Jim McElwain would be ‘very meh addition’ to Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan staff

When it comes to dead fish and news conference dumpster fires, Jim McElwain is a genius move, chief. A straight-A hire.

As an offensive upgrade for Michigan, though?

“[Dan] Enos was better than McElwain, I’ll say that,” Adam McClintock said. “Between the two, I would choose Enos over McElwain.”

Wait. Really?

“Very blah,” McClintock says.

You’ll remember our pal Adam, better known in Twitter circles as the College Football Professor, who’s been analyzing and grading coaches for fun — and for business, as a consultant to athletic departments and co-founder of Matrix Analytical Solutions — for more than a decade.

In layman’s terms, McClintock grades FBS coaches on results relative to the talent said coach has recruited. Coordinators are marked up based on the talent on hand and the per-play efficiency with which their units either score or surrender points.

Full disclosure: The Prof wasn’t all that crazy about McElwain’s three-year grip — or lack thereof — on the reins at Florida …

… and was left scratching his noggin at the reports earlier this week that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was considering adding the former Alabama and Fresno State offensive coordinator to his mercurial offensive staff as a wide receivers coach.

The Wolverines still have a vacancy after Enos came from Arkansas then quickly bolted for Alabama. But McElwain is a curious option on several fronts, not least of which being the fact that the former Gators boss six months ago was going out of his way to poke Harbaugh from afar with a pointy stick — and paid the price, dropping a 33-17 decision in the season opener for both schools down in Arlington, Texas.

“We know he’s been a part of big programs before, like Alabama, so he’ll be able to contribute something. It’s just not that big of an improvement.”

— Coaching analyst Adam McClintock on Michigan’s reported pursuit of ex-Florida coach Jim McElwain

“Yeah, I raised my eyebrow,” McClintock told Land of 10. “Yeah, he’s a big name, I guess. But the results don’t really speak highly of what his [presence] does.

“There are better people. Maryland went out and hired Matt Canada, and Matt Canada would’ve been a very good coordinator for Michigan to bring in — his offenses always score points, they’ve done extremely well, and he’s run [them] at [the] offensively slow pace that Michigan kind of sometimes paints themselves into.”

As an offensive play caller and assistant, McElwain has graded out as a B, historically, in McClintock’s database on the merits — again, or lack thereof — of stints with the Bulldogs (2007) and Crimson Tide (2008 to 2011).

“The pace that his offenses impose is very conservative, averaging about 66 plays per game on average,” the analyst noted. “This would pair well with [defensive coordinator] Don Brown, but the results just aren’t very dynamic. Overall, I wouldn’t call McElwain an offensive guru by any stretch. From what I’ve seen, this [would be] a very ‘meh’ addition to the Michigan staff.”

Of course, “meh” probably would be considered a step up at this point. And the role of Wolverines’ primary play caller still resides in the mitts of Tim Drevno, who was one of seven Big Ten offensive coordinators McClintock assigned an F grade for 2017 based on their production relative to talent.

Of those seven, only Drevno, Michigan State’s Jim Bollman and Minnesota’s Kirk Ciarrocca are still in the same positions they held last August:

“A B-grade offensive coordinator, is, at face value, above average,” McClintock continued. “But when you look at what [McElwain] had as an offensive coordinator, he was at Alabama, so he had so much more talent on his side of the ball than most offenses he faced. So that B grade is a little underwhelming.

“And he goes out to Colorado State and has two or three years there and his offenses were good, but he also had a few key Bama transfers. He goes back to Florida and the offenses were terrible. It’s not really anything to be super excited about.

“We know he’s been a part of big programs before, like Alabama, so he’ll be able to contribute something. It’s just not that big of an improvement. I don’t want to go out on a limb and say it’s a waste of money …”

But there are other dead fish in the sea. We get it.

“Enos is a B-plus grade coordinator, and that was with Arkansas’s talent gap, not Alabama’s,” McClintock noted. “McElwain is a clear downgrade from Enos.”

The post Jim McElwain would be ‘very meh addition’ to Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan staff appeared first on Land of 10.

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