I'll support him, but I won't expect anything other than above average. Good bye expectations of elite program, if RR didn't kill all hope of it, this will. Prove me wrong Hoke, please.
Wow. Brady Hoke? Really? Wow.
Ok. Yes, on paper it looks like possibly the worst hire in the 130-year history of Michigan football. No, it is not even close to what we all wanted or expected or were promised publicly by the Great Brandon. Yes, our shiny new AD has wasted every ounce of goodwill he was given when he was hired and has put his lesticles on the line with this hire. However, this is not about Brady Hoke and this is not about Dave Brandon. It is about Michigan.
We call ourselves a family. Family are supposed to be there for each other through thick and thin. It does not get much thinner than right now and it is time to sort out the real Michigan fans from the posers. Your family needs you more than ever (and they are calling collect asking for money).
This decision was not Brady Hoke's and he needs our support. The Great Brandon's "process" has destroyed this year's recruiting class and made damage control with the team's current players a much higher priority than it needed to be. The last thing Brady Hoke needs is grief from a shell-shocked and mourning fan base.
I was not excited about the hiring of Coach Rod three years ago. I wanted Les Miles. But I have been "all in" for Coach Rod every day since he first stepped on the field at Michigan Stadium. Despite my initial reservations, I have grown to think very highly of Coach Rod as both a coach and a person and will always be "all in" for him wherever he coaches.
Dave Brandon had a very difficult decision at the end of this season given how we performed against the top teams in the conference. Coach Rod did not make that decision any easier by delivering a face plant in the Gator Bowl. I still would have given Coach Rod one more year with a new defensive staff unless, of course, we had an ironclad lock on Jim Harbaugh to come in and save us. But after watching the product on the field over the past three years, it is hard to say the decision to replace Coach Rod was unreasonable.
Still, the prolonged and bizarre process the Great Brandon has used to replace RR with the Great White Hoke cannot be defended. Maybe it sounded good to DB when he and his team of consultants were sitting around a meeting table and discussing it back in November, but it has only made things worse and the new coach's job more difficult.
Coach Rod will always be a Wolverine and a Michigan Man and I will pull for his teams wherever he lands, but it is now time to get behind Michigan's next head coach, Brady Hoke. He doesn't stand a chance if we all gang up against him before he even steps on campus. This is not about being right or wrong or getting payback on the anti-RR crowd (Sharp and Rosenberg included). It is about Michigan. Please do not do to Coach Hoke what the anti-RR crowd did to Coach Rod. It is not right, it is not fair and it is not what it means to be "all in" for Michigan.
GO BLUE (NO MATTER WHAT AND FOREVER)!!!
... with sprinkles and cherries and chocolate syrup on top. Oh, and God, if you give me this I promise to never ask for anything ever again.
SO you said this was about Michigan and not Brandon, and then proceed to give a diverse summary of the end of the season and Brandon's decision?
My point is, regardless of what you wrote we literally have no choice but to get behind this coach. I think what you are slightly overlooking is the fact that our fractured fan-base is intently waiting on the proverbial other shoe... and this ones laces are untied.
Hoke can go a long way to instilling some faith in him by keeping a potential Heisman winner on his roster. Hoke has a simple enough (at least in my mind) road to reinforcing the faith I have in him.
1. Keep Denard
2. Keep Denard
3. Keep the recruiting class in order
4. Hire a DC that eats steel and shits aggression
5. Win our first 6 games (this will of course include a irish beatdown at huge recruiting event in the first night game ever at the best and biggest stadium in the country)
I guess what I am saying is, if at all possible, magically skip over all the stages of grief to the end and stop looking for the second shoe to drop. If it does, it does. But don't keep looking for it. I promise you, if Denard Robinson transfers, it will not be Coach Hoke's fault or for lack of him trying to keep the nicest guy who has ever played college football in Ann Arbor. Sometimes, when you have no shoes, you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and just make the best of being barefoot.
On the coaching search, I think Dave Brandon did a poor job of informing the media and fans what was going on. He was very arrogant in how he went about it. Hearing that other coaches said they talked to Michigan and said they were not interested is not good for the Michigan brand. I honestly don't believe that anyone was offered the job besides Hoke. He was more concerned with appeasing the fans about the "national search" (that never really happened) he forgot to care of the Michigan brand. I believe that if Hoke's staff is assembled rather quickly, that the Hoke hire was set since RR was fired and the search was just a way to keep us in the media cycle.
However, I think he made the right choice. I can't believe people are calling for him to be fired. Remember, with Bill Martin? Mary Sue was always involved in the coaching search. I'm pretty sure David Brandon just said, "I'm going to handle this myself this time." And it's always good to have an Athletic Director that stand on even ground with the president.
I agree. And how about the irony in that. The Great Brand-on -- the marketing genius who is constantly talking about the Michigan brand -- has done more to damage the brand than any individual since Ed Martin.
I do not know exactly how it happened. It would make a great case study for the B-School. Intelligent people with the best of intentions make mistakes. I have to believe that looking back on this a month or so from now DB will see what a mess he made out of this whole situation. At least I hope so. It is one thing to make mistakes. It is another thing to stubbornly refuse to learn from them.
He claimed he was going to run a national search, hire the best candidate available and be willing to pay. It sure seems like what he did was what Brian Cook said, he hired the best available candidate with 5 years at Michigan.
I wish/hope that Hoke works out great. But it is a stupid hire as his resume is not the most deserving if you eliminate the 5+ years at Michigan requirement.
My guess is Michigan will not return to greatness until they put the Bo generation behind them. It took Alabama 24 years after Bear and Texas 23 years I think after Darrel Royal.
We are 21 years since Bo. While I will be supportive of Hoke, I see 8-4 seasons on the horizon.
8-4 in 1st year > marginal 7-5 in 3rd year
WOO HOKE SAVIOR
I like your summary. I think we have to let people continue to work through the various stages of shock and grief at the way Michigan's season ended and the coaching search went. Hiring a new coach in this kind of atmosphere was never going to be conflict-free. But I am 100% on board with your call to arms; after all the bleeping and moaning, I expect all good UM fans to put on their Maize and Blue and support Hoke and the team.