The idea that Michigan's Brady Hoke enters the 2014 season on the hot seat isn't exactly a secret. Since starting his tenure in Ann Arbor with an 11-2 record and a Sugar Bowl win, Hoke's Wolverines have gone 15-13 the last two seasons, with a 9-7 record in the Big Ten.
The thing is, saying Hoke is on the hot seat, and Hoke actually being on the hot seat are two different things, and according to the guy who actually takes the temperature of that seat, all the talk is nonsense.
"That's websites and that's bloggers and that's social media and that's all part of the game that's played out there -- let's stir up controversy," said Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon during a radio interview with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM (via MLive.com). "This happens every year. I can't do very much about that, other than (say), that's nonsense.
"Brady and his staff are building something very important here. I believe strongly we're moving in the right direction and I'm looking forward to a great a season coming up. All this hot seat stuff, to me, is just nonsense. I don't pay any attention to it."
Now whether or not you believe Brandon, that's for you to decide. Personally I have a hard time buying that Hoke isn't feeling any pressure to win this season. Generally when a coach takes over a program you expect to see improvement each season. Hoke's Michigan teams have actually gotten worse, going from 11 wins in 2011 to eight in 2012 and seven last season.
Making matters worse, Michigan is no longer the strongest program in its own state. Little brother Michigan State is the team that won the conference and the Rose Bowl last season while the Wolverines finished the season getting beat up by Kansas State 31-14 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Michigan is not a football program that accepts mediocrity, and with a 15-13 record the last two seasons, that's exactly what Michigan has been. Should the Wolverines not show marked improvement in 2014, I don't care what Brandon says now, Brady Hoke's job will be in serious jeopardy.