Wednesday, December 10, 2014

School in the News: Wisconsin

Antonio Williams (image via
Well, head coach Gary Andersen pulled a shocker this evening when it was announced that he was leaving Wisconsin for the ripe football program at . . . Oregon State? In the world of rodents, I guess Beavers are cooler than Badgers.

I didn't care much when Oregon State lost Mike Riley to Nebraska, because Michigan doesn't compete with the Beavers for recruits very often. But Wisconsin and Michigan do cross paths quite a bit on the recruiting trail. In fact, class of 2016 running back Antonio Williams - who had developed a good relationship with Michigan assistant coach Roy Manning - just committed to the Badgers last week. So depending on the hire in Madison goes, Michigan might be able to get back in the equation if they make a good hire in Ann Arbor.

2015 commits with Michigan offers: None
2016 commits with Michigan offers: RB Antonio Williams
Roster players recruited by Michigan (with 2015 eligibility): OL Ray Ball (5th), LB Vince Biegel (RS Jr.), RB Corey Clement (Jr.), RB Melvin Gordon (5th), QB Tanner McEvoy (5th), DE Conor Sheehy (So.), OL Dan Voltz (RS Jr.), Robert Wheelwright (Jr.)

I wouldn't expect anything to come out of this for Michigan as far as transfers, but the coaching change may have a slight effect. There's no doubt that Wisconsin would want a run-heavy coach to fit their personnel since they've been having quite a bit of success, so someone like former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst (now the head coach at Pitt) makes sense.


  1. So why does everyone else seem to be able to get the coach they want just by asking, except us? Does pride have us overreaching that far?

    1. I think you might be overreacting. I doubt Mike Riley was the #1 choice at Nebraska. I also doubt that Jim McElwain was the #1 choice at Florida. If we get Harbaugh, you'll be saying the same thing about Michigan.

    2. Well, everyone is going to be happy if it works out with Harbaugh. What if it doesn't?

      In that case Michigan may well not get a guy as good as Anderson or Riley.

      I don't know how much overlap there is with the Badgers right now, but if Harbaugh passes we could be put in a tough spot.

    3. @Lanknows

      Is Riley that good of a hire? If Michigan hired Riley, we'd all be talking about how badly the AD blew the search. Of the coaching moves that have happened so far, I really think Anderson is the only one that could be considered an upgrade, with UF kind of swapping a bad coach for a (way over priced) uninspiring hire and Nebraska firing a good coach for a mediocre one.

    4. @ Lanknows

      If it doesn't, then we'll just have to see who Michigan hires. If they get Bob Stoops, most everyone will be happy, too. If we get another highly touted guy (Sean Payton, John Harbaugh, whoever), people will be happy.

      There are too many "ifs" in your equation.

    5. Michigan has an A-list tier but there are no guarantees. There is a very good chance (maybe even a liklihood) that they don't get one of them. Beyond that pickings look slim right now.

      Michigan has supposedly generated a list of around 10 candidates. At least half of those names are not going to be as good as Anderson and some of them are not as good as Riley, if the rumored names being floated around are any indicator.

      I think Riley is a not great hire for Nebraska, but I think he would fit really well at Michigan. Not devastating, but he would have been a better plan B than say Schiano IMO.

  2. To what extent do you think this will impact the Michigan coaching search?

    For a while, there was concern that UF and M would cross paths, but that ended up not being an issue. It seemed like Nebraska and M wouldn't be targeting the same people. Do you think M and Wisconsin could be fighting over some similar candidates?

    1. From the names I've seen on Wisconsin's list of candidates, the only one (or two) that seem to overlap are Greg Schiano and Paul Chryst. So I don't see it as being that big of a deal.

    2. I think this concern is being underplayed. It's another big name program that will presumably take one of the few pro-style run-oriented coaches off the table. Michigan may not be competing head-to-head with Badgers right now but one less name is one less name.

      I think Gary Anderson would have been a good hire for Michigan, so while we obviously didnt think the Oregon State situation had any impact on Michigan I think it took a good candidate off the table.