The view from San Diego.

Submitted by Section 1 on January 14th, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Sports columnist Nick Canepa, writing in the San Diego Union-Tribune's online site:

Canepa gets a lot of stuff wrong, but not everything.  He talks about the amount(s) Michigan has paid in buyouts to WVU, to Rodriguez, and now to SDSU, by "a public university in a fiscally deprived state."  Nevermind that not one dime of that money comes from taxpayers or the University's general fund, and that Michigan's football program actually reverses the flow of money back to the general fund.

But he also talks about Hoke, and what sort of record he has had at SDSU that promotes him to the Michigan job.  It ain't past success at a high level.

Here's the thing.  One column does not begin to settle any arguments about Brady Hoke.  But I remember how the articles from West Virginia papers concerning Rich Rodriguez were treated by the Detroit and national media.  Those articles, about shredded documents and stolen files, were actually less accurate than this bit of fluffy opinionating by Nick Canepa.  And yet they gained traction, as the anti-Rodriguez propaganda machine began to find its momentum:

All of which adds to the mystery of this serpentine caravan. Because other than being a former Wolverines assistant — thus fulfilling the ritualistic “Michigan Man” requirements — Hoke, a man who displayed the right philosophy and attitude, hasn’t done much to warrant the attention of the winningest college football program in history.


State is replacing Hoke from within, with defensive coordinator Rocky Long, whose reputation and skill as head coach during an 11-year run at New Mexico actually surpasses anything in Hoke’s résumé. If you take New Mexico to five bowl games, you probably can do something with loaves and fishes.

Rocky Long is a good football coach and his quick hiring is prudent, especially with offensive coordinator Al Borges following Hoke to Ann Arbor. All I know is, the last time Long coached New Mexico against San Diego State, in 2008, he beat the Aztecs 70-7. It was 49-0 at the half.



Brandon, using the Domino’s corporate jet as if it were a Town Car, crisscrossed America in his quest for a new coach. He tried Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh, who spurned his alma mater for the 49ers job. Then the pizza guy wooed LSU’s Les Miles, another Michigan alum, but LSU announced Tuesday morning that Miles was staying.

Then, by Tuesday afternoon, Brandon has Hoke’s signature? What I smell isn’t pepperoni and cheese.

Where was Hoke during all this? Are we to believe Brandon signed him sight unseen? Are we to believe Hoke was hired without even meeting Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman? This is Michigan, not Ferris State. The football program funds an athletic department with a $100-million budget. Think a president isn’t going to be involved?

At some point, when Hoke was supposed to be recruiting for San Diego State, he had to be meeting some of these people somewhere.

Hoke never purchased a home in San Diego. He rented in La Jolla. He wasn’t staying here forever, and even he no doubt is surprised by how fast this happened. He hadn’t done much of anything, which he admits.

But in the end, it wasn’t so much betrayal as it was deception. It’s hard to say San Diego State is better off today, but if Brady Hoke couldn’t be stand-up about this thing, sneaking around in college football’s increasing shadows, maybe the school’s better off.



January 14th, 2011 at 12:50 AM ^

We all realize that RR got screwed by the media. What does that have to do with one San Diego coulmnist who writes about Brady Hoke and gets half of his facts incorrect? The same accusations aren't even being made. One has to do with wins and losses and one with shady actions that bitter West Virginians made up in lew of their coach leaving. Opposing media think that coaches who leave for a better program are somehow slighting the previous program. They'll always bring down those coaches in an attempt to appear morally superior.

I don't think there's anything left to say about Hoke's record, either. We've been doing it since the Gator Bowl ended. And it's completely irrelevant at this point.


January 14th, 2011 at 12:46 AM ^

I don't understand how people can act so butthurt about this. Hoke told SDSU upon taking the job that he'd leave immediately if he ever received an offer from Michigan. 

Also, if Long is supposedly a better coach than Hoke, wouldn't this a "net positive" for them?!?!?


January 14th, 2011 at 1:22 AM ^

They praise him while he's there and trash when he leaves. Pretty standard these days. Here is some praise just a few months ago from the SAME writer.

I'm sorry but SDSU is not going to have a very good coaching retention rate if coaches do well there. They will go on to bigger and better things. 


January 14th, 2011 at 1:44 AM ^

I hear what you are saying, but I just don't think it's something you should always put your money on. I mean, many people on this site were pretty convinced that Patterson and Peterson would WANT to go to "bigger" programs including UM.   I'm really just criticizing the writer, not the program.  I don't think the program was shocked by the move at all. 

Section 1

January 14th, 2011 at 1:30 AM ^

I didn't go to him for "Hoke news."  I started off by saying how he got a lot of stuff wrong.  And I finished by saying that the real point had nothing to do with the Hoke debate, but rather was a lens on the old Rodriguez debate, and how West Virginia reporting had been imported to Detroit three years ago.

But the one thing I can always count on is you getting it wrong.


January 14th, 2011 at 8:49 AM ^

Your reply above talks about what your original post started out with and how it ended, yet it ignores the swipe you made at Hoke in the middle:

But he also talks about Hoke, and what sort of record he has had at SDSU that promotes him to the Michigan job.  It ain't past success at a high level.

You really expect people to believe your post wasn't partially aimed at giving the anti-Hoke crowd more ammunition?

Section 1

January 14th, 2011 at 10:26 AM ^

Beyond any doubt, what can be said about Brady Hoke is that he has not had any sustained success at a high level.  He's not won a major conference title.  He's never even been a major conference head coach.

Of course that one, true fact doesn't end the debate, just as I have acknowledged.  Jim Tressel had not been a head coach in a major conference.  Neither had Bo, or Lloyd Carr, before taking over their respective programs.  It is not a disqualifier.  Nor is past success a guarantor of future success.

Again, my point was what I said it was.  I wanted to compare the local press treatment of Hoke and Rodriguez.  See how the press discusses things like how the news was broken to their old teams, how their buyouts were handled, and reported.  What the local press thought about the departing coach.

Get it? 


January 14th, 2011 at 1:07 AM ^

Talking with our SPX guys who I work with on occasion, the prevailing opinion seems to be the big concern around here. Not the Rocky Long is better than Brady Hoke diatribe, but the fact that he's a good guy, intense, will have everybody playing hard but that a 47-50 record isn't the most inspiring thing for the winningest program in college football history.

They watched a hell of a lot of SDSU football, way more than I did, and that's been the general conclusion. Master motivator, but not exactly The Hooded Master Bill when it comes to Xs and Os.


January 14th, 2011 at 1:15 AM ^

You should watch some SDSU 2010.  Their offense is more versatile than anything seen at Michigan in some time.  It may be Hoke, but probably Borges, and after watching tape I am thoroughly impressed with what they do.  They run a cream of the crop type offense.  Serious X's and O's.  Watch how they get Ronnie Hillman sprung consistently on long gainers, and how they spread the receivers and efficiently pass with Lindley.  Pretty good stuff. 


January 14th, 2011 at 1:37 AM ^

Yeah, with big time competition, such as Utah and Mizzou, they seemed to spread it out more and hurry it up  as a way to nullify the talent difference - as the spread was designed to do, where against teams they matched up with talent-wise, they tended to run it right up their behind. But each game I have watched featured a multitude of different sets and mentalities.  The offense was fluid, as were adjustments.  


January 14th, 2011 at 1:28 AM ^


Hoke's offense will not be Carr's offense. "Pro-style" doesn't just mean three yards and a cloud of dust. They will run a lot of different sets and it'll be much closer to resembling Stanford's from this past year (not in 2011, but down the road when Hoke's recruits make up a bulk of the team). Spread options aren't exclusive to spread offenses like RR's. Hoke ran them with QB's who were no where near the athletes that Denard is. He'll run plenty over the next two seasons, no doubt.


January 14th, 2011 at 1:08 AM ^

does sound like a lot of what was going on three years ago, particularly the misunderstandings about facts (eg., funding of athletic department).

There is less emotional charge to it for me because of the low expectation that I will be hearing it again tomorrow in the Detroit papers or on ESPN.

dr eng1ish

January 14th, 2011 at 1:16 AM ^

My favorite part is when he says "It’s hard to say San Diego State is better off today."

Yes your team that averaged 3-9 in the 5 years preceding Hoke coming there is worse off now coming off 9-4 with a bowl win. What a clown.

dr eng1ish

January 14th, 2011 at 1:25 AM ^

From that Tim Sullivan fellow that keeps popping up and confusing us:

Brady Hoke has done what any of us would do. He has advanced confidently in the direction of his dreams, as Thoreau advised, and tackled his career goal with his head up, his shoulders squared and his arms outstretched.

Still, it’s hard to feel jilted by a coach who identified Michigan as his ultimate goal even as he was interviewing for the San Diego State job. Any rational person would conclude that Brady Hoke telegraphed this play two years ago.

“The hard thing is always leaving,” Hoke said Thursday in a telephone interview. “I feel bad because our kids weren’t in town, so there wasn’t really a way to say goodbye the way I’d like to …


January 14th, 2011 at 1:32 AM ^

SDSU is surprisingly bitter over Hoke leaving them. I've read people say he was never loyal and he really was somewhat overrated, which is ironic because last week they were crying over the possibility of losing Hoke.
I guess they don't realize they are the definition of a stepping stone school. There are really only 3 schools in the big ten that are destination schools (Michigan, OSU, and Penn State), and probably 15 schools in all of college football.


January 14th, 2011 at 2:58 AM ^

So by my count there have been 27 schools that have won AP National Championships (Coaches tend to be unreliable with their voting).

Notre Dame(8), Alabama(7), Oklahoma(6), USC(5), Miami(5), Nebraska(4), That School In Ohio(4), Florida(3), Texas(3), Minnesota(3), Michigan(2), Auburn(2), Florida State(2), Tennessee(2), Penn State(2), Pittsburgh(2), Army(2), LSU, Colorado, BYU, Clemson, Georgia, Syracuse, Maryland, Michigan State, Texas A&M, TCU

All the bolded schools you can easily make the claim are not destination jobs. That leaves...15. Good math Go Blue!

SEC: 6
Big 10: 4
Big 12: 2
ACC: 2
Pac 10: 1
Ind.: 1

EDIT: Whoops, forgot to transfer Florida over. That makes 16.


January 14th, 2011 at 11:10 AM ^

only 2 since the AP has been the primary voter - '48 and '97

the other 9 were from a variety of selectors:


Year Coach Selector Record Bowl
1901 Fielding H. Yost Helms, Holgate, NCF 11–0 Won Rose
1902 Fielding H. Yost Helms, Billingsley, Houlgate, Parke H. Davis, NCF 11–0  
1903 Fielding H. Yost Billingsley, NCF 11–0–1  
1904 Fielding H. Yost Billingsley, NCF 10–0  
1918 Fielding H. Yost Billingsley, NCF 5–0  
1923 Fielding H. Yost Billingsley, NCF 8–0  
1932 Harry G. Kipke Dickinson, Parke H. Davis 8–0  
1933 Harry G. Kipke Billingsley, Boand, Dickinson, Helms, Houlgate, CFRA, NCF, Parke H. Davis, Poling 7–0–1  
1947 Fritz Crisler Berryman, Billingsley, Boand, DeVold, Dunkel, CFRA, Helms, Houlgate, Litkenhous, NCF, Poling, Sagarin 11–0 Won Rose
1948 Bennie Oosterbaan AP 9–0  
1997 Lloyd Carr AP 12–0 Won Rose
National Championships 11

might and main

January 14th, 2011 at 6:28 AM ^

The point isn't so much the veracity of the San Diego article or whether it even alleges anything particularly important. The point is that this is a prime example of our media's 180 that Brian predicted. If this was an article on RichRod it would have gotten big coverage here and then blown up nationally. But with Hoke, no media folks here will touch it with a ten foot pole. Double standard.


January 14th, 2011 at 7:56 AM ^

San Diego State knew that Hoke was looking to get the Michigan job.  He even told the AD it was his dream job.  So I don't understand why they might be pissed that he didn't sign the extension.  Would you sign one knowing there was a potential to get the job you always wanted?

The only thing that would not be so cool is if Brandon did not ask SDSU for permission to talk to Hoke.  Hoke did everything above board so should have Brandon.  If he didn't "shame on him"!