Blog Entry

If Rich Rod is out, where does UM go from here?

Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:33 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 7:24 pm

The number you dialed is not a working number.

That was the message on Rich Rodriguez's cell phone Tuesday afternoon. Kind of says it all, doesn't it? In the end, nothing worked at Michigan, not even the man's cellie.

The Rich Rod era at Michigan reportedly has ended with everyone at fault and no one at fault. (Michigan released a statement saying Rodriguez' firing is "media speculation" and that AD Dave Brandon has yet to make a "final decision." A regularly-scheduled team meeting was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday, but had nothing to do with the coach's job situation according to a spokesman)

Three years ago Rodriguez was the obvious and welcome choice at Michigan. It's easy to blame former AD Bill Martin for the hiring but that would be revisionist history. Rodriguez was at the top of his game in December 2007. Michigan went to the wall, financially, to extricate him from a messy buyout at West Virginia.

Michigan fans cheered the whole way. Rodriguez brought the next-generation offense that was going to allow Michigan to compete for national championships. That's exactly what had happened at West Virginia, but for some reason the magic didn't translate to Michigan. It was square peg/round hole from the getgo. At his core, Rodriguez is a West Virginia guy. Michigan is ...well, it's hard to define but Michigan is different -- or at least perceives itself that way.

That's why it's hard to blame this whole thing on Rodriguez. The same guy who recruited and coached Denard Robinson to the brink of a Heisman invite to New York couldn't find a suitable defense. His worth as a valued coach will proven by his next job. It will be a quality one whether it's in 2011 or 2012. Pittsburgh or Connecticut would be wise to snatch up a proven head coach on the rebound. Rodriguez's career isn't over, it's just altered.

You can blame Brandon. He dragged this out much longer than it needed to be to the point that the firing itself seems to be lingering on. Meanwhile, recruiting has suffered. There is no assurance that Jim Harbaugh is coming. In fact the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that it is "highly unlikely". In other words, Brandon could have canned Rodriguez a month ago and been way ahead. Michigan would either have a coach or be able to tell recruits they were going to get a quality coach.

Now it might come down to whether Brandon can sell San Diego State's Brady Hoke to the masses. The short answer is no. A quick Twitter survey by colleague Stewart Mandel at was interesting. He asked Michigan fans which of three outcomes they'd like to see, if Harbaugh wasn't available -- keep Rich Rod, hire Brady Hoke or hire Les Miles.

Keeping Rich Rod won.

I don't think Miles comes because it's too much of a rebuilding job. LSU is going to likely start in the top five next season and could be favored to win the SEC West. And there's the little matter of Miles buyout which stood at $14 million before the season. Whoever comes in is going to have to rip up the foundation and start over. Hoke would welcome it. Miles? I say not so much.

The search seems to be trending toward getting another Michigan Man after Rodriguez The Outsider, didn't get it done. But if Harbaugh is out of the picture why limit yourself? Call Gary Patterson. Call Chris Petersen. Call Bob Stoops. Who knows, one of them might have a secret hankering to coach Michigan. What Brandon can't do is trot Hoke up to the podium and tell us, "He was our No. 1 choice all along." No matter what you think of Hoke, that won't fly. Michigan will have settled.

As for blame, it's everywhere. This is like a no-fault divorce. Something went wrong. It's now up to Brandon to get it right. If he can.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Apr 19, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2011 10:57 pm

If Rich Rod is out, where does UM go from here?

Offer to the best candidate which is Harbaugh. If no then offer to the most successful which is Gruden. If no then offer to the one who has proven success and a great opportunity which is Petersen at Boise. If all else fails then take the guy who wants to be there which is Hoke. Makes perfect sense to me. Regardless I have two opinions 1) whoever it is will be better than RR 2) never offer Les Miles a job again. He said NO once. He will eventually get fired because LSU was placed on the map with Saban and Les won with Saban's players. Unfortunately Saban now coaches in the same division. If Miles wants the Big 10 I am sure Minnesota or Indiana will give him a shot.

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2011 5:07 pm

If Rich Rod is out, where does UM go from here?

why take a pay cut to have huge rebuilding effort

I agree with most of what you say. I dont think Les Miles will coach at Michigan..but 3 things....first what makes you think the Wolverines wont give him more than the 3.9 million he makes now..they certainly can afford it and there is a strong desire to not land another coach from a weak conference and that seem to be all thats available besides Harbaugh and Miles or Gruden and Cowher.  Secondly even though he wouldnt inherit as talented as a team he still played at Michigan which is an X factor in my opinion. Also Michigan has just as many resources as LSU as far as facilites and recruiting yet the competition is a little point being he could rebuild Michigan to prominence and have an easier road to the national championship.  Thirdly he wouldnt have to run an RR offense there is plenty of talent offensively currently on the roster and a perfect QB for Les's style of offense(not robinson ..Devin Gardner). He would have to get the defense straightened out but the talent is there as Michigan started 17 underclassmen.

Since: Oct 31, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2011 12:38 pm

If Rich Rod is out, where does UM go from here?

Very short list here, Les Miles, Elvic Grbac or Barry Sanders.

Since: Nov 24, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:56 am

If Rich Rod is out, where does UM go from here?

What is that annoying thing stuck on the bottom of my shoe? 2,061 days and counting.........

Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:46 am

If Rich Rod is out, where does UM go from here?


When Les Miles went to LSU he requested and received a "special clause" buyout if Michigan came calling.

It is either $1.24 or 1.5 miliion not $14,000,000

report the facts or dont write anything


I personally do not see Les taking that job now.

He will have a preseason top 10 team in 2011

He will have 9 starters back on offense with the potential of having a decent QB for the 1st time since the 07 BCS title.

He will need to replace a few quality defensive starters but he has a stable a extremely good young guys that got a bunch of experince this year with a top 5 recruiting class coming in.

why take a pay cut to have huge rebuilding effort

Les WOULD NOT run an RR style offense

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2011 10:19 am

If Rich Rod is out, where does UM go from here?

I suspect Michigan is going for Les Miles.  When they went after him last time, they rushed it and tried to secure his name prior to the LSU bowl game.  That only caused controvery and eventually Les shut the door on (IMO) his dream job.  If Michigan were to approach properly (after the bowl game), then I think Les would take it.  I'd wager that's why they're stalling the announcement.

Since: Jan 22, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2011 10:36 pm

If Rich Rod is out, where does UM go from here?

do you mean a doormat that gets blown out like the mighty spartans did to a top school like alabama.  Dont see where the spartans got to the high and mighty of looking down and saying the conference needs michigan to be competitive....I can remember droughts much longer then 3 years that the big ten could have used decent seasons out of michigan state and in those years the spartans would have hardly qualified as a doormat.  MSU was expossed for the fraud they were all year on new years day, we all knew michigan was no good from the get go.  Well see what happens next year before we annoit the spartans capable of telling a program like michigan what they should be doing.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2011 6:48 pm

Rich Rod out: Why, and where UM goes from here

I find it quite amusing that all you folks keep trying to narrow it down as to who will be the Wolverines new head coach. Will it be Harbaugh, Patterson from TCU, Hoke from San Diego St, Stoops has been mentioned also. My take is its going to be one of these two and no one has mentioned thier names. Nick Saban, would he make the move from Bama to Ann Arbor? Possibly if the $$$$ is there, we all know how Nick is. Next on the list is Dantonio. From East Lansing to Ann Arbor. Laugh but if the money was there do you think they would jump. I think it would be hilarious. But they're both winners and UM is in dire need of a winner. Not to mention the head coaching job at Michigan is one of the if not the most prestigious jobs in callege football. Dantonio would be able to coach big brother. WOW

Since: May 30, 2007
Posted on: January 4, 2011 6:02 pm

Rich Rod out: Why, and where UM goes from here

There are 1.5 million reasons why David Brandon waited to let him go.  As for the argument of keeping RichRod that is a flawed argument because there has been no evidence he was going to turn it around.  In fact, his defense has been getting worse each year, even worse than in Carr's waning years.  Defense and a strong ground game used to be the bedrock of Michigan football and there is no evidence of either improving with RichRod (your QB can't be your only effective rusher and take hits all of the time).  Only blind hope can make anyone think things would improve under RichRod. 

We MSU fans know all too well how well a spread offense works in the Big 10 (ie, John L Smith, even though the defense didn't fall to pieces like Michigan's).  It's a mystery how Michigan could not have seen a similar outcome with RichRod three years ago.  Although it is fun to beat Michigan, the Big 10 needs Michigan to be at least a contender for championships for the good of the conference.  Not a doormat that loses to FCS schools and gets blown out all of the time by the top schools.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2011 5:56 pm

Rich Rod out: Why, and where UM goes from here

People tend to ignore the subtle wordings of David Brandon.  Like, when asked if he could fire RR with cause per NCAA rulings, he didn't say "We support our coach".  Instead, he said like "I cannot fire him with cause".  Isn't that very clear signal he's most displeased with RR, and RR was dead man walking for months?
Then, when DB said he would evaluate the program as a whole, and won't based solely on W and L, it's clear as well that DB put the vest interests of Michigan's name and prestige over a few loses here and there.  RR destroyed the Michigan Football in record breaking way, do you think a few more possible W's next year would worth the risk of much bigger damages?  Keep in mind, DB is a businessman and think in CEO terms.  When there is a damage good who could create even more damages to your franchise, you cut the ties.  I saw this enough in Wall Street.  It doesn't matter how much contributions you have made or will made.  As long as you are not perceived as a good fit (let alone a risk to the organization), you're fired.  Nobody is not replaceable.  This is exactly what DB appears to be doing.  I really applaud him to axe RR for the long term goods of Michigan Football and the University in general.
And trust me.....No CEO makes subjective, rash decision.  DB has somebody lined up already, even that somebody could change his mind last minute.  But to me, the timing of the events is so curiously exact, I cannot help but expect the new HC announcement very soon.
Michigan Man means integrity, honor, fairness, care, dedication, leadership, excellence, and selflessness.  RR doesn't seem to display much of any.  I wish the next Michigan football HC would be a Michigan man in that regard. 

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