National Championship Rivalry & Bowl Trends

Facebook Twitter Email has reviewed the record of every coach who won a National Championship in the just-concluded BCS era. Specifically, trends in total number of wins, records against rivals, and records in bowl games were evaluated. How does Brady Hoke compare?


In terms of wins through 39 games, Hoke is behind pace of the national championship coaches:

Trendline Graph thru 39 games

Hoke’s trendline was parallel to the national championship coaches until the disastrous 2-6 ending to the 2013 season. Through Hoke’s first 31 games as Michigan Head Coach (through the Minnesota game in 2013), Hoke was 24-7; the BCS era national championship coaches averaged 24.3 wins through their first 31 games. The numbers were in Hoke’s favor; his trendline was good when compared with the elite coaches in the land. The final eight games of 2013 did, unfortunately, occur, and at this point Hoke’s 26 wins in his first 39 games is well below the national championship coach average of 30.6 wins at the same juncture.


Brady Hoke’s Michigan teams are 1-2 against Ohio State. Among National Championship coaches in the BCS era, only Nick Saban at LSU and Gene Chizik at Auburn had just one win in their first three rivalry games; all others had at least two wins in their first three rivalry games (Tennessee’s Phil Fulmer was 1-1-1 in his first three games against his main rival before overtime was instituted).

Nat Champ 3 games v rival pre 2014 season

What about 2014 against Ohio State? Should Michigan lose to the Buckeyes, Hoke will of course be 1-3 against them in his first four attempts. Has there been a Head Coach in the BCS era who won a National Championship despite winning just one of his first four games against his biggest rival? The answer is yes. There is only one. Gene Chizik with Auburn won a National Championship despite winning just one of his first four games against Alabama – that one being the incredible Cam Newton comeback victory. Chizik never got to face Alabama for a fifth time, as he was fired after his fourth season at Auburn as the program cratered.

Nat Champ 4 games v rival

Bowl Games

Brady Hoke is 1-2 in bowl games as Head Coach at Michigan. Among National Championship coaches in the BCS era, only Mack Brown and Bobby Bowden won just one of their first three bowl games.

Nat Champ 3 Bowl Games

Looking ahead to Michigan’s 2014 season, every single National Championship coach won at least two of his first four bowl games.
Nat Champ 4 bowl games pre 2014 season

If past performance is any indicator of future results, according to the numbers, a victory over the Buckeyes this November and a corresponding bowl game victory are paramount for Hoke’s National Championship aspirations with Michigan.

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