...Denard could easily be a better player this year than last year, and the offense this year could be better than last year, but (if this does happen) we'll never know if 2011 O-under-Hoke/Borges would be better than 2011 O-under RR/Magee.
If our offense this year isn't as good as last year, well, the defense better make one hell of a jump. If we don't win at least 9 games and make Cap One Bowl or better, the firing of RR was a bad move.
If Brandon forced a defensive staff makeover (which isn't a given since RR may have resigned due to coaching staff autonomy being in the contract, iirc) then imo M wins 10+ games and goes to the BCS b/c our offense (again imo) would've been Oregon-like.
If this didn't happen, then Brandon could've easily hired Hoke one year later. Hoke (as we all know) himself said he would've walked across the country to have this job.