Monday, January 3, 2011
Rich Rod Can't Dance?
The only two things I really consider myself a total die-hard for are Michigan Football and progressive/pop rock group Genesis. The /pop part is important because a lot of fans would call themselves strictly fans of the progressive era. That's because many believe the band and its true identity died when Peter Gabriel left the band in 1974. Three transition-ish albums later, a split was forever created when they released Abacab, full of basic verse/chorus pop songs and almost completely devoid of the experimental medleys that brought them worldwide fame in the early to mid 70s. It got even worse for some when Invisible Touch came out in 1986. They went further down the pop road and cemented a void between fans of the progressive and fans of Genesis no matter what the form.
This is the point we find ourselves right now with Michigan Football. Gabriel (Bo/Moeller/Carr) left the group a while ago. We've gone a different direction with Collins (Rodriguez) and while it took some getting used to, there's some good tunes on every album. However, there are a few pretty shitty tracks too.
Will Rodriguez be allowed to ride it out? That's where the fear for many sets in. You see, after Invisible Touch was released, Genesis regained some of the aforementioned worldwide acclaim. Even some fans of the old guard were starting to come around. They'd put in the album and like what they heard.....until the end. The Brazilian was pretty much a dud to end an otherwise promising album. Sounds a lot like Saturday's game. I think most fans would have been able to live with a competitive game in which we at least showed an ability to slow down an almost one-dimensional offense. Instead, Chris Relf looked like Peyton Manning and we suffered our worst bowl beatdown since the Kelley Washington/Donte Stallworth massacre.
Now we're left with a few questions, some easy to answer and others not. The old guard is out in full force and even some of the new guard has found solace in imagining the possibilities of bringing the band back together. There's almost no question that Harbaugh will be or has been offered the job. Whether or not he will take it has been up for debate for at least a month now. Hopefully after the Orange Bowl tonight, there will be a resolution of some form.
My concern is in another direction: Is Rodriguez going to continue if Jim goes elsewhere? Most want to give him another go at it. I am in this camp, but not without reservation. The reason I say this is because of the position Michigan has put itself in. Rumor earlier in the year was that Rodriguez was told to find a new defensive coordinator and that Jeff Casteel rejected overtures after the Ohio State game, leaving Rodriguez stuck with the soon to be fired Greg Robinson and one year left on his contract. The assumption in the blogosphere has been that Michigan can win if they field a big name DC and let him run his system. There's a problem though: what DC with any sense is going to sign onto a ship that would almost assuredly sink unless Michigan was to reach double digit wins next season? It's not really worth the risk for a Randy Shannon or Manny Diaz to jump on board during a possible period of transition. NO school would be an attractive option when it has a much maligned head coach in the last year of his contract. Ultimately, this idea might leave too many question marks for Rodriguez to keep his job regardless of what Harbaugh does. I do not necessarily agree with this idea but can see the logic of it.
If Rodriguez stays, what happens from here? Does the team improve against a tougher schedule? Invisible Touch had Genesis going in the right direction....and then they released We Can't Dance. This album found the group too stuck in its newfound ways. The title track is arguably the worst of their entire catalog. Two years later, Collins left the group and found massive success as a solo artist. The lead singer became Ray Wilson and the group released an album of which I could not name one song. They broke up and the experiment faded out quicker than it began. Is the same inevitable for Michigan football?