Head Coach: Brady Hoke 4th Year
Last Year’s Record: 7-6
Key Assistant: DC Greg Mattison
Trending: Treading water. I take immense amounts of grief when I compliment Brady Hoke. I like him personally and as a coach. He is a good an honorable man. Coming off of the MRod era where Michigan was its own worst enemy (just like MSU in the JLS era) this hasn’t been a great stretch. The first year under Brady was great for Michigan and the next two frankly stunk.
The OC got canned last year and in comes Doug Nussmeier to take his place from Alabama. Doug is a great person and a very good OC. There has been speculation (that I believe) that he was forced out at Alabama. Who cares? He is very good at his job and brings the credibility of National Championship rings. The previous OC did a horrible job of utilizing talent and just for how he used Devin Funchess alone should have got him fired. Nussmeier is smart enough to use what he has.
I am not sold on the DC Mattison and frankly I think Brady should have let him go as well last year. He’s back and once again UM has a solid recruiting class, but can they coach them up? I like Brady, but I live in Realville. Barring and epic collapse he has two years to get the ship turned, but his staff has to step up their game this year. I think the problems in UM are systemic and start in the AD office.
Dave Brandon is a brilliant business man, but his meddling in the football offices have frustrated many ni the program and turned a ton of heads around the nation with some of his judgments such as watching film with the coaches and, “Involvement.”
Appalachian State: Win
At Notre Dame: Win
Miami, OH: Win
At Rutgers: Win
Penn State: Win
At Michigan State: Loss
At Northwestern: Loss
At Ohio State: Loss
Final thoughts: I like Hoke. I respect him. I think he is a good football coach. Brandon would best be served by taking a lesson from MSU AD Mark Hollis and backing off and letting his coaches run the program. 9-3 and the season playing out as I predict would be a solid year for Hoke and set UM up for a big 2015. I expect just that.
A solid year with eyes set for Hoke to attempt to make his statement season next year. Do they go with a young QB and move away from one that is immensely talented but mistake prone? If Devin Gardner is the QB this season and not the youngster Shane Morris, that could have big ramifications next season. A season that will make or break Hoke’s Tenure at UM.