My gut feeling says that University of Michigan football coach Brady Hoke is going to be dangerous to the rest of the Big Ten. We might not see it this season because a number of holes remain on the Wolverines’ roster.
But Hoke has mended the great blue divide as Michigan fans, players and administrators march to the same beat. The great blue divide was the very reason why I kept telling you that former coach Rich Rodriguez would never work at Michigan. He didn’t understand Big Ten football and Michigan tradition and a number of secret worker bees burned the midnight oil to make sure he would fail here.
Some wanted Les Miles. Some wanted Jim Harbaugh. But there were few who wanted West Virginia’s version of Al Bundy to come here. That created the great blue divide.
Hoke has not won a game yet in Ann Arbor so this nice warm feeling could disappear this fall. Right here and right now he was the right choice for Michigan. Boosters are so excited that Michigan’s donations are up 22 percent over a year ago, which means the school is pocketing more than $5 million extra.
Some of this money was to make lacrosse a varsity sport. However, the big key is will Michigan sell a number of unsold suites at Michigan Stadium that stood dark last season? My guess is yes which means Hoke is already paying off.
I used to be the Michigan beat writer for The Detroit News many years ago and I discovered an interesting sub culture that I call The Michigan Mafia. They are boosters with a lot of money and influence. If the mob likes you then you are OK. If the mob doesn’t like you then you can forget about success at big blue.
People came down on the Free Press for writing stories about Michigan violating NCAA rules under Rich Rod for extra practices. I am convinced that story was leaked by the mob. There is no way the Free Press or anybody else discovers that story if a coach favorable to the Mob is at U-M.
Here is my prediction. And it is a bold one. We will not hear about one single scandal outside of the usual players’ arrest at Michigan under Hoke as long as he wins. Currently he is liked. And if he wins this hokey guy can become the king of Ann Arbor.
He’s won folks over with his pro Michigan rhetoric and his disdain for Ohio State. His talks sound folksy and simple but it is what people want.
The Michigan State Spartans rule the state of Michigan now, which makes this a green state. But they should be worried about Hokemania. It is running wild now and will need a year or two to take this state by storm.