Rich Rodriguez had it all. A great coaching job, a grip on the conference where his team resided, great recruiting and a nation of followers all backing him along the way showing him love.
He slated Georgia in Georgia when no one gave him a shot, he put another team in the Fiesta Bowl that took down Oklahoma in impressive fashion.
He was a king in his own domain at his Alma mater, then he got greedy.
He let his spat with the athletic director at West Virginia and lack of trust for the department cloud his judgement. He betrayed his legion of followers and skipped town to a school with similar colors and higher expectations.
He left behind a mess; lawsuits, hate, bitterness, all for a big pay day on a grander scale… and in the end Coach Rich Rod got what he deserved.
Rich Rod was fired by Michigan after three years of unheard-of disappointment at an institution that has only known success. He had a 15-22 record In three season in Ann Arbor. His best record was a 7-6 campaign this year, his best Big Ten record? 3-5 his year as well. His spread offense never brought the conference into the future like it was supposed to, but his defense set the school back decades.
He never beat Ohio State or Michigan State, his one bowl game appearance was a slaughter in the Gator Bowl at the hands of Mississippi State this year. He never was able to get the recruits to run his offense and therefore never had right tools to succeed.
In the end Rich Rod and the maize and blue looked like fools.
Once Michigan lost out on Les Miles who stayed at LSU after being coveted by the university in 2007 they tries to pluck every big name coach away in hopes of finding the right one. They got Rodriguez who was highly impressive at WVU and was the first choice at Alabama a year earlier (think they’re happy that they got Saban instead?).
They marveled at how he was able to find guys like Pat White, Steve Slaton and others to fit into his scheme. They saw the Sugar Bowl upset of Georgia, the fact that he had WVU in the national championship hunt late in that 2007 season and thought that he was the perfect hire to replace the much maligned Lloyd Carr who had disappointed the Michigan faithful so often.
(it’s funny but looking back on it, maybe Michigan should never have been so pressed to force out a guy that won them a national championship, had them in the running for the Big Ten title every year, owned their rival Ohio State in he 90’s and always recruited well. They overreacted to the whole Appalachian State loss, which granted was bad but not apocalyptic like we thought it was, and decided to listen to the critics and fans instead of themselves. How many programs a Lloyd Carr as their coach? You get a guaranteed 8-10 wins a year, a New Years Day bowl game and you’re a contender for your conference crown every year. However this is Michigan, who now is suffering from Notre Dame syndrome where they feel that they are still a national power and that their tradition puts them in a position to feel snooty. So in turn they paid for being greedy as well. Wouldn’t you love to see a sign on your way into Ann Arbor that read “BET YOU DON’T HATE ME NOW!… LOVE LLOYD CARR”
and have it about 50 feet long on the highway?)
So now Michigan has to correct it’s error and it should start with a Michigan guy. Jim Harbaugh is the perfect candidate for the job because of his background and the job he’s done resurrecting Stanford. Also talks of Brady Hoke at San Diego State have come to fruition.
One guy that would love a call from Michigan is Les Miles. With all the heat he’s been taking at LSU he would jump at the chance chance to get out of dodge and back to the place of his playing days.
One thing is for sure is they have to wash away the stench of the Rich Rod regime. Rich Rod brought down Michigan and himself and has no one to blame but himself.
His inability to stop the opposing teams offense and kick start his own was his undoing. Would I hire Rich Rod? Not anytime soon. His poor judgement at WVU and disgraceful years at Michigan should have him blacklisted from most decent coaching jobs in the NCAA.
It’s a roughy lesson but Rich Rod had it coming for a long time. He had it all at WVU and he threw it away because he got greedy. Hopefully other coaches will learn from Rodriguez and won’t make the same mistake.