Brady Hoke doesn't claim to be a prognosticator, but he has his ideas on the future of college football — and that future doesn't look very bright for a couple conferences.
While speaking at the Agonis Club's 59th-annual awards banquet in his hometown of Kettering, Ohio (yes, Michigan fans, Hoke was born and raised in Ohio), Hoke dropped some jokes and answered questions, including his take on conference realignment.
"I think really in about three years you'll see four super conferences, and I think the Big East will go away and maybe the ACC," he said.
Hoke was also quick to qualify his remarks: "But look, I'm just a coach. I don't know all of it."
This isn't exactly a novel concept. As expansion has been rampant and the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 have been trying to one-up each other with bowl agreement and television deals while the Big East and the ACC have been trying to hold their membership together. There's no doubt the strong are getting stronger while everyone else is scratching and clawing to get a piece of the action.
However, this is the first time a coach has publicly expressed his vision of the future of college football and we all know Brady Hoke isn't one to mince words.
To that end, he also tackled the infamous "gentleman's agreement" that supposedly exists regarding recruiting in the Big Ten. After signing day, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio took issue with some of Urban Meyer's recruiting tactics, which helped Ohio State score one of the best classes in the country. Hoke — and mark this occasion — agreed with Meyer that recruits are fair game until they sign a letter of intent.
"No. 1, we have an actual signing day for a reason," Hoke said. "That is, they can change their minds until they sign. This is competitive. This isn't ... I'd like to say golf — don't take offense. I've never heard of agreements or not agreements. Look, they're 18 to 23 years old. They got a lot going on, more so now than when I was 18 to 23."