Everybody loves brackets and we all have opinions on the search for the next great coach to lead our Golden Gophers. Well it is time that you all have a say in the matter (and by having a say I mean pushing a button on the internet as an anonymous lurker and the results of said button pushing will have absolutely no bearing on the actual outcome of the coaching search). It is time for the voting to start and Gopher Nation to be allowed to speak.
We are no into the Elite Eight! A couple of guys who just get it done out in the Mountain West. This should be a very tight match-up.
Current Position: San Diego State (HC)
TDG Candidate Profile
Why? - Hoke is in the process of turning around his second mid-major program. He first did it at Ball State and is now pulling off a more impressive turnaround at San Diego State. At Ball State he led the Cardinals to the programs best season, 12-1 losing in the MAC Championship game. Now at SDSU he has the Aztecs bowl eligible for the first time in a very (VERY) long time. Hoke is a former Michigan assistant coach and he is a midwestern guy. So while he may not "get Minnesota" he gets the Big Ten and he would have a good idea of what it would take to win here.
Why Not? - You cannot take the 12-1 season away from Ball State but it is not like that program was at rock bottom before he arrived. And in spite of that 12-1 season and this year's 7-2 season, Hoke still have a career losing record as a head coach. In eight seasons as a head coach he is sub .500 with five losing seasons. He may be the right guy but if a proven winner over time is what you are looking for then you may need to give Hoke more time.
Current Position: Air Force Academy (HC)
TDG Candidate Profile
Why? -There probably isn't a coach in the country who does more with less. The Falcons are a well disciplined team who executes their schemes to near perfection. Part of that is the nature of a service academy cadet but part of that is the coaching of Troy Calhoun. Calhoun has great experience as a BCS level coordinator, an NFL coordinator and now a head coach in the best non-BCS conference. Calhoun has consistently won and finished right behind the big boys of the MWC. He is a winner, he is experienced and he would be a great fit in Minnesota.
Why Not? - Mostly because he probably won't come here. Calhoun is an Air Force graduate and there is a very strong tie there, he may be one of the rare coaches who isn't as concerned about moving up the ladder as he is with leaving a legacy. Some might be scared off by his wishbone offense but don't be. Most believe that he is not married to that offense and he has experience at Wake Forest, Denver and Houston running other offenses.