Michigan’s Brady Hoke: SEC isn’t the only elite league, says Big Ten is ‘awfully good’


Every big name coach in college football is asked about whether the SEC is as good as its perceived. Bob Stoops chimed in first and said the SEC is nothing but a house of cards built on propaganda, and Charlie Weis had his back at Kansas. FSU’s Jimbo Fisher was also asked to chime in on the ‘SEC brainwashing’, and he said perception is a huge part of it, but that the ACC also puts players in the NFL, too.

Now, it’s someone’s turn from the Big Ten not named Urban Meyer. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke has SEC fatigue and wants to rid the assumption that the SEC is the only conference that matters in college football.

Hoke, when speaking on 92.3-AM in Cleveland, says the SEC can play, but the Big Ten is ‘awfully good’, too, via MLive.com.

“I think people get a little overly zealous when they think the SEC is (the only conference) where they play football,” Hoke said Tuesday. “I think when you look at the track record of the Big Ten, (we) play awfully good football.

“I really believe in this conference, and everyone has to recruit the way they need to recruit for their school. It’s all different. … (But) it’s an amazing conference of coaches that work awfully hard.”

Michigan finished 0-2 against the SEC last year. The Wolverines were thumped 41-14 against Alabama and lost to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl 33-28…you know, the Jadeveon Clowney ‘Hit’ game.

MLive points out that the Big Ten was 2-7 against the SEC the past three bowl seasons.

The Big Ten as a conference hasn’t done much to gain national respect in the last five years. The last time they played for a title was in 2007 when Ohio State lost to LSU 38-24.

Back in February, Urban Meyer called out the Big Ten coaches because they were very average in their recruiting performance as a conference. And that doesn’t look to be improving for the 2014 class.

In today’s college football world, especially entering into a playoff next season, perception has massive implications. And Hoke is trying to channel his inner Big Ten-ism and earn back some respect for a fallen conference.

The chasm between the SEC and the Big Ten as leagues right now isn’t up for debate…it’s not really even a debate anymore. And saying the Big Ten plays some ‘awfully good football’ isn’t exactly changing the perception of the conference.

There’s only one Big Ten game on any SEC schedule during the 2013 regular season. Missouri travels to Indiana in September.

Photo Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports



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  • Hoke is absolutely correct about the Big 10 needing to recruit better. In each of the last two recruiting years, the SEC signed 51 out ESPNU’s 150 in 2012, and 56 of the ESPNU 150 in 2013. Ohio State and Michigan have done a pretty decent job of recruiting the last two years, but the rest of their conference doesn’t get many, if any, top recruits.

    • Easier said than done. Big 10 geographic area doesn’t produce enough top recruits to support more than the top tier of teams in the region. After PSU, UM and OSU have their way, the talent markedly diminishes. The bulk of the best players come from SEC country. And obviously, those recruits want to stay near home. If they don’t play in the SEC, they tend to stay in the deep south at FSU, Miami, Clemson, GT.

  • The SEC is the only “elite” conference. None are even close. Brady, wasn’t that butt whipping you received by Bama and then a beating by South Carolina enough?

  • Don’t forget that this “football” is played at locations that are…I dunno…”Universities”.

    The Big Ten alone has 5 teams listed in the 2013 TOP 50 SCHOOLS:
    Michigan #29, Northwestern #12, Penn State #45, Wisconsin #41, Illinois #46

    SEC had one:
    Vanderbilt #17

    That’s why the Big Ten has such lower quality overall teams. In fact, it’s actually AMAZING they ever really were such a strong conference, maybe overall kids these days ARE getting dumber, I dunno.

    Now now, I realize we’re not “playing school”, we’re “playing football”, but read between the lines:

    Hoke says:
    I really believe in this conference, and everyone has to recruit the way they need to recruit for their school. It’s all different. … (But) it’s an amazing conference of coaches that work awfully hard.”

    When he says that everyone, “HAS to recruit the way they need to recruit for their school. It’s all different…

    It’s all different…

    It’s all different…

    Easy as pie, what he means is:
    Every school has different “standards” and “expectations”, thus “requirements” from their “student” athletes.

    Michigan just holds their players to higher standard in things “other” than football. Look at coach Hoke’s mantra, he always harps on “educating” his football players “for life” to become “productive members of society”.

    And yea BigOrange, you’re right, in fact the state of Michigan is more well-known for NHL players, of which the U.S. is not even a strong leader.

    But I think it’s important when we analyze what’s going on here to remember that there are well-payed individuals in multi-million dollar programs (Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC etc.) that are all VERY SMART individuals and really do “know the score”, and although they “know” the emperor has no clothes, it’s not exactly easy to say.

    And not the “whole” but at least “part” of the point.

    But education and football aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s just…all different.

    • As a BIG SEC and South Carolina fan I really see nothing wrong with what he said. The SEC is not the only conference playing football and the Big 10 does play good football, just not on the same level as the SEC. Those days are LONG over. By the way, NCAA stands for National Collegiate ATHLETIC Association. NOT Academic Association, so get off this academic dead horse.

      • Exactly! Coaches aren’t paid to graduate players. How many coaches lost their jobs because of a low percentage of player graduation? All coaches will tell you it is important
        for players to graduate, but the bottom line is, they are paid to win football games. Teachers are paid to graduate students and players. The coaches motivation is for the players to do well enough in school in order to academically qualify to play. Do they want them to graduate, of course they do. You just can’t think that a school’s poor football performance is because the coach and school is more concerned with graduation than with winning.

        • And BamaFanLongTime, I agree with you completely. And coaches can be at odds with University standards and compliance boards. Of course it’s always internal and we the public will never hear a lick of it until it’s catastrophic (a la Penn State), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen (a la NSA spying) my point is just that different schools inculcate different mantras and approaches to life. Let’s not forget that about 0.3% of NCAA players will ever see a day of NFL, and 100% of NCAA players have to lead good, productive, meaningful lives regardless, so educating players, teaching life skills and ethics, despite what you two may say REALLY ARE the duties of these coaches and mentors. Some people recognize that, some don’t, it doesn’t change the truth of it. But I agree with you points, my point is that different schools/coaches have different standards/philosophies. And this quote, to me, was a little peek into it.

      • You do realize that BEFORE the word you caps-locked “athletic”, is the word COLLEGIATE…what do you THINK that means? I’m curious…

  • Billsto…
    The top recruits going to play at SEC schools is a location thing, not because they are dumb. They want to stay close to home.
    Also, you must have a lot of free time to type all that out.

    • Not really, no more than a couple hundred words. And I enjoy analyses. Do you not find it interesting?
      And while I agree, yes, I’m sure a major determining factor in a recruit choosing a school is location, let’s not forget that there are some schools that do not even attempt to recruit “top” recruits because of issues with grades and character.
      Look at the articulation of some UofM graduates: Charles Woodson, Dhani Jones (own T.V. show), Tom Brady, Brandon Graham, Jake Long, Taylor Lewan (who’s staying because he says, “no matter how big your paycheck, you’ll never get to play for a TEAM, that’s not what they do in the NFL -per Bo Schembechler of course)
      Meanwhile look at Alabma
      I mean really, who the hell do they think they are? ABOVE the law? Well maybe at Alabama they are…
      This is sub-human…
      Quote from the article, “It’s almost like they were doing it for fun, beaten student says”
      Like I said, character, not all coaches care about it, luckily, (for the players not for us) some still do care about it.
      And trust me, walk into a top-flight school like Northwestern or Michigan, academically, those schools are, academically speaking, the “Alabama” of education, actually, they’re more like the Ravens or Patriots, a whole order of magnitude.
      And while I’m sure football players EVERYWHERE get it a little easier, surely they are not held to the same standards.

      • Terrelle Pryor, Art Schlichter, Maurice Clarett are some fine examples of your alleged B1G character. And those are names from just one school.

        • Agreed. And that conforms to my earlier statements. Ohio State is NOT a top-50 ranked academic school.
          Additionally, it would be good to look not just at singular outliers, (i.e. singular worst offenders as examples: a la Bush did Coccaine, or Obama smokes cigarettes) and look at habitual, routine, occurrences, (i.e. what passes for “business as usual” a la Bush regularly defied the constitution, or Obama has approved more drone strikes than any president) that is much more telling of character, and say MUCH more of the character of an individual/team/group/country. Not what you SAY but what you DO, not your IDEALS but your BEHAVIOR, not your FAILURES but your RESPONSES.
          Case in point:
          The Unabomber, Ted Kacynski was a actual GENIUS in mathematics. Thus, are ALL GENIUSES in mathematics, EVIL? No. We don’t conflate fields like that. Or at least we shouldn’t. But even so, Ohio State was not on my original list. It’s like Brady Hoke says, “it’s all different…” <—Pay close attention to the words great men say, they actually do mean a thing or two.

  • Of course he’s going to say that. He has to. But his words mean nothing. After taking a beating from bama, and then having his runningback demolished by clowney, he can’t honestly believe that the big ten is anywhere near the competition level of the SEC. I mean, their best team, Ohio State, was having close games with Purdue for crying out loud. It’s all a joke

    • Although Bama put a beating on the enitre SEC save for A&M so that’s a moot point. The Clowney hit was lights out but if you watched the game it was a deep pass with time running out that gave the gamecocks the win. Hardly a blowout or thumping by any means.

      Every conference sends players to the NFL, right now the SEC is on a run with eight NC, but everything runs it’s course at some point. It wasn’t too long ago that the Hurricanes were running college football and look where they are now.

      • I didn’t say the SEC was the only conference putting players in the NFL. They are, however, the only conference that put 63 into the NFL this past year. The B1G had how many?

  • Is Brady Hoke being arrested for saying silly things, in that photo?

  • The Big Ten is maybe the third or fourth best conference in CFB. MAYBE. The SEC, then the Big 12 and Pac 12 – both are better than the Big Ten. The quarter-mile gap between the SEC and the Big Ten isn’t getting slimmer. Sure, CFB is cyclical, but even former SEC king Urban Meyer knows the difference. He knows he’ll run the Big Ten, and that includes Michigan.

  • Michigan, isn’t that one of the teams that Ohio State plays sometimes?

  • The current state the Big Ten finds itself in is embarrassing. Hoke can say what he wants because that’s what pays his bills. The reality of the B1G is one of weak teams and less than elite recruits. Unless Meyer and OSU can save it in 2013, it’s only going to continue spiraling downward.

    Even Tennessee and Kentucky are out-recruiting Big 10 teams that aren’t named Michigan and Ohio State. KENTUCKY!

  • Q. FSU’s Jimbo Fisher was also asked to chime in on the ‘SEC brainwashing’, and he said perception is a huge part of it, but that the ACC also puts players in the NFL, too.

    A. The SEC put 63 into the NFL while the ACC put 32. Both the SEC West and East had as many or more than the ACC = Almost Championship Conference. Lord how they do cry.

    Q. Bob Stoops chimed in first and said the SEC is nothing but a house of cards built on propaganda.

    A. Bob Stoops constant crying because he hasn’t won a Title since 2000. All talk and nothing more. Give that man a box of Tampons.

    Q. Michigan finished 0-2 against the SEC last year. The Wolverines were thumped 41-14 against Alabama and lost to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl 33-28…you know, the Jadeveon Clowney ‘Hit’ game.

    A. Hoke Michigan was taken out behind the woodshed by Alabama 41-14 and somehow the B1G plays simular football. Sorry talk is cheap and so is the B1G.

  • if we r talking football, the results on the field speak for themselves.

  • As if my pontificating wasn’t enough!

    Leonard Fournette. #1 RB 2014 Recruit in the country, FROM NEW ORLEANS, LA on Jabrill Peppers #1 CB 2014 committing to Michigan:

    “Michigan, I like Michigan. School-wise, they’re more focused on grades than football. That’s what I like about them. I think Jabrill made a good choice.”

    Signed, sealed, deliver.

    Hey Dougjenkins, BamaFanLongTime, BamaFanInOhio, and the rest of you that refuse to see REALITY (although it’s not all of you, some of you choose NOT to be so blind), I think there’s a movie about DANCING and in it, they say something to the losers afterwards…was it…was it…
    you suckers got served? I dunno…

  • The B1G definitely needs to catch back up, and I think they’re doing that slowly but surely. However, with regards to your last line, Ohio State had Vandy on it’s schedule this year as a season opener and they bailed on the scheduled game.