Brady Hoke must have nightmares about new Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
Honestly, he must be waking up in a cold sweat each and every night haunted by the fact that his biggest rival now possesses arguably one of the best college football coaches and recruiters in the nation.
It surely puts a damper on Michigan’s 11-2 season and Sugar Bowl win, doesn’t it?
Before the hiring, things were really looking good for Hoke and the Wolverines.
After the ineptitude that was the Rich Rodriguez of Michigan football, bringing in a “Michigan man” was like a breath of fresh air for the struggling program.
He was able to come in and almost seamlessly transition from Rodriguez’s offense to his own, while still effectively using standout quarterback Denard Robinson.
Most impressive, though, had to be the hire of former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who took one of the worst defenses in the league and molded a sixth-ranked squad that only gave up 17.4 points a game.
That’s a far stretch from the defense that gave up 65 points to Illinois just a year before.
There’s no doubting that Hoke has built something good here in just one year, but one can’t help but feel the hiring of Meyer is going to be quite a damper on the growth of this program.
The Buckeyes were dead in the water after the Jim Tressel fiasco. Not only did they finish with a 6-7 record, going 3-5 in the Big Ten, but they lost their last four games, which included a bowl game loss to Florida and a loss to the Wolverines.
They were facing NCAA sanctions and a bowl ban, and Luke Fickell did not appear to be the guy for the job.
With Michigan State and Wisconsin losing key players to the NFL draft, it looked like Michigan was set up to have a nice run at the Big Ten, but that all came crashing down with the hiring of Meyer.
He’s got two national titles under his belt, a great coaching resume and instant credibility. Look no futher than this piece from Steve Hemmelgarn of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, which states that Meyer already has the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation.
Meyer hasn’t even coached a down for the Buckeyes and he’s already got them back on track.
This spells trouble for Hoke and the Wolverines.
Without Meyer, there is a good chance that Hoke’s recruiting skills plus the name brand of Michigan football would be able to win over possible recruits deciding between the two Big Ten powers.
However, the edge now firmly has to go to Ohio State.
How many recruits is Hoke going to lose out to Meyer over time? How is that going to impact the product on the football field for both schools?
I have to imagine that’s a question that keeps Brady Hoke up all night.
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