Michigan coach Brady Hoke and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer have spent enough time in similar conferences -- although never at the same time -- to have some former opponents able to compare and contrast their styles.
Some are obvious -- Hoke and Michigan prefer to run a pro style while Meyer and Ohio State will run the spread. However, both coaches have similar backgrounds -- born in Ohio, looked up to coaches at the schools they now coach.
WolverineNation caught up with two former Mid-American Conference coaches, where Meyer coached Bowling Green from 2001 to 2002 and Hoke coached Ball State from 2003 to 2008, to get their takes on the two new coaches.
Jim Hofher, former Buffalo coach, now the offensive coordinator at Delaware: "They are both really, really good fundamentally sound football coaches in terms of a team. They both understand very well what offense is, defense is, special teams play and how they have to complement each other’s unit. How a defense and special teams has to help a team and how an offense has to help a team. They are as fundamentally sound as anybody in our business would ever be able to describe for two coaches. They will always work to figure out what their players are able to do best, and that’s what all wise coaches are trying to do. They certainly are going to have access, being at Michigan and Ohio State respectively, to as many of the top players in the country that they might want, so they’ll have a lot of toys in their toy box to play with as they develop each team annually."
Tom Amstutz, former Toledo coach: "They both want to take care of their business and take care of their team. They are both goal-driven and want to do their best for the program. They both really can relate to players and have personalities that can attract football players to want to be part of their program. So I think they are similar in that aspect."
WHERE THEY DIFFER:
Hofher: "When Brady had a terrific quarterback at Ball State, that was the focal point of what they were doing on offense. They could throw the ball as well as anybody when they had Nate Davis. When Brady was at San Diego State they had a terrific running game and that’s how they moved the ball on offense, not that they were one-dimensional, because most of these guys are wise enough and experienced enough to know you can’t be one-dimensional.
"You can look at Urban at Bowling Green, Utah and at Florida, there was always an extremely dominating quarterback who was a dual threat. When they won their most games with Josh Harris at BG, he started with Josh Harris and then Gregg Brandon took over for (Meyer as Bowling Green's head coach) and then he had Alex Smith at Utah and at Florida with Tim Tebow, there was always a dominating dual-threat quarterback. It would appear watching the Ohio State-Michigan game this past weekend that Ohio State, with Braxton Miller, they have that and at Michigan, Denard Robinson is also that. That was as fun a game over the weekend to watch as any.
"They are both in command of very talented teams. They have great coaching maturity, both of them. I’ll tell you what, it’s going to be spicy."
Amstutz: "They both are kind of different guys but excellent coaches in different ways. Brady Hoke did a tremendous job this year, he did a tremendous job not putting himself on a pedestal as a coach but doing everything for the program, for the kids, allowing his assistant coaches to do their very best job for him, and he made some very good hires for coaches that could bring back the old tradition of Michigan football, hard-nosed football, and just did a tremendous job. He cares about the Michigan program, cares about his players and pushed himself lower than that, he does it for the players. He’s a very unselfish coach and a guy who is in it for the team.
"Urban, I used to coach against him at Bowling Green and I thought he did an excellent job, installed a new offense that was very difficult to defend because it makes you incorporate the quarterback option running the football, very creative. He’s a real inside coach, wants to be in every facet of the game, involved. He does a very good job with special teams, motivation of the players. He's definitely a seasoned coach and he’ll provide some great leadership for Ohio State."