Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hot Topics: Can The 'Ten Year War' Be Repeated With Hoke And Meyer?

On a regular basis, our writers will break down a "Hot Topic" among the Michigan fans and express their personal opinions regarding the issue. Topics cover everything from major athletic department decisions to team apparel. Writers have their own opinions and readers and their views may not necessarily represent Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity.  Readers are welcome to comment below or contact our writers via Twitter with their own thoughts.

Tyler Fenwick - Yes - The 'Ten Year War' Can Be Repeated With Brady Hoke And Urban Meyer
1) The first reason I believe the Ten Year War can be repeated is because both Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer are very passionate, dedicated coaches who pour their hear into the game. That's what makes it great. They are able to take their players and set an example of how to play football for the respected schools. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Meyer is able to come out with some clever play on Michigan, much like Hoke did with only referring to Ohio State as "Ohio." These trends of passion catch on to everybody and heat up the rivalry more with every day that passes. 

2) My second reason for believing the Ten Year War will be repeated is recruiting. During his time at Florida, very few schools were able to boast recruiting classes like Urban Meyer and his staff did. And you can't judge his first class with Ohio State. I would be very surprised if the Buckeyes aren't back to consistent top 10 recruiting classes by next year. The same story for Michigan. Brady Hoke did a fine job of recruiting his first year for how much time he had. And now he is proving that a full off-season with his staff results in, literally, the best recruiting class in the nation for 2013. None of this is going to change any time soon, and both coaches know that. Michigan won the recruiting battle with Ohio State this year, but things will be much more heated by next season, and I don't see how anything can dwindle that fire.

Thomas Beindit - No - The 'Ten Year War' Cannot Be Repeated With Brady Hoke And Urban Meyer

1)  There is one major characteristic that is currently missing with Michigan and Ohio State right now that was present in the Ten Year War that will make it, the coaches' relationship and their personalities.  Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer are fantastic coaches and are sure to get their rivals' blood boiling, but can they relate to the opposing coach in the same way?  I'm not so sure.  Bo started out as one of Woody's assistants.  There is no such connection between Hoke and Meyer.  Yes, they both took similar routes to their success (starting at MAC schools and moving up), but how can anyone claim that is anything close to Bo and Woody's relationship?  Rivalry games can be fueled by fierce competition, but there isn't much that can top a long, personal relationship between the coaches.  Both coaches also had fierce personalities that almost demanded the opposing schools to despise them.  Woody's rants, Bo's fierce presence on the sidelines.  Those are not things that Hoke and Meyer possess.  Look at Hoke.  Many even comment on how calm he appears during games and in tight situations.  Meyer can be fired up, but he is supposed to tone it down with his recent heart issues.  Replicating the activities on the sideline is essential for the Ten Year War to be repeated and we have to be real, Hoke and Meyer aren't going to replicate those anytime soon.

2) If a Ten Year War is to repeat in the near future, Michigan and OSU are both going to have to be among the nation's elite.  This may not be a stretch of the imagination, but I think a lot of people forget just how good the teams involved in the Ten Year War were at the time.  Out of the 20 teams that participated, 19 of them were ranked before the Michigan - OSU game, 17 of those 20 teams were ranked in the top ten, and 14 of those teams were ranked in the top five.  Those games truly involved the teams that were the best in the nation.  I have the utmost confidence in Hoke and Meyer to bring Michigan and OSU back to the forefront of college football, but they really need to take it up a notch.  Michigan and OSU haven't had a match-up between two teams that were both ranked in the top five since 2006 and there have only been three games where both teams were ranked in the top 5 in this series since Bo and Woody's teams faced one another.  The Ten Year War had five games in the series in which both teams were ranked in the top 5.  If Hoke and Meyer are going to repeat the Ten Year War, they need to build elite teams that can compete on a yearly basis.  There have been some huge match-ups between the schools since the Ten Year War, but never as many in such close proximity.  I just can't see this being repeated anytime soon.


Final Points

Tyler - Those were some good points brought up surrounding missing characteristics of the original Ten Year War, and I obviously can't disagree with those. As far as the personal relationship between the two coaches goes, I'm very confident that they will become closer over the years. Both guys are class acts, so we don't have to worry about one coach getting out of hand or anything like that. As they start playing each other, I don't think it will take long before they become closer like Bo and Woody were. Obviously, they will never have that strong or unique of a relationship, but it will be there. As for both teams needing to become "elite" again, this is very possible in the near future. It's hard to argue that Michigan isn't further along in the process than OSU right now. But, in the Buckeye's case, it's easier to improve when you have a mile to go rather than the last 100 yards. It won't be more than three years before OSU is right back where they are used to seeing themselves on a national scale.

Thomas - I agree that Hoke and Meyer are great and passionate coaches.  Along with this, I agree that both of these coaches can recruit at a national championship level.  However, no matter the level of passion, they are still not going to have that personal relationship that will propel the game to the Ten Year War levels.    Going further, I'm not sure if teams can stay so consistently at the very top of the country.  Look at Alabama with Nick Saban.  He has been doing an outstanding job with two national championships in three years.  However, he still had a bit of an off-year in 2010 when Alabama finished the season ranked #10 in the country.  That's not bad, but if he continues at his current trend, he would have 2-3 seasons where he was ranked outside of the top five over a ten year period.  This is highly speculative, but is still extremely impressive.  Both programs would have to do this over a ten year period to repeat the Ten Year War.  With top programs around the country like Alabama, USC, and Oklahoma, I have my doubts about Hoke and Meyer accomplishing this.  They may create a great rivalry series over the next decade, but I can't see it being quite as good as Bo and Woody.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with   their thoughts

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