Brady Hoke explains why he voted Michigan 15th in poll, matching national high
ANN ARBOR -- Michigan finished the regular season No. 22 in the coaches poll and No. 19 in the AP poll.
Brady Hoke, who has a vote in the coaches poll, ranked the Wolverines 15th on his final regular-season ballot. That matches the highest vote for Michigan in either poll -- 119 ballots combined.
Why so high?
"Because I think we're a good team," Hoke said Monday. "You look at the opponents that we played compared to other schedules that are out there, it would be easy to play a lesser schedule. But I think this has helped us grow as a program and a team."
Michigan finished 8-4, joining UCLA (9-4) as the only four-loss teams to be ranked. Hoke ranked the Wolverines ahead of the Bruins, making them the highest-ranked four-loss team.
But those losses came against some of the nation's best: Notre Dame (12-0), Alabama (13-1), Ohio State (12-0) and Nebraska (10-3). The Irish and Crimson Tide will play each other for the national title.
Each loss came on the road.
"You vote your conscience," Hoke said. "I don't know if I'd vote it any differently than I did."
It would seem Hoke believes Michigan is better than its 8-4 record would indicate, although quarterback Denard Robinson disputes that notion.
"I can't say that because we are 8-4," the senior said Monday. "That's how it is. We had some tough losses. We're 8-4."
Two other coaches joined Hoke in voting Michigan 15th, both of whom are familiar with the Wolverines: Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, who beat Michigan 13-6 earlier this season, and Arizona's Rich Rodriguez, who coached the Wolverines from 2008-10 and recruited much of the current roster.
One AP voter pegged Michigan 15th, Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Michigan will finish its season by playing South Carolina (10-2) on Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl. Hoke ranked the Gamecocks No. 10, which also was their overall finish in the coaches poll and BCS standings. They are No. 11 in the AP poll.
Brady Hoke's full ballot:
1. Notre Dame
6. Kansas Sate
8. Texas A&M
10. South Carolina
12. Florida State
14. Oregon State
21. Boise State
25. Northern Illinois