This actually spawned from a response to one of the earlier posts, but I wanted to give it a little more space to breathe. Up front, I'm an RR supporter who felt he was shafted, but I'm cautiously optimistic about Hoke being a decent guy down the line. Also, I will admit to disagreeing with people who attacked RR in years past, though only if their comments lacked substance and were merely seeking a reaction.
For all the people complaining about how Brian's take is going to "alienate" visitors to this site because of his negativity toward the Hoke signing, I counter that the blind devotion I'm seeing about Hoke from everyone is turning me off a bit. The guy was a meh choice that may very well work out, but saying all this "but he loves UM" crap doesn't hide the fact that he is a risky hire and brings into question Brandon's handling of this situation.
And for all the people trumpetting Hoke wanting to be here as some major point in his favor, do you honestly think RR didn't want to be here as well? The guy has been busting his ass for 3 years here under near-constant scrutiny from local and national media personalities, from a faction of the fanbase that hated him from the moment he was hired, and who had to revamp a team that was dangerously shallow in depth at various positions. He suffered through the same losing streaks everyone else did, and this is from a guy who won over 100 CFB before he came to UM. He recruited reasonably well, brought an innovative offense to the school, groomed the B1G offensive POY, and honestly was making strides on offense. Sure his defenses sucked and he made some dumb mistakes, but every coach in America has his flaws, and RR just kept plugging along and tried to fix them. Whether or not you agree with the measures he took to address them, the guy is a good coach and was doing the best he could.
He wanted to be here as much as anyone, but Brandon decided he needed to go so the change was made. He didn't leave UM - UM kicked him out. So stop it with the argument that RR didn't care about being here - I'm certain he wanted it to work out, and is probably pretty beat up that it didn't. He deserved better than this, even if it meant being let go weeks ago.
As for Hoke, I'm very happy that he is excited to be here - after Harbaugh and Miles thumbed their noses at the school, it is reassuring to know that somebody out there wanted to coach this team. But wanting something really, really bad doesn't mean this was a great hire on paper, or promises future success down the line. When RR was hired, people questioned whether or not a guy with a somewhat-limited coaching resume at smaller schools (and yes, people crapped on the BE since it was created) could step in and succeed at a competitive school like UM in the B1G. But now with Hoke, a guy with even less experience and a less impressive record at "worse" programs than RR, any comments about how this is a risky choice are labelled as flippant and caustic because the guy really cares about the school and "since he's the head coach, you have to support him." It is this hypocrisy that drives me crazy, even if it is human nature (and something I'm as guilty of as anyone else).
Listen, there are many reasons to be happy with Hoke: the guy has coached in the B1G before, he seems more offensively adventurous compared to other Carr disciples, his most recent track record shows a coach on the rise (even though the Ball St. season was definitely a fluke), he sounds like a good recruiter who has connections in talent-rich California, and he will bring a focus on defense that has been missing the past few years. But implicitly devaluaing RR's dedication by saying Hoke is dedicated to the program isn't fair to either them or the discourse that needs to happen.