Has Rich Rodriguez overstayed his welcome in Michigan? If his seat was hot at the end of last season, it has to be boiling by now.
Rodriguez is now 15-21 at Michigan, and this year will be the first time the Maize and Blue go bowling under him.
We can cut him slack for his first season because he didn't have the right guys on the field—but last year he did.
This year, he had one of the most electric players in college football in Denard Robinson—albeit he couldn't stay healthy. How much longer can Michigan give Rodriguez slack for saying that he needs more time?
Before you say that Rodriguez is improving—because it looks that way if you just base it off records from year to year—you have to look at the bigger picture.
This is Rodriguez' third season, and he's just now posting a winning record. This is a program that went 20-5 in the two years before Rodriguez took over.
Fast starts have been a characteristic of Rich Rod's tenure at Michigan. If the season was over after September, he would be the greatest coach...okay, maybe not. Rodriguez has an overall 10-2 record in the first month of the season. After that, he's 5-19. So basically, when the Wolverines start playing good teams, they start losing.
Rodriguez is 2-10 against Top 25 opponents. The Wolverines have made a habit of beating up on weak competition such as Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Delaware State and UMass.
Still think Rich Rod is the guy for Michigan?
He's 6-18 against the Big Ten overall and just 2-5 in conference this season. That's just not going to cut it at Michigan. Lloyd Carr is probably an Ohio State fan by now.
The final blow for Rich Rodriguez is his poor performances against Ohio State. You're probably well aware, if you're a Michigan fan, that Rodriguez is 0-3 against the Buckeyes. [Insert witty insult here, Buckeye fans.]
The problem is, he hasn't come close to beating Ohio State. Rodriguez has been outscored 100-24 by the Buckeyes. That's an average margin of defeat of 25.3 points per game and an average score of 33-8.
Lloyd Carr's worst loss was a 16-point defeat in 2004. Carr lost seven games to Ohio State by an average of nine points per game (27-18). The average score of "The Game" while Carr was the Wolverines coach was 23-22 in favor of the Buckeyes.
Rodriguez continues to talk about how this process is coming along slower than he had hoped. So my question is, how much longer can Michigan settle for mediocrity? A second-tier bowl is not Michigan football.
Someone can come in and turn things around for Michigan, but that has to start with Rodriguez making his exit through his secret escape tunnel. Ann Arbor is getting restless.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below. You can e-mail me suggestions or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @JoeSportswriter.
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