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Posted on Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Highlights from Michigan coach Brady Hoke's final news conference before Sugar Bowl

By Kyle Meinke


Michigan football coach Brady Hoke answers questions during a press conference at the Marriott Convention Center in New Orleans on Monday.

Melanie Maxwell I

NEW ORLEANS -- Michigan coach Brady Hoke addressed the media today for the final time before the Wolverines face Virginia Tech on Tuesday in the Sugar Bowl (8:30 p.m., ESPN).

He didn't release much, by way of news, but did have a few interesting thoughts on his team, in particular, and college football in general.

Here are a few highlights from his news conference in New Orleans:

On if there's a window for a national championship next season: "Oh, I don't know about that. We really, you know, every team's different. We're going to find out a lot about Team 133 and the seniors who are going to lead that team. We're going to have some holes to fill, like everyone does, and I think once we get through spring, I think we'll have an idea where we're at."


The Sugar Bowl trophy is displayed near Michigan coach Brady Hoke as he answers questions during a press conference on Monday.

Melanie Maxwell I

On adapting the offense to the talents of the personnel he inherited, in particular Denard Robinson: “You know, Al Borges, our offensive coordinator, is a very smart man. He's coordinated a lot of different places. I think we have a system that we're working toward. But I think Al's really done a great job on the different things that Denard because of what he brings to the table, his athleticism, I think, you know, and how he's progressed in what we're doing. … I think we're smart enough to know that we've got a pretty good football player there, so why not utilize what he does well?”

On what’s behind the defense’s turnaround: “There's a mentality and an expectation, and there's a pride. … You know, the scheme was different, personnel was a little bit used differently. But, I think all those guys on defense are such good teachers from a fundamental and technique standpoint and expectations that our guys hear every day of how you play Michigan football. And then it's really up to those guys, the Mike Martins, the (Troy) Woolfolks, and (Ryan) Van Bergens and the guys who are the leaders on that defense and everything that they've done.”

On why he calls this Michigan squad “Team 132”: “We've always numbered our teams. At Ball State, whatever those numbers were, and San Diego State, and Coach (Lloyd) Carr kind of indoctrinated me into that when he was the head coach at the University of Michigan. And it's about a legacy as a senior class. And it's about that team, because you're remembered. This team has a chance to be the fifth Michigan team to win 11 games. And that's significant. And it's significant for those seniors. And so we've always done that."

On whether coaches are getting less time to turn around programs before they’re let go: “It's part of what college football is, to some degree, with ‘what have you done lately?’ and just how it is. … It's all part of it, and I can't judge if you get enough time, don't get enough time."

On how much thought he’s given to next year’s season opener in Dallas against Alabama: "You know what, really not much. You know, we gotta finish this one off. And that will be a great opener for us a year from now. But right now we've got to finish off … we started it, and so we need to finish it.”

On his definition of a Michigan Man: “It's always been a guy who plays at Michigan who has got a toughness to him in how he plays the game. He's got a tremendous respect for the University of Michigan and his teammates. A guy who has got integrity, and a guy who has character.”

On whether Michigan "is back" with a win: "I don't think Michigan ever left. There was maybe a lean year or two. But Michigan was always Michigan. And will be. So Michigan never left."

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

Now that is Hoke you can believe in....


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 3:27 a.m.

Good Luck Brady, you will need it. My prediction, your team will look more like the "Brady Bunch" than the "Leaders at Best", or "Victors of the West" or what ever you call yourselves. MSU , the only Big Ten team to win today and defend the "heritage" of The Big Ten ! We most certainly look forward to posting comments tomorrow, when the Woverinett's get their butts kicked ! Once again , the "Green and White" win despite the naysayer's ! Go Green Go White

Johnny Smith

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:35 a.m.

Has anyone else heard these rumors on Denard? I think the source is <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

Yeah that spread offense doesn't work in the big ten.. Oregon offense 45 points, 621 total yards,345 yards rushing.... Wisconsin Offense 31 points. Wisconsin had over a month to plan for Oregon's offense.. Oregon has a smart offense. Michigan's future offense safe and stupid


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

Ya Ted Mich found that out the hard way! Against physical good D's that are playing you in non ideal (sub 50) degree weather it does not work! Ball security, health, and defensive positioning become liabilities! That is the downfall of the Spread is that your defensive strategy is to disregard D and score more points! There has never been a single option read team to win a NC and that is because good D's make running QB's throw. You have to have a once in a generation QB to run it and be a duel threat against quality oppenents!


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

Yeah that spread offense doesn't work in the big ten.. Oregon offense 45 points, 621 total yards,345 yards rushing.... Wisconsin Offense 31 points. Wisconsin had over a month to plan for Oregon's offense.. Oregon has a smart offense. Michigan's future offense safe and stupid


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

Nobody should get their hopes too high here. Big Ten has been proven a &quot;fraud&quot; with this 2012 bowl season. None of the teams fared well, although 3 won, they did not do so convincingly. And, the teams that lost, lost big.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

a whole lot of nothing. Remember back inners to the Sugar Bowl Scoreboard at the end of the stadium said 28-14 MSU That Never Goes Away Arrogant Ones


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

67-30 never goes away either, or &quot;lil brother,&quot; or ZERO BCS APPEARANCES......


Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

Glad Brady Hoke didn't fall into the trap from the question if Michigan &quot;is back&quot;. He had a good answer to that question. Go Blue...get win number 11!!


Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

Win or lose (I hope win), I like Brady Hoke.


Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

Hey Coach, I hate to mention that you're wrong on this being the 5th team to win 11 games for a season. -Yost had 4 teams that did that. -Bo had 2 teams that did that. -Lloyd had 2 teams that did that. Thus, this would be the 9th squad to accomplish this feat, let's do it! We've had 26 teams win at least 10 games and 2 teams that have won 12 games. I'm looking forward to many more 11, 12 + wins in the seasons to come. We will have many chances to win 13 or 14 games when you count the B1G CG and Bowl game. And know this, any M Team that is 13-0 after winning said B1G CG, has a likely chance of being in the BCS Championship Game. After all, This is Michigan for gods sakes, Go Blue!!!


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:16 a.m.

and other great fables


Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

Brady has got kind of a top secret, no admittance mentality. On the one hand I understand, on the other hand I occasionally think, hey coach, it's me a faithful Michigan fan you can tell me what's really on your mind. Some of his talks to the media sound very scripted. I would like to hear Brady let loose once in awhile. I think coach has a lot of interesting perspectives that would be interesting and informative but for what ever reason Brady seems very guarded but hey, it works for the New England Patriots coach and their usually pretty decent.


Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 8:52 p.m. you smell that? Me too, it's an eleven win season! Go Blue!