Rich Rodriguez to Arizona: Which RichRod Will You Get, WV Days or Michigan Days?
Everybody has different opinions about head coach Rich Rodriguez, and that's because he gave you two different sides to remember.
You either think of the 61-26 record he had at West Virginia and the high-scoring offense. Or you remember the controversy at the University of Michigan with the 15-22 record and no bowl victories.
Regardless of which one it is, Rodriguez is going to try and replace any negative thoughts with positive ones as he accepts the new head coaching job at Arizona.
The first thing I think of when the Pac-12 is mentioned is offense. There are six offenses in that conference right now that average at least 30 points per contest, and only two out of 12 teams score less than 25 points per game.
West Virginia is a cheaper version of the Oregon Ducks and a few other Pac-12 teams.
Rodriguez is an offensive kind of guy that is a master of the no huddle and spread offense. For the majority of his time at West Virginia, his offenses ranked in the top half of points scored and sometimes even in the top 10. Remember a guy named Pat White who broke all kinds of NCAA rushing and passing records? Rodriguez was the coach at that time.
Why wasn't he successful at Michigan, you ask?
He didn't have the right pieces in place and was in the wrong conference from the beginning. The Big Ten isn't known for their high-scoring offenses—it's mainly known for the slow, boring and conservative style of play. Rodriguez also didn't have the right quarterback to run his style of offense. Denard Robinson was only a freshman when they got him in 2009.
Will Rodriguez succeed in Arizona?
In 2010, when Robinson was a sophomore, Michigan finished with the best record of the three years he was at the school. They also reached a bowl game and averaged 33 points per game—the highest under Rodriguez.
Michigan fired Rodriguez at the wrong time, but the Wolverines only allow so many sub-par seasons before they show you the door. You're on a short leash when you accept the tall order of coaching at prestigious schools: Deliver or they'll find somebody else who will.
Rodriguez won't have that type of pressure at Arizona. This team has only made three bowl games since 1998 and only three winning seasons since then. There are no expectations with this university. Succeed and you're looked at as a hero; fail and you're just like almost every other coach to take over the Wildcats.
Rodriguez will already have his quarterback for next year in Matt Scott—a dual-threat quarterback that will thrive in this offense. Then Rodriguez can go ahead and recruit his own players in areas like Texas and California and other states nearby that are infested with young talent.
Arizona is nothing like Michigan. It doesn't come with the pressure to succeed and everything you do isn't magnified 100 times over. Rodriguez should be just fine in his new home.
Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com
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