I'm betting on Rich Rodriguez to turn Michigan around in 2009.
There's a good chance he'll reverse last season's 3-9 showing and I'm betting everything I got that Michigan will win at least eight games and cover the "over/under" of seven wins Las Vegas has set for the Wolverines.
It's not because they have eight home games, including Ohio State and Penn State, or because of the talent that will be on the Michigan sidelines in the coming year.
It's because history dictates that a good coach like Rich Rodriguez will make major improvement in his second year with this team.
Rodriguez is a good coach and he can take most of the credit for originating the no-huddle spread offense which nearly every team in the country has some variation of in their offensive package.
It's that simple. That's the formula; A, your a good coach, plus B, it's your second year on the job, equals C, a winning season.
Eddie Robinson, the late great Grambling Football Coach who finished with 408 career wins took over as head coach in 1941 and went 3-5 that year. Next season he led Grambling to an undefeated (9-0) season.
Joe Paterno became head coach of Penn State in 1966 and led the Lions to a lackluster 5-5 record. The following season Paterno and Penn State finished 8-2-1.
When Bobby Bowden took over at Florida State in 1976 the Seminoles finished under .500 at 5-6. In 1977, Bobby won 10 games and lost two.
This isn't a coincidence folks, there is something to this. The great Bear Bryant became head coach at Texas A&M in 1954 and compiled a 1-9 record. In 1955 his record was 7-2-1.
He did the same thing when he went to Alabama. 1958 was Bryant's initial year in Tuscaloosa and the Tide finished 5-4-1. The next year they were 7-2-2.
Jim Tressel, Ohio State's head coach took over the Buckeyes in 2001 and went 7-5. The following year Ohio State finished 14-0 and won the National Championship.
Pete Carroll at USC did the same thing. His first year was 2001 and the Trojans won six and lost six. The following year they went 11-2.
I guess a good coach has to knock them down and build them up. It takes these guys about a year to get it right.
Bob Stoops went 7-5 in 1999, his first year at Oklahoma. In 2000 he finished 13-0 and won the National Championship.
In what might be considered Steve Spurrier's greatest coaching accomplishment, he took Duke from his first year record of 5-6 to 7-3-1 in 1988. That was Duke!
It took Urban Meyer a year to really get adjusted at both of his major coaching jobs. While at Utah, in his first season (2003) the Utes finished 10-2. In 2004 they went 12-0 and won a BCS bowl game.
Meyer took over the Florida job in 2003 and the Gators finished 8-3. In 2004 Meyer's team went 13-1 and won a National Championship.
I hope your getting the message and if you know anything about Rich Rodriguez, he falls right in line with the names mentioned above. He's already proved it!
2001 was the year Rodriguez took over the West Virginia Mountaineers and they finished a dismal 3-8, that's the same amount of wins that Michigan had last year.
It took Rodriguez a year to install the spread offense, and he did have the right personnel to run it which helped but in 2002 they finished 9-4 and were on their way to winning a lot of games and a couple of BCS Bowls over the remainder of his stay in Morgantown.
So I'm betting on Michigan this coming season and I'm betting on Rodriguez to get the job done. It's not that I'm some kind of clairvoyant that gives me such confidence that he'll come through, it's history! History is on the Wolverines side in 2009!
Don't bet against the Wolverines!