I don't mean for this post to take away from what a great job coach Beilein has done in rebuilding our program. He's taken us to a place in basketball that I can barely remember as a kid, but I've been thinking about this for awhile and I understand that they are only tangently connected, but it seems like Hoke changed everything.
Football is the heart and soul of our athletic program. When Hoke was hired, Michigan basketball was on a brutal game losing streak and was 1-5 in Big Ten play. When Hoke declared "This is Michigan, for God's sake" he seemed to give everyone, not just the football team, a boost of swagger. We went on to get to 9-9 and won a game in the tournament.
This year I've noticed that football and basketball seemed to be connected. Mitch McGary is spotted going nuts during the Western Michigan football game. Tim Hardaway is seen rushing the field after OSU. Denard and company are regulars in the Maize Rage. Beilein calls OSU "Ohio." I even think I remember an interview where one of the basketball guys kept saying "This is Michigan."
Does anyone else have that feeling?