A couple of days ago I compiled Hoke's win-loss record, looking specifically at road v. home v. neutral site and the differences between the Vegas line and the actual win differential. I was curious, though -- and maybe this was prompted by a comment I saw somewhere -- how other successful coaches at our rivals had fared recently. That is, was Hoke's downward trend normal? Abnormal? Is there, in fact, a normal?
Here are the results (click to embiggen):
- Hoke is most like Meyer: a string of victories at the start with a slow (inevitable) decline, although Meyer was able to string together an amazing 24-0 start at Ohio State.
- Kelly and Dantonio are more similar: a difficult first year followed by a fairly consistent improvement in overall record.
- Rodriguez is a real outlier: he never really got about .500, so never showed the overall improvement that Kelly and Dantonio did.
Hoke's downward slide looks ominous. What if we look on the brighter side, however, and project a 9-3 season, with losses to Michigan State and Ohio State but victories against the rest of the schedule? We get something like this (I'm not projecting the other coaches' records here):
That looks significantly better: essentially Hoke would be neck-and-neck with Kelly at the end of his year four, with a better overall record than Danotio's first four years. That's not bad.
Even if we project an 8-4 season this year -- say we lose to Penn State under the lights -- the overall record ain't too shabby:
The question, then, may be: is Hoke better than a .700 career coach? The difference between .700 and .750 is pretty palpable. Lloyd's career record was .753, Moeller's was .758, Bo's was .796 (at Michigan only for the latter two coaches). The scene of college football is significantly different now than it was in the 1970s and 1980s, but it's probably fair to say that Michigan fans and alumni reasonably expect to win 3 out of every 4 games, even if we were never happy with Lloyd or Moeller's tendency to drop the occasional game to undermatched opponents (a loss at home to an unranked Illinois in 1993, my first year at Michigan, still stings a bit).
There's no doubt that the end of last year and this year is a bit of a trough for Michigan football: we're rebuliding, not reloading, despite the addition of Peppers. At least that has to be the positive take, anyway; the negative take would be that in the coming years the slide continues, and Hoke's line on the graph above will cross Dantonio's in 2015.
My overall take is more positive than I thought it would be when I started: if Hoke can hold serve this year with a 9-3 record and continue to bring in top talent, then there is a good case to be made that things will rebound. If those things happen, then on paper Hoke and Kelly look awfully similar, and I think that we probably think that whatever Kelly's many faults, he's got Notre Dame football on the right track in terms of the on-the-field performance.
Yet as I type those sentences about Michigan they seem awfully optimistic... far more optimistic than I currently feel.
EDIT: Per the suggestion by LandonC in the comments below, here is Hoke's ten
year game rolling win percentage vs. Kelly's, Dantonio's, and RR's:
1) Starting a True Freshman at LT.
This is so telling on so many levels. We have not developed players and a true freshman has better technical skills than any other player at our most or second most important position on the line. We've recruited a boat load of talent here as well with minimal results.
2) Defense is confused and has the same issues that are starting to become exploited.
Two big issues here.
We cannot stop the inside seam route. OSU, Kansas St, SC, ND have all unloaded on the seam route and we have no chance at defended it.
We cannot stop the inside run. Our defensive line does not maintain assignments and our LBs do not read the lineman and are often out of postition.
3) Devin Gardner has Major Technical Flaws
Almost every throw was off his back foot.
He does not have any routes (besides bubbles and screens) that get the ball out of his hands quickly.
He stares down every WR he's throwing too
He picks 1 guy to throw to and will throw it too him or take a sack. It's very seldom he goes to his check down WR unless he has plenty of ample time (which may never happen).
4) WE CANNOT WIN ON THE ROAD
This is all about prepartion and gameplan and I have yet to see a solid gameplan against a worthy opponent. Every big away game the team comes out extremely FLAT as if they were all sick. No drive, no intensity, no focus.
5) The lack of Information given to Media is Lack of Confidence in Coaching.
Almost every coach hands out information about injuries and depth chart but Hoke has a say nothing or stretch/cover up the truth attitude. This does not equate to a good gameplan strategy and only forces the media and fans to become distant to the program.
The lack in confidence shows up in recruiting too. The no visit policy is an obvious lack in confidence that we can be the best school despite kids wanting to see other schools.
I'm sure there are others and I remain in support of Brady until he is no longer the coach here, but I am very concerned with the direction of the program to say the least.
When Brady Hoke was hired in 2011 his 0-1 record against Michigan, by way of a 2006 loss while head coach at Ball State, made him the first Michigan head coach since Gary Moeller in 1979 to have coached a game against Michigan.
Fritz Crisler coached the 1930 and 1931 Minnesota teams to losses against Harry Kipke coached Michigan.
Harry Kipke like his successor Crisler coached the 1928 MSU team to a 3-0 loss against Michigan. He became the head coach at Michigan the next season.
Frank Crawford became the first coach to coach against Michigan after previously being head coach in 1891 by leading the 1892 Wisconsin teams to a loss against his former team.
George Little joined Crawford by losing to Michigan as head coach of Wisconsin in 1925 and 1926 after previously being the Michigan coach in 1924.
Any other interesting Michigan HC Trivia?
EDIT 2: Forgot about Moeller at Illinois.
Coach Hoke was on "The Sports Brothers" on 107.3 WBBL-FM this morning and had some interesting comments that I thought the board would like to hear.
On the offensive line (3:44 mark):
Nothing earth shattering here but Hoke said they circled Sunday (8/17) as a day to have "some continuity" on the offensive line. They have gone through fall camp with the "first group" but "every once and a while" have been putting guys in the mix a little bit to see how they perform with first group. Hoke mentioned a first group like they have a group in mind but who knows. He then mentions Ben Braden as their "right tackle right now", which is what that MLive article referenced.
On incoming freshman (9:15 mark):
Again, nothing really new here but again, Hoke mentions Mason Cole and really praises his high school coach for getting him ready with technique, etc. He highlights that Cole was an early enrollee and calls him "unique" and "a little different". We very well could see Mason Cole as the starting LT but is it because he truly is a special talent?
Hoke also mentions Canteen and Peppers.
Seeing as we just had the annual heights and weights delivered to our doorstep with nary an emotion beyond “these large men either got slightly larger or slightly smaller, and that is good”, there really isn’t much else going on until the season starts. Sure, there was the BBQ and a couple of commitments, but I’d be surprised if much else happened until a couple of days before The Horror II – Horror-ier comes into our lives at the end of August. So yeah, figured I’d dust off this diary and expound a bit on the UM sports landscape, the upcoming football season, college sports in general, and a couple of other topics.
Best: Are You Ready for Some Football!
So it’s been over 8 months since UM last played a down of football (and, frankly, many more months since those downs felt meaningful). I know a great deal has gone on both locally and nationally to put a dour tone on the upcoming season, but I’m just excited for the sport to return and for my fall weekends to have a bit more entertainment. Living in NY but being a Lions fan, I’m forced to watch the Jets and Giants try to out-dryhump doorknobs for 3 hours most weeks, and can usually only catch games with teams I care about on postage stamp-sized feeds from random “sports” sites hosted in countries Russia hasn’t realized they might want to take back yet. But basically every Saturday from August until November I know that I can turn on the television and find some channel with Michigan on it, and for a couple of hours I can be unabashedly zealous over something pretty inconsequential but still incredibly endearing to my heart. That’s why I love the fall, and why I love having Michigan football back in my life.
[After the JUMP: lots more things that are either the best or the worst.]