Michigan Fires Rich Rodriguez; Is Jim Harbaugh Next For Michigan?: Live Blog

Chris Faig@@ULuminaryCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2011

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 06:  Tate Forcier #5 of the Michigan Wolverines is congratulated by head coach Rich Rodriguez after scoring an overtime touchdown while playing the Illinios Fighting Illini at Michigan Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 67-65.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After getting crushed by Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl by a score of 52-14, it was expected that Michigan would fire Rich Rodriguez and get a new coach.

There are some solid possibilities out there, such as current Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and San Diego State Head Coach Brady Hoke.  

All day Tuesday, there were reports saying that Rodriguez had indeed been fired after a meeting took place, but the University of Michigan immediately denied the termination.

It released a statement that said: "This is media speculation at this point the definitive voice on this matter is [Athletic Director] Dave Brandon and he has a not and will not speak publicly until a final decision has been made."  

Since Rodriguez took of over as Head Coach at Michigan, he hasn't beaten big-time rivals Ohio State and Michigan state, going 0-6 against them and seriously struggled against ranked teams, recording a 1-11 record against BCS ranked schools.

The best thing for Michigan to do is to fork up the $2.5 million, part ways with Rodriguez immediately and begin cycling through the best candidates for the position. Obviously, if Jim Harbaugh were interested in the job, he would be Michigan's top choice.  

But, it is likely that Harbaugh will either remain with Stanford or go to the pros.  

Rodriguez and Michigan's athletic director, Dave Brandon, are expected to meet again today to discuss his future as head football coach of the University.  

In a statement released by the school, associate athletic director Dave Ablauf said: "The definitive voice on this matter is Dave Brandon, and he has not and will not speak publicly until a final decision have been made."

Once the final decision is made, check back for live updates regarding what happened in the meeting and what this means for Michigan.

UPDATE: In a statement released by Dave Brandon, the Michigan Athletics Director said "I met with Coach Rodriguez this morning and informed him of my decision to relieve him of his responsibilities and to pursue new leadership for our football program.  I believe this is the best decision for the future of Michigan Football."

Brandon will now begin to search for Rodriguez's replacement, with the obvious front-runners being Jim Harbaugh, Brady Hoke, and Les Miles.