Coach Hoke: The Numbers Thus Far
Some time back, I created a small diary (click here to see it) which broke down the wins and losses of UM coaches in the modern era. The gist of it was simple: group wins and losses based on the size of the margin of victory or loss, and see what happens.
A few things stood out from that earlier post:
- Bo's first six years were ridiculous. His teams almost never lost! We'll likely never see a run like that again.
- Carr and Mo were quite comparable to the rest of Bo's career (excluding those six magical seasons).
- Carr's (very) slight atrophying was showing up in a few more close wins than what had been the norm.
Although I wanted to wait a few more years to do this, well, boredom set in, and thus again you get the Graph(TM), with Hoke's first two years included:
The graph breaks down each year into seven different groups: big wins (by 15 or more), medium wins (by 8-14), close wins (by 7 or less), ties (from when these used to occur), and close, medium, and big losses (the same margins apply).
There is also a summary graph for each coach (again breaking Bo into two groups, the first six years and the rest):
Cutting to the chase, we can observe the following:
- Hoke has restored one big part of the Michigan Expectation: a large number of relatively easy wins (dark blue part of the bar). Indeed, he already has 13 of these comfortable victories in just two years; RichRod had only 6 in three years.
- Hoke's current win percentage is in the expected ballpark (around .730, just short of the .750 we saw for Bo after '74, Mo, and Carr).
- Hoke isn't getting blown out a lot (also unlike the RichRod era, alas); an actual defense helps with this.
- Hoke's "close win" percentage is more like Carr's; a sign of the times, or a hint at future troubles?
Of course, all of this is quite premature, and the next few years will help us better understand how the Hoke era will likely proceed. And while 8-5 is OK in a given year, it is clearly not OK in the long run (at least, given the expectations we all have from decades of winning). Thus, as Hoke builds the team into his vision of Michigan Football, will he achieve at the level of Coach Carr (five seasons with at least ten wins, including one Mythic National Championship)? Will he continue to win the games we "should" win by large amounts? Will he secure his fair share of Big Ten Championships? Or (dare I hope) will he put together a run unseen since the legendary early days of Bo? Only time will tell.
My own feelings: having a real defense makes it all possible; stout defense makes most tough games close, and easier games into blowouts. If the offense starts to click, and "Good Borges" becomes the only Borges we see (particularly as the "right" parts are brought in via recruiting), it seems like Hoke is on his way to a successful career at UM.
What are your thoughts?