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No. 1: Brady Hoke of Michigan vs. Jim Tressel of Ohio State
Bo Schembechler vs. Woody Hayes was the greatest coaching rivalry ever––not only in the Big Ten, but perhaps in the history of college football—when Michigan took the field against Ohio State.
Maybe Barry Switzer vs. Tom Osborne as Oklahoma faced Nebraska came close—but when the contest is simply known as “The Game,” you know something special is about to unfurl.
Brady Hoke, former head coach at San Diego State and Ball State, is not really new to Michigan football because Hoke served as an assistant coach for the Wolverines from 1995-2002.
For Hoke, landing the Michigan job was a dream come true even though the big man hails from Ohio. His heart belongs to Big Blue.
During his days as an assistant coach with Michigan, Hoke served on Lloyd Carr’s staff where he coached the defensive line when the Wolverines won a National Championship in 1997.
Hoke turned around losing programs at Ball State and San Diego State in dramatic fashion.
One of the many knocks on the Michigan team by Rich Rodriguez was the lack of defense.
Quarterback Denard Robinson, as Michigan’s one-man wrecking crew, could pick apart opposing defenses, but the team's defense seemed to sputter and die like a firecracker with a soggy fuse.
Hoke thinks that Michigan can simplify and be effective on defense while they build from the ground up.
According to Hoke, winning championships is what Michigan football is about. Not being competitive and not winning means you failed.
Although Michigan is in the Legends division, look for its fiercest rival to remain the Ohio State Buckeyes whom the Wolverines will continue to play as the final game of the regular season.
Some good things just never change, and Michigan's deep-rooted rivalry with Ohio State is no exception. Expect Brady Hoke to try to dislodge the unflappable Jim Tressel from his spot on the mountain top!