Posted on: January 7, 2011 3:04 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
There's no doubt that were we writing in a bygone era, the football world's most desirable object of lust, Jim Harbaugh, would be described as the prettiest girl at the coaching cotillion. This being the year 2011, though, cotillions are out and reality TV is in, meaning that it was only a matter of time before somone -- in this case, Tauntr.com -- came up with something like this:
Jesse Palmer , eat your heart out. ("You all have a lot of money to offer?" If you have seen even one episode of The Bachelor --and it's not something we recommend -- you will recognize that line as unqualified genius.) We'd say the image of Dave Brandon in a cocktail dress would be enough to send Michigan fans running for the eye bleach, but the last few days have probably been enough to drive Wolverine supporters past the point of being surprised by anything.
If there's one other thing The Bachelor and the Harbaugh frenzy have in common, it's this: it's a sure bet the producers at its heart still have a twist or two coming down the stretch. We're all staying tuned.
HT: NBCSports . And it's about an ABC show. Maybe this post was a bad idea.
Posted on: January 7, 2011 2:35 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Yes, I've grown just as tired of all the Jim Harbaugh talk the last few days as you have. Every 20 minutes the Stanford head coach is interviewing with somebody else, and about to sign a bajillion dollar contract to leave Stanford and coach somewhere else. It's tiresome. That being said, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't share this with you.
Remember way back 72 hours ago when Jim Harbaugh was going to be taking over for Rich Rodriguez at Michigan? Yes, well, that scenario was quickly shut down when Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said he was fairly certain that Harbaugh was headed to the NFL. Well, we can no longer be sure that's the case, and one man with ties to both Stanford and an NFL job that Harbaugh was being considered for seems to think that Michigan is back in play for his services.
"To me, it’s coming down to Stanford, and I think Michigan is back in the picture," John Elway said in an interview with Denver radio station 87.7 The Ticket. "I think he wants to stay in the college level. 'Cause we’ve been in touch with him, and they are aware we’d like to talk to him if he wants to go the NFL route."
Of course, all this means is that for the next 12 hours we're going to hear about how Michigan is ready to give Harbaugh $8 million and then tomorrow he'll announce he's staying at Stanford.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 4:17 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Earlier today the news broke that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was going to return to Stanford next season instead of entering the NFL Draft. It was a surprise to most, seeing that Luck has been projected as the top pick in the draft, and it seems Jim Harbaugh is on his way out of Palo Alto to cash in on the NFL riches his quarterback is passing up.
In his post on the subject, the honorable Adam Jacobi said that it may not be the wrong decision for Luck to stay in school. He brought up some good points too, pointing out how college quarterbacks without a lot of starts under their belt have a history of struggling in the NFL. He even brought up the example of David Carr. Still, in spite of all that, I'm of the firm opinion that Luck is making a costly mistake to stay in Palo Alto.
There are a lot of things out of Luck's control with this decision that nobody can predict. Should he have gone on to the NFL, there's no guarantee he'd have succeeded. Staying in school, there's no guarantee that he'll get through another season or two healthy, or be rated as highly of an NFL prospect ever again.
Here's the one thing we do know about Luck: had he gone to the NFL, he'd have gotten paid. Not paid like you or I get paid, but "I can't choose between these yachts, so I think I'll buy both of them. Oh, and the Bentley too," paid.
We don't know what the future of the NFL holds. There may be a lockout next season, there may not be. What we do know is that as the top pick in the draft, and a quarterback at that, Luck would have landed a huge deal from the Carolina Panthers. Look at what Sam Bradford got from the St. Louis Rams with last season, signing a deal with $50 million guaranteed.
All indications are, whether there is an NFL lockout or not, one of the changes the NFL will be making is to put a cap on all rookie contracts. Which means that the difference between entering the 2011 draft and the 2012 draft could mean around $45 million for Luck. That's a lot of money to just give away.
Luck is a good quarterback. Will he be a great quarterback, I don't know. None of us do for sure. Still, I really don't think going back to school for another year will really help his chances. If Luck is destined to be an NFL great, he will put the work in to get better and become one. If it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be.
Whatever the case is, I'd rather be a failed NFL quarterback with $50 million in my bank account than one with $5 million. If Luck does become a great player, he'll end up being paid either way. It's just, in this decision, the risk is not worth the reward for Luck. Yes, that degree from Stanford will be nice, but football isn't a sport anybody can play until they're 70 years old. He'll have plenty of time to go back and finish his degree if it means that much to him.
But the opportunity to break the bank, and set yourself and your family up to live comfortably for a few generations doesn't come around very often. I fear Luck may have just blown his.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 2:56 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Sophomore Stanford quarterback and 2010 Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck announced today that he would be returning to school for the 2011 season.
"I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012," said Luck in a statement released by the university today.
The news comes as a shock to those who assumed Luck would be the top pick in the NFL Draft; certainly, it appears the Carolina Panthers would have snatched the quarterback in a heartbeat. That pick will probably be used on Da'Quan Bowers instead, as the Clemson junior declared for the draft just yesterday .
Also, this move by Luck might actually make sense; one of the biggest determinants for NFL success by quarterbacks is the number of starts made in college, and Luck only has two seasons' worth under his belt thus far. He may look sensational on the college level, but so did two-year starter and No. 1 overall draft pick David Carr nine years ago.
Now, the only remaining question is whether head coach Jim Harbaugh will also eschew a large payday for another year by returning to Stanford for another year. That probably won't happen, as it's been reported that Harbaugh is "very unlikely" to return to Stanford and is reportedly receiving giant offers from NFL teams.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 1:39 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that the news is official, and Rich Rodriguez has been fired at Michigan, the process of finding a replacement is underway in Ann Arbor. If we're to take Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon's words at his press conference on Wednesday to heart, it doesn't sound like a replacement will be announced quickly. In fact, Brandon made it sound like he hasn't even begun the process yet, which, if true, doesn't bode well for Michigan in 2011.
Still, if he hasn't begun the search yet, here are a few names that will likely be hearing from Michigan in the coming days.
Jim Harbaugh - Actually, from what Brandon said, I'm pretty sure Harbaugh has already heard from Michigan. Brandon may say he hasn't begun the process but reading between the lines, it sounds like Michigan has contacted Harbaugh and that Harbaugh has told the school he's not interested. Which is why Brandon didn't seem to have any problems addressing Harbaugh-related questions and even say that he feels Harbaugh is headed to the NFL. Still, until an official announcement is made by Harbaugh, a portion of the Michigan faithful will hold out hope.
Brady Hoke - Hoke's name has come up as a possible replacement, and he's made it known that Michigan is his dream job and he'd have no problem leaving San Diego State for the job. Still, even though Hoke has been successful at Ball State and with the Aztecs, I don't think that's enough to make him Michigan's top choice. Odds are the school will take a stab at some bigger names with Hoke as a backup plan.
Les Miles - Before Michigan hired Rodriguez, rumor was that Miles was one of the school's top choices to replace Lloyd Carr. Miles stayed at LSU, but it's possible that Michigan could make a run at their former offensive lineman once more. The question is whether or not Miles would want to leave his nice contract at LSU to take the job, or whether Michigan would be comfortable bringing him home.
Chris Petersen - Any athletic director at a BCS conference school who is looking for a head coach that doesn't call Boise State's Petersen isn't doing his job. Petersen's done a remarkable job at Boise State, helping keep a tiny commuter school in Idaho a power on the national scene. If he could do that at Boise State, imagine what he might be able to do with the resources available to him at Michigan.
Gary Patterson - During his press conference, Dave Brandon pointed out that whoever he brings in to replace Rodriguez, an emphasis will be placed on defense. That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be a defensive-minded head coach, but if Brandon wants a strong defense at Michigan, he could do a lot worse than TCU's Patterson. The question here is whether or not Patterson would want to make the transition north, or if he has a need to. After all, TCU will be joining the Big East in 2012, so if Patterson wants to coach in a BCS conference, he no longer has to leave the school.
Mike Leach - I don't think Brandon has any interest in Mike Leach, but I'll bet Leach has interest in Michigan. Hell, he has interest in every school.
Kyle Whittingham - Whittingham hasn't had any trouble maintaining what Urban Meyer started at Utah, and could bring that success to Ann Arbor. Of course, considering that Whittingham has been at Utah for 16 years, it doesn't seem as though he's in a hurry to leave the place. Plus, like Gary Patterson, he's now running a program that is bound for a BCS conference, so the motivation to leave isn't as strong as it may have been.
Urban Meyer - Speaking of Meyer, how about Urban Meyer? Do I think this would happen? No, I believe Meyer was serious when saying he wants some time off. Still, you know it's only a matter of time before somebody throws his name out there, so I may as well.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:35 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 11:47 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
After a day of back and forth, the deed was finally done on Wednesday morning. Rich Rodriguez has been fired as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. While the potential Michigan opening has been the subject of discussion for coaches such as Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles, and San Diego State's Brady Hoke; the move also makes Rodriguez, a high commodity himself, available on the coaching market.
Many people are quickly trying to link Rodriguez to one of the currently vacant head coaching positions, but sources believe otherwise. The Detroit News reported that those close to Rodriguez believe there is a strong possibility he will take a year off to spend with his family before returning to coaching. The move would give Rodriguez a chance to reboot after three frustrating seasons in Ann Arbor, as well as give him the option to pick his options when he decides to return to coaching. That's not to say there aren't suitors that are interested in obtaining Rodriguez's service.
One of the popular thoughts for Rodriguez's next stop, should he make a move this offseason, is the recently vacated position at Pittsburgh. With new hire Mike Haywood pushed out just as soon as he arrived, speculation has swirled at the possibility of Rich Rod coaching the rival of his Alma mater. There is also the opening at Connecticut, now available with Randy Edsall leaving to take the job at Maryland. Another interesting possibility would be at Clemson if Dabo Swinney is relieved of his duties. Rodriguez spent two years as Clemson's offensive coordinator under Tommy Bowden before accepting the head coaching position at West Virginia.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:16 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
On Tuesday Rich Rodriguez was fired, and then he wasn't fired. After that he was probably going to be fired, but then he might have talked his way into keeping his job. Then, finally, the decision was put off until today.
Well the decision is in, and I think this time it's going to stick. Rich Rodriguez has been fired at Michigan.
The reason I believe it's for real this time is because the school announced that it would be holding a press conference on Wednesday at 12:30pm ET, likely to announce that Rodriguez is out. According to the Detroit News, Rodriguez will receive a $2.5 million buyout, so he should survive.
The question will now become who replaces Rodriguez at Michigan? Expect Jim Harbaugh's name to continue being tossed around until he announces he's staying at Stanford or takes an NFL job. If not Harbaugh, then look for San Diego State's Brady Hoke, or possibly former Michigan football player, and current LSU mad scientist, Les Miles to get some attention.
Posted on: January 4, 2011 2:46 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 3:25 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Following another lackluster season and his team's embarrassing 52-14 loss in the Gator Bowl on Saturday, questions swirled around Rich Rodriguez about whether he'd be back at Michigan next season. Now, it appears those questions have been answered.
According to Fox 2 in Detroit, Rich Rodriguez was fired today after a short meeting with athletic director Dave Brandon this afternoon. Michigan players were reportedly scheduled for a team meeting this evening to learn about Rodriguez's future with the program; such a meeting would probably be unnecessary now, with the news out.
[UPDATE: The Detroit Free Press is also reporting that Brandon will fire Rodriguez.]
Rodriguez's tenure at Michigan, then, will stand as follows: 15-22 overall record, 6-18 Big Ten record, and a litany of off-field problems including Michigan's first major NCAA violations. It's probably not much of a stretch for Brandon to declare those results unfit for Michigan football.
24 hours ago, any replacement talk would have started with Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh (a former Michigan quarterback), but reports came out late last night that Harbaugh was extremely unlikely to leave Stanford for Michigan. Who that leaves as a potential replacement now is, at this point, anybody's guess.
We'll have more on this story as it develops.