Beating Your Rival

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Brady Hoke will be Michigan’s ninth head football coach to face Ohio State for a fourth time. How have the other eight Michigan coaches fared in their first four games against the Buckeyes?

First 4 v OSU
Ties are counted as 0.5 wins.

To paraphrase Herm Edwards, as Michigan Head Coach you are paid to win The Game.

Most National Championship coaches in the BCS era won at least three of the first four against their main rival.
Nat Champ first 4 v rival
Ties are counted as 0.5 wins.

For Michigan’s next head coach, winning at least three of his first four games against Ohio State will, from a historical perspective, be important for Big Ten and National Championship aspirations.

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Brady Hoke and Ohio State Rivalry

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Brady Hoke is of course 1-2 as Michigan Head Coach against Ohio State. How does this compare among Michigan Head Football Coaches who have coached three games against Ohio State? Let’s take a look:

3 Rivalry Games L OSU

Moeller and Oosterbaan each had two wins and a tie against OSU in their first three games against the Buckeyes, accounting for the graph to reflect 2.5 wins for each.

Interestingly, the sum of the scores of Hoke’s first three games as Head Coach against OSU is 102-102.

How does Coach Hoke compare with National Championship Coaches in the BCS era in their first three games against their biggest rival?

Nat Champ 3 Games v Rival L OSU

The rivals for certain schools are difficult to determine, and there is disagreement even among their most ardent supporters as to who is the biggest rival. Here are the schools and rivals used for these data:

Tennessee (rival is Alabama)
FSU (rival is Florida)
Oklahoma (rival is Texas)
Miami (rival is FSU)
LSU (rival is Auburn)
USC (rival is UCLA)
Texas (rival is Oklahoma)
Florida (rival is FSU)
Auburn (rival is Alabama)
Alabama (rival is Auburn)

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