Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Show Must Go On

Do I have to stand up
Wild-eyed in the spotlight
What a nightmare
Why don't I turn and run?

There must be some mistake
I didnt mean to let them
Take away my soul.
Am I too old, is it too late?

The inevitable has come to pass: Rich Rodriguez is out at Michigan. I don't think he was ever given a fair shake. Local media with a vendetta + an alumni/fanbase pushing an ambiguous term (Michigan Man) that has no real meaning + a college football landscape where win-now is more prevalent than ever and you have today's disaster of a press conference. I can say with confidence that the majority of the fan base has been nothing short of an embarrassment. I also can't imagine how difficult it is to create a winning environment when you've basically been an outcast on campus since the day you arrived. If I'm Rich Rodriguez today, I'm probably the most relieved person on the face of the earth. He will (and should) find another job soon and I'd bet my bottom dollar he'll find success at his next stop.

Now it's full OMG DENARD STAY mode. Many think it's a given that he'll stay. I am firmly not in that camp. Only Kansas State and Michigan recruited Robinson as a quarterback and Rodriguez is responsible for turning Robinson into what he's become. I strongly feel that his loyalty is less to the University of Michigan as it is to the guy who gave him a chance to play the position he wanted. Given Rodriguez will almost certainly find another job I would not be shocked (in fact, I personally expect) Robinson to bolt and possibly even follow him. That's not an indictment on Robinson or his loyalty at all. Rodriguez is central to Denard's development. I would be devastated if he left, but not pissed as a fan. If there's one thing Rodriguez had, it was a loyalty on the part of his players.

We've also let the golden opportunity slip through our fingers. One has to believe that Harbaugh's heart of hearts prefers leading his alma mater back to greatness, etching his name alongside Bo, Yost, Crisler and the crew. We'll probably never know how it went down, but the speculation that neither David Brandon or Mary Sue Coleman truly want Harbaugh coaching the team is sure to grow. With a massive amount of money coming out of our booster/alumni situation, I'll never buy for a second that we couldn't afford to bring him in. I'll also never buy the idea that he'd rather coach in the worst division in the NFL than to stomp Tressel back into Youngstown and reclaim the Big Ten. The Denver job? That would be different in this writer's opinion. Either way, a huge letdown.

Finally, to Coach Rodriguez: Turn and run. Run Like Hell. You'll never make a better decision.

*obligatory Katy Perry gif to help us through the pain*

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