New coaches, wins and losses

Submitted by dnak438 on September 10th, 2014 at 12:16 AM

A couple of days ago I compiled Hoke's win-loss record, looking specifically at road v. home v. neutral site and the differences between the Vegas line and the actual win differential. I was curious, though -- and maybe this was prompted by a comment I saw somewhere -- how other successful coaches at our rivals had fared recently. That is, was Hoke's downward trend normal? Abnormal? Is there, in fact, a normal?

Here are the results (click to embiggen):


Some notes:

  • Hoke is most like Meyer: a string of victories at the start with a slow (inevitable) decline, although Meyer was able to string together an amazing 24-0 start at Ohio State.
  • Kelly and Dantonio are more similar: a difficult first year followed by a fairly consistent improvement in overall record.
  • Rodriguez is a real outlier: he never really got about .500, so never showed the overall improvement that Kelly and Dantonio did.

Hoke's downward slide looks ominous. What if we look on the brighter side, however, and project a 9-3 season, with losses to Michigan State and Ohio State but victories against the rest of the schedule? We get something like this (I'm not projecting the other coaches' records here):

That looks significantly better: essentially Hoke would be neck-and-neck with Kelly at the end of his year four, with a better overall record than Danotio's first four years. That's not bad.

Even if we project an 8-4 season this year -- say we lose to Penn State under the lights -- the overall record ain't too shabby:

The question, then, may be: is Hoke better than a .700 career coach? The difference between .700 and .750 is pretty palpable. Lloyd's career record was .753, Moeller's was .758, Bo's was .796 (at Michigan only for the latter two coaches). The scene of college football is significantly different now than it was in the 1970s and 1980s, but it's probably fair to say that Michigan fans and alumni reasonably expect to win 3 out of every 4 games, even if we were never happy with Lloyd or Moeller's tendency to drop the occasional game to undermatched opponents (a loss at home to an unranked Illinois in 1993, my first year at Michigan, still stings a bit).

There's no doubt that the end of last year and this year is a bit of a trough for Michigan football: we're rebuliding, not reloading, despite the addition of Peppers. At least that has to be the positive take, anyway; the negative take would be that in the coming years the slide continues, and Hoke's line on the graph above will cross Dantonio's in 2015.

My overall take is more positive than I thought it would be when I started: if Hoke can hold serve this year with a 9-3 record and continue to bring in top talent, then there is a good case to be made that things will rebound. If those things happen, then on paper Hoke and Kelly look awfully similar, and I think that we probably think that whatever Kelly's many faults, he's got Notre Dame football on the right track in terms of the on-the-field performance.

Yet as I type those sentences about Michigan they seem awfully optimistic... far more optimistic than I currently feel.

EDIT: Per the suggestion by LandonC in the comments below, here is Hoke's ten year  game rolling win percentage vs. Kelly's, Dantonio's, and RR's:



September 10th, 2014 at 4:19 AM ^

I think the problem is, it is really hard to tell with such a small data sample.  Obviously, a lot depends on various factors, including the teams surrounding you.

The First Year is especially tricky to judge- it depends on the returning roster (especially QB); how radically different the schemes are, etc.  There is always a lot of carryover from the previous regime- some of it bad, but actually much of it good- that slowly fades in subsequent years.  (As disruptive as a new coach and system may be, there is a lot of benefit to applying the new alternative way on top of some of the things you learned and worked on in the new system. Likewise, some of what was worked on this year will carry over to next year, even if it is not empasized as much).

If you start looking at this chart from the second year (or say, from game 10 or 11 in the first), you get a steadier view of things, most of which we already knew: Kelly and Dantonio would seem to be pretty solidly positive: Kelly improving sooner ; Rodriguez did poorly, but was improving; Hoke declining. But both Hoke and Meyer remain to be seen, and this year (and if there is a next) will be telling.

[Again, small data sample for Meyer, but the question with Meyer is if he stays long enough, will he get burned out on football again, or the players get burned out on Meyer's in-your-face shtick, or will they keep improving?]


September 10th, 2014 at 4:35 AM ^

Interesting post. Anyway you could adjust your data for strength of schedule? I can see an 8 or 9 win season, but right now I'm too deflated to be overly optimistic.


September 10th, 2014 at 10:20 AM ^

It's interesting to see everyone superimposed on the same graph relative to number of games played.

One thing I noticed, is it seems everyone seems to be converging toward the 70-75% range. I think that's expected regression to the mean. It's just plain hard to be better than that long term unless you're a truly elite dynasty (Alabama). The differences between really good and decent coaches is just a few percentage points long term as you say.

FWIW, I think OSU is going to struggle with a lot of the same things we struggled with last year. Everyone is going to attribute it to not having Braxton Miller, but IMO watching their games so far, the OL is the much bigger problem. Miller might have been able to play make his way out of some of that (like Gardner did at times), but football is still won in the trenches.

Thanks for the work. It's nice to see things laid out in hard data instead of being swayed by the emotional impact of each win and loss.

Sten Carlson

September 10th, 2014 at 10:46 AM ^

It is interesting to me how people in here have a near compulsive need to compare Michigan and Hoke to "other programs."  That being said, I like this post and appreciate you taking the time to compile the data into neat and organized charts.

I spend much of my working life analyzing charts, looking for trends, and wondering whether history is going to repeat itself today, just rhyme, or completely diverge from the historical mean.  In doing so, I've come to realize that comparisons are very diffcult, and sometimes dangerous, things to use in a decision making process -- unless, however, the circumstances are nearly exactly the same as the previous instance (which is very rare in my experience).

Nothing exists in a vacuum, and like the theorhetical "butterfly effect," a seemingly minor variation  in a seemingly innocuous contributing factor can have a massive "ripple effect."  Michigan football's circumstances are unique to Michigan football, and this constant hand wringing (not that I am accusing the OP of doing such, more the overwhelming meme of the board at large) about what other coaches have done at other program is an exercise in futility, IMO.

The posts in here have become insufferable of late.  I get that people are upset, I am too.  Michigan is in the situation that Michigan is in because of the things that Michigan has (and/or has not) done in the last decade (or perhaps longer) leading up to this point.  Are Hoke & Co. contributing to this situation, unequivocally yes!  Is theirs theirs the only contributing factor?  Unequivocally no!  Yet, to many in here any mention of previous regimes and their contributions is met with serious disdain.  This, to me, is a very naive way of analyzing the situation.

Personally, I've tried my level best to keep in perspective from whence Michigan came, and to detail many of the factors that might be contributing to the mediocrity that we're suffering through.  Many in here, sadly, want to heap all this on Hoke & Co., and make the (potentialy dangerous) assumption that pink slips and new hires will change everything for the better.  It has been my experience that one thing vary rarely changes everything, and comparison are pretty much worthless.

I realize that it's year four for Hoke & Co., and given the fact that we're not seeing the success that many expected, it might be that there is a contributing factor that most have not factored in, or that they've minimized a factor that might have a significantly greater effect. 

Maybe that factor is Hoke & Co., but personally, I think the relative instability of the program is a greater factor -- 3 HC's in 8 year, 3 OC's, 3 DC's, 2 S&C coaches, etc.  Again, bringing up another program that has had success despite similar instability does not prove anything as their circumstances were unique to them.  Michigan basically went from 1969 until 2007 with absolutely NO instability, with the same regime in control and only its guys in place, and in a very short period of time, experienced extreme uncertainty and instability.   That, my maize and blue brethren, is not condusive to winning football -- at least not at Michigan.  Other programs might have been able to deal with it, but then other programs aren't Michigan.


September 10th, 2014 at 12:07 PM ^

I agree that in some ways it isn't very useful to make constant comparisons to other programs. Certainly the circumstances of Michigan football are unique to it: Ohio State didn't have a RichRod, Michigan didn't have a Tatgate -- just to take a really obvious and dumb example.

On the other hand, all analysis is ultimately analogical. We try to figure out what is going to happen based on what has happened elsewhere, or at the same place but before. We need to have some kind of baseline for analytical thinking, some kind of baseline for analogical thinking. So looking at other programs can be useful in that respect. But I agree that we always need to be mindful of the fact that our analogies are never exact and that what works for A won't necessarily work for B.

Sten Carlson

September 10th, 2014 at 12:42 PM ^

Right, but how many other programs have even remotely similar circumstances from a controlling regime standpoint -- the same regime for 38 years.  I can only think of 3 offhand: PSU, FSU, and Nebraska.  Bowden was at FSU for 33 seasons, so since 1976 FSU has had 2 coaches and 1 coaching change -- although it was a hire from within so there wasn't a coaching search.  PSU, as we all know, was even more dramatic in terms of continuity, and they really only changed due to the scandal -- I'll bet JoePa would have died as the HC.  Osborn was at Nebraska 25 seasons, and Solich came from within, so Pelini is their first "outsider" since 1962 (Osborn came from Devaney's tree).

My point is, that this kind of continuity is far from the norm in CFB, and the three programs that I detailed above, and Michigan essentiall eclipsed all but PSU with regards to a regime in charge.  FSU is still in the Bowden tree.

It's been my contention for a long time that when Mo screwed up it might have been a good time to break the line and go outside the Bo regime.  Michigan didn't.  I felt the same way in 2005, when allegedly Carr wanted to retire.  Again, Michigan didn't.  Then, when Michigan finally did go outside, the xenophobic faction(s) sabatoged him.  So, we're mired in instability and we're not used to that.  Interestingly, people in here are sure that MORE instability will then right the ship.  I am not sure I see that logic, and caution people to be careful what they wish for.



September 12th, 2014 at 6:04 PM ^

I agree with you about the rush for a coaching change potentially being a problem with no unanimous objective and goal and/or viable candidate.

As for the stats, I am not sure you can really say the comparisons aren't fair. Each program had its problems - OSU had sanctions, UM lacked depth under both coaches and dealt with scheme changes, and MSU had no talent and was on their 4th coach in 9 years. ND probably had the best situation but they were still on their 4th coach in ten years.

Because of the relative location of the schools, frequent meetings, and the data is of a similar era in college football, there is a fair comparison. Obviously everybody's early data is skewed but past 45 data points or about 3 and a half seasons, it starts to smooth out for Dantonio and Kelly and become reliable. Hoke is sliding down because UM is 3-7 in their last 10 games. At the same point as Hoke is now, Dantonio is about to go 11-2 and get destroyed by Alabama and Kelly is about to go 12-1 and get destroyed by Alabama.

We don't know what Hoke or Meyer's records will be but I think it is pretty clear where each program took off. There are a number of examples of the opposite of Dantonio and Kelly: Ron Zook, Charlie Weis, Tyrone Willingham, Danny Hope, Cam Cameron, etc. Either way, year 4 should tell a lot about the state of a program and its future.

Sten Carlson

September 10th, 2014 at 3:53 PM ^

So 2011 counts for nothing?  I think the fanbase is being selective and using data to suit their emotional needs at the time.  2011 was well beyond anything anyone expected, especially on defense.  We saw players we thought would never amount to anything perform.  But now, Hoke cannot develop players.  I agree, things aren't looking great, but as I said, maybe there are factors that mean more at play here.


September 11th, 2014 at 12:47 AM ^

I completely agree but you seem to be allocating all the credit to Hoke and the current staff.

That year was amazing but Hoke and company should not get all the accolades. RichRod deserves some credit also for that year. Most of those players were developed by his staff and yes some of them were even Carr players.

You alluded to the fact that not all of the current situation is Hoke's fault. I agree with that. Our OLine problems are largely a failure of RichRod.

I just think if you're willing to shoulder the blame in part for the current situation to the previous regime you should also be willing to give some credit for the successes to the prior staff.


September 10th, 2014 at 10:58 AM ^

I often find myself comparing Hoke's tenure at UM with Dantonio's at MSU (whether or not that's healthy for one's health is a another matter).  Dantonio's first three years at MSU weren't stellar but there were signs of real potential buoyed by the beginning of his success against UM during the RR years.  The 2010 season is the year that Dantonio's teams turned the corner and went 11-2.  That was the year MSU didn't play outside of the state of Michigan until October 23rd @ NW (which is fairly crazy really).  They went undefeated at home that year.  They had an iffy neutral site game at Ford Field against FAU early and a close W over NW during the first road game.  Their first true road test was at Kinnick against an Iowa team that would finish 8-5.  Iowa shellacked MSU 37-6 with MSU's points coming after being down 37-0.


You might be saying, well great, so now we aspire to be MSU.  Well, yea, but our helmets got wings!  Which is to say, Michigan has a higher ceiling as a program than MSU.  Dantonio for all his success still has 3 six loss seasons during his first 7 seasons. While Michigan, even going through it's lowest stretch in the modern era still has a friggin BCS game win during that time.  There's a still a corner to be turned as dnak's charts offer some hope for.  It may not always be pretty this year but thankfully the B1G is a league full of ugly. 


This concludes my tangential rant/fandom-affirmation.  Go Blue!


September 10th, 2014 at 7:26 PM ^

This post (and the post above by Sten Carlson) echoes a lot of how I feel right now.  I don't think a coaching change is going to help much of anything right now.  I have a hard time believing any coaching change will result in a vastly improved coaching staff than we have now, save for maybe getting Harbaugh.  And a coaching change will certainly not help in the near term.

Hoke has proven that he can manage a program and guide them to having great seasons, out of very bad circumstances.  Mattison is a great coordinator, Nussmeier is a great coordinator.  We have the tools to win.  However, we are STILL going through the growing pains of changing coaches 3 times in 8 years.  

This team is STILL very young.  I think next year is the first year we really start to come out of that, and have the right combination of depth, talent, and seniority necessary to be a very good team.  I know people have been saying "NEXT year is the year" for a long time here - I've been saying since Rich Rod was around.  But this roster is night and day different (in a good way) from anything we've had since 2007.  We have talent.  For the first time in a LONG time, we have depth.  It all just hasn't had the chance to settle in completely yet. 

I still think that this team could surprise people.  We should be favored in all but maybe two of our remaining games.  Beating MSU looks like a long shot, but beating OSU does not right now.  This team can still navigate their way to a great season.  And I think they have more than capable leadership to guide them there.  We just need to let it ride out.

Good things are ahead.  And they are coming sooner rather than later.  We just need to ride it out a little more.  

Bob The Wonder Dog

September 10th, 2014 at 11:33 AM ^

Hoke's overall record now is about what Brian Kelly's was a year ago. I think we're at the point now where his trajectory needs to start going up (I know, bold position to take, right?). Hoke initially weathered the transition much better than the other guys (Lloyd's seniors, anyone? anyone?). Now that he's got mostly his players, and our schedule is so weak, if it drops from here it's safe to say it really isn't working.

Sten Carlson

September 10th, 2014 at 11:56 AM ^

Part of the issue, IMO, is that Hoke started out with an 11 win season and a BCS Bowl win.  To borrow a Wall St. term, it was severely overbought.  If you shorted Hoke's record, you're doing well.  The problem is that almost every Michigan fan saw the success, and jumped all in long, and now their longs are sucking serious wind and their freaking out.  That's what happens when you buy at (or very near) the top.

Further, people bought high assuming it would continue, without understanding that the underlying fundamentals were deteriorating and were likely going to get worse before they got better.  Sadly this is the usual M.O. for many fans and investors.


September 10th, 2014 at 3:03 PM ^

You cannot blame the fanbase for buying high. We were sold innovation and modernity. We were sold It's Michigan Fergodsakes and Return! We Never Left over the past several years. We were sold the fundamentals are improving and they will continue to improve. We were sold that we're Michigan, so the players can handle uber sophisticated Borges schemes. We have been sold Nussmeier, genius. We have been sold #s 1 and 98. If the fanbase leaves the market now you had better blame the salesmen. Once fooled shame on you, twice fooled shame on me.

Sten Carlson

September 10th, 2014 at 3:33 PM ^

I disagree, and have commented on this repeatedly through the years in here.  If there is one area in which the Michigan fanbase is collectively delusional it is with regards to the state of the roster when leading up to Carr's retirement, into the RR change, and even to some extent into the Hoke change.  To this day, despite what was plainly obvious, people argue that the cupboard was NOT bare when Carr turned it over to RR.  I know this delusion because I too suffered from it.  Until, however, I actually sat down and took a look at what was there, what should have been there, and what was not.

Anyone who undertook a detailed analysis of the roster, as I did, would not have been surprised by the team that RR put on the field, nor that the OL has struggled.  These are obvious fundamental deteriorations that anyone doing their own due diligence should have seen.  A coach coming in isn't going to say, "look, the last d bag here didn't recruit ANY OLinemen in 2010, and the way in which the AD did the hiring limited my first class, so don't expect much."  But, if one listens closely to some of the things Hoke has commented on (for example, about the number of scholarship OLinemen on the team when he took over) one would get a glimpse of what is known inside the Fort.

I, for one, was totally shocked by 2011, while 2012 and 2013 have fallen right into what I expected given my understanding of how things played out leading up to Hoke taking over.  Add into that even MORE transition with Borges being fired, and again, it's not surprising the offense struggled against its first real defense.  They'll learn and get better, but to me, nothing unexpected is going on.


September 10th, 2014 at 4:31 PM ^

It is misleading to do what the media are doing: just looking at Hoke’s record at the end of each year. That provides a myopic view. Clearly, a coach's predecessor recruited most of his upperclassmen players—the ones who ordinarily account for most of the team’s success. So, it will take 3-4 years before one sees the success due to upperclassmen players recruited and fully developed by the new coach. Also, the attrition that normally accompanies a coaching change will be felt for several years until the coach's new recruits become upperclassmen. Thus, rather than look at the coach’s successive year-end records, it may be more useful to look at delayed effects, such as those mirrored by a moving average of the coach’s win percentage (say, over a 3-year interval of prior games). Based on the moving average shown below, it appears that Hoke's performance improved but may have leveled off recently to a plateau just short of 70%. It would show further improvement even with a 9-3 year. That may still not be up to historical UM standards; however, after Nero (aka RR) destroyed Rome, I suspect it could not be rebuilt in a day. Neither could the UM program. It takes time to get the materials you need. It takes time to mold them.


September 10th, 2014 at 5:58 PM ^

after Nero (aka RR) destroyed Rome, I suspect it could not be rebuilt in a day -michelin
Rome collectively imploded by its own overreach leaving an entertained, overtly powerful but hollow and impudent base. Nero, an inbred Roman product, simply presided during a time slice of ultimate dissolution.
I wouldn't draw comparison to Roman hubris here, not at all.


September 10th, 2014 at 6:46 PM ^

I had been under the impression that there were differing accounts of Nero’s role.  However, I stand corrected regarding the view of modern scholars.  Regardless, the historical accuracy of the metaphor is not essential to my point: that one must consider delayed effects in judging a coach's record and that it takes a while to rebuild.  Really, those are my only points: I did not mean to imply that hubris was what led to the problem.

At the same time, perhaps it is not fair of me to blame RR for the problem, just as it would have been unfair to blame Nero.  No doubt, a lot of social factors were at play in both cases.  We probably need to be cognizant of these lest we repeat the past.


September 11th, 2014 at 6:10 AM ^

Granted, this covers different eras and different recruiting circumstances; but:
In twelve seasons as a head college football coach, Brady Hoke’s career record is now 74-64 (a .536 winning percentage.)  He’s 27-14 at Michigan (a .659 winning percentage), but 16-12 since the Sugar Bowl win (a .571 winning percentage.)
In 27 seasons as a head college football coach, Bo Schembechler’s overall record was 234-65-8 (a .783 winning percentage if the ties are ignored; a .775 winning percentage if the ties are treated as half a win and half a loss.)  In 13 seasons as Michigan’s head football coach, Lloyd Carr’s record was 122-40 (a .753 winning percentage.)
The teams for which Brady Hoke has been the head coach have won more than eight games in a season only three times.  He has a 2-3 record in bowl games.  The teams for which Bo Schembechler had been the head coach during his first eleven full seasons (including six at Miami of Ohio) won more than eight games in a season five times.  He had an 0-2 record in bowl games in those years.  The teams for which Lloyd Carr had been the head coach during his first eleven full seasons won more than eight games in a season eight times.  He had a 5-6 record in bowl games in those years.

Sten Carlson

September 11th, 2014 at 10:24 AM ^

I see your points, and apprecite you adding to the discussion here.

However, you kind of diminished your own argument when you stated, "...this covers different eras and different recruiting circumstances..." -- to me, it's not an "apples to apples" comparison.  Further, none of the other coaches who's records your detail had anything remotely resembling the roster circumstances that Hoke inhereted.


September 11th, 2014 at 11:51 AM ^

True, the preface to my post was intentional.  There are far too many variables involved to make these kinds of coaching comparisons.  I don’t believe that there’s any truly accurate way to compare coaching performances across generations or across state and local boundaries over recent seasons.  However, we do this all the time.
My point was to compare Brady Hoke’s performance to the coaching performances of the two most-recent Michigan head football coaches who’d brought the program national respect and success, because that’s how some people who’ve been around as long as I have might be thinking of Michigan football at its best.  In making my comparisons, I used "the one constant (that has been there) through all the years" -- the University of Michigan.  (Yes, I love Field of Dreams.)
I’d hope that Brady Hoke succeeds at Michigan for two reasons:  (1)  He seems to be devoted to developing his “105 sons” as he calls them into better people who will be responsible and well-respected members of their respective communities long after they’d last worn the winged helmet, run through the tunnel and touched the banner in The Big House.  (2)  He is as passionate about the University of Michigan as an academic institution as he is about the University of Michigan as an athletic institution.  (Just consider his pride in talking about the graduation rate of his players.)
Those things should count for something when it comes to deciding whether Brady Hoke should get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to deciding whether to let him coach Michigan Football Team 136.  Too many young athletes view college football and basketball as the best path to a professional career.  Almost all of them will be very disappointed.  Say what you will about Devin Gardner as a football player, but respect his desire to also become the best social worker he can be.
Brady Hoke's coaching record to date doesn’t come close to matching those of Bo Schemebchler and Lloyd Carr, but after last Saturday night’s debacle in South Bend, I suspect that he, his coaches and his players might be playing with a big chip on their shoulders for the rest of this season – because for most MGoBloggers and Michigan football fans, the only measure of their success will be that won-loss record at the end.  Go Blue!

MI Expat NY

September 11th, 2014 at 1:02 PM ^

I'd be interested to see your first chart but dropping the first year.  I think it can be argued that a coach's first year is unlikely to be entirely reflective of his long term success at a program.  It has the potential to be an outlier for any coach as you're almost entirely playing with someone else's talent.  

MI Expat NY

September 11th, 2014 at 1:48 PM ^

Of course, but the point isn't to be kind, it's to be accurate.  Looking at the chart, Kelly, Dantonio and Rodriguez all had rough first seasons that seem to be out of line with the rest of their performance.  Urban Meyer's first year or two may similarly end up looking ouf of line.  

The most accurate thing to do is probably start with year three or four for all coaches and say that's when you can determine the "norm," but that would make for awfully poor samples as you would only really have "good" coaches to choose from.  Thus, I'd start after year one.  For coaches starting over in a bad situation, it gives one year to install a new system/change attitudes and maybe get a few players in.  For coaches stepping into good situations, it could clear out a season that was destined to be good regardless.  Would it be fair to every single coach in every situation?  Probably not, but I think it would give a more accurate reflection of what a coach is bringing to the table in terms of W's and L's.  


September 11th, 2014 at 1:54 PM ^

I was thinking about re-doing the whole thing with a moving 5-game and 10-game average, alongside overall winning percentage. That might give a good feel for the short, medium, and long term, and would also satisfy your desire for some more accuracy.

I'll give it a shot sometime soon.

MI Expat NY

September 11th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

To be fair to you, it would be hard to look at trends if you cut off a significant chunk of data for 3 of the 5 coaches.

I'm not sure 5 game rolling averages would be that helpful since it's easy for a lot of these coaches to run through 4 non-conference games and one conference games and only break a sweat once.  10 game rolling average could be interesting.  


September 11th, 2014 at 7:59 PM ^

I am surprised at the dramatic drop of Hoke's pct.  Averages (or cumulative summations) generally smooth rather than magnify performance percentages.  So, I wonder if you chose to weight the most recent games much more heavily (eg via exponential weighting).  If so, the very graphs will look very different if you just change the arbitrary weight given to more recent vs earlier games. 

Also, I wonder what games you chose for the ten year period: the games coached by the same coach (eg Hoke) at a different school (eg SDSU) or those coached by a different coach (eg. Lloyd Carr) at the same school (eg UM).  Without knowing this,  the significance of the performance of the coach/team ten years ago is very murky. 


September 12th, 2014 at 1:10 AM ^

Data is data.  And with sample sizes of coaches it is difficult to really do all this.

Bottom line with all you know today - if you had to build a program for the next 5 years who would you take - Dantonio, Urban, Kelly, or Hoke.  In what order? You don't have next year's data, you don't have 5 years from now data.  You have what these men have done. 

Asked another way - if you had a coach opening in ABC Top 5 conference upper third team - ignoring geographical footprint which frankly aside from Meyer with his Florida experience the other 3 men all share almost identical footprints - which of these 4 men would you hire?  In what order?

If you have Hoke at anything other than 4th please explain  based on the historical evidence we have. 

Not being a debbie downer but based on evidence TODAY I cannot see anyway you don't place Hoke 4th.  For those who would put Hoke behind Kelly I ask you look at what Kelly did at both Cincinnati and Grand Valley and contrast with SDSU and Ball State.  For those who place behind Urban I ask you what you smoke.  For those who place behind Dantonio I ask you to be real.

Maybe these discussions would have been different on Jan 1, 2012 - certainly I think they would have.   Maybe even Jan 1, 2013. 

But as of today if you go to any neutral fan and compare the 4, Hoke would not compare favorably.  Even within the Michigan fanbase it would be difficult to find a majority who would have him even above 3rd out of the 4.  It really boils down to that at the end of the day.  



September 11th, 2014 at 7:57 PM ^

A coach's first year says something about how he did with many of the same players as the previous coach (although they had one more year of experience).

More importantly, in Hoke's last two years, acc to Sagarin ratings, Hoke's teams had the toughest strengh of schedule in the B1G.  If you weighted all the games by SOS, his performance would look much better wrt his past as well as wrt the other coaches.