Sports from the Basement

Hoke Era Ends With a Whimper

Brady Hoke is out as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines after four seasons.  Hoke was brought in with much fanfare after the Rich Rodriguez disaster and thing have gone from bad to worse in Ann Arbor.  In three years under Rodriguez, the Wolverines went 15-22 with only one bowl appearance.  Rodriguez never really fit in at Michigan, as the locals were not a fan of the spread offense.

Hoke replaced Rich Rod at the beginning of the 2011 season.  Using the players Rodriguez recruited, and led by quarterback Denard Robinson, the Wolverines went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl.  Little did we all know, that would be the high point Denard Robinson regressed slightly in 2012 before getting hurt, and the Wolverines struggled to an 8-5 season.

After Robinson’s graduation following the 2012 season, the keys to the offense were handed to Devin Gardner.  Michigan jumped out to a 5-0 start, as Gardner did everything in his power put points on the board.  The Michigan defense was atrocious, and the Wolverines won games by outscoring their opponents.  Once they got into the Big Ten portion of the schedule, the offense slowed down.  Going 3-5 in the Big Ten does not go over well.  Michigan stumbled late and then lost in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl 31-14 to Kansas State.

Enter 2014, the final nail in Brady Hoke’s coffin.  Gardner regressed mightily, and Hoke’s poor recruiting finally reared it’s ugly head.  There was not a competent quarterback backing Gardner up, so the offense struggled.  Shane Morris threw zero touchdown passes, and had a 35% completion percentage.  To make matters worse, Hoke left Morris in after he clearly suffered a concussion against Minnesota.  When questioned about it, Hoke said that he “didn’t know Morris had suffered a concussion.”  The backlash that followed assured the dismissal of Hoke at the end of the season, and the Wolverines played uninspired football the rest of the way.  They finished 5-7, and failed to qualify for a bowl game for only the third time in the last forty years.

So where does Michigan go from here?  The dream is to land current 49er head coach and Michigan alum Jim Harbaugh, but Harbaugh has stated he is not interested in the job.  That doesn’t mean Michigan won’t go hard after him though. Whoever the next coach is better get working in a hurry, because the Wolverines are behind the eight ball already in the Big Ten.  The last three seasons were a struggle, and the future does not look bright.

 

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