Michigan Wolverine Dilemma: Is it Really a Good Idea to Fire Rich Rodriguez?
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Yes, as Michigan fans, the last three years are nothing to write home about. Lloyd Carr retired, and it was like a domino effect from there.
Michigan hired Rich Rodriguez from West Virginia, and though he was left with many of Carr's recruits, he decided to implement his own system anyway. So, Michigan goes 3-9 in 2008, essentially the worst season in program history. Then they lose recruits and players transfer, all while the NCAA finds out Michigan exceeded allotted practice hours, placing them on probation for the next three years.
2009 started out rather convincingly after a 4-0 start, but the team plummeted to finish 1-7 thanks to a god-awful defense. So they miss a bowl game for the second year in a row. Maybe 2010 will be better?
Well, in theory 2010 was better because Michigan finished 7-5 and actually became bowl eligible, but let's not forget the fact that we started the year 5-0, meaning we finished it 2-5.
Let's also not look past the fact that without some late-game heroics from Denard Robinson, as well as some luck, we could have easily lost to Notre Dame, Massachusetts and Indiana. Yeah, we are just a few minutes away from being 4-8.
Given all these facts, many of us have been begging for AD David Brandon to cut the cord on RichRod, because every season under him has essentially been a disappointing one.
The hot name out there has been current Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh because how he has turned around that program has been amazing. The Cardinal were just a 1-11 team two seasons ago, and now they are ranked fourth in the nation at 11-1, set to take on Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
As all the Michigan fans are dreaming of Harbaugh standing on our sideline, has anyone ever considered the fact that we are going to go through exactly what we did with Rodriguez?
If nobody has noticed, Harbaugh is the old school coach running a pro-style system. If Brandon decides to fire Rodriguez and hire Harbaugh, there are going to be a stampede of very talented Michigan players leaving and transferring to other schools.
We're sitting here complaining about Rodriguez, but you want a coach who is going to come in here with an entirely new system. If Harbaugh comes in, we are going to go through another two or three years of what we just went through.
I mean where would anyone on Michigan's offense or defense fit into Harbaugh's system? Well, Michigan's defense doesn't even fit in a Pop Warner league, but the offense is small and built to run the spread.
Whether we want to accept it or not, Rodriguez has improved each and every year he has been at Michigan. Yes, Rodriguez is an offensive coach as we can all blatantly see.
The reason we aren't winning games is because our defense is, for lack of a better word, horrendous. I don't care what anyone says, our defense is the sole reason for all five of our losses this year. If we brought Harbaugh in, sure he would be a great coach, but it would take him so much time to recruit the players he needs and to develop them.
As a die-hard Michigan fan, I know what is best for my team. The best thing to do here is to give Rodriguez one more season, find a new defensive coordinator and see how that goes.
Our offense was already one of the best in the nation this year—that can only get better—and our defense had so many freshmen who weren't even supposed to be playing, so one can only assume that the talent will grow over the offseason.
I know most people think I am crazy, but I just don't think many of you have taken into consideration what this program will go through bringing in another coach with a completely different system.
This defense will come together, and once that happens, we will be a more complete and better team. If you really think about it, Michigan would be one of the most dominant teams in the land if our defense was even halfway decent.
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