OK, since our posts on this are going to be of the fireside ghost story variety, let's try a lengthy test post. I will briefly discuss candidates for the Michigan head football coaching position.
1. Ron English
Ron English is the current defensive coordinator for the Wolverines, so a promotion to head coach would both satisfy Bo's ever-present necessity of a Michigan Man coaching Michigan and provide some stability with returning players. That stability might not show itself on the field for at least a year or two, however, as a Michigan program under the 39-year-old English's leadership would likely require some viciously bumpy training wheel years.
English is a competitor and a spectacular recruiter (he stole five-star CB Donovan Warren from Pete Carroll and the Trojans just before Signing Day), but his actual coaching prowess is yet to be determined. The '06 defense destroyed opposing running backs for the first eleven weeks of the season. Michigan (and English) could do no wrong on the defensive side of the ball. Then mobile quarterback Troy Smith picked the Wolverines apart in the most important game of the year en route to a 52-point outburst by Ohio State.
The truth hurts: Michigan is old-fashioned. We have been unable to stop the spread option for the past four years, and this year's loss to FCS superpower Appalachian State was simply the final straw. Yes, Vince Young was a once-in-a-lifetime talent. And Ohio State was considerably better than Michigan last year. But a loss at home to a team beneath your division is proof that your inability to stop the spread is not due to the teams employing it but to the scheme itself. Who's to say this wouldn't continue if English were hired as the head coach?
Overall, he's young, he's energetic, and he's dedicated enough to create a champion at Michigan. We'll simply have to grind our teeth while he finishes fifth in the Big Ten for two years.
2. Kirk Ferentz
Ferentz would have been a generally acceptable pick for the Michigan job four years ago. He ran a clean program, he was young, he knew the Big Ten, and he got results out of even the least-touted of players. But two 6-6 seasons and a laundry list of arrests later makes this option a poor one.
Ferentz, more or less, is Lloyd Carr with less discipline. For two years we praised his ability to squeeze results out of walk-ons and unheralded scrubs. We failed to notice that his scrappy, makeshift teams were the result of his inability to recruit.
30% of the Iowa football team was arrested during the 2007 season. Unacceptable.
The scariest part about Ferentz is the fact that U of M president Mary Sue Coleman loves him. Absolutely adores him.
3. Mike DeBord
If we don't talk about him, maybe nobody will notice he's a candidate. If he were hired, Michigan football would suffer a greater blow than Nebraska under the Callahan regime. You could expect at least six losses every year under him.
4. Brian Kelly
He's young, he's a winner, and he's coached in Michigan. Brian Kelly seems like the perfect candidate for a Big Ten vacancy. Except he's, um, racist. Really racist. And Bill Martin isn't even considering him anymore. Oh, well.
5. Jeff Tedford
Runs a specific system, which garners two results:
a) his players don't make it in the NFL
b) high schoolers don't want to play for him because they know there is no future in his system
He's also not a Michigan Man. Not even close. Boobies!
5. Les Miles
I WILL NOT GIVE UP, DAMN IT! DON'T YOU EVER TELL ME IT'S OVER! EVEN THEIR AD ADMITS HE HASN'T SIGNED SHIT! LES MILES IS COMING TO MICHIGAN, MOTHERFUCKERS!