That's all well and good. Obviously Tressel turned out to be a great hire. My comment is in response to Ohio fans who think Michigan settled for Hoke and are ridiculing Michigan for not hiring a bigger name.
They pulled out from consideration before a formal offer was ever extended, but either of them would have had the job if they really wanted it. Let's be honest.
It doesn't change the fact that he was Ohio's third choice (at best) and that the reaction from your fanbase was lukewarm at best.
I'll be honest, I was disappointed when we hired Hoke. Most of us wanted Harbaugh. But he's since proven me wrong and made me regret my earlier skepticism. And in hindsight, Harbaugh would not have been a long term solution. Even if Harbaugh had come, he would have left for the NFL in 5 years. Michigan is Hoke's dream job and he'll be there until he retires.
Also, as I recall, the reaction from your fanbase at Andy Geiger hiring a 1-AA coach in 2001 was less than enthusiastic (especially after Geiger was turned down by Mike Bellotti and Jon Gruden). USC fans went into full-on meltdown mode when Mike Garrett was turned down by his top three choices and had to settle for Pete Carroll. Jay Jacobs was heckled by Auburn fans at the airport when he hired Gene Chizik.
Remember your history before you poo-poo the Hoke hire.
Yup. And of those three schools, Michigan was the only one that Meyer had no prior ties to.
If WVU had beaten Pitt in '07, then they would have bumped LSU out of the title game and Les Miles would probably have been our coach. Miles wanted the job (even after the Kirk Herbstreit fiasco), but he told Mary Sue Coleman and Bill Martin to wait until after the title game. Coleman and Martin were unwilling to wait that long, not just because it would have put us behind the 8 ball if Miles changed his mind or the deal went south, but because Martin was under intense pressure from Carr and others not to hire Miles (Carr hates Miles). Martin wanted Miles and could have staved off Carr if he didn't have to wait to hire him. From all indications, the reason that Miles was never a realistic option was a comibation of the timing with LSU's title chase, Martin's incompetence in handling the search, and bad blood between Miles and Carr.
As for Rich Rod being a guy that "no one wanted", you do realize that he was offered the Alabama job in '06 and turned it down, don't you? You do also realize that Michigan was one of three jobs that Meyer had a buyout exemption for in his contract at Utah, don't you?
Strong was a Ron Zook holdover. When Meyer brought Mattison on to serve as co-DC, Florida's defense improved from 42nd to 9th.
A little background on the Shafer/Robinson mess from a Michigan fan. Shafer was Rodriguez' second choice (at best) after he couldn't get Jeff Casteel to leave WVU. He was one of only two assistants Rodriguez hired who hadn't coached with him at WVU (LB coach Jay Hopson was the other). From the moment he arrived on campus, Shafer was locked in a power struggle with Rodriguez and his assistants. They differed over many issues, which poisoned the chemistry on the staff. Shafer preferred a traditional 3-4 defense while Rodriguez and his assistants wanted him to implement the 3-3-5 scheme they used at WVU. There are rumors that Shafer clashed with DB coach Tony Gibson in particular (who is the worst position coach in the history of humanity). Given that Gibson and Rodriguez go as far back as Glenville State and Gibson was Rodriguez' best man at his wedding, it's not hard to see why Shafer lost that struggle. Rodriguez basically forced Shafer to install the 3-3-5 for the ninth (!) game of the season against Purdue, despite the fact that neither he nor any of the players had any prior experience with it. The result: a third string walk-on QB (Justin Siller) gashed us for 522 yards and 48 points.
After Shafer was forced out, Greg Robinson was brought in fresh off of his disastrous tenure as head coach of Syracuse. Unlike Shafer, Robinson was a yes-man who was just happy to have a job. Like Shafer though, he had no prior experience with the 3-3-5. Rodriguez let him run a 4-3 for most of '09, but he went back to a 3-3-5ish scheme towards the end of '10. The result was identical to '08, only the opponent was different: in the eighth game of the season against Penn State, a third string walk-on QB (Matt McGloin) gashed us for 435 yards and 41 points.
Meanwhile, ironically enough, Shafer became the defensive coordinator at Syracuse. He took a defense that had ranked 101st in the country in Robinson's last year and improved it to 37th and then 7th in '09 and '10, respectively. So Shafer was never a bad DC, Rodriguez just undermined him by giving his WVU cronies more power than his coordinator.
I think the lesson is that Rodriguez has a specific forumla that needs a very precise combination of coaching and personnel to be successful. If he lacks even one element of what he needs, whether it's a particular type of player (mobile QB) or a particular type of assistant coach (a 3-3-5 guru as DC), things won't go well.
Like I said, all I can say is we'll see. I'm not comparing Hoke's track record to Urban's. Urban has had success that few coaches can even dream of. But Hoke blew away our expectations both on the field and on the recruiting trail. He's a much better coach than his career record indicates. I have confidence in our coach the same way you do in yours. There's not much more that can be said before 11/24/12.
All I have to say is we'll see. No one can deny that Urban has an amazing track record, but if there's anyone who can go toe-to-toe with him, it's Hoke. Urban has taken over programs that were already in good shape, whereas Hoke has won at places that were chronically dysfunctional before he arrived.
In any case, I can't wait until 11/24/12. I think we can all agree on that.
The "gentlemen's agreement" was made-up garbage when Joe Tiller accused RichRod of violating it in '08, and it's made-up garbage now. Brady Hoke got it right: the kid is fair game until he's signed.
As a Michigan fan, I respect this type of healthy mutual disdain. To be honest, I'm actually glad that Ohio hired Urban Meyer because it ups the ante for us and for the rest of the conference. I think Hoke is perfectly capable of going toe-to-toe with Meyer both on the field and on the recruiting trail, but I'm all for raising the level of competition.
Here's to the rivalry being interesting again.
Yes, but that was because Tressel lied and told the NCAA he had no prior knowledge of the violations. There is no way the NCAA would have allowed the suspended players to play in the Suger Bowl if it knew that Tressel had learned of the violations months earlier and did nothing about them.
As a Michigan fan, I think the penalties are more or less appropriate. I would have liked to see a 2-year postseason ban to account for the fact that Tressel knowingly played ineligible players in the Sugar Bowl last year coupled with OSU's failure to self-impose a bowl ban this year. However, I don't think the penalties should have been as harsh as what USC got. USC didn't cooperate with the investigation, never took compliance seriously, and hired Kiffin to succeed Pete Carroll despite the fact that Kiffin served on Carroll's staff for the entire period during which the violations occurred. OSU at least pretended to take the matter seriously, despite its laughably pathetic initial response. Given that OSU suffered through a throwaway season as a direct result of the scandal, this seems fair. You guys are actually lucky that it wasn't worse.
Having said all that, the NCAA is still a hypocritical farce, and I agree with you guys that there's an obvious double-standard between the media's focus on the OSU scandal and the rampant cheating in the SEC that goes largely unreported. I think it's because of a cultural difference between the media in the Midwest and the media in the South. The former doesn't let fandom get in the way of a scoop. The latter acts like its purpose is to safeguard the program and its image. Yet another one of the SEC's artificial advantages over us (i.e., the B1G).
I'm sure you guys won't be down long. For the sake of The Game, I actually hope Ohio State hires the best possible coach they can get (which would probably be Meyer). Bo and Woody were two of the best ever, and they are a big part of the reason why this came to be the greatest rivalry in American sports. I think we can all agree on that much.
Pryor's actions (along with those of the other players) put Tressel in the position that led to his firing. I'm obviously not a fan of either, but if I were you, I would have much more sympathy for a coach who won you guys a National Championship, six Big Ten championships, and dominated your biggest rival than some punk kid who left the program early after taking full advantage of his celebrity status without ever living up to his potential.
As for the future, I'm enjoying this one for the moment. Like I said, I don't think Hoke will dominate you guys the way we did in the Cooper era, but I think the rivalry will definitely be more competitive than it was under Tressel.
Why are you still supporting Pryor? You do remember it was his shenanigans that got your coach fired and landed your program in trouble with the NCAA, don't you? If I were a Buckeye fan, I would say to hell with Pryor. That's how I as a Michigan fan feel about Chris Webber.
I'm a Michigan fan, and I was thoroughly impressed with Braxton's performance on Saturday and his progress over the course of the season. The kid's come a long way; he's obviously got a ton of talent and, more importantly, heart. He will thrive in Urban Meyer's offense. He also strikes me as a class act and is pretty much the exact opposite of Pryor. You should be proud to have him as the face of your team for the next three years.
The rivalry is clearly entering a new phase. I don't expect us to dominate you guys the way we did in the Cooper era (or the way you guys did to us under Tressel), but I think the games will be more fierce and competitive than they've been the past few years (minus '06, which now seems like an outlier). I'm looking forward to The Game being interesting again.
I'm glad we won, but much respect to the Buckeyes. They played their hearts out.