A rain delay only postponed the inevitable. Michigan were about to lose 26-10 to Utah at home, but less than 1000 were left inside the biggest stadium in the nation to watch the clock run out on the fourth quarter, and maybe on Brady Hoke as well, as his tenure at Ann Arbor takes another painful step towards its end.
Michigan failed to score on offense after a field goal on their opening drive. Hoke was seen arguing quite loudly with his defensive coordinator on the sidelines. The fans were booing the team very early on. Maybe it was directed at the head coach; maybe at the players themselves. It didn’t matter. With every embarrassing result, Hoke looks more and more like someone who is simply filling the seat until the replacement is found.
Michigan fall to 2-2 this season, with both their losses coming against a power conference team. Notre Dame are independent, but are considered as a P-5 team anyway. Both losses showed a team that can’t stop turning the ball over and struggles to get anything consistent done on offense. All the impressive recruiting classes boil down to nothing. Hoke had a great first season with the Wolverines, but since then it’s been going downhill. Maybe Rich Rodriguez needed more time, because Hoke was living off his neglected bread crumbs when he first arrived. Now that it’s his team, Michigan might be heading into another abysmal season, if it isn’t one already.
The Big Ten had a very good weekend. Michigan were the only team to lose their non-conference game, while Indiana beat an SEC team (Missouri), and three more teams (Maryland, Iowa and Nebraska) beat opponents from the ACC. Something of a bounce back after getting so heavily criticized for their results in the start of the season. But Michigan weren’t included in the celebrations. It’s more about counting down until a new coach arrives.
Michigan have eight conference games to play from now on until the end of the season, including on the road against Michigan State and Ohio State. From how they looked against Notre Dame, it seems as if they’re headed towards some very humiliating visits to their two biggest rivals’ stadiums. Hoke keeps insisting he’ll turn things around, but the body language seems to say something different: He’s gone, and he knows it. It’s only a matter of time.
Maybe there is something that can save him. Winning both of those games, or going 6-2 in conference play, something along those lines. It can happen, but it won’t. This team isn’t good enough, and hasn’t been for quite some time. Miracles don’t just happen, and there probably aren’t ones big enough to save Hoke’s job as the head coach of Michigan.