Up until yesterday at least Brandon could have pulled back by retaining RichRod. No doubt he would have caught a lot of flack any which way, but most of us would have understood that decision even if we disagreed with it.
As it is, there's no doubt Brandon's got himself a PR fiasco and a coach search under very tough conditions. Maybe he recovers from this with a solid hire. Maybe he catches a break and Harbaugh winds up in AA anyway, or Brady Hoke turns out to be the steal of the century. Brandon's a smart guy and the thing about smart guys is not that that they never make mistakes, but that they recover from them quickly. That's what I'm hoping for here. But there's no denying he's taking a huge, and probably unnecessary, risk.