One of the biggest names in College Football is hitting new lows with every passing week, as Michigan lose at home 30-14 to Minnesota, meaning that the day Brady Hoke will either realize he’s doing an awful job or those above him will reach that conclusion for him is drawing nearer.
The Wolverines fall to 2-3, losing at home for the second consecutive game. All three losses this season: The 0-31 humiliation against Notre Dame, 10-26 against Utah and now being beaten by a less than impressive Golden Gophers team, have been by a double digit margin. It was their biggest loss to Minnesota since 1977 and their worst loss against them at home since 1962. Hoke, who had such a promising start to his career at Ann Arbor, keeps taking blows from every direction and yet is determined he’ll turn things around.
The last couple of weeks have been busy for the media covering Michigan. Not just the terrible performance on the pitch, but focusing no how far the program has fallen over the last few years in more than just results, but also in the ability to attract fans and the terrible decisions of the current AD. This loss to Minnesota will mean the digging will go deeper, and the calls for Hoke, and other personnel, to be fired, will just get louder.
Shane Morris started for Michigan, turning out to be a bad decision. Hoke took him out of the game in the fourth quarter, not before doing something that might have severe consequences, letting the sophomore play through what seemed like a concussion. Hoke kept him in the game, maybe because Morris asked him to. A head coach of college kids should know that it’s up to him, not his teenage quarterback, to make that kind of decision.
But when you’re trying to somehow rescue your job, you do and say stupid things. Like his postgame comments about the future and his belief that a title might come one day with him in charge of this Michigan football team.
I think this team can still win a championship. I really do, but we’ve got to play much better and we have to support each other as we do it.
Hoke started his Michigan career with a 25-8 record through the first 33 games, including going 19-0 at home and winning a BCS Bowl game. Over the last 11 Michigan are just 3-8, including going 2-4 at home, which is made worse by the 0-4 record against power conference teams. Five of those losses have been by 16 points or more. The offense has scored just two offensive touchdowns in the last two losses, and Michigan are currently 108th in passing yards per game (172.2) and 104th in points per game, putting up just 22 per game, most of them coming in the wins over Appalachian State and Miami (OH).
Because Michigan are just 0-1 in the Big Ten, he has the luxury of saying that things aren’t over just yet. But there has been no indication that he’s the man for the job. On the contrary – every game indicates he’s in over his head, and his early success came thanks to the recruiting of Rich Rodriguez. Maybe Rodriguez, doing fine right now in Arizona, wasn’t a ‘Michigan’ man, but his recruiting did create the illusion of Hoke being a good head coach, at least for a season or two.