Hoke Plus/Minus - Your Opinion

Submitted by OregonWolverine on January 18th, 2011 at 1:03 AM

So, I've already tried to explain my position on the Hoke hire, as a 40-year sufferer of Michigan FootBall Obsession Syndrome (MFBOS).

In short, I’m badly in need of professional therapy, if I’m to survive a reprise of Michigan Football past.

As a diagnosed level 3 MFBOS sufferer, part of my required therapy is to project the best and worst possible outcomes, and to analyze just how (un)important those may be to my life. I’m going for extra credit on this assignment, and interviewing “friends” and “acquaintances.” The aforementioned would be, as they say in the SEC, ya’ll. This being an educated, sophisticated, and sometimes harsh crowd, I’ve made the questions a bit more advanced than the usual multiple choice. There are two categories of questions. First, the very short essay questions – how do you stand on various aspects of Mr. Hoke’s history, as regards his future prospects? And second, Uniformed Wild Ass Guesses (UWAG) as to how Mr. Hoke’s past will translate. To limit the chaos of infinite possibility that I am informed is the primary feature of the internets, I will establish categories and baseline opinions from which to proceed. You may, as internet precedent has established, respond to as few as one or as many as all questions,  or indeed, questions which I or no one else have ever asked.

Very short essay questions: please give your brief answers and scores to the upside and downside of Mr Hoke in the following categories. MFBOS Patient’s responses listed for reference.

Public relations - Upside:

Hoke is all in for Michigan. Would walk to A2 for the job. Uses Bo Schembechler-type words like Tough and Team and Prepared.  Treats the idiots among “reporters” like the societal leaches they are. Has lots of support from former Michigan players, and almost certainly from Carr. Previous university and State of residence are not insane like West Virginia. Stays on message like George W. Bush.

Public relations- Downside:

His moronic boss explains the hiring like he met Hoke over a beer and thought he was a great guy. Rah-Rah Tough Guy act will get old real quick if his defenses perform down to historical levels.

Public relations overall: 8.5/10

It’s pretty easy to look good in an initial presser. Nonetheless, it’s obvious he’s well-liked by the local press, and unless there’s a very surprising skeleton in the closet, he’ll get the benefit of the doubt for a while, and avoid most of the public controversy of the RR era. And his persona will go over very well with most M fans. If he’s successful on-field, he’ll soon be known as “Bo Hoke”.

Staffing – Upside:

This is obviously hard to judge, because his current staff is far from complete. But we can draw some general conclusions. First, none of his staff hires has “blown up” and become a highly desired coach or coordinator at a higher level of competition. In other words, he hasn’t found the stars in waiting. Second, he’s shown a willingness to replace or change coordinators when circumstances demanded it. Third: his position as M coach gives him a chance to attract a different level of talent than he’s ever managed before, particularly on defense. We don’t know what will happen yet.

Staffing – Downside:

See Upside

Staffing – Overall:  5/10

There is no indication that Hoke is a discoverer and developer of nascent coaching talent. On the other hand, he’s had some competent coordinators, and his M staff is incomplete.

On-field Track Record – Upside:

Both teams he has coached have improved steadily and substantially between the time he arrived and left. Has shown significant flexibility in choice of offensive and defensive schemes, based on coordinator and personnel. Offenses have outperformed defenses. Coach of the year in MWC last year. Short term, the combination of 9 returning starters on O and D, return of Troy Woolfolk, (hopefully) a competent kicker recruit, and better schedule are a setup for 9 to 9+ wins.

On-field Track Record – Downside:

Overall 47-50 record. Never coached BCS teams – has to coach now against Tressel/Kelly/Dantonio/Bielema/Ferentz/Paterno/Pelini. Defenses ranged from mediocre to very poor, especially against the run. Took a long time to build Ball State to respectability in the MAC, and program died from there. No recognition as a creative schemer on either side of the ball.

On-field Track Record Overall: 6/10

Gets the extra point over 5/10 because of the late improvement shown with both BSU and SDSU, and because of the signs of adaptability. Big question is the mismatch between his rhetoric and defensive track record.

Recruiting – Upside:

Sam Webb says he’s teh awesome.

And it’s not hard to see that, as a 17-year-old kid, you’re going to be pretty impressed with this guy’s adolescent levels of enthusiasm. Combine that with M’s still-high national profile, and the draw provided short term by the example of Heisman candidate Denard Robinson, and I’m quite optimistic about recruiting beyond this year, which might or might not be a crater.

Recruiting – Downside:

Has made his rep fetching 2-3 star kids in the MAC and MWC.  Now has to recruit 3-5 stars in the Midwest, South, and West against all of the bigger names mentioned above and more. Welcome to the big time.

Recruiting – Overall: 7/10

Hard to judge this. Tressel would have scored better than Hoke as an on-field coach coming into OSU, but the most important thing that jumped OSU into a consistent national power was Tressel’s ability to recruit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hoke become a Tressel-level recruiter. Matching Tressel in game-planning and in-game adjustments is another story, which only time will tell.

Purely numeric, UWAG category:

Chances of being Great: 1/10

Great being defined as: better than any M coach post ’74, beating OSU 2 out of 3 times, playing later than Jan. 1 as a birthright, playing in BCS championship game twice in 10 years. This is honestly more optimistic than I think is justified, but there is no doubt it could happen.

Chances of helping Dave Brandon keep his job: 7/10

Defined as: Winning 9 – 9.5 regular season games, beating OSU 1 out of 3, New Years or later Bowl almost always, no Free Press Jihad. 7/10 is a sign that I’m giving in to optimism.

Chances of failure:  2/10

Defined as: Hoke is in over his head – his defenses suck, he’s overwhelmed by the level of competition, and wins 7 or less for his last 2 seasons, despite a good beginning in 2011.

So, what do ya’ll think? My MFBOS therapist thinks I just need to think more realistically. Tell me, what is realistic?

Edit: The apparent Mattison hire substantially improves the outlook, obviously. It shores up the weakest area in Hoke's record. It also says something about Hoke that he could attract a person of this stature, and that he's (presumably) willing to turn over substantial control of part of his team to a high-profile guy outside of his coaching tree. This kind of hire would have been difficult to imagine under Carr, who had a different philosophy about development and promotion from within.



January 18th, 2011 at 4:07 AM ^

I think you're going to get crucified in this blog because you are demanding essays from your readers, but I'll give it a shot.

PR - I think the positive MSM reponse is fading as the recruiting class appears to be collapsing (although keeping Denard sure did help him).  If this week is filled with good news (like commits or big name staff), then the MSM will throw out some more praise.  If the week has no news or negative news then the reporting will be decidedly down.  

BH has an advantage that RR didn't; his former program isn't slinging mud to tarnish his image.  RR came with baggage.  Fair or unfair it gave the local and national press something to talk about.

7/10 - It's hard to score any of this, but I assume he will finish with a solid but not stellar class and some quality staff.  The MSM will give him the benefit of the doubt until the season starts.

Staffing - I expect we will see a few Michigan alums in the remaining hires.  That will excite the fanbase.  While I understand your trepidation regarding his ability to groom coaches, he did hire two veteran coaches with stellar resumes as his OC/DC at SDSU.  I give him credit for hiring quality.  Since he has no experience as a coordinator himself his staff is critical.  I am concerned that Borges won't be able to effectively use Denard.  If the offense stalls next season a lot will be written about how the players are the same but the performance is suffering, then all the rhetoric about adapting to the players will look like crap.

7/10 - If the DC turns out to be a big name this goes up to an 8 if not it goes down to a 5 or 6.

Track Record - His track record is he was a coach at Michigan.   While it's true he turned a couple losing programs into winners, the reason he's at Michigan is because he coached at Michigan and people liked him.  There are lots of coaches with better resumes and better turnaround records than Hoke.

4/10 - I have little faith that he has demonstrated that he is an architect, however I don't think Michigan needs a total rebuild either.  I suspect that if the offense doesn't collapse under a poorly conceived game plan, then this team will win and Michigan will return to the brand name it was when Carr left.  Will I be happy with that? No!

Recruiting - Michigan still has a name, if we go to a bowl we will recruit well.  Hoke seems affable and enthusiastic, that will sell.  He won't be selling a high-flying offense or a stifling defense; he will be selling Michigan.

7/10 - We would need another three year collapse for the bottom to fall out of the Michigan brand.

Overall - I think Hoke is going to be an average Michigan coach (which most schools would be thrilled to have).  He will average around 8 wins.  He will never win a National Championship.  I hope I'm wrong, I just don't believe he has what it takes to compete with the elite coaches.  

I hope he Borges adopts some spread schemes for his West Coast offense and he is able to apply them well, and I hope or DC is innovative and aggressive.  If the OC and DC are better than expected I think Hoke could be a fine face of the program.


January 18th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

I didn't think that Gene Chizik could coach at the level of "elite" coaches...one national championship later you can see if everyone is on the same page (plus cam newton), championships can happen.  I think that the Michigan players are on the same page, they are determined and are all showing loyalty and commitment to bringing Michigan back.  With all the returning players and easier schedule we will be better.

I was excited as anyone when RichRod was hired because I was extremely bored of LLoyd's offense and took the defense for granted.  I thought we would always have the Michigan D plus RichRods explosive offense creating a superteam that would win multiple championships...so wrong.  I think RR will go back to the big east and do well because thats where he was successful...in the worst conference.  We killed the best team in the Big East this year.

I was a little suprised at the level of obsession over Harbaugh, I think he is a good coach and all but he also has a QB who is the number 1 draft prospect and he took 4 years to build Stanford with similar records to RR:

2007 4-8

2008 5-7

2009 8-5

2010 11-1

Ofcourse this is at Stanford where wins aren't expected like at Michigan...but I would be willing to bet that Michigan had the same level of talent if not worse than Stanford did in Richrod's first year at Michigan.

I'm optimistic about Hoke.  He may have been part of Moeller/Carr era but that doesn't make him the same.  Hoke made two teams bowl eligble that were flat out terrible when he took them over.  Now he enters as a coach of a team that is not by any means terrible,  a stacked offense and a defense without much success but plenty of experience.

I love the way he has handled the hire and the players are receptive of him.   Even with new management, so far, team chemistry seems to be really good and I think that is another huge factor to a successful 2011.  GIMME 9 Wins?  But like I said...I'm optimistic.


January 18th, 2011 at 4:12 AM ^

Unfortunately, he does not have much of a track record in terms of continued success as a head coach so you have to play these games in your head.  And not all position coaches make good head coaches (ie. Rod Marinelli) so it's hard to look at that experience and say he can definitely get the job done.

If he can be successful at getting in 3-5* kids and surround himself with a good coaching staff, we should be back to a consistent 9 wins a year.  As long as Devin is here, we should be set at QB for the next six years and I have all the faith in the world that the defense will at least above average.

I'm not scared about matching wits with any Big Ten coaches, except for Tressel.  And that is mostly the worry about OSU being in the player's heads. 

I think a lot of people expect 9 wins out of this team next year if RR was here.  I have no reason to temper that expectation.  Okay, maybe 8 wins.  I don't see where the sure losses are, including OSU, but I see a lot of tight games.  Put it this way, if we don't go bowling, I'll be surprised.

Desmonlon Edwoodson

January 18th, 2011 at 7:37 AM ^

Your "Diary" offers absolutely nothing save for speculation and the invitation for speculation.  Why do you keep posting these?  At least put these things in the forum where they can drown in a timely manner...


January 18th, 2011 at 9:56 AM ^

Great post. He does have lots to prove. He also has unique skills to help him prove those things too.  Right now, we mostly have no clue about that positive side of who he is. He is too new.

I would hesitate to say the recruiting class is collapsing. We have already heard of 4 players that we had no clue about on this board who he is actively recruiting.  2 of them are considered high level dbs.  The recruiting class is up in the air would be a better description.Plus, I think we should be a little hesitant to hail anyone on the prior coaches' list as a being a big loss or a big gain. 


January 18th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

Has a lot to prove but with the media practically sucking his dick, I think he will do fine. When the media loves you, it tends to help recruiting, and overall performance.


January 18th, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

San Diego State prior to Hoke one could not help but to see similarities between them and Michigan under RR. They both had flashes of excellence in offense against weaker teams but were dreadful from a defensive standpoint.

When Hoke came in suddenly San Diego State began to display the toughness and aggressiveness lacking prior to his arrival. It was clearly evident on the field that SDS was a different football team. In his second year, SDS started to really scare good teams and games were much closer and hard fought. In short under Hoke, SDS made a huge leap in performance. 

We alums need to step back and give him an opportunity to demonstrate what he can do with this team. Granted, he is not a high profile coach we all sought but I believe he is beginning his ascendancy to the apex of the coaching world giving the resources and name of Michigan.

Be patient and championships will come. 


January 18th, 2011 at 1:34 PM ^

I don't have a crystal ball. Could be Hoke will be fine, could be he won't. So I'm going to wait and see how the next couple of seasons go. If he wins, of course, it won't matter what we think, and if he loses, I doubt they'll give him a lot of rope.

Seems to me he's popular with the press, so at least we won't have to hear over and over how screwed we are.

Personally, I think Mo and Lloyd were great coaches, and the record bears this out. Pre-Vest, we dominated OSU and MSU and won several championships, always went to bowls, often won them, etc.

So if we only got back to that kind of competitiveness, I'd be perfectly happy. I'd like to see us do well against OSU again on a regular basis, however.

I've expressed my opinion that we shouldn't try to emulate the SEC. The deck is stacked against the B1G for football against the best SEC BCS teams in that regard. I'm not concerned with the MNC at all. It's entirely irrelevant to my existence.

We should recognize that the B1G is going to be competitive, and we aren't going to be the Big Two and the Little Eight any more. I see that as a good thing. Who wants to watch blowout games? It's more fun when the outcome is in doubt until late in the game. But then, I'm a fan of watching competitive football and not just seeing one or two teams crush everyone, and then play their first real game in November.

Get back to regular 9-10 win seasons, and that would be a good start. Give me 11-1 or 12-0 every so often, and I'll be a happy camper. And every year, bowls.

To many of you, this will seem like lowered expectations, but speaking only for myself, I don't expect anything else of any coach at this school. SEC? Well, they're pro teams and you expect pro results. Here? Competitiveness, 9 win seasons, good.


January 18th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

Sorry, but you can't judge LC without taking the Tressel years into consideration.  That would be like the people up in EL who rewrite history to only include the periods in which their school is beating Michigan. 

Carr was a decent coach, but his record against Tressel demonstrates better than any mere words could that time had passed him by.  Now that there is only going to be one BT champion, and not two or three many years as in the past, it's going to be plain and simple: if you don't beat OSU, you are not going to win the Big Ten Championship. 

Those who wish for a return to the "old days" and "Michigan Tradition" can talk about the importance of winning the BT championship all they want,  but it has just become a much more daunting task with the addition of Nebraska and a championship game.  Being a "great coach" who can't beat Jim Tressel is not going to be good enough anymore.  And it wasn't even good enough at the end of LC's career.

Hoke is now going to have to transcend his roots and he is going to have to elevate the standards of his new job.  There is no such thing anymore as a Big Ten co-champion; it's now all or nothing.  Hoke is going to have to be better than the last six years of Lloyd Carr, or he won't win a single Big Ten Championship.  And, especially after the speeches of last week, that isn't going to fly.

It may not be fair, but that's how it is.


January 18th, 2011 at 6:06 PM ^

I know that some people say OSU cheats and that's why we have a hard time catching them, but the honest truth is that they have been better (more talented) than us since the Vest arrived.  Recruiting rankings bore that out, even before RR came in here. 

And I think part of that is the fact that their facilities are better than ours.  And this goes for hoops as well.  They play in a well lit almost professional looking arena and their football stadium is nothing to sneeze at.  Their workout facilities are top notch. 

When you lose six out of seven to the Vest, you have to think it's more than just coaching.  The talent was slanted their way as well.  And it has to be more than just the coach luring all that talent there.


January 18th, 2011 at 3:08 PM ^

Previous university and State of residence are not insane like West Virginia. Stays on message like George W. Bush.

This is funny.  Not the whole truth, but funny.

Zone Left

January 18th, 2011 at 4:37 PM ^

I'll bite:

Public Relations 5/10: I think his first press conference was an 8 or 9, but he doesn't bring the big name to excite anyone or to be an instant draw to save the recruiting class.  Generally, I think PR for a coach only matters if they are barely meeting or barely not meeting expectations.  Win big, and no one cares save a PR disaster like locking a kid in a closet, lose big, and you're fired.

Staffing 3/10: Would be higher if he had a staff.  However, I have to rank him low or incomplete.  I choose low because Signing Day is so close.

On Field Record 7/10: This is really the most important category, right?  RR would have had all the misc. crap forgiven if he won a Big 10 title and the Rose Bowl this season.  By all accounts, Ball State's athletic department is a disaster of epic proportions and winning there is a Herculean feat.  Rapid turnaround at SDSU is also nice.  Would be higher if he had won a couple of MAC titles and not idled around .500 for a couple years.

Recruiting INC: Who knows, right?  If he keeps the current recruits in the class, minimizes transfers (that's recruiting too!)  and steals a couple four stars before Signing Day, he moves up to around 7/10. 

Chance of Being Great .05/10: Your metric is, like you said, hopelessly difficult to meet.  Two BCS title games in a decade is extremely difficult, especially given that Michigan has to poach a lot of national recruits to be competitive.  Being Mack Brown is nice.

Dave Brandon Job Security: 5/10: If he gets the defense to average this year, the number rises to about 8/10.

Chance of Failure: 5/10: A lot depends on the development of the defense.  Michigan just dumped a coach because the team didn't show any sign of competing with the OSU/MSU/Penn St/Iowa/Wisconsins of the world.  If Woolfolk and Floyd can't recover or no one is left to play linebacker, Michigan is just as screwed for the next three seasons.  Maybe the next decimated defense series will cover that.  A backfield with Turner, Dorsey, Floyd, Woolfolk, and Emelien would have been nice last and this coming season.  I don't know how much of the attrition can be overcome quickly enough to matter.


January 18th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

The last week has been depressing... every morning waking up to the idea that Brady Hoke is our new coach. I don't give a sh*t what anyone says, replacing Rich Rod with Brady Hoke sucks balls. We move from one of the most exciting, interesting periods of Michigan Football to one lead by Brady Hoke, a disciple of the most boring coach I've ever suffered through watching on Saturday's.

"Well, tell you what... I'm gonna tell you," that Brady sounds just like Lloyd and has said absolutely nothing that makes you think he's capable of producing interesting football. I stopped watching the NFL years ago because it's boring as heck. It doesn't mean you can't have some false hope for the next 8 months. It's like buying a lottery ticket and not looking at the numbers for a while. Savor the daydream.

Brady Hoke was a hire made out of fear. We were afraid of falling farther, becoming Notre Dame, etc and DB felt he had to make a hire to "protect the brand."  RR's results were horrible and he deserved to be fired. However, if the replacement is Brady Hoke and no better options were available, he shouldn't have fired.

Has anyone ever talked to Rich Rod's formers players (non-UM) to see if they loved him like Brady's players did? Of course not, rah rah rah, Brady Hoke, rah rah rah.

The lack of an outcry from current players over RR's departure doesn't mean jack sh*t. He never had a chance to build a winning tradition and winning creates bonds, respect and support. Hey Andy Mignery, stick it in your a** and where were you when RR was trying to advance the program? Also Glenn Steele was a whiskey-swilling hillbilly who used to prey on nerds at frat parties. Glad you showed up at Brady's presser and hope you kicked Rosenberg's a**.

RR brought us Denard. Denard is the single most exciting player I've seen at Michigan and I've been watching for a long time. I actually wanted the defense to get burned just so Denard could get back on the field and do his thing. Kiss that level of excitement goodbye. Yes, I don't like losing to MSU and OSU but I also don't like losing to Notre Dame and other OOC opponents and with the new focus being on Big Ten Championships you can be assured we will return to losing outside the Big Ten and in bowl games. Anyone else wonder why Denard only got 11 carries in the Gator Bowl? F*ck RR. Why couldn't we give him the 500 first-down carries Vincent Smith got for zero yardage throughout the year? RR's stubbornness was part of his undoing.

BUT, RR was asked to change the culture at IBM in 3 years. Give me a f*cking break. That's impossible. He did a sucky job that's for sure, but it doesn't mean you replace him with Brady Hoke.

Looking forward to your animated .gifs.


January 18th, 2011 at 5:33 PM ^

As a card carrying member of the Rebellion clan, I am unhappy that the U appears to have made the "safe" move by hiring Hoke. Seems like a nice guy, but the hire feels like something the old people at my church would think of because it's 'appropriate'. Frankly, I was a lot less impressed by his presser than many others were, but he loves Michigan, will work hard, will probably do okay. Unfortunately, I think okay is going to mean he never wins a B1G championship and won't beat OSU much, if ever. I predict that he will wind up too conservative and not good enough at any one thing to beat the big dogs. Sadly, because he is under the wing of the DB crowd his mediocrity is likely to have a longer half life than it should.

I would love to be wrong, though, and it is possible that I just don't know what Hoke's superpowers are, so despite my prediction I refuse to put money on it.

Go Blue


January 18th, 2011 at 10:45 PM ^

Pr- agree with the 8.5

Upside- The talking heads I see on TV like him, so it helps with recruiting.  As a former high school football player when I hear him talk it makes me want to run outside and hit my next door neighbor who is a ND fan even though he is a 6’4 260 lbs Cop who used to play D-end at a D3 school in Indiana.  This is also good because I can only imagine the Mich players feel the same about hitting ND players.  Hoke himself seems to be handling the media well.  He is courteous to the reporters who have not been douches to the program.  I also like that he isn’t throwing Rich Rod under the bus even though he could.   

Downside- His last name is not Harbaugh.  As in Hoke isn’t the “sexy” pick of a coach.

Staffing- 6.5 This is hard to evaluate at this time.   I don’t think it is a big deal that he “develops” coaches.   Other than possible turning a younger coach into the next Michigan head coach, why would I want them to go to other schools and compete with Michigan.

Upside- He has hired 2 coordinators with a sh_t ton of experience.  I don’t see Hoke as hands on with the X’s and O’s of this team.  I see him as a motivator of men and more hands on with recruiting.  He also hired a DC that will be very impressive to recruits with his ties to the Ravens.

Downside- How is Al Borges going to handle Denard.  I have my thoughts on this but they would not be popular on this board.

On-field track record- 8

Upside- He has turned two dismal programs into winners.  In the case of Ball State they fell apart again after he left so he had to be the main influence in their success.  I have only been able to watch a couple games and offensively they looked top notch.  They reminded me of Michigan O’s in the late 90’s early 00, when we weren’t blessed with the human statues of Navarre and Henne.   QBs are very mobile even out of the pro style offense.  They through the ball downfield, run the ball effectively, and use play action.  Also I feel this will give us a schematic advantage with everyone running the spread.   Defenses are trending to smaller players and coaches are spending more time watching tape on how to stop the spread.  When you have a week to prep between games having a different offense is always an advantage.   It is starting to look like the Legends bracket will have 3 teams running a spread (depending on what Minnesota will run) Michigan (who really knows) and two pro style teams.  OSU I’m willing to bet runs a spread option attack more similar to what we ran this year because Braxton Miller will probably start, and then run more of an Auburn Offense when Pryor comes back.  Also Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana like to spread it out.  

Downside- He was not a head coach at an AQ school.  I don’t put much weight into this because big time coaches don’t tend to jump ship to get a job at a similar level school. 

Recruiting- 8.5.  this could be a 9 or 9.5… we will see when this years class fills out.

Upside- He has been able to get big time QB’s wherever he goes.  I know you hear how he got Tom Brady, but he also got Nick Foles to Ball State and I know you don’t want to hear this name but he was a big time recruit Drew Henson.   I hope he can recruit Ohio again and all signs seem to be positive for this with his Glenville connections.  Also I see him personally visiting schools.  I remember when Tressel visited my old high school.  Supposedly it was to talk to the team but he was really there to see Alan Gant even though he was a freshman at the time and coaches are not allowed to recruit freshman.  Also Hokes infectious personality makes him a great recruiter, he seems very genuine and if I had a son I would let him play for Hoke.  Also in the short time he has had with the current team they all seem to love him.  On top of all that having the support of all the great former players and current NFL stars can only help in recruiting.

Downside-   Hoke is late to the recruiting stage at Michigan this year and it will hurt us this recruiting cycle. 

Chances of being Great- 6.5

He has every advantage that Michigan can give to kids he brings in.  I feel he will be able to get the 4 and 5 star guys that can get into the school.   Michigan coaches past ’74 have been pretty good.  Llyod’s win percentage .753 and Bo’s was around .782 so expectations are pretty high, but Hoke has embraced those expectations and is fully aware of what he needs to do to keep his job.  We will have a disadvantage in the future due to our conference schedule having to play OSU every year while other schools are getting away with having to play Indiana every year or Purdue.

Chances of helping Dave Brandon keep his job: 8

I think Hoke will be the Coach longer than Brandon will be AD just because AD’s don’t usually stay 15 years.  Also I have to imagine Brandon is getting burned out at his job already with the NCAA violations (which are absolutely bullsh_t) and a coaching search.  I would not be surprised if he steps down in 4 years knowing the football team is back to its glory.

Chances of failure: 3

I don’t have a crystal ball so who really knows.  But it looks to me like he has the tools to succeed.


To the Op…  Mattison was a coach under Carr so your theory that it would not have happened under Carr is wrong.  The difficult thing to imagine is this hire under Rich Rod.  You talk about promotion from within or loyalty to his staff Rich was the king.  This is also what baffles me about rod’s hiring of GERG why didn’t he promote from within when it came to the DCoordinator.   I have to imagine that the position coaches kind of forced the 3-3-5 system into effect, so why not let them call the plays???


January 19th, 2011 at 11:14 AM ^

Your analysis is more detailed, and in many ways more well-thought out than mine. And I certainly agree the staffing and overall success scores go up with the Mattison hire.

As to Mattison, I completely agree he wouldn't have worked for RR - the personal connection with Hoke obviously played a major role. But I also stand by the assertion that this would have been a very unlikely move for Carr. Carr was not the type to hire a big name who has spent more than a decade outside the program, and he was quite explicit about his preferences that way. I remember reading an interview with him, maybe 7-8 years ago, where he mentioned his fondness for the business book, "Good to Great". It's a book I'm very familiar with, probably the best book ever written on successful business management practice because it's empirically based rather than a bunch of author's pet theories. Anyway, Carr cited approvingly the book's finding that internal development and promotion is generally more successful than hiring "stars" from the outside. I think Carr was over-applying that lesson in the context of college football coaching, but he obviously sincerely believed it, and his track record of coaching hires/promotions clearly shows that.


January 19th, 2011 at 12:10 AM ^

His upside is that he returns us to the Carr years, dominating Sparty, occasionally beating tOSU and getting pwned by serious national contenders.  The downside is that he can't recruit the 4 and 5 star kids we need and we stay mediocre with 7-8 wins each year.  He will have a longer leash than RR had and if he is fired, we will finally be able to conduct a true national search because there will be no other M men to look for.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:43 AM ^

I think he's off to a very good start.  It's probably too early for me to feel comfortable making predictions about wins and losses, but I am impressed by the positive energy he's putting forth.  The Mattison hire yesterday was great.  Next up, how will he do come signing day? 

At some point soon after signing day, I expect that his honeymoon period will end and the long march toward the season will begin in earnest. 


January 19th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

Public relations overall: 3.0/10

His initial PR slotting is "sincere lug".  He gets a Golic.  However as little as I know, he does not seem to be adept at keeping good Media relations.  And this is about the next 3 years, not 3 days.


Staffing – Overall:  6/10

The Raven's DC is a coup.


On-field Track Record Overall: 6/10

Trying to read the tea leaves, he seems to turn around programs at an accelerating rate.

Recruiting – Overall: 3/10

Again next Rivals will tell.  He doesn't seem to have a track record of recruiting HIGHER than his peers.


Purely numeric, UWAG category:

Chances of being Great: 1/10

Same analysis as you.


Chances of helping Dave Brandon keep his job: 1/10

"Defined as: Winning 9 – 9.5 regular season games, beating OSU 1 out of 3, New Years or later Bowl almost always, no Free Press Jihad. 7/10 is a sign that I’m giving in to optimism."

This is where I disagree with you the most.   Your definitions here are contradictory.  If we beat OSU only 1 out of 3 times in the regular season, we will NOT be going to BCS 90% of the time.  With the new Conference Championship Games (CCGs) in P10 and B10, the 10 slots of the BCS will be taken up by CCG winners 6 times, non-AQs 1, and 2nd place in conference 3.   To go 90% of the time, we have to add the times we are B10 Champs plus the times we are a STRONG #2 to equal 90%.

If we are losing to OSU 2 out of 3 times, they are the probably opponent in the B10 CCG.  Thus we only get to a BCS game 33% of the time that we make the CCG.  And if we lose 2 out of 3 to OSU in the regular season, we probably only GET to the CCG no MORE than about 50% of the time, which mean that we win the B10 about 15% of the time.  Which is contradictory.  The only way to go to a BCS game about 90% of the time is to beat OSU (or whoever is the 2nd best B10 team) about 2/3s of the time.

Thus I think the actual Definition of Helping Brandon Keep his job is:  On average be as good as any other (read OSU or Nebraska) B10 team.  That means being B10 Champ about 45% of the time, which means going to the CCG about 75% of the time and that means beating OSU about 2/3s of the time.  Any less with OSU and other losses will knock you out of the CCG too much, since OSU is in the other division.


Chances of failure:  8/10

Defined as  Being B10 champs significantly less than another B10 team (OSU).  If OSU is B10 Champs 60%, M 30% and other 10% that would be a strong 2nd, but still  failure.  We need to be within 10% of the best program.

Even that may be setting the bar too low.  If OSU wins 40%, M 30%, Neb 20% and Other 10% but M has no NC or even BCS Game in next 10 years is that SUCCESS???

Name for me a program you consider elite that hasn't been to a BCS Championship game?


January 24th, 2011 at 9:29 AM ^

Would be really interested in what the rebellion would have shown as rankings on these same criteria for when we hired RR.  Just my guess, but given what I was reading when RR came in from those that would be considered in the rebellion......

PR:   6/10  hot coach with big track record just turned down Alabama, problems with WVU hate and leaving "home" school

Staffing:  7/10  Schafer hot DC, Barwis and move to modern s & c coaching

OnField Track Record:  8/10  Won big where ever he went

Recruiting:  8/10  Attracted high profile athletes to West Virginia, not a traditional football power

Chances of being great:  6/10

Chances of failure:  1/10

Chances of being Good:  3/10

Now, just did this to illustrate that what looks great now or looks horrible now can sure change in a year or two.  You may be right on Hoke, you may be wrong.  All we can do now is wait and see same as all we could do with RR.  Hindsight being 20/20, we can now say that his not getting Casteel to come with him appears to have hurt him tremendously, that the PR went to hell in a handbasket, and his staff sure was overrated and not capable of making the transition from WVU to UM or Big east to Big Ten.....