Thursday, December 9, 2010

RichRod Thoughts 12/9 8:30PM

Here's the latest information. There has been no movement on Rich Rodriguez at Michigan. Last night I received a tip that his ouster was imminent, and according to sources today, I still believe that to be the case. As I had tweeted today, the conventional thought is that Andrew Luck will declare and that Harbaugh will make himself available to the open market.
First, I am not certain that Luck will declare. Luck is a very smart kid, and his father is very savvy. If Luck believes for a minute that there will be a lockout next season, he will not sit out a season when he could still be at Stanford playing another 13 games.
Also remember this...Stanford is trying to get some cash together for an extension for Harbaugh. If they can match any offer that Harbaugh would receive, he would not havea reason to leave. His recruiting class is barely behind Florida's, and is way out front of Michigan's for 2011. It would take a ton of guarantees to walk away from a situation such as that.
Getting back to the Rodriguez story...Let it be known that I am no way in favor of his firing. I have written on that topic before. I think that firing Rodriguez at this point would actually set Michigan back quite a bit. I also believe that Rodriguez has shown progress every season. Let me explain.
It is my philosophy that a new HC should get a 5 year deal. Year one expect nothing, as it an assessment period to figure out what you have and what you need.
Year two, expect an approach to a .500 record. A lower tier bowl or no bowl at all would be acceptable, as long as there is progress in the win total.
Year three, you go to a bowl, and approach 8 wins. Your first recruits are developing into substantial players.
Year 4 you are in range to compete for a conference title and a major bowl.
Year 5, you are in position to be a force in your conference and on the national stage.

If Rodriguez is indeed being pushed out, and all said I think that he is, it will be because there is a strong faction of the high roller doners who just do not like the man. He is loaded with simple southern charm, and some people involved think that he comes off as stupid. He is rebuilding the Michigan football culture from 1893 to the 21st century, where high octane offense has replaced the 3 yard and a cloud of dust image that the Big 10 has often been known for. That pisses some people off. He is reshaping what Michigan football is, and some folks can't handle it. If he does go, it will be these people that force Michigan's hand at the end of the day.

That being said, Rodriguez has basically matched my expectations at the end of season 3. He will have the Wolverines playing in a very nice bowl on Januray 1st, and the team has gotten better in each season. I think that the Wolverines are in line for big success in 2011, and if then he failed to produce, we have the termination conversation. Until then, I say keep Rich Rodriguez, and be happy that you have him, because you could have worse. Ask me...I am a lifelong UCLA fan.

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