Blog Entry

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Posted on: January 11, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2011 7:38 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

He's not the man Michigan may have wanted with its first choice, but as things stand, Brady Hoke is the new head coach in Ann Arbor.  He's the 19th coach in the school's history, and though some members of the Michigan fan base may respond with "Who?" upon hearing his name, he's not simply an afterthought.

Of course Les Miles or Jim Harbaugh would be Dave Brandon's first choice.  They are the quintessential "Michigan Men" that seems to be so important in Ann Arbor.  They've played at the school. Miles coached at the school, and he even has a national championship under his belt. Jim Harbaugh hasn't done either, but he was the coach du jour this winter.  And one with Michigan roots at that. Hoke isn't the definition of a "Michigan Man," as he played his college ball at Ball State, but he did spend eight seasons coaching Michigan's defensive line.  Including the 1997 season, the last time Michigan won a national championship. So he knows what it takes to win in Ann Arbor, as he's done it before. 

There's another difference between Les Miles, Jim Harbaugh and Brady Hoke other than their "Michigan Man" credentials, and it is probably something that is a lot more important than where either played college football.

Brady Hoke wants to be at Michigan.  It's clear that after two failed attempts to land him that Les Miles doesn't.  He may say he does, as he doesn't want to denigrate where he came from, but Miles is happy at LSU. He knows he can win there, and he's not sure that he can do the same at Michigan.  Harbaugh always had his sight set on the NFL, and now he's got his dream job.

Michigan is Brady Hoke's dream job.

Brady Hoke seems to believe he can win in Ann Arbor, and what reason do we really have to doubt him?  He took over his alma mater in 2003 and turned the program around in six seasons, leading the team to a 12-1 campaign in 2008.  Hoke then left for San Diego State, and Ball State hasn't won 12 games since.  Hell, they haven't won seven games since.

Hoke then took over a San Diego State program that had been dormant since Marshall Faulk was tearing apart defenses, and in two seasons turned the program around and led the Aztecs to a 9-4 mark in 2010.  Including a win over Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Do you notice a trend here?  Hoke has gone to programs that were trending downward and built them back up.  Sure, there's a difference between the Big Ten and the MAC and Mountain West.  There's no denying this, but there's also a difference in building a program up when there's that block "M" on your hat and not the Ball State or San Diego State logo.

As long as Michigan gives Hoke some time, and I know it will be tough considering the down times of the Rich Rodriguez era, he will get this program on the right track.  Will he lead them to a national championship?  Only time will tell, but here's something else that Michigan fans should remember before dumping all over the Hoke hire.

Jim Tressel wasn't Ohio State's first choice after it fired John Cooper. He was just some coach from tiny Youngstown State. How's that worked out for them?

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2011 5:36 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

..this stuff would be alot more fun to read, if people had the class that you show..thanx for an informative and objective post.

Since: Jan 12, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2011 5:15 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

I will say this much - Hoke arrives with some kids in place.  RR did not leave the cabinet empty, that's for sure.  He's had two straight excellent recruiting classes, so there is no excuse for Hoke not to do something with some of these kids, even if Denard splits.

Wow, does everybody just take what the media spits out?  If you go back and look at and their ratings for the last 3 Carr recruiting years and RR's 3 recruiting years (including what he has committed so far this year), the cupboard was NOT bare.

Year,Rank,Avg Star,Top 100,Off,Def

2006 , 9 , 3.6 , 5 , 8 , 11

2007 , 10 , 3.7 , 5 , 10 , 10

2008 , 6 , 3.56 , 4 , 16 , 9

2009 , 14 , 3.41 , 3 , 10 , 11

2010 , 12 , 3.33 , 3 , 10 , 16

2011 , 28 , 3.43 , 2 , 5 , 8

Avg Star is the average star rating of the recruits.  Take into account that 2008 was Carr's last recruiting class, with the signings done after RR was hired, but Carr laid the groundwork for the majority of the recruits.  Carr was in the top 10 and recruited higher rated players.  Also, one of the defensive players recruited in 2010 by RR was a CB named... Denard Robinson.  He wasn't even ranked and recruited as a QB.  And 2011 includes Hart, who has de-comitted and the highest rated player.

And don't forget that RR ran off a bunch of talent...Mallet, McGuffie, Boren and Threet at a glance - all of whom started at other FBS schools.  Know there are more, but those are the first ones to come to mind.

Hoke is coming into a far bigger rebuilding job then RR, but have confidence he will do well with what he has and bring UM back to prominence.  He is a good COACH that has proven he knows how to teach his players, rather than someone that can get an athelete or two to cover all his short comings in coaching (see Pat White and Steve Slaton - rest of the team was not that good).

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2011 4:46 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Can't be any worse than the Rod. At least Hoke comes in with less impressive credentials an won't be expected to have an immediate impact like The Rod did. Hoke's only goal is to make a bowl game and not get crushed in it next year. That should be it.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2011 4:40 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Rake,  what is it about Rich Rod you love so much?  The guy ruined our program in 3 years.  They had to get him out.  If he stayed we would be the Detroit Lions under the Matt Millen era.  You keep saying he can flat out recruit but really who has he brought here besides Denard.  Forcier wanted to quit and Gardner barley made a mark for a kid who was too good to redshirt.  Those guys are all QBs.  We have no RBs that are better than average and we all know what the DEF has done.

Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2011 4:05 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

GoBlue, I hear you.  Michigan has it all - the history, the facilities, the uniforms, the fight song, the following, the cash.  Gosh, what a great package.  It really makes me wonder why they can't attract another top coach.  Truly perplexing.

Still, there are some holes in your logic when you say that RR "didn't bring the recruiting power."  Check out and you'll find that RR was out-recruiting the B10.  He was second in the B10 both years and his 2009 class was 8th overall in the country and 2010 he was 20th nationally.  These were outstanding results for a man trying to rebuild and revamp from scratch.  RR can flat-out recruit and I can see why the rest of the B10 are glad to see him gone, especially Ohio St.  I'm not quite as confident that Hoke has the mystique, persuasion, and energy to deliver national top 10 recruiting classes, but we'll cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Since: Jan 12, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2011 2:52 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Facerake, my point is that I would rather see MI as it was before RR.... and that obviously wont include Lloyd Carr, so we dont have to worry about the "Lloyd Carr ending".  I want to see the top 10 recruiting classes, accompanied by the perennial top 25 rankings and a chance at the big bowls.  RR may have had the national championship focus (to say any coach is not focused on winning it all is absurd), but he certainly didnt bring the recruiting firepower and overall coaching results. 

I never thought in my life that I would have to sit here and try to defend MI for its recent dismal performance, and try to convince people that they are the ELITE program they once were (and still should be), but I am finding it hard to make arguments to the contrary.  I have heard nothing but good things about Hoke from former players and fellow coaches, so hopefully this gets into the ears of the recruits and hopefully he is able to make an immediate good impression.  I cant imagine why any kid wouldnt want to play in front of 110,000 fans and have the national spotlight every week... along with the great tradition, the awesome uniforms etc.... 

Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2011 12:58 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

GoBlue, I don't get it - do you want Michigan to return to an NFL farm team or win some championships?  All of Michigan's high-quality NFL caliber players in the pro style offense yielded a single co-national championship in last 60+ years.  Michigan was so stacked that Tom Brady wasn't even a starter.  For several years at the end of Carr's tenure, again with some stacked teams, Tressel was pounding him every year with his typical slew of excellent, no-name players.  How do we explain that?  Maybe we lacked the quality coaching necessary to get all these great recruits to perform at their highest level?

At least RR had a national championship focus, not just win the B10 and beat OSU and send everyone to the NFL.  A coach seeking national relevance was refreshing to me, but that's gone now.  Such a coach doesn't "understand" Michigan.  He's a "misfit."  RR must be scratching his head.

As for Mallett, no doubt he's a great talent, but watching that game end on a pick brought back memories of Lloyd's disappointing teams.  I was very familiar with that sunk feeling that Razorbacks fans were experiencing.  I thought to myself "Yep, that's a Lloyd Carr recruit with a typical Lloyd Carr ending."

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2011 12:35 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

First of all - "A MICHIGAN MAN" is not necessarily someone who played at Michigan - It is an ideal.  A belief in hard work, solid defense, game controlling offense with players that hit hard and out work their opponents.  An ideal that puts students at the forefront, learnigna nd creating excellent leaders and fathers.  It goes beyond football.  That is what a MICHIGAN MAN is.  It is not someone who thinks that they are bigger than the University.  It is about being humble yet confident, (Carr, BO) .  I beleive that Brandon NEVER offered the job to MILES or HARBAUGH.  He spoke with them and may have seen they were not interested - but I do not think he ever offered them the job.  Hoke will come in and try to win by using the abilities that are there, he won't force a system on kids - for him unlike Miles, or Harbaugh - IT IS ABOUT MICHIGAN - not him!  I hope he does well and I think he will!

Since: Jan 12, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2011 12:13 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Siehbiscuit, I dont think this could have been said any better. 

The system RR brought to Ann Arbor certainly didnt suit everyone on the field, in terms of pro preparation.  The system suits the coach, and its his way of making himself successful (and hopefully get the program wins), but it isnt Michigan football.  I want to see the Mike Harts, Wheatleys, Biakabutukas, A-Trains back in the mix... as well as the big-armed QB's that you mentioned above.  Too bad Lloyd left when he did.... could you imagine what we could have done with Ryan Mallett?

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2011 11:17 am

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Jim Tressel wasn't Ohio State 's first choice after it fired John Cooper . He was just some coach from tiny Youngstown State . How's that worked out for them?

Remind me again how many Div I-AA National Titles Tressel had when he came to Ohio State? (4)

How many does Hoke have? How many wins against AQ teams does he have in his career?(1 - vs Indiana)

This is going to be fun to watch ...

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