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Emma: Michigan Must Return To Championship Standard

By Chris Emma-

(CBS) Brady Hoke was in the wrong place. A MAC success story wasn't meant in Michigan.

Hoke was relieved of his duties as Wolverines coach on Tuesday. But Hoke wasn't fired because of a 5-7 season. He wasn't dismissed due to losses to Ohio State, Michigan State or even a blowout at the hands of Notre Dame. Hoke was canned because of mistakes made from Day 1 in Ann Arbor.

Mismanagement was in place from the start, with a coach so obviously in over his head. Hoke is a defensive line coach who didn't belong leading the prestigious Michigan brand. It's a program that needs a smart, savvy leader.

While Hoke's success at Ball State and San Diego State was admirable, it wasn't the proven track record that translates to a college football power like Michigan.

In 2011, Hoke and his staff got what was needed out of a roster ready to win, and the Wolverines were victorious in the Sugar Bowl. But further 11-win seasons didn't follow. Michigan regressed when it came time for Hoke to build a program.

Hoke brought talent to Ann Arbor. His 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes were each ranked top five in the country, according to 247Sports. But ever an indictment, the Wolverines weren't winning the big games when their top recruits were ready for key roles.

Names like Shane Morris, Derrick Green and Jake Butt were to be Michigan's star-powered core as Hoke built what many projected to be a winner. But the Wolverines went from 11 wins in 2011 down to eight, then seven and now five in 2014.

Such a fall is bad for any program, but especially Michigan, which boasts a record 914 wins. "Hail to the Victors" just sounded cruel as the losses piled up.

With each crushing defeat adding up to another failed season, what was evident from the start became apparent to all -- Hoke wasn't what Michigan needed.

It's time for Michigan to get real about winning, rather than taking a shot on a mid-major success story. The Wolverines need a proven winner, a true leader.

According to Forbes, the financial value of Michigan's football program is $94 million, fifth in college football. There's no reason it can't make a safe, sound investment.

The Wolverines should wrangle up $5 million -- or whatever it takes -- and leave it at the doorstep of Michigan alum and current LSU coach Les Miles, who could be looking for a change of scenery at 61 years old. Or Michigan should make a run at former star quarterback Jim Harbaugh, whose days coaching the San Francisco 49ers appear numbered. It's even worth a meeting with Youngstown State president Jim Tressel -- yes, the same sweater vest that beat Michigan eight times as Ohio State's head coach.

It's Michigan, where the only standard should be competing for championships. Interim athletic director Jim Hackett claimed this was a difficult decision, but that's just rambling rhetoric. Hackett was a center for Bo Schembechler-coached Michigan teams. He knows the excellence that's demanded in Ann Arbor.

In Ann Arbor, there are immense resources, fertile recruiting grounds and millions of dollars ready for the best coach available. What the Wolverines need is a championship coach who can bring Michigan back to prominence, removing it from the rut of mediocrity that Hoke mismanaged.

What Michigan doesn't need is another coach in over his head. The standard is too great, the brand is too powerful.

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