Terry Foster heard from more than a few UM football followers about a Sunday blog post titled "Michigan football needs change."
In addition to regular readers, Foster's audience swelled when ESPN SportsCenter quoted from it, The Detroit News columnist writes.
The network "liked one of my lines that said Hoke was a good father figure but not a good football coach," Foster relates.
"I wrote that if Hoke did not beat Ohio State and Michigan State this season, he must be fired. About 85 percent of the people who emailed me about the column agreed."
One who doesn't is businessman Jim Stapleton, a UM booster who's also on Eastern Michigan University's board. "Stapleton accused me of falling off a truck and bumping my head," according to Foster.
The journalist, whose first post was a personal commentary on "Michigan's 26-10 loss to Utah that shook Blue Nation" on Saturday, uses his follow-up newspaper column to debate Hoke's prominent defender. Here 's part of what each says:
• Stapleton: Hoke is the right man for the job and will win Big Ten titles if he is allowed to keep his job.
• Foster: That would be rare. Hoke has only won one conference title in 12 years as a head coach.
• Stapleton: Hoke was hired to not only change a program, but to change a culture that strayed from its true Michigan roots under former coach Rich Rodriguez. As a result, Brady has had to deal with starting from scratch.
• Foster: Hoke seems over his head as Michigan coach. He might be a good fit for smaller programs like Ball State and San Diego State, but Michigan is a giant monster he doesn't know how to handle.
• Stapleton: If the administration gives Brady Hoke the time to build this program, Brady Hoke will be a legendary Michigan coach.
• Foster: Mark Dantonio will be a legendary coach at Michigan State. Nick Saban is already a legendary coach at Alabama. Hoke is not in that category.
• Stapleton: If Michigan wins nine or 10 games a year, . . . Michigan fans should take a deep breath and accept that, and now and then they might get into the college football playoff.
• Foster: The problem is Hoke is not even close to doing that. Michigan is just an OK football program now. Change is needed.
-- Alan Stamm