"I might say 'Hey, that sounds great, but do you have any idea what it takes to win a national championship? You have to bust your butt constantly, you have to be perfect in every practice, and every one of you has to have your greatest year of practice. If you understand this, you go right ahead and put it up there, but if you don't, then don't just put it up there for the hell of it. Don't put any goal up on the board you aren't willing to sacrifice everything to achieve."
I know that an initial press conference is basically a giant warm fuzzy. You push the reset button on the recent past, and you look for some mad hope. But, with the only "negative" leaning question of the entire question, I think Brady Hoke's answer shows that he sees the sequential nature of things. Winning a Big Ten championship is something that Michigan can control. Win all eight of their games, win the Big Ten championship game, and they win the Big Ten championship. That is a tangible goal, one which they control their own destiny. With the whims of the BCS, the computers, the human polls, to set the goal as winning the national championship means that you might be perfect and not even get a chance to play for it (not saying that Michigan would be denied that chance as a major name school from an AQ conference, but, well, stranger things have happened.) You start with a goal that you place in your hands, and then, should the moment present itself, you move on to the larger goal.
Besides, 6-18 in the last three years in Big Ten play, you would think a columnist who has harped on that would applaud the idea of starting over with something reasonable? Oh, right, never mind.