Been following UM for 33 years. First recalled game was the Charles White phantom touchdown in 1979 vs USC in the Rose Bowl.
This next two weeks will be the loudest for the anti-RR bandwagon. Then after a week or two, in mid-December, as UM begins preparing for it’s bowl game, reason and objectivity will return. Everyone will come back to realizing that RR is going to get a 4thyear. No question about it.
While RR is definitely at fault for a very large number of missteps over the last 3 years, the man has also been subjected to an inordinately large number of misfortunes (injuries, youth, bare cupboard the first 2 years), many of which were not his fault, which have negatively impacted his ability to advance his team quicker. This is the silver lining upon which the pro vs. anti RR bases will squabble during this off season.
But RR will return, and I am happy he will. AD Brandon is a smart man, and this is what he will conclude:
- For all the negativity, for all the mediocrity, for all the losing streaks, the University of Michigan has made a 3 year investment in Rich Rodriguez in order to give him a chance, and the time, to get his system in place.
- For all the negativity, the investment has followed a positive trajectory – 3-9, 5-7, 7-5…
- While the defense has regressed to catastrophic levels, the offense has done the polar opposite, setting records.
- Jim Harbaugh is an attractive candidate. He is a Michigan Man, and has done terrifically well at a school without the recruiting pull or football tradition of a major power. However, Brandon will look at it this way – what differentiates Harbaugh’s success now from Les Miles’ success three years ago? Further, what differentiates Harbaugh’s success now, with all world QB Andrew Luck, from RR’s success at WVU with all world QB Pat White a few years ago? What is to guarantee Harbaugh would leave his cushy position at beautiful Palo Alto, at a job with little expectation or pressure, for the pressure cooker at UM?
- Returning RR for a fourth year is only fair, to see through on our three year investment and give him one more chance to finally put it all together, improve the defense, and continue the positive trajectory to 8-4 or 9-3 and finally back into the upper echelon of the Big 10.
- Finally, and most importantly, returning RR for a fourth year will also evidence to other coaches out there that Michigan’s administration is not trigger happy with the pink slip. It will show coaches around the country that if you get hired at UM, you are going to be given every chance possible to succeed, and patience will be shown. UM fans with rose colored lenses will bark back that “but this is Michigan and any coach in the country would die for this job!” Not true. UM’s is a tough coaching job. Incredible fan expectations, coupled with heated in-state rival recruiting wars (does Ohio State have to battle an in-state Big 10 school for it’s own players like we do with MSU? Goodbye Gholston, Thomas, Bullock, etc., etc.). Brandon will show the nation that he has his coach’s back this off season, and this will position Michigan favorably regardless if RR busts in 2011. If he succeeds, we all exhale. If he fails, we are positioned well for the next hire. If Harbaugh bleeds Blue as much as many say, one more year of waiting will not impact him, and he will likely not sign on for a long term deal anywhere else in the interim, knowing full well this position may possibly become available next year if RR fails.
Early prediction for 2011 – new D coordinator (GERG, while also not entirely responsible for the fiasco on D, will be the fall guy), and UM goes 8-4, seeing RR into a 5thseason.
GO BLUE, and until he is no longer our coach, I SUPPORT RICH ROD.