I initially loved the DB hire. He seemed very smart, past success in the business world, former player, said all the right things, etc. Then, when push came to shove, he chased after money instead of maintaining tradition WRT B10 divisions. The day he tried to start pushing UM OSU before the last game of the year was the last day I ever trusted him. He very nearly diminished the importance of the most important game on the schedule and tried to make it palatable to the fanbase. Luckily, we rejected this dose of horseshit.
With his handling of the coaching situation, he has gone from someone I distrust to someone I intensely dislike. Seriously, could he have done any worse here? The choices are clear - hire Harbaugh or retain RR. If he wants H, he should already be coaching here. The backup plan is easy to construct - contact H and see if he's interested. If the answer is yes, then get him in here so he can damage control recruiting instead of acting like our performance in the bowl means a goddamn thing for RR's job security (hint: it shouldn't hold much sway). If H isn't interested, then DB should be frantically conducting a private search for a replacement if he feels RR must go for whatever reason. The moment the replacement is found, make the switch.
If he wants to retain RR (FWIW, my extreme preference), then he is seriously being a goddamn moron. He has unwittingly placed a huge amount of importance on a middling bowl game. Here are the scenarios:
- We lose the bowl game and RR is retained - DB looks weak and people are wondering why in the hell we waited for a data point that apparently didn't matter that much. Fanbase further fractured.
- We win and RR is retained - everything looks consistent, but the team just got weaker due to difficulty recruiting. RR must scramble to fill out the class with a lot of 2nd and 3rd choices. This makes it even harder to win the following year and leaves hypothetical replacement coach with less talent to work with if it comes to that following the 2011 year.
- We win and RR is fired - DB almost can't do this; it would tear the fanbase right in half. You can't give the implicit message of "coach for your job" then fire after a win.
- We lose and RR is fired - looks consistent but gives H less time to put a class together. I don't give a shit what's going on at his current school, if we want him he will pick up and leave immediately, bowl game or not. I give 0 regard to H's "tough situation."
The bottom line is that recruiting is the lifeblood of this program and DB apparently does not realize this. Uncertainty absolutely, positively kills recruiting. The kind of kids we want have a ton of choices in schools and no particular affinity for UM - why would they risk it? We are very close with a number of very critical recruits and they have pretty much no reason to pull the trigger on M at the moment. Meanwhile, Signing Day draws near and other schools' spots are filling up. I'm not freaking out about the Dee decommit - it sucks bad but I learned awhile ago not to place a ton of value in a committment. Our offense will be fine but make no mistake - our RB position just received a downgrade.
Are more decommits on the horizon? Probably. These are the most visible signs of the failures in DB's strategy here. However, I think the true impact will be felt in a way we can't directly quantify - lost committments from recruits that have been or would have been interested in M but for the shadow of the grim reaper that hangs over our program.