The First 27
With the 59-9 win over Central Michigan to kick off the 2013 season, Brady Hoke has now coached 27 games for Michigan, with a record of 20-7. Arguments can be made all day that he should have won more (or won less) but didn’t because of strength of schedule, talent inherited on the roster, coaching of that talent, ability to recruit and develop young talent, coulda/woulda/shoulda had another win/loss if it weren’t for a crazy play or bounce of the ball, desire to wear a headset, and so forth. The bottom line is that the same arguments could be made for most if not all of the head coaches in Michigan history who have coached at least 27 games.
Below are two charts: One compares Coach Hoke with all Michigan football head coaches who have coached at least 27 games for the maize and blue; the other compares Coach Hoke to all BCS-era National Championship coaches and their first 27 games at their national title school.
Fielding H. Yost did indeed go a perfect 27-0 in his first 27 games as Michigan’s Head Coach.
To relate Hoke’s 20 wins to the bigger picture, Kipke won 20 games in his first 27 (along with 3 ties!) and won two National Titles. Oosterbaan won 20 of 27 (with 2 ties) and won a National Title. Carr won 19 of 27 and won a National Title.
Both Crisler and Yost won more than 20 of the first 27 and went on to win at least one National Championship, with Crisler having won 22 of his first 27 (one National Title); and Yost with 27 of 27 (six National Titles).
National Championship Comparison
Former Michigan offensive lineman (senior with Team 96) and Offensive Line Coach (1987-94) Les Miles is at 23 along with Urban Meyer from his Florida days. Interestingly, Nick Saban had 19 wins in his first 27 games at both LSU and Alabama.
Brady Hoke Wins in first 27 games: 20.
The U of M data presented here was obtained in large part from the Bentley Library and its online information.
The information presented here for the national championship coaches was obtained from the football websites of the individual schools.