At the end of this season, regardless of the record and the bowl game they go to (if they actually make it), Michigan will fire Brady Hoke. Who replaces him? A lot of familiar names, like Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles, are being thrown out there. Most of them don’t make much sense.
There’s the constant buzzing on the names of the Harbaugh brothers, Jim and John. One is a Super Bowl champion with the Baltimore Ravens, who is 68-38 in his career as a head coach in the NFL. The other seems to be over his problems with the front office, and is 42-15-1 in the regular season with the 49ers, making three consecutive NFC Championship games. Successful NFL coaches with no good reason don’t just leave the league in order to work for their alma mater. Unless something happens in Maryland or Northern California in the next few months, this doesn’t seem plausible.
What is? Hard to say.
Les Miles seems to be mentioned with every opportunity that comes. Miles has won a national championship with LSU and always seems like the perfect fit in Baton Rouge. But he was a teammate with the new athletic director, Jim Hackett, currently as an AD. But while Miles is 102-28 since 2005 with the Tigers, he has lost at least three games in each of the last three years and LSU have already lost four games. For a team with incredible talent, missing out on the big bowl games and the playoff (this year) for so long might be becoming too much, at least for a growing number of fans.
But Miles is 61, and that might mean that Michigan could look for younger options. Two hot names are Butch Jones at Tennessee and Mark Stoops at Kentucky. Both are considered fantastic recruiters and although the win column doesn’t show it, they’ve brought plenty of hope and optimism to their programs, and also some sort of improvement in the standings. Still, Michigan might be able to offer them something they won’t get in what are currently bottom feeders in the SEC East.
An interesting name is Greg Schiano. He failed in the NFL, but that didn’t stop Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino, Steve Spurrier and Pete Carroll when he went to USC. He’s a discipline guy, which usually works well, or better, in college than with pros. He took Rutgers as far as he could with them: He’s only 68-67 through 11 seasons, but in his last six, he won eight games or more in five of them. He’ll be a head coach somewhere soon enough.