Brady Hoke: A Fighter's Chance or Rich Rod Part Deux?
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I know I'm not dropping any breaking news on anyone when I say that Brady Hoke will be the next head coach of the University of Michigan football team. I just want to make sure he gets the chance Rich Rodriguez didn't: to see his team through the total overhaul of a major Division I program.
A little background information on me for you: I do not nor have I ever attended the University of Michigan. Neither one of my parents nor siblings did either. I've been born and raised a fan of the maize and blue.
Call it what you may, but I am a true fan of the University of Michigan. Football is without a doubt my favorite collegiate sport. Back to the important stuff...
As I've heard friends, analysts, and anyone else who feels the need to weigh in speak about a "Michigan Man" as head coach. Minds have not yet been made up about the decision of Athletic Director Dave Brandon. Brandon flew all over the country and conducted interviews, staying under the radar the entire time. Les Miles took a meeting with Brandon days before it was reported that the two would meet.
Brady Hoke deserves the chance Rich Rodriguez never got. It's because of this Michigan alumni and fan base's sense of prestige, stubborn loyalty, and irreverent sense of pride. If you wanted to draft up Lloyd Carr's overall coaching strategies and schemes that he ran on both sides of the ball, and then you did the same with Rich Rodriguez, you would understand that the two were polar opposites.
How many wins will Brady Hoke have in his first three years at Michigan?
It was a split decision when Rodrigues came in whether he was the right man for the job. I am okay with that as an initial reaction. As one year turns to two and two to three, some or most of those people who were not okay with Rodriguez as the head coach became louder when voicing their reasons for wanting his head. The University of Michigan is the winningest program in Division 1-A, FCS, ABC, CBA, XYZ, or whatever it's called now.
The alumni certainly have a sense of history and are not apt to back such a drastic change. Rich Rodriguez attempted to overhaul a program that had never run the spread offense or routinely use two or even three quarterbacks in the same game. Before Rich Rodriguez, a quarterback tending to be purely a passer and the running was left to the running backs. That is why Ryan Mallett left and put up video game numbers for Arkansas.
You cannot conduct an experiment that attempts to drastically alter the entire face and goal of your program from an offensive standpoint. Yes, Rodriguez failed on defense—horribly. I'm not saying that RichRod would've gotten Michigan to a BCS bowl next year or in 2012, but he never got a fair shake. He deserved at least five years.
Your football program taking shape and identifying itself with the new minds trusted to make it successful is not like 8 Minute Abs. It's going to take time, and you're not going to be happy through the early stages.
Brady Hoke deserves what RichRod didn't get. A chance to deliver on promises and show that he can get his team to the spot we all wanted it. Two more years and Michigan could've been a nine win team or maybe even back to double-digit wins, dare I say?
But, who will ever know for sure? No one. Not RichRod, not Denard Robinson, not you or I. So, thank you Dave Brandon for caving to the pressures of your "old boy" alumni who couldn't stand what the outsider was doing to Michigan and its reputation.
You have your "Michigan Man" now, one who spent 8 years under Lloyd Carr. He turned programs around at Ball State and San Diego State, but let's set something straight...neither of those programs can begin to compare to the University of Michigan.
So please, I'm begging you, give Brady Hoke 5 years. Let him attempt to get Michigan back to prominence. If he can't do it by 2015, cut ties and do this all again.
Oh, and go Blue.
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