Facing former team a challenge for Hoke

Michigan coach Brady Hoke will face his former team this weekend when San Diego State comes to the Big House. WolverineNation's Michael Rothstein takes a look at the challenges facing Hoke in this situation:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Houston Nutt woke up Sunday morning during the week of the 2008 Arkansas-Mississippi game and by the time he started breaking down film of the Razorbacks, he knew this was going to be different.

The players on the tape used to be his players. That used to be his team. Less than a year after he resigned, Nutt was at Mississippi, preparing to face the same guys he once convinced to come to Fayetteville to play for him. As much as he tried to downplay it -- as coaches who have gone through the somewhat rare situation of playing their old team in their first season with their new team always seem to do -- he couldn't. This wasn't the same as any other week.

There was more invested. While Michigan football coach Brady Hoke said it wasn't going to be much different than any other week for him when San Diego State comes to Ann Arbor on Saturday, the reality is he just might not realize it yet.

Or doesn't want to admit it.

"He won't realize it," Nutt said. "But he'll wake up, and it'll be the most difficult week because of all the ties. Being in those living rooms, you try to play it off and go nonchalant about it during the week, but when that thing kicks off and you look across the sideline, you know the numbers, you know the faces. You say it's just another game, another kick, but it's more than that. It's a little bit deeper than you think."

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