Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mike, you're doing a heck of a job

It brings me no pleasure to report this, but Lloyd Carr is getting close to turning the Michigan football program into the Tammany Hall of Washtenaw County. Call it the State Street Project if you prefer a more modern analogy.

Saying this this makes it a little harder for me to make my point that Ohio State represents the Republicans (achievements of dubious legitimacy that no one really wants to look into, lauded boy genius "architect," over-involvement of unlettered Ohioans), but it has to be said anyway.

Here's what's happened: Offensive coordinator Terry Malone left to take a job with the New Orleans Saints. Defensive backs coach Ron English left for a job with the Bears, and Mike DeBord was promoted to offensive coordinator. Yes, the same Mike DeBord who had been just kind of hanging out at Schembechler Hall after screwing up the International Arabian Horse Association after his first stint as OC, from 1997-99.

While it's true that Mike DeBord was the offensive coordinator for two of the best seasons of Michigan football that I've seen with my own eyes (1997 and 1999), it's also true that his teams played some boring-ass, predictable offense.

So is his rightful place in the universe alongside Lloyd on Saturdays, whispering "we should punt here" and "let's play this one safe" in his ear? I don't know. It's possible he's learned from his disastrous run in Mount Pleasant. It's possible that he's going to be less conservative and predictable playcaller than he used to be. But there's nothing that assures us that he wasn't hired just because Lloyd wanted him around and wants DeBord to succeed him, merits be damned.

OK, so comparing all this with the appalling excesses of Republican politics is an overstatement. But what's happening here is that Lloyd has ceased with bothering to find new solutions. He's just going to keep applying what's worked in the past until he retires, which might not be for a couple years now.

In typical Lloyd fashion, he's trying to run out the clock too early.

This would be a good time to mention DeBord's record as a head coach in Mount Pleasant. He was 12-34 there. I feel vaguely like Walter Sobchak breaking the news to the Dude about The Jesus: "Eight-year-olds, Dude."

I'm certainly not saying Michigan needs to go cruise the Cadillac dealerships and candy stores of Youngstown to find a hire like Cheatypants McSweatervest (HT: EDSBS). I'm just saying that setting up for a coaching search that consists of "Where's Mike?" could quite predictably lead to disaster.

Eight-year-olds, Dude.

(I need a drink. Where's the Kahlua?)


CrimeNotes said...

I think that the inner workings of Michigan's coaching hires less resembles the Republican Party, and is instead more aptly compared to the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet politburo.

Flop said...

It's true in that one has to parse all public appearances and statements beyond reasonability. Also there's the yearly May Day parade of missiles, tanks and mammoth, sun-blotting defensive linemen down South State Street.

Crunk Raconteur said...

Hey, man, just because McSweatervest has won twice as many national championships as Lloyd...

Flop said...

Take it up with Stranko and Orson. We just laugh at it ... along with their lollipop jokes.