It's a hire that will never happen. That's why it makes so much sense for Pittsburgh.
Rich Rodriguez. Take him, now, Panthers before Michigan drags him through this public humiliation one more minute. You, me and Dave Brandon know that RichRod's time at Michigan is limited. The end of the Orange Bowl Monday night marks another signpost in this drama. Jim Harbaugh's season is over. RichRod's career in Ann Arbor is all but over.
Even if it isn't, go get him. Be proactive. Maryland tried. Before hiring Randy Edsall, Terps AD Kevin Anderson reportedly contacted Rich Rod. The man isn't radioactive. He's available. We've already chronicled the current situation at Michigan. Here's a chance for Pittsburgh, for once, to be out front -- of everybody.
|During his three-year tenure at Michigan, RichRod's record is 15 - 21. (Getty Images)|
This is aimed mostly at AD Steve Pederson who seemingly didn't have a plan after the sham that was Dave Wannstedt's "resignation" last month. You and your program are looking worse by the minute, Steve. Coaches behave stupidly all the time. It's not possible to even joke about Mike Haywood given the allegations of domestic abuse. It does raise questions about how well Haywood was vetted.
The only issue for Rodriguez is how buzzed Pittsburgh, the Big East and the nation would be over his hiring. During a critical recruiting time you're trying to keep the 2011 class together with no one at the top. This is your chance, Steve, to be bold and brilliant. To be proactive, to be relevant.
To be, well, sexy.
Rich Rodriguez brings sexy back -- in a coaching sense. You would be "stealing," Steve, your biggest rival's superstar. I'm sure no one in Morgantown (or Pittsburgh) has forgotten that RichRod led West Virginia to a couple of BCS bowls and within a heartbeat of a national championship berth.
That berth was denied by ... oh yeah, Pittsburgh. Hire RichRod. Talk about sticking it in someone's face. West Virginia hates him anyway.
There's some unwritten rule in the hiring game that you can't take any coach related to your biggest rival. There are loyalties involved. Feelings. Trustees. All of it is dumb and limits the field. Texas' Darrell Royal went to Oklahoma. Former Oregon coach Rich Brooks is an Oregon State guy.
It can work. It should work. How is ignoring Rodriguez because he was the West Virginia coach any more stupid than taking a MAC coach who has been on the job two years with a 10-15 record?
See where this is headed? The two sides need each other. Badly. Rodriguez is damaged goods at Michigan. Pittsburgh is just plain damaged. RichRod would be a savior. Your last two football hires, Steve, have been Bill Callahan (at Nebraska) and Haywood. This is not going well.
In case you haven't noticed the sleepy Big East is waking up. TCU is entering in 2012 pretty much as a national power. That might not be the end of expansion as the league doggedly tries to hold onto that automatic BCS berth. West Virginia concluded that Bill Stewart's .700 win percentage wasn't good enough. AD Oliver Luck made Stewart witness his own demise by participating in the hire of coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen. UConn just lost the coach who took it to the Fiesta Bowl. Is Mike Leach waiting in the wings? Syracuse and Louisville are better.
Where does Pittsburgh sit amidst all this upheaval? Dead in the water for now. Rodriguez would bring in a quarterback, something that has been maddeningly tough in the past. Rodriguez would bring in an offense that seems to work everywhere but Michigan.
Most of all, Rodriguez would bring sexy back. That and winning.