Michigan Football: Differences in Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer Are Great for B1G

Adam BiggersSenior Analyst IIFebruary 17, 2013

Brady Hoke's presence at Michigan is great for the Big Ten. The same should be said about Ohio State's Urban Meyer.
Brady Hoke's presence at Michigan is great for the Big Ten. The same should be said about Ohio State's Urban Meyer.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Brady Hoke isn't as flashy and high-profile as Urban Meyer, but the two are vital to the overall image of the Big Ten. 

Hoke's personality is that of an average and approachable man. He's so ordinary that recognizing him as the Michigan Wolverines football coach would be difficult if not for the maize and blue attire. 

Meyer, on the other hand, has the look and feel of a Fortune 500 businessman—he's incredibly noticeable. But like Hoke, he may not be recognized as a football coach without his scarlet and gray Ohio State Buckeyes attire. 

And even then, he may be pegged as a wealthy, well-dressed fan or school official, not a hard-nosed coach. 

Hoke is more Jim Bond, whereas Meyer closer fits the image of James. 

However, the Big Ten needs both to be who they are. Hoke doesn't have to change his demeanor to match the stylish ways of his rival. Meyer doesn't need to tone down his attitude to match other coaches in the league, either. 

Simply put, Hoke and Meyer are a perfect example of how two drastically different coaches can coexist in the same yard without having to one-up one another at every turn (other than on the recruiting trail). 

Meyer's arrival to the Big Ten this past season instantly boosted the league's credibility. A winner of two national titles at Florida, Meyer brings an SEC feel to the Midwest. He's cocky at times, maybe a little too much for more humble brethren like Hoke or Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, but that's needed nowadays. 

Meyer didn't rub many Big Ten followers the right way when he immediately snatched Se'Von Pittman from Michigan State. He's a vicious, take-no-prisoners recruiter wherever he's at (and wherever he wants to be), as evidenced by his courtship of Drake Harris, a Michigan State commit who reopened his recruitment in January.

Michigan is after Harris, too. But the allure of Meyer's Buckeyes may be too much to deny for a youngster who wants to solely focus on football. 

Meyer's brash, get-out-of-my-way tactics could lead to hauling in an athlete that Hoke should otherwise have an edge in getting. It's not the first, and it won't be the last, so prepare for more recruiting scrums between Hoke and Meyer. 

That's what makes his presence great for the B1G; he spices up things in the league, forcing guys like Hoke to remain alert at all times. It's not often that a newcomer enters a conference and eats off other coaches' plates. Meyer doesn't even bother using a fork; he just dives in and helps himself. 

Meyer adds a "villain" to the fold. Hoke plays the good guy, for the most part. Hoke is a "Michigan Man," a coach that fans of other teams hate to love.

Meyer, though, is the man that fans love to hate. 

How's that for dynamic? 

The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry was once the best things going in sports. The Bo versus Woody days epitomized college football. 

Hoke can become something like Schembechler was, and Meyer already has the potential to eclipse past Buckeyes coaches like John Cooper and Jim Tressel; he may not be the next Woody Hayes, but Meyer is the first Urban at Ohio State. 

Ohio State's declaration of being "back" was loud and clear in 2012 by way of a 12-0 record. Meyer pieced together the No. 2-ranked 2013 class of recruits in the nation, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. Hoke assembled the No. 5 class. 

Nebraska had the No. 23-ranked group (only other B1G team in top 25). 

Hoke and Meyer are the cornerstones of the Big Ten. They're different, yes. But they share a common desire to put their programs where they belong: in the national spotlight. 

Michigan and Ohio State won't be the only parties to benefit. The entire conference owes a little gratitude to the men who are jointly restoring the luster to the Big Ten.


Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81