Rich Rodriguez is, undeniably, a successful college football coach who has been given the keys to one of the greatest programs in the sport. Rodriguez is also, presumably, fluent on the all the (perceived) axioms and barriers to success that routinely interrupt the goals and dreams of even the most talented teams.
It is that knowledge and success that makes Rodriguez’s insistence on tempting the football gods so puzzling. He plans to play not one, not two, but three quarterbacks in the Wolverines opener against Western Michigan.
I could understand if he thought Forcier needed some game experience before he was ready to take over from Sheridan; or, if he wanted to decide between Tate and Shoelace Robinson by watching their play on the field. But the idea of playing all three seems counterproductive.
It would be difficult for any of the three to get into a rhythm if some type of rotation is implemented and I have to assume that they have been getting equal snaps in practice. Is his decision really going to be made easier by this arrangement?
Before I get carried away, I should note that there is precedent for this setup for Rodriguez-coached teams, and if the results are the same, Michigan fans will soon trade whatever wariness they currently have for glee.
In 2005, Pat White began the season as a co-starter for West Virginia sharing time with Adam Bednarik. That system lasted for half of the season until White took over for an injured Bednarik in the fourth quarter of the Mountaineers memorable performance against Louisville.
West Virginia did not lose another game that season including a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia. The rest is history.
Perhaps, on Oct. 10, at Iowa, Forcier or Robinson will emerge from the Michigan QB logjam, turning the Wolverines into a rising Big Ten contender. Then, The Game in Ann Arbor may begin to resemble the battles that we had grown accustomed to seeing in the past.