Maize and Blues: Hapless Michigan Spanked in Gator Bowl, Rodriguez's Fate Sealed

Troy BelcherCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2011

Rich Rod's days in Ann Arbor are numbered
Rich Rod's days in Ann Arbor are numberedLeon Halip/Getty Images

Up until Jan. 1st I was leaning towards giving Rich Rodriguez one more season to recruit defensively and try to make this Michigan team a contender in the Big Ten, but after today's demolition derby in Jacksonville, I would rather not see Rodriguez back on the Michigan sideline in 2011.

I am a die-hard Michigan fan, and nothing wrenches my gut more than a loss, but today's travesty of a game didn't have me sorrowing in the least. I was actually quite satisfied with the loss, because I knew that most likely meant Rodriguez wouldn't be back coaching the Maize and Blue in 2011.

University of Michigan athletic director David Brandon has repeatedly told the media throughout the last several weeks that he would wait until the season is over to evaluate Rodriguez and his staff, but at this point there is absolutely nothing to evaluate.

Michigan knew its opponent since early December, and had 15 extra practices to prepare for the Bulldogs of Mississippi State, and they come out looking like this? I am pretty certain the defense had its worse outing of the entire season in this game, and the special teams looked anemic as always by having its only punt of the game blocked and its only field goal attempt of 35 yards pulled wide left.

If David Brandon even has to think twice about this decision, then he should not be the athletic director at the University of Michigan, because even a blind person could see Rodriguez is just not the right fit at Michigan.

Right now, if news broke that Rodriguez was coming back for another season, that would feel even worse than these seven painful years we have gone without a win over Ohio State. I mean, it's pretty bad when die-hard fans don't mind taking a good ol' fashion whipping just to run their coach out of the city.

People keep talking about the improvement that Rodriguez is making, but I have realized no improvement has really been made at all. Rich Rodriguez is 15-22 overall, 2-11 vs. AP ranked Top 25 teams, and a combined 0-6 against our biggest rivals in Michigan State and Ohio State.

Something has got to give. Today's game was one of the most pitiful performances exhibited by a team that I have ever witnessed in my life; Michigan couldn't score any points other then in the first quarter, we were going for it on 4th-and-forever because our field goal kickers are horrible, and our defense couldn't tackle a seven-year-old kid if they wanted to.

Excuse my French, but Rodriguez has put this team, this university, its alumni and its fans through hell the past three seasons, and it's not going to get any better if he stays around. Brandon has a rather easy decision on his hands, and I'm sure that Rodriguez is expecting what is coming to him.

Jim Harbaugh is looking like the prime choice for Michigan in 2011, and I don't see how this could possibly not go through. Rodriguez is going to be out, and when Brandon offers the job to Harbaugh I just can't see him turning it down.

We have a long, needed offseason ahead of us. It's time to fire Rodriguez, who we shouldn't have even hired in the first place, and get Harbaugh in here so he can return the Maize and Blue to prominence where we belong.