Michigan is 6-2 this season and 25-9 under coach Brady Hoke in a bit less than three full seasons. But Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon still was asked Monday if Hoke was the right guy to lead the program.
Brandon, who hired Hoke when he fired Rich Rodriguez after the 2010 season, told The Associated Press that his present coach is the right coach. He also said no one was more disappointed than Hoke, his staff and players after Michigan fell to rival Michigan State on Saturday.
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Hoke led Michigan to 11 wins and a Sugar Bowl berth in 2011, which was the Wolverines' first season with double-digit wins since 2006. The '11 season also was just the third for Michigan with two or fewer losses since the 1996 Wolverines team shared the national title.
That Brandon was even asked that question shows the unrealistic expectations that were surrounding this Michigan team, which returned just nine starters from last season's eight-win team. The Wolverines still have an outside shot at the Legends Division title and a Jan. 1 bowl bid, which would be their fourth in a row. In addition, there still is the annual season-ending showdown with archrival Ohio State. Hoke is 1-1 against the Buckeyes.
Saturday's loss to Michigan State was a direct result of Michigan getting physically overpowered by the Spartans; quarterback Devin Gardner was sacked seven times. Some of that blame can be placed on Hoke, whose choice of offensive coordinator, Al Borges, didn't mesh with the talent on hand when he was hired. Borges still doesn't seem to have a grasp on the type of talent he has, and that does reflect poorly on Hoke.
But to suggest he is on the hot seat is simply ridiculous.
For all the talk about how Hoke falls short when measured against Lloyd Carr, remember that Carr lost at least four games five times in his 13-season tenure and at least three games 10 times.