With the arrival of Jim Harbaugh comes the expectation of success. However, every football fan knows that it takes a good coach AND a good quarterback to be successful.
While some believe Harbaugh will turn Shane Morris, Wilton Speight and/or Alex Malzone into All-B1G level signal callers in his first season, I am a bit skeptical. Morris is the only one that has seen the field and we all know how that one ended.
Now, I do believe all three have the talent to be successful, I don\’t 100% believe they can lead Team 136 to a championship season thanks to inexperience at the receiver position and a new playbook.
But there is one name out there that I believe can help lead Michigan to a 10+ win 2015, and that is Stanford QB Kevin Hogan.
Some people may think he\’s \”bad\” thanks to his corky mechanics and a rough 2014 season where he led the Cardinal to a very underwhelming 8-5 season. But you have to remember that Hogan is 25-8 as a starter and has led Stanford to two Rose Bowl appearances (winning one vs Wisconsin in 2012). He also has been named 2012 Pac 12 Championship game MVP and has been on the Maxwell Award Watch List, as well as other lists, multiple times.
\”But how could he end up at Michigan?\”
There have been plenty of rumors out there that the redshirt Junior is ready to graduate and may look to transfer. Sports Illustrated\’s Gabriel Baumgaertner has been hearing the same:
\”He hasn\’t addressed whether he\’ll return for his final year of eligibility, and head coach David Shaw intimated that Hogan didn\’t want to discuss it before the end of the season.\”
One of the main reasons he\’s looking to move on: never gaining his coach\’s trust.
\”While Hogan seldom faltered in crucial situations, he never engendered a trust in Shaw. Naturally conservative in his playcalling and devoted to a run game that started with Toby Gerhart and continued with Stepfan Taylor and Tyler Gaffney, Shaw focused his offense around his running game without an established starter.\”
Without trust, a quarterback can never truly grow. That is why I believe Harbaugh is the perfect coach for Hogan.
While Harbaugh and Tim Drevno (new offensive coordinator) will likely rely on the run game in 2015, thanks to the stacked stable of backs, Hogan is a seasoned quarterback that they could trust to win games with his arm, when necessary.
Hogan was the guy to succeed Andrew Luck but had to try and do it without Luck\’s biggest weapon. Now, the current Stanford quarterback has a chance to learn from the former Stanford coach who turned the former Stanford quarterback into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL (got all that?).
\”What would Hogan\’s arrival mean for the other QBs?\”
Some believe it\’s better to go into the season with the current quarterbacks and allow them to grow. However, Harbaugh is too much of a competitor to do that. I fully expect him to bring in as many quality quarterbacks as he sees necessary to give his Wolverines the best chance to win.
With Hogan in the fold, it would allow Morris and Malzone to (possibly) redshirt and for the entire quarterback room to develop and learn the offense under the new staff. Basically, it\’s the best move for now and for the future.
If Hogan wants to join Harbaugh and Team 136, I believe it will happen and Michigan will kick off the Harbaugh-era in winning fashion.