Rich Rodriguez of Michigan was one of the worst coach hirings the NCAA has seen in quite some time. Not only did various legal allegations spur up, but Rodriguez has also proved to be overrated in his coaching abilities. After three straight successful seasons in Morgantown, R-Rod hasn't delivered in Ann Arbor, a mecca of college football.
It's not easy to transition to the pageantry when switching to legit "big-time" college football. Ann Arbor is in fact rich in history and has that patent attached to it that Morgantown does not. Rodriguez, seen by many as the best kept secret in college football at the time with his spread option offense, has not been what Michigan paid for.
While his spread option has worked for many QBs, including Michigan's Denard Robinson, it hasn't brought titles back to Michigan. For what it's worth, Rodriguez may go down as the worst coach in Michigan Wolverines' football history. Considering this program is the all-time NCAA D-1 leader in wins, this is utterly unacceptable.
Here are five reasons why Michigan's Rich Rodriguez is a lame duck.
As in all rivalries, a coach is often measured on his record against their "BIG" rival. In this case, Michigan's rivalry with Ohio St. isn't just any old rivalry. This is in fact one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.
Rich Rodriguez can not beat the Buckeyes. His predecessor Lloyd Carr wasn't all that good at it either, but he at least won a title. This past Saturday's win for the Buckeyes extended their streak to seven and counting against the Wolverines.
This may not be the only strike that R-Rod has against him, but it doesn't help either. Some time very soon, Rich Rodriguez will be out of a job. Is this payback for the way that he left West Virginia? I think so. At least he was winning rivalry games down there right?
The spread offense alone could not save Rich Rodriguez in Michigan. Although it made him famous in college sports beforehand, it never helped his cause in Ann Arbor. Perhaps the only one that benefited from it there was sensational sophomore Denard Robinson.
R-Rod will likely lose his job after what's been his best season with the Wolverines. Last time I checked, 7-5 gets you into a bowl game and is not that bad. Better than R-Rod's previous two seasons where he's won a combined EIGHT GAMES! Michigan fans will not stand for this nor are they used to it.
Rodriguez had led the Moutaineers to six consecutive bowl games. Several of these were even big-time bowls. Did I mention that he left West Virginia for Michigan before his team's Fiesta Bowl game in January of 2008? Some loyalty there, eh?
Simply put, Rodriguez didn't have a clue of how to coach a school of Michigan's caliber.
Denard Robinson is one of college's most entertaining athletes. The problem for R-Rod and Michigan was that it begins and ends with Robinson. The spread offense is supposed to put the talents of many skill players on display right? Rodriguez let Robinson become a good portion of this offense and never established another threat this season.
For the most part, the receivers were as good as they were because of Robinson's playmaking ability. This translates back to Michigan's recruiting under Rodriguez. (To steal a line from Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid) They didn't put all the players in position to succeed in this offense.
The main concept of the "spread" is to allow everyone to get involved. While this may have worked for the dual-threat Robinson, not many others truly were beneficiaries of this offensive scheme in the long run. This is yet another point that's led to the demise of R-Rod.
It's no secret that Rich Rodriguez is one of the NCAA's highest-paid coaches. Boy, did Michigan make a mistake on that one. Rodriguez signed a six-year deal worth about $2.5 million annually. Interesting to point out now, this also includes a $4 million buyout as well.
Rodriguez has stolen money from the university with coaching schemes that haven't worked and the inability to alter such practices. This much is true, but at the same time, it wasn't like he was trying or anything right? Over the past few years in Ann Arbor it doesn't appear as if a whole lot has changed.
In fact, many questioned this hire before it even got underway. It was pretty hard to understand how a prestigious university like Michigan would hire a coach that was in hot water.
Rodriguez's old team in West Virginia has done better than the Wolverines during R-Rod's time with Big Blue. Shocking isn't it, why'd he leave Morgantown anyway?
Firstly, when fans start making sites like firerrod.com, the time is certainly near. Fans clearly despise R-Rod and feel as if he's lessened their chances of winning over the past few seasons. This is true as he currently holds the lowest winning percentage in school history. Yeah, that's pretty bad R-Rod.
After five straight wins to start the season, things were looking up for Michigan. At that point, they were almost in a bowl game, this much was at least a nice upgrade. Their 2-5 finish was ugly and then some. It was apparent in the second half that while Denard Robinson may have been multi-dimensional, the rest of the offense wasn't.
Fans have given R-Rod the cold shoulder. In places like Michigan, who hold such high prestige, this usually spells the end. Will it with R-Rod? Only time will tell.
Bet Michigan fans miss these days...
Leave them all here.