Red Letter Games

When Dave Brandon fired Rich Rod, he laid out his measures for evaluating coaches. One of those measures was the coach’s record in “red letter games.”

“If you want to be successful at Michigan, you better win more than your share of those ‘red-letter games.’”

Brandon identified the follow opponents as red letter games*:

Notre DameWisconsin
Michigan StatePenn State
Any Bowl Opponents 

*Nebraska wasn’t in the conference at the time he made his comments but I can guarantee they would have been included in the list of schools if they were.Brady Hoke

Michigan has yet to play its bowl game but Brady Hoke’s 3 year record in "red letter games”, including Nebraska, stands at 7-11 (3-9 the over the last 2 seasons). Now that’s certainly better than the 3-15 record posted by Rodriguez but significantly below Brandon’s standard. As we sit at the end of year 3, the measures of success move from individual season analysis to multi-year, trend analysis.

Does that mean it’s time to fire Hoke? Not necessarily, and based on Brandon’s press release earlier in the week it does not sound like that’s going to happen anytime soon. What it does mean is that Brady Hoke, and by extension Michigan, is failing at one of the key trend measures in evaluating success.

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San Diego State Game Prediction

Ronnie Hillman

All week long, I’ve been writhing about this game. Heck, all offseason I’ve pointed to this game as one that scares the maize and blue blood out of me.

SDSU brings 2 top notch, potential NFL skill players to town in Ryan Lindley and Ronnie Hillman at QB and RB respectively, and they’re both very talented. If you look at the balance they have, the number of looks they’ll give you, its exactly what Michigan OC Al Borges wants Michigan to look like down the road. Pro style passer, tough running back, and knock your socks off offensive line.

On the defensive side, SDSU is exactly what former coach Rich Rodriguez wanted. Fast, undersized, blitzing from everywhere (Hoke stated they’d blitz from the kitchen if they could).

The keys for Michigan will be pressure from the DL. If Lindley has time, he will find his targets. In the snippets of film I’ve watched, he hasn’t seen much of any, how will he handle it?

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Al Borges – The Answer at Offensive Coordinator?

I personally believe it is far to early to even have this discussion, but it was held recently in the forum and the varied viewpoints representing the fan base were intriguing to read.

Fan #1

Truth is, I’d think if our defense deserves a 750k coordinator, so does our offense. The people who act like Borges is a good hire are the same morons who claimed Greg Robinson was a good hire coming from a TERRIBLE Syracuse team. If Borges were that good, why was he coaching at SAN DIEGO STATE this late in his career?

Borges has done OK, sure. But he will be getting a lot of blame down the stretch once Michigan starts playing teams with a defensive pulse in the 4th quarter. Probably about the same time that people cool off on Denard throwing jump ball bombs on every passing attempt.

Fan #2

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Impact Redshirt Freshmen Countdown: #6th – Ricardo Miller

UMGoBlog Recruiting Profile

Ricardo Miller2

Coming in at 6th on our Impact Redshirt Freshmen Countdown is Ricardo Miller. Miller committed to Michigan and moved here before his senior year of high school with offers in hand from the likes of Florida, LSU & Miami (FL). Coming from the powerful Orlando High School Dr. Phillips and being the best friend of 2011 Recruit Demetrius Hart immediately led to speculation that the two would be a package deal. Hart would indeed commit the following year, before changing his mind and opting for Alabama instead after Rich Rodriguez was fired. Scouts Inc. said of Miller in high school:

“..Miller lines up everywhere, plays with a nice feel for coverage and knows how to get open. His willingness and ability to come up with big plays over the middle of the field is one of his most impressive traits. What he might lack in great speed, he makes up for in overall talent. He possesses big, reliable, soft hands with very few body catches.. What really stands out is his ability to make plays on the jump ball, balls thrown in traffic and adjustments to poorly-thrown balls. Comes off the ball quickly and reaches top speed rapidly for a player of his size. He does lumber somewhat, but he runs with power and strength.. He catches everything, he breaks tackles, makes people miss and he is ultra competitive. Excellent prospect.”

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Impact Redshirt Freshmen Countdown: #7th – Jordan Paskorz

UMGoBlog Recruiting ProfileJordan Paskorz

Redshirt freshmen step onto the field every year after spending the previous season watching and learning. Sometimes they are buried on the depth chart and other times they are not mentally or physically ready to play Division 1 Football. This week we will be counting down our Top 7 Impact Redshirt Freshmen.  Coming in at 7th, Jordan Paskorz committed to Michigan as a consensus 3-star prospect by Rivals, Scout & ESPN as part of Rich Rodriguez’s 2010 class. When asked why he chose to come to Ann Arbor, he said it was meeting Rich Rodriguez:

“That’s basically what sealed the deal. The first time I went up there this year [in April], I didn’t get to meet him. This time I talked to him and I really felt like he wanted me there.”

He chose Michigan over offers from Pittsburgh, Virginia & Minnesota. In 2010, Scouts Inc. said of Paskorz:

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