This is Michigan fergodsakes
When he took over in Ann Arbor in 2011, to a swell of fanfare as the program finally bagged itself "a Michigan Man," he knew he had to win. As he told The New York Times in the fall of that year, "There are consequences for losing."
He must have known then, even as those consequences draw nearer now, that the bar was higher for college football’s all-time winningest program. He knew Top 25 rankings, BCS bowl games and beating "that school in Ohio" weren’t just bonuses — they were expected results.
But it’s not that Hoke doesn’t merit some sympathy, he just doesn’t need it.
Coach Kyle Whittingham said the memories of preparing for Hoke’s San Diego State teams in 2009 and 2010 aren’t useful, because too much has changed. But he observes something in Michigan’s game film that he noted back then, when the Aztecs gave the eventual 10-3 Utes a 38-34 dogfight.
"The style of football he likes is tough, hard-nosed, blue-collar football," Whittingham said. "That’s what he preaches. That’s what he’s all about. You can see that in the play of Michigan."
The problem, then, might be that Hoke is blue-collar, but the Wolverines are blue bloods.
I was surprised by this closing sentence:
Hoke’s 4-6 record against Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan State isn’t wholly satisfying, and he hasn’t beaten any of them on the road. Already, the speculation is rampant about potential replacements; some figure there’s no way Michigan keeps him barring a miraculous turnaround.
Chantel Jennings, over at WN, wrote up a nice piece on Al Borges and how he enjoys recruiting for Michigan. Here's the link. The good parts:
“It’s Michigan -- that’s the bottom line,” Borges said. “We’re going to make people understand the advantages of coming to this university, and they go way beyond playing football. We just completely embrace that concept as a staff, and I think it resonates with the kids.”
“I love recruiting here,” said Borges, who has coached at Auburn, UCLA, Indiana and Oregon, among others. “Because it’s the best sell of any place I’ve ever coached.”
There are a few other money quotes in there, so it's worth the read, but it basically confirms what we already know about this staff: they love Michigan, they're honest, they genuinely care about the players, and they do a great job of letting the high points speak for themselves.
Also, how gorgeous does he look in these sunglasses?
(The answer: of corges Borges looks gorgeous)