January 5th, 2011 at 5:09 PM ^

this way. Because DB waited so long to evaluate Rich and let him go, well, Rich didn't go to Florida or Miami, nor did anyone on his staff. Given how good they are at recruiting in Florida, that would have been killer for us.

On the bright side for Rich: because he got fired this year, he gets a $2.5M buyout, versus the other way around ... Sucks to get let go, but a $2.5M severance makes things a whole lot better.

Well - good luck to Rich and his staff. And good luck to DB in his search.


January 5th, 2011 at 5:51 PM ^

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.


January 5th, 2011 at 6:30 PM ^

What did DB know and when did he know it? I have to assume he knew something -- that there was an "understanding" of some sort. Otherwise, DB's simply a madman. What we need to know is whether there was, for all intents, a deal: verbal, wink-and-a-nod, whatever. If so, then Jimbo is a weasel and fuck him.

But, quite possibly, Jim (or his intermediary) said, "Gee, Dave, that's an exciting thought. And I'd love to discuss it at some point. But not until after our bowl game." In which case, DB is a fool and fuck him.

In either scenario, though, DB would have surrendered the power in the negotiation. I think many strong ADs would have made an offer on the school's timeline, not the candidate's. Can't get burned that way.

Assuming we do not land Jim, one side or both will begin leaking their version of the story. One of the other will fail the sniff-test. Then, hopefully, we'll know.



January 5th, 2011 at 5:35 PM ^

My guess is that Harbaugh has options and doesn't want to work for an idiot.  Personnel-wise, the cards are now almost as stacked against a pro set guy as they were against RR.  Maybe JH realizes what a loose cannon DB is and doesn't want to be the next guy that "didn't work out."

Besides, JH's brother let it slip that there was contact before anything was announced, so there would always be conspiracy theories/facts if JH took the Michigan job.   Maybe JH just doesn't want to walk into the cesspool that David Brandon has created when he can make more money in the NFL. 

The only way we aren't in for two more years of waiting for next year is if a spread-based coach comes to Michigan.  Maybe JH is a lot better off in a league where the spread is still verboten.  If he goes to the NFL, he won't ever have to defend against it or be compared to it, and he won't have to remember giving up 55, 35, 51, and 52 points for an average of 48.25 a game against Oregon's spread during his tenure at Stanford.

Not only do I not blame Harbaugh for this situation, I applaud him for washing his hands of it.  I am confident in saying that the next time we see Jim Harbaugh on the Michigan sideline, it will be in a situation that won't risk compromising his repuation.  And that is fine with me.


January 5th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

I agree that if it was Brandon's plan all along to announce an open search on January 5 he's an idiot.  But I am not so sure that's the case.  Why are you so sure that Harbaugh didn't waffle once it became clear that he would field multiple NFL offers and could play hardball to get favorable terms?  Isn't it at least plausible that it's Harbaugh who has put Brandon in a tough spot by getting cold feet? 


January 5th, 2011 at 5:55 PM ^

Or maybe the sheer awfulness of the team's performance in the Gator Bowl led him to the conclusion that a change was needed.

If all that happened was Harbaugh backing out, Brandon had a way out: keep Rich Rod for another year.  Folks would have been disappointed but most of us would have understood.


January 5th, 2011 at 6:39 PM ^

If JH had led DB to believe he would come, then some of the fault would have to lay on him. On the other hand, when billionaires are throwing money at you to come coach their NFL franchises, it's hard to complain about his decision-making. Sort of like Stanford fans complaining if/when Andrew Luck decides to declare for the NFL draft. Can you really blame him?


January 5th, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

I think you're right, but it's not that bad.  Let's look at it like this: pretend we're already dead.  We've already achieved ND status in the eyes of the sports-watching world (read Maisel's ESPN article, which skewers Michigan's "arrogance" and "championship" culture).  Ofer 3 against Sparty, Ofer 7 against Ohio St.  Only bowl appearance in three year was a total disaster. 

I thought RR should have been given the chance to improve upon this year, which showed promise.  But the next guy has to beat 15-22 over three years.  We're not a school who fires coaches who win 58% of their games--that's what ND did.  We're a historically-strong program in need of rebuilding.  There's no shame in that.  We have a proud past, outstanding facilities, a rabid fanbase, and still offer a big stage (like ND, people will tune in because it's Michigan, just to hate/gawk).  Even if we hire Hoke, I think we will improve on the last three years.


January 5th, 2011 at 7:22 PM ^

Even if we hire Hoke, I think we will improve on the last three years.

If we kept RR and got a new DC (hell, even if we didn't) we'd be guaranteed to improve due to new players and players getting older/more experienced. If we hire Hoke, we'll have no players left.


January 6th, 2011 at 1:19 AM ^

What new players?  And what players that are getting older and more experienced are really going to get better under Rodriguez?  Is Roundtree going to suddenly realize his potential under Rodriguez?  How about Stonum? 

And the defense?  Please.

These guys are underachieving under Rodriguez and I'm frankly tired of it.


January 5th, 2011 at 5:21 PM ^

You guys are borderline ridiculous. I'm sad and frustrated too, but lets not treat this like the end of the world. It's not.

Sit back and see what happens. And, by God, support the new coach.

I will be so disappointed if this blog and its members do to Hoke, what y'all keep bitching people did to Rich

Go Blue, Beat Western


January 5th, 2011 at 10:57 PM ^

"He's boring and predictable and conservative". It was the same. I was in the bus back from his final Rose Bowl, and heard stuff like "well maybe now our offense can enter the 20th century". There's just more ways for your "opinion" to be "heard" now. There's a reason outside of press conferences coaches and players really don't like or give a damn about fans.


January 5th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

Guys, I'm really scared.

It's during times like these that I wish DB would hold me and tell me its going to be ok. So much is riding on the next coach. We can't afford to have back-to-back failed coaching tenures. I don't want to see a decade of losing/mediocre seasons. This is Michigan. The greatest and most admired university in the world. We are great at everything, except football. We need to change that and it needs to happen soon. Please reassure me everything will be ok.


January 5th, 2011 at 5:59 PM ^

I'd rather people bitch now and back the eventual choice than the other way around. 

With RichRod, people were largely supportive right up until he started, you know, doing stuff.


January 5th, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

Apparently there are limits to what even the pimp hand can accomplish. DB must have had some kind of verbal agreement with JH at the time of the OSU game and decided to wait to announce it so everyone could save face and coach their teams through the bowl games. Otherwise why wait to can RR?  Only a funny thing happened on the way to the altar - JH became THE hottest thing in the land. a bunch of NFL jobs opened up and now we're Notre Dame. Who would have thought we'd be going through ANOTHER coaching search debacle three years after the last with a supposedly brilliant executive driving the bus? OTOH, if DB does pull off some kind of miracle and deliver JH, I will build a shrine to him in my backyard.


January 6th, 2011 at 3:49 AM ^

why? what the hell is he going to do in the next 3 years that Rodriguez didn't do. take over a bad team with transfer hell, no recruiting class, no experienced QB and a change from the spread back to prehistoric offensive scheme. his first three seasons at stanford were horrible and the same will ring true at michigan.