Michigan Football: A Hoke-y Hire?

Did you catch the press conference with new University of Michigan football coach Brady Hoke? Here's a taste:

Yes, he's a Michigan man. But does he remind you of someone else?

Ok, ok... maybe a low shot at the new guy. But he does have a little Matt Foley thing going on...

The reality here is that Michigan did exactly the opposite of what they did when they hired Rich Rodriguez: they hired a guy that comes with more Michigan pedigree than flashy success at a big school on the east coast.

It's up to the Wolverines fans now to support Hoke as their coach, something that Rodriguez never received. If the first couple years are as rough for Hoke and the itch returns to the pink slip trigger in the Athletic Dept. in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines could be headed down the same ugly path that Notre Dame was under Bob Davie and Ty Willingham.

The NCAA does not issue the so-called "death sentence" on programs any more, but schools that refuse to let a coach fully saturate the program with their personal system can commit suicide. The Fighting Irish are desperately trying to claw their way back to the pack. Now Michigan is fighting to stop their slide.

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  • I agree with you in principle that hectic and impatient turnover with head coaches is a self-destructive practice and needs to be curbed. And even at the time, I would have said that firing Ty Willingham after just three seasons was a panic move, but there is no way, no way, that Notre Dame made themselves worse by axing Ty. By the end of his tenure, his teams were getting eviscerated at the line of scrimmage (even in his best season, he had a game where USC outgained the Irish by 500 yards), and his recruiting classes indicated worse disasters ahead. As much as Weis won with Ty's recruits in '05 and '06, he lost with Ty's bare cupboard in '07.

    Once again, your principle is rock-solid, and normally I would say that every coach deserves 5 years, but I have to nitpick that this is one exception where a program definitely averted a worse disaster by bailing early. The Weis years were mostly bad, but the depths that Ty reached in Washington and could have had at ND are much, much worse.

  • I hope he makes the Buckeyes live in a van down by the river...

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