I wanted another year for Rich Rod. But I kinda think that Rosenberg--god bless his annoying behind--nailed it on the Hoke hire: Brandon wanted Hoke all along, performed the necessary genuflections to Harbaugh and Miles, then got on with business, increasingly pleased. . . as the feedback came in. . . that he was doing the right thing.
A lot of what we saw, or thought we saw, was Kabuki theater.
In assessing RichRod's future, Brandon also had to consider what would happen if he succeeded. There were pretty good odds he WOULD win nine games last year. But what then? Would the atmosphere remain poisonous? Was the situation, behind the scenes, beyond redemption?
I disagree with Brandon's decision to fire Rodriguez, and I am very much with Brian when he says that the Hoke hire could have been made next year. But given the odds for Rodriguez's SUCCESS, I think Brandon may have decided he needed to pull the trigger now.
Meanwhile, I am more and more happy with the Hoke hire, and I hope that Brian comes around, too. Because he risks--as I said in another post--harming all he has worked so hard to build here. That doesn't mean not continuing to tell the truth as he sees it. But it does mean tempering the bitterest--sometimes brilliant--snark and giving the new guy a chance. The fact that players adore Hoke, that he's intent on their well-being, is huge for me. Success may not be immediate, but if Brandon is willing to outfit him with the best coordinators, a guy who manages the program well may be of pre-eminent importance at a big complicated place like Michigan.
Finally, Tate. Isn't there a chance he fits better in the new offense than Denard does? Or at least that he gets a chance to compete for the job? I would love to see both he and Denard in at QB sometimes next year. And as long as Hoke is willing to have an adventurous offense, I will be happy. It's the prospect that, like inbred children, we would retreat to deadly conservative playcalling as the rest of the world flowered into ten million variations on the spread that has scared me most.
Somebody cue up some video of San Diego's o and d, analysis of the coordinators Hoke's bringing with him. We've got work to do.