Brady Hoke Fires Back at the SEC

By Kyle Rowland on June 24, 2013 at 9:09a
Surprised he didn't call it the SE.

Most college football fans in Big Ten country have grown tired of hearing about the SEC's exploits on the football field. The conference has won seven consecutive national championships and isn't shy about boasting. Count Michigan head coach Brady Hoke among the annoyed.

Appearing on 92.3 in Cleveland last week, Hoke delivered a frustration-induced rant about the mighty SEC and its excellence — whether perceived or reality. 

"I think people get a little overly zealous when they think the SEC is where they play football. I think when you look at the track record of the Big Ten, (we) play awfully good football.

"I really believe in this conference, and everyone has to recruit the way they need to recruit for their school. It's an amazing conference of coaches that work awfully hard."

The Big Ten's struggles against the SEC are well-documented. The league is 2-7 in bowl games against SEC teams the last three seasons. In 2012, Michigan lost to Alabama and South Carolina


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BuckeyeNationProblems's picture

And we have better donuts. 


OSU_ALUM_05's picture

and we have a yabba dabba doo time, a dabba doo time......

Yeti's have feelings too.

Ethan_Buck's picture

We'll have a gay ol time

I dont always root for college athletics, but when i do (which is most of the time) I choose THE Ohio State Buckeyes.

Poison nuts's picture

(Work horn blows - Brady slides down dinosaur's neck...)

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Posterchild's picture

I don't think anyone could disagree that the SEC generally has 2-3 teams that are deserving of a high ranking (top 15) in any given year. But the rest of the conference seems to ride the coat tails of the front runners, and some people are more than willing to buy into it.
The B1G is trending up, and I think over the next couple of years the top teams in the B1G will start to establish themselves as regular top 15 programs in the NCAA. The way that scUM and the Bucks are recruiting are going to really force the rest of the conference to keep up or get left in the dust.

avail31678's picture

Top 2-3 teams in the SEC?  Yes, amongst the best in the country.  Top 15, maybe even Top 10 worthy.  The rest of the conference?  Ole Miss?  Kentucky?  UT?  Vandy?  Please.  And bowl records show that these other SEC teams do not dominate like the top three in the conference.
I am prepared to say that the top team or two or three in the SEC are elite.  I do not accept that top-to-bottom, the SEC is the best conference by far, like everyone claims.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm a Big Ten homer and I really hate - figuratively speaking - the SEC. And I agree that the video-game sports media over-hype the SEC and exaggerate the difference between the SEC and the Big Ten. But the SEC's quality last season went well beyond the top 2-3 teams.  
Bama, UGA, TAM, FLA, LSU, and South Carolina were all top 10 caliber teams. In comparison, only Ohio State was top 10-caliber last season. Nebraska had a very good offense, especially when Burkhead was healthy, but their defense simply couldn't handle good offenses - I'm actually surprised that they finished as well as 32nd in the FEI defense ratings. I realize that Michigan played South Carolina closely and probably should have won, if their DBs could have kept their heads out their asses, but it was actually a pretty favorable matchup for them. Michigan was about the 4th best team in the Big Ten playing about the 6th best team in the SEC. NW got the dream matchup against a reeling Miss St team that had lost 4 of 5 going into the bowl game, with the lone victory coming against SEC basement dweller, dysfunctional Arkansas.
Then, if you compare middling teams from the respective conferences - e.g., Vandy and Mizz versus MSU and Purdue - it probably does not favor the Big Ten, either. Vandy gave NW all they could handle last year. And I hate to sound like a Kentucky fan, but Mizz probably would have done as well as MSU did last year, let alone Purdue or Iowa, if they'd been in the Big Ten (they beat Arizona State, won at UCF, at Tenn).

avail31678's picture

Good points.  Last year may be an exception, though, as the Big 10 was WOEFUL.  I mean worse than most years.
Bowl records show, though (OSU aside unfortunately), that the SEC and B1G match up fairly well, despite the SEC supposedly being a super conference.
I do agree Scar and TAM and FLA and LSU were real good teams, but I'm not ready to say they were all top-10 teams.  LSU had very little offense, and barely beat Auburn 12-10.  Florida looked great at times, but had some head scratchers also - mainly their being worked by Louisville.
Georgia was very, very good.
I read my points but ignore 2012 :)

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree, last season was a bit of an anomaly - the SEC was especially dominant and the Big Ten a but more down than the previous few years (especially since Ohio State couldn't go bowling). And, before the last two seasons, the Big Ten's bowl record v. the SEC had been basically dead even over the previous 10-odd seasons. I'm in full agreement on these points.
However, the SEC's recent trajectory has been much stronger than the Big Ten's. Programs like ILL, Minn, and Iowa are floundering. With Bert gone now, we'll have to see how Wisconsin fares, but they can't do better than tread water and will probably decline some in the short-term. The sanctions will begin to take a heavy toll on PSU. Michigan is on the rise, but maybe partly at the expense of MSU. Ohio's Big Ten neighbors, Purdue and Indiana, and Minnesota (once coached by Glen Mason) are getting out-recurited in the Buckeye state by freakin' Kentucky.
If I didn't know better . . . if college football operated like the business world, I might fear for the Big Ten. Yet I agree that the difference between the Big Ten and SEC is narrower than the hacks hype it to be and - as I mention above - there are "structural" factors that will pull the two conferences back closer together over time.     

Catch 5's picture

I wouldn't be expecting an SEC decline any time soon.  With the recruiting grounds the SEC footprint affords (now with Texas!) there is no shortage of talent, and with the SEC's willingness to spend money, there is no shortage of good and great coaches to teach them. (and, yes, the favorable media coverage)
I do, however, agree that the B1G is ready for a resurgance - at least with the top.  I expect OSU and Michigan to be top 10 teams in the next couple of years if not this year, with Nebraska and Michigan State being consistent top-25 teams as well.  Northwestern seems to act like they plan on staying around as well, and Wisky may or may not - we'll see.  (Despite BOB's brilliance, I can't see PSU being much of a threat for quite some time).
If this happens like I see, it will usher in a very good period of football for the next few years - combined with the 4-team playoff - of SEC/B1G battles that I think could make for some excellent competition.  What could be better than the two biggest conferences in terms of power, history, talent, and rabid fanbases battling it out every year with great on-field match-ups?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Catch 5: when I suggest that the SEC will decline, I'm suggesting a slight drop from kings-of-the-world to what the SEC was ten years ago, one of the top 3 power conferences.
Part of my rationale is simply based in logic and probabilistic thinking: they can't go any higher, but can go lower, therefore . . .
But also because I don't feel like SEC folks have fully entertained the implications of what they've put together - when you add Texas AM, for example, you're adding another program of fans/boosters that will not tolerate anything less than conference championships on roughly a semi-annual basis. They sure as hell have no patience for 5-7, 6-6, 7-5, etc. Okay, so TAM happens to be really good right now, but what does that mean? It means other zero patience fan/booster bases like at Auburn, Tennessee, and so forth lose when TAM wins. Assuming an 8-game conference schedule, you cannot distribute 56 losses among the 14 SEC schools in a way that even remotely approximates an equilibrium of sanity. Consequently, staff instability and turnover will get that much more ridiculous.
And I won't even touch on the market limitations of the SEC product - e.g. even before the eSECpn-ization of college football, we here in the Midwest already tended to want to watch a silly matchup between MSU and Purdue before watching 6-2 Auburn v. 7-1 Miss State, etc., but now we'll do it almost as a political statement of sorts. Meanwhile, inasmuch as they give a damn about football in metro areas like NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc., the SEC support is relatively weak. 
I realize that entering Texas was a nice coup of the SEC and that the SEC markets represent much better among college football fans compared to t.v. audiences more generally, but very few people outside of Mississippi will ever care about Ole Miss or Miss State, but many more will care about Iowa or ILL, even though Iowa and ILL are flailing at this point.    

avail31678's picture

Agree Fido.  SEC could be on the rise as a whole conference - especially if UK and Ole Miss and UT continue to recruit as well as they have so far. 
And agreed - many B1G teams are stagnant if not declining. 

Catch 5's picture

So you are fine with Bama, Georgia, and who?  Texas A&M? 
What do you do with South Carolina, Florida,and LSU then? 
Also, you dismiss Vandy and Ole Miss, but Athlon has them at #28 and #33. 
Miss St, Auburn, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas are all inside their top 50.
The only SEC team ranked outside their top-50 is Kentucky (65), which is still above Iowa (69), Purdue (78), and Illinois (86).
(I used Athlon's rankings because theirs is the only one I've found that ranks all 125 schools.  If you know of another, I'll be glad to consider it as well.)

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Yes, I think we're in for another year of SEC supremacy and Big Ten mediocrity.
I also wonder, though, if this sets up as a year that could get really dicey for a 1/2 loss SEC champion. LSU, FLA, and UGA play brutal schedules (divine justice for the Dawgs after last season's pasty-cake schedule). Bama and TAM have the best chance of going undefeated during the regular season, but play each other. Then, whichever team wins that game, you have to like the SEC East's chances a bit better this year in the SEC CG. 
Meanwhile, a few contenders have easy schedules - e..g, Ohio State, Louisville, Boise. If one of them makes it through unscathed along with another Big 12, ACC, or Pac 12 team, a nasty debate will ensue, especially if the SEC champ has two losses.
What keeps me succumbing to despair - being an SEC hater during a period of SEC dominance - is knowing what happens at places like Auburn, Tenn, Ark, LSU, etc. when they go 5-7 . . .

Catch 5's picture

It really all depends on the rest of the country, but a 1-loss Bama likely doesn't make the BCSCG this year (and in this Bama fan's opinion, would not deserve it*).  A team like LSU or Florida is another story.  No 2-loss team should be in the discussion unless there are no other options like (LSU 2007)
*Based on preseason rankings.  There are several teams that could surprise with a good year and change that - mainly Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Unfortunately, in the short-term, I don't see the Big Ten trending upward or the SEC trending downward.
The Big Ten, however, has better fundamentals than the SEC in the long-run. I see the SEC's recent trajectory as being unsustainable and likely to experience the downward gravitational pull of "diminishing returns" - e.g., the coaching/facilities arms race, the difficulties in selling a regional product nationally, etc.
I won't go into detail because I've done so before, but I see the SEC falling back into being just one of the top Big 3/4 conferences, while the Big Ten blindly stumbles back into that group (largely in spite of themselves). The SEC will always be a football power; just not the end-all, be-all of cfb.

Hovenaut's picture

Awaiting Bert's response.......

Throw yer weight around fellas.

GoBucksToledo's picture

Frankly, I think this was pretty lukewarm as far as rants go, much like the person delivering it.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Michigan beat South Carolina through the first 59 minutes and 49 seconds of the game despite going down 14-3 early. Those two teams were very evenly matched.
Nebraska had the lead until halfway through the 3rd quarter and the game was tied heading into the fourth, and Nebraska was not a good football team this year. They were very average. And let's not forget that Georgia lost to Sparty the year before.
Northwestern controlled the entire game against Mississippi State. They also won by two scores against Vandy (an SEC team that won 9 games last year).
The B1G is getting better. We were 3-0 against the SEC halfway through the 3rd quarters of the Jan 1st games. We were 2-1 with less than a minute to go until Michigan snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The performances were much better than previous years. I think we go 2-1 in those bowl games this year.
Oh, and I think Indiana sets the tone by upsetting Mizzou in a shootout in Bloomington early in the season. You heard it hear first. Indiana over Mizzou. Sounds crazy, but Mizzou might not be able to stop Kevin Wilson's team from scoring on command.

GoBucksToledo's picture

I agree with you on all points, and I personally don't think that Indiana beating Mizzou will be that big of a surprise.

LadyBuck's picture

Good god, I would love to see IU upset Mizzou. That would be hilarious! Granted, there will be the "Well, they aren't a -real- sec team" arguments from the rest of the SEC.

buckeyestu's picture

Well i hate jabba joke the hoke and of course meechigan. some of the sec sites had this picture of hoka joka with a mushed up face as if he ate a very stale donut that was peed on by a dog. and of course the general consensus was who cares what the big 10 or any other conference thinks of the sec. some mentioned the bowl record of the last 3 years of sec versus big 10. 7 wins against two losses. and some of the sites think that hit by clowney is the best hit ever. so really the way i see it, even though i am not a fan at all of the sec, i think they may be right about joka hoka. in fact, i hope whenever meechigan plays an sec team, they get curbstomped by 70 or 80 points. i just plain hate meechigan, i mean i hate meechigan, i really do. GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tdible2132's picture

With the way both OSU and UM are recruiting, heck even Penn State considering how well they are recruiting with their sanctions, I think the B1G has a chance to earn back respect across the country in the near future. Of course, I think our Buckeyes winning the National Championship in the next few years will be the big reason for the regained respect.  Either way, I see the B1G as being on the rise again. Even NW looks to be a formidable for down the road.

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

There are some excellent points made throughout this thread.  I have to agree that the SEC still is not "top to bottom" the best.  I don't even know how anyone can even make that argument.  The middling teams of the SEC fared well in bowl games because of favorable matchups.  There are always those top 3, and deservedly so they were top 10 ranked teams.  This past bowl season also didn't get to see Ohio State OR Penn State.  Penn State may have actually fared well in bowl season IMO.  I think we're just going through the natural progression of college football.  The SEC was pretty much in our position in the late 90's and look where they are now.  Granted, much of their hype is media driven.  The B1G is making all of the right moves.  When schools like NW are looking to be somewhat of a perennial bowl team, the future is bright.  You've also got IU a little higher than normal and scUM, as much as I hate to say it, is getting back to their old selves.  The next 5-10 years of college football will be fun to watch.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

Catch 5's picture

The middling teams of the SEC fared well in bowl games because of favorable matchups.

How can you say that?  Here are the SEC bowl tie-ins:
#2 The Capital One Bowl versus Big Ten #2.
#3 The Cotton Bowl Classic versus Big Twelve #2.
#4 The Outback Bowl versus Big Ten #3.
#5 The Chick-fil-A Bowl versus ACC #2.
#6 The Gator Bowl versus Big Ten #4
#7 The Music City Bowl versus ACC #6.
#8 The Liberty Bowl versus Conference USA #1.
#9 The BBVA Compass Bowl versus AAC #4.
#10 The Independence Bowl versus ACC #7
Add to that the fact that the SEC has been sending 2 teams to BCS bowls every year (recently), which effectively raises the SEC rank up one more meaning the 5th best SEC team is matched against the 3rd best B1G team and the 6th best SEC team is against the 2nd best ACC. 
How then can the SEC be both overrated (in the middle) and given favorable matchups when they are ranked below EVERY opponent in the bowl games?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban