Sunday, December 14, 2008



Perhaps no foosball coach has had his name tossed around Division I over the past 18 months than Ball State's head chef Brady Hoke.

When Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr announced he would be retiring prior to the 2008 season, Hoke's name was (inexplicably, at the time) brought up as a serious candidate to replace him. Apparently, his work as Michigan's defensive line coach during out 1997 National Championship season was the lone accolade that his supporters (if, indeed, he had any) cited; hiring him would be like promoting a positions coach who had simply been studying abroad in Muncie, Indiana for six years.

So grave was the situation that Brian of MGoBlog was forced to acknowledge his candidacy for the job with one of the Profiles in Heroism that marked the winter of 2007 on that venerable site of the webs.

Fast forward ten months. Hoke's Cardinals were 12-0 and dominating the mighty MAC even after losing stud wide receiver Dante Love for the rest of his life early in the season. Suddenly, the idea of Hoke getting a job at a major program was....still pretty stupid, especially after losing the MAC Championship game to lowly Buffalo. But he was moving up nonetheless.

Two weeks ago, the rather serviceable Tommy Tuberville was ousted from his position as Large Ears Coach of the Auburn Tigers, who posted their first losing record under his direction for the first time since he was hired at Auburn in 1999.

When the Auburn job became available, I didn't consider Hoke a candidate. He's a fat guy from Indiana with a terrible career record, no bowl games, and nonexistent recruiting pull. Hoke to Auburn would have made about as much sense as West Virginia promoting Bill Stewart to HC on the laurels of one bowl game. It just didn't fit.

But a candidate he was, and for the second time within a calendar year, one of the more prestigious college football programs in America was forced to examine the plausibility of having Brady Hoke as its ultimate authority. A worrying proposition, to be sure.

But...where did this come from? Hoke might not be worthy of the Big Ten or the SEC, but this is going a little too far in the other direction. From undefeated in the resurgent MAC--which has legit bowl teams--to dead last in the Mountain West. Not only was San Diego State bad this year, they've been bad pretty much forever. They've been to two bowl games since 1990, the most recent of which was 1998, and they haven't lost fewer than four games since 1979. San Diego State stinks.

With Syracuse hiring Doug Marrone and Auburn somehow settling upon the abortion that is Gene Chizik, let's just hope studly young candidate Turner Gill doesn't take the job at Utah Tech.

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