Monday, April 25, 2011

DickRod Gets All Sentimental Over His Michigan Gig

If you wanna talk ultimate peg/hole conversations, think back three years to December 17, 2007. I was nestled comfortably for a long winter's nap on a normal Monday, before I snapped upped from my slumber to hear four infamous words- "Rodriguez hired at Michigan." Just a touch over three years later, in what may have been the least surprising sports story in Michigan history, DickRod was abruptly canned after going 15-22 in his 37 games at UM.

How in the world did everyone in the world BUT Rich Rodriguez see this coming? Gimmick offense, no defense, perfect storm of Big East suckage, virtually no chance for upside, and elventy-bajillion dollars- sounds like a great idea to me.  Actually, I'd liken this decision to such great ones as John Travolta's decision to join the cast of Battlefield Earth or Napolean's decision to invade Russia.

Despite all of the obvious pitfalls of this decision, most notably never being able to get a legit top-tier job ever again and all of the Ohio State "b!tch slap" insults, Richard was feeling pretty cathartic in his interview with CBS Sports' Adam Zucker:

"I think it's easy to go back now and say, 'Gee, made a mistake.' And you can say that now because of hindsight. But at the time, some of the things I was looking to do and the opportunity that was there ... you kind of make the move. The frustrating part for us was that we thought we battled through the tougher times to get it to this point where we had a lot of the team coming back and we thought we were getting ready to take off." Find the rest of the interview HERE.

Out of all the hires across the country over the years I've followed college football, this one had to be the biggest head scratcher I ever saw. Not only did Rodriguez end up looking bad in the end, Michigan ended up with a lot of egg on their face as well. Bringing in a fundamentally different philosophy from their history in order to give them some semblance of national relevancy again only ended up badly for both parties. How that group of scholars effed up that badly is extremely surprising. 

It's not that Rich is a completely terrible coach, it's just that he never had a chance to succeed there. Expectations were far too high, pressure was much too great to win early, and he had to completely reinvent the wheel at Michigan. Asking that of anyone would be insane, much less a Big East flash-in-the-pan. 

But yeah, that hindsight, it'll really bite you in tush.

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