himself firmly against Miles' candidacy.

"There's something going on, and I don't know what it is," Leoni said. "Lloyd's got some issues with Les."

Added Dufek: "It's clear that Lloyd Carr doesn't want him."

That's a pair of pissed off alumni, and they are far from being the only ones. That former players have gone direct to the media with their complaints, rather than keep it in house, is evidence of a football program in turmoil. The fans and alumni desperately want Miles, but Lloyd Carr and Captain Billy want somebody, anybody, else. They seem to be willing to settle, as long as they don't hire Les Miles.

It's gotten so bad, so fast, that the Michigan mouthpiece of the A2 News, Jim Carty, can see that the coaching search has become a joke, and is now championing...wait for it...Jim Harbaugh for the position.

If Miles isn't a possibility, there aren't a lot of good options out there. Jim Grobe would be an outstanding hire, but it looks like he's staying at Wake Forest. Gary Pinkel? Great coach, supposedly a tough personality to work with. Urban Meyer and other big names? No sign of interest so far, although it's fair to hold out hope Martin is working on something - anything - behind the scenes.

More and more, it looks like the Wolverines might have to take a chance on someone a little less proven.

And that brings us to another question:

Shouldn't Michigan be considering Jim Harbaugh?

Yes, the same Jim Harbaugh, who for all intents and purposes, burned his bridges to the ground with Michigan thanks to his disparaging comments as to how the university guided football players towards the general studies program. The same Jim Harbaugh whom when asked about his chances for being considered as Carr's replacement, Captain Billy sarcastically replied, "Brilliant, brilliant."

Now you have local columnists thinking Harbaugh should be interviewed? Though he has all but disavowed the Wolverines? This is just getting stupid silly.

You want to hear something even sillier? Pro Football Talk says that Michigan is now interested in hiring an NFL coach. Not the Saints Sean Payton, who's supposedly been contacted through unofficial channels. PFT claims it's Cincinnati Bengals' head coach Marvin Lewis.

The same Marvin Lewis that tuned down the offer of the Sparty head coaching job cold. The same Marvin Lewis that is on the verge of being run out of Cincy on a rail for the Bengals hugely disappointing season. The same Marvin Lewis whose players have taken over from the Portland Trailblazers as the poster boys for out of control, law breaking, pro athletes.

I'm thinking PFT is just throwing shit out here, just to see what sticks. They are the National Enquirer of the of football world, after all. But Michigan's coaching search has been run so ineptly by Captain Billy, at this point almost any rumor and innuendo is damn believable.

You sometimes don't get your first choice. It happens. It could turnout for the best. CheatyPants McSweaterVest was tOSU's third choice. They are damn happy in C-bus that they didn't get Glen Mason, and settled for the vest. So Schiano turning Michigan down doesn't bother me.

What's bothering me is that Michigan appears to be stumbling around, without any kind of plan. They don't have a fucking clue. Michigan had months to prepare, plenty of time to do their due diligence, and they STILL don't have a realistic candidate. Christ, they aren't even close to a consensus as to who which candidates they should target.

It's a laundry list of fuck ups...

There was the debacle of Captain Billy being unavailable due to sailing his boat, claiming "Blackberry trouble," while the Miles saga was blowing up on national TV.

Before Schiano, that the only serious candidates were the clueless Carr coordinators, and a Carr crony at Ball State, Brady fucking Hoke.

That Captain Billy claimed he didn't call back Miles' agent because it would have been wrong to not follow "Protocol," then does the exact opposite in hitting up Schiano for an interview without asking Rutgers for permission.

That it's been floated that Ron English should be made interim coach, and they'll just try again next year.

That the search has been so fucked up, that some think the English option is actually a good idea.

Yet for all that bullshit, the rumors that Miles is still the leading candidate, even though he's just inked a humongous contract extension, won't go away. If that's true, we're going to be putting up with Wolverines mass hysteria for another month! Lord help us all...

It comes down to the university administration, the athletic department (Lloyd and Billy), former players, and the big money donors, all having agendas, all having their own idea as to who should be the next face of Michigan (And that's what the head football coach essentially is, the face of the university).

Unfortunately, no one has taken control, thus leaving all the dirty laundry and infighting to be displayed in the public eye. All to the absolute glee of the rest of the college football world.

I never thought I'd see the day when Michigan would be laughed at. I've now seen that day. Hell can now commence freezing over...


  1. Wow. If UM has to turn to Harbaugh already...

    Why not just call Pete Carroll. Even if he says no, at least you've tried.


  2. I think this shit is absolutely hilarious. Pompous assholes that they are Big Blue thought coaches would be tripping over one another trying to get the job. Turns out it's not as sweet as they thought.

  3. Mike, I'd hope Bill Martin called every elite coach, including Carroll. Unfortunately, it appears Martin hasn't called many, if any, coaches of his stature. This is just sad...

    Anon, I don't blame you one bit for laughing your ass off. If I wasn't a fan, I'd be laughing too. It really is hilarious. It's also fucking painful...

  4. It's too bad we'll likely never know if Harbaugh would've been a viable candidate, with the comments that he made over the summer. I still think it's too soon for him to make the jump to a job like Michigan, but I think I see Carty's way of thinking. What other choice will they have?

    And I know I've commented on this before, but one of the most troublesome aspects of this coaching search to me is that money is apparently an issue with attracting potential hires. With the money that football program brings in (and give credit to Bill Martin for that), paying a head football coach a competitive salary should be the last obstacle this athletic department has to deal with.