Friday, October 10, 2014

Brady Hoke. Fate already sealed?

It probably should be, even at a major university like Michigan that is so steeped in tradition. In a way, the Maize and Blue faithful are like the Marines. The few, the proud, the chosen. And let's not forget the arrogant. Unfortunately, when battles have heated up lately, both seem to suffer a lot of casualties while producing precious few wins.

Current head football coach Brady Hoke was supposedly hired because he's a "Michigan man". Actually, his previous history with the Michigan football program consisted of him serving for 8 years as a lowly assistant coach.

Then Hoke got a break. The head coaching job at Ball State. He would be there for 6 years, and post a 34-38 record.

On to San Diego State, where he would go 13-12 over two years. So in his 8 year "apprenticeship" for the Michigan head coaching job, Hoke wasn't even a .500 coach. But by God, he was a Michigan man. Or so sayeth the guy that hired him at the time -- one David Brandon -- the athletic director.

Though a previous graduate way back in the early 70s, Brandon himself had only come back on board to Michigan in 2010, after trying to run Tom Monaghan's flailing Domino's pizza empire after it had already been sold to Bain Capital. Mitt Romney and venture capitalists, aka corporate raiders anyone? How's Domino's doing these days?

Remember, Hoke replaced Rich Rodriguez, who was considered a colossal failure and run out of town. Despite his posting a sub -.500 record during his previous 8 years at Ball and San Diego State, Hoke was supposed to be Michigan's savior. His record at Michigan?

2011.  11-2
2012.  8-5
2013.  7-6
2014.  2-4 to date.

And here's the thing. When Hoke first took over, he inherited RichRod's recruits. As Hoke has phased more and more of  his own recruits into the program every year -- the team as a whole keeps getting worse.

Losing the Little Brown Jug -- especially at home and in beatdown fashion -- to the Minnesota Golden Gophers was a slap in the face to a once proud program. And since when does a Big Ten team, ANY Big Ten team, lose to the likes of Rutgers? The once mighty Wolverines are perilously close to becoming a laughingstock. Fodder for late night comedians. This is how far the program has fallen under Hoke.

So up next they host Penn State. The Nittanys aren't far removed from having their whole football program in total disarray after that nasty Jerry Sandusky business a while back. Penn State pretty much had to blow up the whole works and start over.

This is a major crossroads game for Brady Hoke. If his team wins it, maybe his seat goes from nova hot to simmer. But don't be surprised if Penn State waltzes into the Big House and puts another thumping on the beleaguered Wolverines.

Either way, Michigan has a bye week following this game to get ready to travel to Michigan State. After road trips to Purdue and Indians, the Spartans will likely be licking their chops at the prospect of hosting Michigan. If both teams hold true to form -- that game could get seriously ugly for the Maize and Blue.

Hoke desperately needs a win against Penn State. Because bye week or not, his team is likely to get blown out when they travel to East Lansing.

If the writing isn't already on the wall for Hoke's ouster -- it will be if his team becomes 2-6. Their only wins have come against cream puff patsies Michigan typically schedules early on their schedule. The only really good team they've faced so far was Notre Dame, where they got blistered 31-0, and it probably should have been worse.

And they can forget about the last game showdown at Ohio State. Even though Buckeyes' star QB Braxton Miller is out, the chances of Michigan winning that contest are about as good as Ray Rice getting a humanitarian award from the National Organization of Women. I wouldn't exactly bet on it.

Before that happens, Michigan hosts Indiana and Maryland, plus travels to Northwestern. In days of yore, those game would have been considered gimmes. Not any more. Given the current cluster**** that is Michigan football -- it's entirely possible they could lose them all.

Regardless, it's become obvious that Brady Hoke never was, is, and ever will be the man to lead the Wolverines back to the "promised land". The longer he stays, the worse they get.

UM has a new president, and new board of regents, trustees, or whatever the behind the scenes, mucky-muck power brokers call themselves these days. They need to do some serious house-cleaning. It starts with brooming Brandon and Hoke, because these guys are clueless.

Step two is forget about the "Michigan man" nonsense when it comes to hiring their replacements. Go find people that are eminently qualified and have a track record of success elsewhere. If they had enough money to make Hoke the Joke the highest paid college football coach in the country, they can certainly afford to pay big bucks to others that actually know what they're doing. And it's not like Michigan is Podunk U. These are plum jobs in the world of college sports. Lots of people would be interested.

But their records at Michigan speak for themselves. Be it on the field of play with wins and losses, or even overall perception as to competence, the BB boys, Brandon and Brady gotta go.

And the sooner the better.....

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