MGoPodcast 9.18: Completely Serious About All of It Comment Count

Seth February 20th, 2018 at 9:45 AM

1 hour and 23 minutes

2018-02-20 mgopodcast 9.18

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, which now is the time to book those rooms for football next year because those fill up.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan there would be VERY long hiatuses between podcasts.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. The Hoops Podcast

starts at 1:00

Bracketology: Even the biggest skeptics are coming around on Michigan as a 6-7 seed: NCAA and their buckets make it annoying because a win at Michigan State is the same as a “Quadrant One” trip to Penn State. Encouraging to see head of the selection committee say strength of nonconference is garbage. Big Ten goes to 20 games next year so we’ll see fewer Houston Baptists.

Poole eating into Matthews’s minutes, which is a nice thing to see given CM’s turnovers. MAAR is up to 20% usage. Michigan can beat anybody when they’re getting a huge shot differential from their turnover avoidance. Posting up on Dunc doesn’t work anymore. Peak Wisconsin names—Happ took 23 twos in that game!

Big Ten future: Indiana should be back up, Maryland will solidify itself, Brad Underwood a good hire at Illinois. Annually convince ourselves that Iowa will be good, but they’re 250th on defense. Penn State preview: Watkins gets angry—go get him Mo! Unlikable players in the Big Ten?

2. The Ball of Crap so We Aren’t Talking Recruiting Segment

starts at 34:01

Curling! Signing Day: Michigan recruiting imploded and we don’t know why. Otis Reese is understandable because Georgia is paying ridiculous money. Losing Herron from the 2019 class hurts.

Jim McElwain: he’s a position coach who can’t recruit, don’t think he’s a competent dude or a good dude—denigrating players like Mark Mangino. Made up a death threat. Credit card fraud. Track record as a WRs coach but as a 10th assistant he’s a wasted opportunity more than anything. Nobody down South likes him so you’re not even getting some help in Florida recruiting. Like Sherrone Moore and Ed Warriner hires. Not great that Pep is still around if it’s only because he didn’t get an NFL offer.

3. Gimmicky Top Five: Top Five Things NCAA Would Cite Beilein For

starts at 52:51

The FBI is going to come down on a lot of programs and the people in Ann Arbor aren’t scared, but we’re going to try to figure out what they’d find if they put Michigan’s basketball program under the microscope. This is what Michigan State failed to do—we’re getting out in front!

4. Ace’s Hockey Podcast wsg David Nasternak

starts at 1:06:26

Sweep weekend over #1 Notre Dame gives them a shot at the playoffs, provided they take care of business down the stretch vs. Arizona State—tournament upsets can really hurt teams in the 13-15 at-large area. ND was a good matchup for us because Michigan's an offensive team that can control the puck.



  • “We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)”—Twin Peaks
  • “The Star Spangled Banner”—Francis Scott Key, as “performed” by Fergie
  • “Drunk and On a Star”—Kevin Morby
  • “Across 110th Street”


They do have a couple of immensely punchable faces.



February 20th, 2018 at 10:19 AM ^

On Inside Michigan Basketball this past week, Beilein said he was going to need to do a Box and 1 defense on Dakich and I almost spat out my coffee.

(For those who don't know what that is, it's essentially a 2-2 zone with one player playing man-to-man on a star player)


February 20th, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

I think your 80% number will be about right.  But will that offensive performance will be...

1) Because, in part, of McElwain.

2) In spite of McElwain.

I believe the answer will be 2.  But I don't think we'll ever know if this answer is correct.  IMO, the difference between position coach A and B will be in the noise of actual growth in the WR position.  In short, it doesn't really matter who we hired.


February 20th, 2018 at 6:51 PM ^

that JM would essentially take control of play calling and it'd be less of a committee than in years past. This would indicate he has a lot more power than a typical position coach.

I still completely agree that in terms of personnel, the team would be expected to be far better than last year even if nothing changed with the coaching.  Bringing in Patterson, another year of work for Peters, another year of experience for all the WRs, our top two backs returning, top two TEs returning and losing only one decent OL means the players are certain to be a lot better.

90% of any potential improvement of the offense will be personnel related.  And if the offense doesn't improve or doesn't improve much, that'll be a major coaching failure.


February 20th, 2018 at 2:22 PM ^

Brian acting on like how adding McElwain is some huge missed opportunity. We needed a 10th coach and we found a proven offensive coordinator, who has had excellent success with WRs, and we're effectively bringing him for one year to work with our young but highly touted WRs.

Brian likes to sometimes just stick to an argument for the sake of sticking to it in the face of reason. McElwain will be gone in one year and likely so will Pep. At that point a more dramatic shift in philosophy will be on the table, but for a 10th assistant coach, McElwain is a fine hire. In fact, we could have just promoted Warriner and taken nobody.


February 20th, 2018 at 10:44 AM ^

"I guess McElwain could be a decent wide receiver coach" Is more or less the only positive thing said in the entire football segment.

I'm going to rationalize this by reminding myself that this blog was high as a kite about Rich Rod (as were we all), had a piece about how Hoke "knows what he doesn't know", suggesting he could be a huge success by hiring amazing assistant coaches. And therefore this cynicism is a sign of positive things to come.


February 21st, 2018 at 9:12 AM ^

Emo and angsty Brian reminds me of myself coming of age in the early aughts. I can picture him watching football games on mute while screaming along to some Dashboard Confessional. 

I mean, I totally get where he's coming from with the football frustration. But sometimes it's a bit much. He probably just needs a hug.....from a nude McElwain.


February 20th, 2018 at 10:49 AM ^

Well when you can hire an amorphous mediocre offensive staff without defined roles, anyone who has proven themselves as especially elite at anything not working for harbaugh, no young up and coming coaches and zero elite recruiters you just have to do it.


February 20th, 2018 at 11:02 AM ^

Tell us how you really feel about McElwain, why don't you?

I'll be honest, so much of this complaining about McElwain feels personal.  And that's fine, but it's just creating a toxic environment around a guy who, as Brian admitted, has a good track record at the job he was hired to do.  Is he the most dynamic recruiter in the world?  Nope.  But can he actually coach WRs and help out with offensive game planning?  Yep, and seemingly better than a lot of other guys available.  And Michigan needs to win football games and get production out of their offense, and I'd sure rather have a guy who could do that than Fred Jackson at this moment. 

How good was Dan Enos at recruiting?  People were apparently falling in love with that guy, and I doubt anyone knew if he was a good recruiter or not.  Track record seems, um, mixed.  And for all the complaints about him at Florida, you don't succeed at Alabama for 5 years and at CSU for a couple more without being able to attract some decent talent.  And Florida has been a weird place for a long time now; other than Urban Meyer, that place hasn't been able to sustain success since Spurrier left in 2001.  So maybe it's not just the coach.

The "nobody liked his down south" seems plucked from some shitty column/radio show sound bite that a guy trying to get on Pete Finnebaum's yokel radio hour drummed up.  The credit card fraud was something his players did; do we really want to get into placing the sins of players onto the coaches?  Because nobody is going to like where that goes.

He's a weird dude.  He may have made up the death threats, or making a poorly-worded generalization.  I don't know.  Florida saying he didn't provide any other evidence might have been them calling him a liar OR them using it as a way to get out of paying his $12MM buyout.  Because as we've seen, Universities will do whatever they can to not pay out money whenever possible.  Oh, and he didn't think it was funny that some people online joked he humped a dead shark, and apparently not being able to take that as a joke is a deadly failing of a human being.

I just...I feel like this site is becoming really angry toward the football team because heaven forbid they lose more games than people want and don't fire people they want.  Of course, the past fucking decade of Michigan football has be littered with a revolving door of staff overhauls and uncertainty when things go "bad", and oh yeah it's been the worst sustained stretch in most of our lifetimes (save Craig, who remembers when Michigan couldn't stop the inverted veer run by actual Velociraptors from UChicago . :-)).  But no, fire everyone on the offense because they couldn't pull a competent passing game out of a shitty offensive line, basically only first-year WRs, and 3 QBs rotated through due to injury and/or ineffectiveness.  And I'll just stop talking about the running game being really, really solid for the first time in forever because that doesn't fit the narrative.

I, like most fans, want to see the team I root for be good.  I don't like seeing Michigan lose to OSU for the umpteenth time or shit the bed against South Carolina.  But if everyone could put down the fucking pitchforks for an offseason, it would do this fanbase a hell of a lot of good.


February 20th, 2018 at 11:21 AM ^

This Blog is overwhelmingly and in my view overboard in its negativity, which shouldn't surprise anyone who has been around for awhile.  Brian sets the tone and so many just follow the leader.  I have been worried about the Blog all year given the lack of innovation and progress.  My concern ramped up with the "Whatever" post which suggested Brian had decided to not care about Michigan football going forward, any amazing stance to take given what drives this business.  That attitude permeates nearly every post (or comments on the Podcasts he participates in) concerning football.  

I have visited this Blog thousands of times over the years and I have been rewarded with a ton of excellent information but had fun along the way, even when things were disappointing on the field. This time things feel different, and not in a good way.  

I hope Brian snaps out of his malaise soon.  

Pai Mei

February 20th, 2018 at 1:03 PM ^

Michigan Football has standards that havnt been met in about 15 years. The program has zero execuses not to be successful.

Facilities, coaches salaries, and trips to Europe come with high expectations. 

People are negatve because they hungry for a quality team.


February 20th, 2018 at 3:43 PM ^

I understand there have been some extenuating circumstances with the staff that might have limited some content they had planned.  But it was weird since the "Whatever" post how little effort was put into the football team.  Like, Michigan had multiple commits and it would be days to get a Hello post up, which whatever, it isn't essential, but it was just out of character.  And I get that this season was dispiriting to many, and you don't need to be a blind cheerleader for the product.  But that McElwain post, for example, felt like a message board rant, factually incorrect a couple of times and with little effort put into meaningful analysis.  If he's not a good coach, that's fine, but give something to back that up.  He's a bad recruitier - fine, show your work of guys you'd rather Michigan get.  But it was just "he's a weird guy and I don't like him, so screw him and I hope he fails."  And that's not the type of lazy shit this blog was built on.


February 20th, 2018 at 6:53 PM ^

PREACH!!! If he’s a bad hire bc he allegedly fucked a shark, or because he yelled at a player for fucking up, or lied about death threats from aggressive fans, from a shit show like Florida, then I think this blog is more of a popularity contest. I mean come on Harbs hired a Wr Coach not a babysitter.


February 20th, 2018 at 3:46 PM ^

Yeah.  I honestly don't have an opinion either way about Enos.  He seems like a competent coach.  But Saban was sniffing around McElwain as well, and literally everyone you see who talks about him says he's a good coordinator and a solid offensive mind.  How this offends so many people always caught me off guard.


February 20th, 2018 at 11:49 AM ^

Agreed on all counts.  The grudge held against McElwain is at least as bizarre as the grudge he held against the shark pics.  Perhaps the grudge against a new coach moreso since Jim is not affecting anyone here personally.  There's no evidence that he made up the death threat stuff, and given Michigan fans' reactions to his hiring, it might not be as far fetched as some think.


Internet bloggers are not shaman who forsee all.  This blog actually thought O'Korn's anomalistic performance against Purdue would hold up (see the Purdue post-game post and the Michigan State preview for some good laughs), despite 90% of the "plays" being serendipitous luck with some spin moves thrown in.


This blog has gone downhill.  Hopefully it rises back up to being one of the best college sports blogs.  It's not there anymore.  Parody accounts, racist parody posters, constant shark jokes, references to sharks and other snickery rule now.  I keep checking in to see how it's going, but...


February 20th, 2018 at 3:50 PM ^

I think the blog is fine in terms of the sports content it has for basketball and hockey, mostly because those are going on now.  As for all the shitty accounts, that's been an issue forever; this place was rife with those types during the dying days of RR.  The racist stuff is a bit newer, but that feels like a bigger shift in discourse in this country.  The shark stuff is stupid, but this place loves to beat a dumb joke into the ground.  Hell, the 3-9/4-8 jokes were dead on arrival but you still see them pop up once and a while.

I railed against reading too much into the Purdue game and was definitely in the minority.  I then said the same thing with Peters, was told THIS time I was wrong, and then proven right.  I think that's the nature of optimism, but this blog is an objective fan's perspective, and sometimes the latter wins out over the former.


February 20th, 2018 at 12:16 PM ^

"I, like most fans, want to see the team I root for be good.  I don't like seeing Michigan lose to OSU for the umpteenth time or shit the bed against South Carolina.  But if everyone could put down the fucking pitchforks for an offseason, it would do this fanbase a hell of a lot of good."


Dear Lord. Why are we getting so hot and bothered. As I've pointed out before, in Michigan history, ESPECIALLY RECENT MICHIGAN HISTORY, this isn't a horrible stretch. Yet people make it out like we've had two losing seasons. 

We just got done with two top 10 recruiting classes and a season where the injury bug murdered us, and people are losing their shit. 

Are there things to be worried about? Yes. I wish we didn't have the tackle situation we have now. I wish Onwenu didn't get hurt, and some of the guys who had to medical or leave for behavioral reasons didn't. But that's just the way it is. I wish Speight had started and finished the season and I see at least a 9 win season likely beating OSU or MSU. 

Had that happened, none of this crap would be going on. 

Is McElwain a super hire? I honestly don't know. And HE ISN'T GOING TO BE THE MASTER OF THE OFFENSE. Can he offer insight to Harbaugh? Probably, and I'm glad Harbaugh is willing to take advice. 

Flipping out, and pulling support for the program, or calling 'UNACCEPTABLE' is just crap because it doesn't do anything, and is ignorant of the fact that we have a good coach. It's also ignorant of the fact that if we went through another coaching move life could get much, much worse, very quickly. 


February 20th, 2018 at 2:17 PM ^

Nicely stated, Bronx.

I've avoided many of the football threads because they all turn into shitfests about 'UNACCEPTABLE', or how recruiting was the worst inthe history of football, or how Pep and Drveno had never heard of football until they had a beer with Harbaugh and he hired them off the street, or whatever.  I choose the positive side of rooting for the players and coaches that picked Michigan, when they could have gone elsewhere.

And yeah, Brian's issue with McElwain is personal.  He's an entertaining writer, it's unfortunate that all he wants to do is bash the program.  It's fair to point out failings - and I think we all expect him to do so, nobody has to be happy with everything.  But repeated bashing is nothing more than a personal endeavor to discredit a person before he even starts coaching here.


February 20th, 2018 at 7:18 PM ^

I feel like 95% of the ribbing of JM as exactly that: ribbing.  Talking about the shark stuff and the BBQ sauce stuff is obviously a joke because these are things that are so unbelievable about JM, that you can't even make them up. It's funny to joke about these things. 

This blog is for entertainment purposes. If you think that's creating a toxic "environment", because there are jokes on a blog, that sounds like a personal issue as well.  And yeah, it'll get old.  It obviously is for you already, and I think that's totally fair.  Maybe if the majority of the blog feels that way, he'll tone it down and it looks like you have ton of upvotes so maybe that's the case.

The complaints about behavior of his players is a legitimate one, though.  With everything that's going on with MSU, college basketball, etc. to act like coaches have no control over the frequency and severity of criminal behaviour within their programs is sadly misguided. 

Yes, college football coaches are responsible for 85+ guys that are in many ways just kids and they'll make a certain number of mistakes.  That can't be completely eliminated.  But a coach absolutely has control over who he recruits (which McElwain very clearly offered some questionable guys) and he has control over discipline and accountability and what he'll accept from players and that has an effect.

It is absolutely warranted to be upset about a hire that very much seems to have not operated under the moral standards we'd expect here.  It was a lot more than the credit card scandal iirc.  There were a lot of guys suspended last year for multiple reasons.  It was MSU level.


February 20th, 2018 at 11:04 AM ^

I've got to agree with Brian's concern with McElwain not being a good dude.  I remember in McElwain's first year at FL he tore down one of his players so bad on the sideline, and it was caught on live TV that McElwain's mom actually made him apologize for his actions. Then of course his meltdowns about the shark fucker situation, multiple disciplinary issues with his teams, and the lying or exaggerating about death threats. Just doesn't scream "guy I want to send in to recruits living rooms" to me. I admit with this being Harbaugh's program instead of McElwain's these issues probably won't occur, but it still doesn't make me feel great about his recruiting abilities. 

As far as his actually coaching ability...I'm not high on it....but I was way too high on the Frey, and Hamilton hires so that shows what I know. I'll let the on field stuff play out this time around before I pass any final judgement.


February 20th, 2018 at 11:05 AM ^

One of my company's VPs (Kevin) played football for Florida in the early 80s (safety), goes to all their home games and most of their away games.  He's fairly well-connected wiith their program.  This was our text exchange regarding McElwain:


February 20th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

Why don't you text one of your company's VP's who went to Louisville, and ask him about our new WR coach? 

"McElwain's first coaching job in Division I-A football was at University of Louisville where he was the receivers and special teams coach from 2000 to 2002. At Louisville, he tutored All-Conference USA receivers Arnold Jackson, Deion Branch, Damien Dorsey and Zek Parker. Also his special teams set a school record of nine blocked kicks in 2000–2001 season." 

Seems odd to ask someone about our new Offensive Coordinator, when that someone knows him as a head coach, and he's actually coming in as a WR coach. 


February 20th, 2018 at 11:08 AM ^

his plane crash...


They probably have dirt on him contacting the hospital  about Ausin during a no contact period


Waiting until March Madness to bring down the hammer on us