Michigan Football: Is Wolverines Coach Brady Hoke In the Hot Seat?

Is Brady Hoke In the Hot Seat?

6/12/14 in NCAAF   |   rlnichols11   |   22 respect

Is Michigan coach Brady Hoke sitting on the hot seat? That's the million dollar question headed into the 2014 college football season. Blog Photo - Michigan Football: Is Wolverines Coach Brady Hoke On the Hot Seat?

If the Wolverines still want to maintain the standards that Bo Schembechler set back in the 70s and 80s, it's something they at least have to ponder.

Following a Rich Rodriguez era that featured a defense so atrocious that not even a high-powered spread offense could make up for, Michigan needed a head coach that would commit to getting the defensive side of the ball in check.

Hoke, the former associate head coach and defensive line coach for the Wolverines under Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr, had compiled an impressive head coaching resume at Ball State and San Diego State, including a 12-1 season with the Cardinals in 2008. He seemed like the perfect answer for Michigan's football program. 

Hoke arrived in Ann Arbor and turned things around very quickly in 2011. After (by Michigan standards) an abysmal 15-22 record during the three years of the Rich Rod era, Hoke led the Wolverines to an impressive 11-2 record that included an overtime victory in the Allstate Sugar Bowl to the Virginia Tech Hokies

Hoke was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for his outstanding job in turning around the program. 

After the 2011 season, Hoke was the king of Ann Arbor. The savior to the entire state. Schemblecher's long lost godson. The fortunes of Michigan had reversed instantly, and they were only going to get better.  

Unfortunately, those positive aspirations went away awfully quickly. 

The Wolverines followed up Hoke's debut with an 8-5 finish in 2012, concluding with a loss in the Outback Bowl to South Carolina. Still a step up from the Rich Rod era, but a disappointment folliowing the success of 2011, especially during Denard Robinson's senior season.

The letdown of 2012 got even a little worse in 2013. After winning their first four games, the Wolverines went 3-5 the rest of the way, ending the season with another loss to Ohio State and a blowout in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at the hands of Kansas State.

Now, coming into 2014, Hoke is under a lot of pressure to field a Michigan-quality product on the football field. Consecutive 8-5 and 7-6 seasons might cut it for Kirk Ferentz in Iowa, but it's a totally different ballgame when you put on the Maize and Blue.

They don't hope for double-digit win seasons in Ann Arbor, they demand them. They don't pray for conference titles, they expect them. 

It's been a long time coming for the Wolverine faithful. Following years of losing to Ohio State under Carr and the disaster that was Rodriguez, they're starving for some serious success.

I think Hoke is most definitely on the hot seat coming into this season. And if he's not yet, he will be very quickly if they struggle early in the season. 

Another seven-to-eight-win season with a third-straight loss to Ohio State won't cut it. If this season goes like the last two, and the Wolverines fall out of competition for the Big Ten title, there's a very real possibility that they'll be looking for a new head coach to lead them into 2015.

And if he doesn't figure out who his quarterback is, or how to stop opposing rushing attacks very quickly, Hoke should probably start sprucing up that resume. He might very well need it. 
 

Luke Nichols is Big Ten contributor for FanIQ with keen knowledge for Ohio State football. Follow him on Twitter: @rlnichols11

Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

7/5/14   |   Thunda   |   238 respect

Hot seat, shouldn't be but we Michigan fans expect a Big Ten Championship every year. He was around when the magic of 1997 happened. So this ain't his first rodeo.
And here's a little known secret...we're due. I thought he was the right guy when he go hired. The results have shown otherwise. Maybe after the next two seasons, them we'll give him some resume writing tips.