Sep 21, 2013; East Hartford, CT, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke greets quarterback Devin Gardner (98) after a touchdown in the third quarter against the Connecticut Huskies at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: The Humpty Dumpty Syndrome

GBMWolverine Coach's Corner2Posted at 7:00am — 12/8/2013

Michigan Football: The Humpty Dumpty Syndrome

Rebuild, Road Construction or Detour?

Michigan Football Will Look Forward

The King’s Men must not have been very good at repairing things, as Humpty Dumpty fell into disarray with major flaws caused by a serious accident. He simply cracked up.

Humpty Dumpty Took the Book, and Looked at It Carefully> Illustration by Milo WinterThat begs a revisionist question? Just how bad was Humpty’s condition and what could have been done on his behalf? Granted, the technology was not available to make Humpty’s repair easy and quick, but still what a waste. Jump forward a bit in time.

As readers have likely surmised, Humpty’s condition parallel’s Michigan’s current status enough to offer up a clever comparison.

Is Michigan’s program in need of rebuilding from the ground up? Is Michigan’s program still under repair? Or, instead has Michigan taken a detour from the expected pathway with the intent to return shortly to the designated destination? Hmm, interesting thought to poke at.

There are some cracks now, like Humpty, but the Wolverines have a far better chance at recovery.

Lost-in-Space-Danger-will-robinsonRebuild is the first option offered above. Danger, Will Robinson. Blowing up an entire program from Head Coach on down can have big effects that can last a decade or more. There appears no shining knight in infallible armor on the horizon that blends with the Michigan way of hiring a coach that immerses well within the Michigan culture. Up the ante some may say, open the checkbook, and get a hired gun that specializes in just winning. There is a limit to what Michigan will do and not do in regard to morphing out of the established method of running a program. The program could morph into a hired gun winning counts most, or good people could continue to be at the helm that put the university and the student ahead of many other outcomes. Yes, a program can have it both ways, but this desired state is getting tougher to achieve.

Nov 2, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke (left) and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison (right) during the first quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans beat the Wolverines 29-6. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Road construction in football terms means not building a new road but paving it over with some new staff, new schemes, or at the very least instigating intensely thought out changes in program delivery. This can be an entire new road surface or simply patching up potholes, and there is a difference. Pothole repair appears to be the vehicle Michigan will follow. Hoke and Brandon are not run of the mill spinners. For the most part what they say is what has been predetermined. There are clearly potholes, the question involves the type of patch to be applied and the construction method that is to be used in order to hold the surface firm.

Detour- this strategy means to change identity until the material is available to reenter the main highway. The quarterback situation has forced some offensive detours. On defense, injuries and a lack of stuffing the run have detoured Coach Mattison into strategies he would rather not have to adapt. Sooner or later a detour does not become a destination, but instead an impediment.

September 15, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines athletic director Dave Brandon before the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

September 15, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines athletic director Dave Brandon before the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Like a new stadium, the current program is too young to rebuild if one takes a pragmatic view. The staff, especially Brandon and Hoke, will need to be serious about the level of rebuilding (pothole versus road resurface). Blowing it off and going with the status quo cause damage greater than the routine pothole. Personnel is a part of the material to patch up the holes, but so are the non-material thoughts that can be translated into success. So, to get off the detour, results with the construction must be realized. This involves smart, analytical people, with tough egos, sitting down and efficiently charting a path to improvement: anywhere from potholes to a new autobahn.

After the season, bits of information will be released. Some of this information will be for consumption and some may yield a true clue as to what the repair method of choice will become. Pothole or Autobahn, plenty of work and thought must go into this concern. Lack of any action could cause a sinkhole.

Michigan has solid players and honorable coaches, the type most parents are pleased with having as a life mentor. Let us hope Humpty gets on the horse and back on the road.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

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