Earlier today, Mike Wilbon had said the same thing I have been saying all along, and that is. "Give this guy a break".
Ever since Rich Rod has come into Ann Arbor, he has been harassed and questioned by fans and media. Fans around Michigan have had their ups and downs with Rich Rod from cheering his name at the end of games, to booing him off the field and saying he should already be fired.
With 6 straight Big 10 losses, and a loss this weekend to OSU would put them at two consecutive losing seasons, and for the first time in 50 years or so, going two consecutive years without a bowl appearance. Michigan fans look at this as a complete failure and seem to want him out.
Fans already seem to be looking past Rich Rod, and are chanting to bring in Stanford's head coach Jim Harbaugh (who is a Michigan Alum) to take over. As he may be a good fit, I still see no reason to replace Rich Rod just yet.
If you don't remember, Rich Rod did the same thing in West Virginia that he has been doing in Michigan. He brought a whole new style of play into West Virginia. His first year there (2002), he led the team to a disappointing 3-9 season. (Sound familiar? exactly what happened as his first year as Michigan's head coach)
The very next season he led WV to a 9-4 season, and an 8-4 season the next, going to the Gator Bowl. In 2007, his Mountaineers were ranked number 3 at the beginning of the season.
Rich Rod became one of the most successful coaches in West Virginia's history despite his disappointing first year. He was credited the first back to back top 10 finishes in school history, and 4 consecutive New Years day bowl appearances and had a 30-6 record from 2005-2007.
If you notice, it took Rich Rod from 2002-2007 to bring WV to the top of the nation. That is 5 years. We are going into the 3rd season, and fans already want this man out on the curb and replaced?
It seems to me fans around Ann Arbor are very impatient. They seem to want wins and that National Championship now, but seem to not understand that this takes time. Rich Rod is coming into Michigan rebuilding a whole new program.
Rich Rod is bringing in a style of offense that Michigan has never played before. Despite two losing seasons, he is on the right track to bring the Wolverines right where he brought the Mountaineers.
You cannot come into Michigan, rebuild a whole new program, bring in a whole new culture for UofM football, or bring in the right recruits in only 2 or 3 years. Michigan fans have only seen the flaws in this team, and not the major improvement they have made.
If you remember last year, Michigan was pretty much ranked dead last in everything in the nation and in the Big 10. This season, Michigan had the most points per game, and produced the most yards per game in the Big 10. Sure, the defense is still struggling and needs a lot of improvement, along with the offensive line. But if you look at the offense, it is a HUGE step from last season.
Michigan has two talented Quarterbacks, incredibly fast running backs such as Shaw, and Vincent Smith for the future. Quick and athletic Wide Receivers. This Michigan offense can move the ball very effectively as they had shown in their first 4 games in the season starting 4-0. Showing in a nail biter against MSU in an OT loss, and as they shown in their close game against highly ranked Iowa team.
Despite their losing record thus far this season, they have shown they are more contenders this year. Each loss they had, has been decided by 7 points or less (except for against Illinois, Wisco, and Penn State).
So the way I see it, there should be no reason to get rid of Rich Rod within the next few years. What he did for WV, he will do exactly that for Michigan. Rich Rod knows what he has to do.
They only need a few more improvements on offense, more talented offensive lineman, and a faster, stronger defense. I am sorry fans, but this takes more than 2 or 3 years, so you need to be patient. Even bringing in a new coach now, you would still need to do rebuilding, and you will have even longer to wait to be back to the top.
So you should not be booing Rich Rod down on the field, you should be cheering him on and giving him your support. Everyone says that Rich Rod having 6 straight losses to Big 10 rival teams, 2 straight losing seasons and non bowl appearances, and 5 straight losses to OSU will push recruits away.
No, it is the fans hypocritical disrespect towards Rich Rod that will push the recruits away. Recruits don't want to come to a school where fans like the coach one week chanting his name, then want him fired the next week and booing Rich Rod and the team off the field after a loss.
Expect Rich Rod to be around for at least 5 years to rebuild this program. Because even the president of Michigan doesn't believe in firing a head coach after 3 years even after 2 disappointing season. The President of the University of Michigan and the Athletic Department know he is a great coach. They saw what a turn around he did for WV, and he will be capable of doing it here.
What this team needs to bring in these right recruits is to show your love and support for Rich Rod, and for the team. Be patient, because a couple years down the road, Rich Rod will have this team turned around with the support of the fans.
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