Jim Harbaugh Through 23 Games

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With the 14-13 loss versus Iowa, Jim Harbaugh is now 19-4 at Michigan Head Coach. How does this compare with past Michigan Head Coaches? With National Championship Coaches?

Only Fielding Yost (23-0) and Michigan’s coach from 1897-1899, Gustave Ferbert (21-1-1), started at Michigan with better records than Jim Harbaugh. Bo Schembechler and Gary Moeller matched Harbaugh’s 19 wins in their first 23 games as Head Coach.

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Since the start of the BCS era in the 1998 season, 12 different combinations of Head Coach and School have won national championships. For instance, Nick Saban would count as two combinations, one for his title at LSU, and a second time for his titles at Alabama.

Through 23 games, Jim Harbaugh has a better record than all of them except Larry Coker (Miami) and Urban Meyer (Ohio State), who both started 23-0 at their respective schools. Like Harbaugh, Les Miles and LSU and Meyer at Florida each recorded 19 wins in their first 23 games.

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Jim Harbaugh Through 22 Games

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With the 59-3 win versus Maryland, Jim Harbaugh is now 19-3 at Michigan Head Coach. How does this compare with past Michigan Head Coaches? With National Championship Coaches?

harbs-thru-22

Only Fielding Yost (22-0) and Michigan’s coach from 1897-1899, Gustave Ferbert (20-1-1), started at Michigan with better records than Jim Harbaugh.

Since the start of the BCS era in the 1998 season, 12 different combinations of Head Coach and School have won national championships. For instance, Nick Saban would count as two combinations, one for his title at LSU, and a second time for his titles at Alabama.

Through 22 games, Jim Harbaugh has a better record than all of them except Larry Coker (Miami) and Urban Meyer (Ohio State), who both started 22-0 at their respective schools.

harbs-nat-thru-22b

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Jim Harbaugh Through 21 Games

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With the win versus Michigan State, Jim Harbaugh is now 18-3 at Michigan Head Coach. How does this compare with past Michigan Head Coaches? With National Championship Coaches?

harbs-thru-21

Among Michigan coache, only Fielding Yost with 21 wins and Gustave Ferbert (coach from 1897-1899) won more games in their first 21 than Jim Harbaugh.

Since the start of the BCS era in the 1998 season, 12 different combinations of Head Coach and School have won national championships. For instance, Nick Saban would count as two combinations, one for his title at LSU, and a second time for his titles at Alabama.

Through 21 games, Jim Harbaugh has a better record than all of them except Larry Coker, who started 21-0 at Miami.

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Brady Hoke’s Michigan Trendline

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With Team 135 set to kick off the season in 11 days, Fergodsakes.com wanted to review where Brady Hoke ranks, according to the numbers, in the pantheon of Michigan football coaches.

Brady Hoke is 26-13 as Michigan’s Head Coach. Among the nine coaches who have been Head Coach of Michigan football for 39 games, Hoke’s 26 wins ranks tied for seventh.

Start of 2014 season

The immortal Fielding H. Yost leads the way with 38.5 wins (Yost had 38 wins and one tie in his first 39 games; for purposes of counting wins, ties are counted as half of a win). Michigan coaches averaged nearly 30 wins in their first 39 games; the median number of wins in their first 39 games is 31 wins.

Coach Hoke got off to a great start at Michigan, going 11-2 in his first season. Somewhere along the line his trendline tapered off. Where did Hoke stop “keeping up with the Joneses?”

Trendline Graph thru 39 games

There are three factors that have contributed to Hoke not keeping pace with Michigan coaching legends of the past. The first is the miserable last six games of the 2013 season, starting with the game in East Lansing against Michigan State. Including the bowl game, Michigan was 1-5 in those last six games. Prior to that, Hoke’s trendline was actually tracking above that of Michigan coaches of the past, and was tracking right along with National Championship coaches of the BCS era.

The second factor contributing to Brady Hoke’s record not keeping pace with Michigan coaching legends of the past is the remarkable success of Michigan football. As Head Coach of Michigan football, Hoke has a winning percentage of 0.667 through 39 games, yet this ranks in a tie for seventh out of nine coaches who have coached at least 39 games for the maize and blue. Of the nine head coaches with 39 games under their belt for Michigan, five have won national titles; another is named Schembechler; two others are Gary Moeller and Bump Elliott; and one is Brady Hoke. With Michigan as the leader in total wins in all of college football, Hoke has some incredibly high standards to try to live up to. The college football landscape has changed in the last few decades, and there is more high level competition in any given year than there ever was before. There are incredibly talented players in every NCAA football program. I’m not sure the same could be said for the Yost era, or even the Schembechler era.

The third factor is the Rich Rodriguez Effect. Rodriguez was 15-22 as Michigan’s Head Coach. He coached a total of 37 games for the Wolverines, and his win total dragged down the average number of wins by Michigan coaches through those 37 games. But starting with Game 38, Rodriguez’s record no longer factored into the trendline of wins by Michigan coaches simply because Rodriguez never coached 38 games for Michigan. In short, Hoke’s trendline is now comparing to the more successful Michigan coaches – those who have been around for at least the same number of games as Hoke (39 games entering the 2014 season).

This 2014 season, Hoke’s fourth with Michigan, will be interesting in terms of Hoke’s trendline. Fergodsakes will be tracking it throughout the year.

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