Wednesday, August 18, 2010
My personal opinion is that Rich Rod could be done in Ann Arbor by midseason if the team gets off to a slow start, as much as I hate to say it. I also hate to read between the lines, but I'm going to read between the lines. Newly minted atletic director David Brandon is old school Michigan. Definition-He's a former player from the Schembechler era and he doesn't mess around. Deep down I don't think he approves of Rodriguez too much. Brandon said that Rodriguez would coach this season. Meaning that he will start the season as coach, but might not last the season if things don't go right. Brandon couldn't fire Rich Rod in the offseason because he would've been cutting his own throat. He wouldn't be able to find a suitable coach in time for the season opener. The Wolverines would've been stuck with an underqualified assistant, like when Brian Ellerbe took over the basketball program. So as of now Rich Rod gets a quasi, dreaded vote of confidence. Even if he lasts for the full season, who knows if he lasts beyond this year. I believe Brandon has list of who HE wants on the sidelines in the Big House.
Another factor is the recruiting game. I'm no insider for the school or football team. Nor am I a recruiting guru. I know plenty of schools take in plenty of questionable talents year after year. Even the mercurial Willie Williams got chances at two schools. I know Michigan accepted them year after year until they do something ridiculously stupid (Larry Harrison) or smoke too much chronic (Kelly Baraka). Demar Dorsey was no angel. He wasn't gonna be on the dean's list anytime soon either. But knowing what I know, Michigan has had players dumb as stumps on the field. If it had been Lloyd Carr, Gary Moeller, or Bo Schembechler on the sideline, I'm pretty damn sure Dorsey would be suiting up for the Maize and Blue. Since it's fact, that will somehow be denied, that there are alumni and regents that don't like Rodriguez, Dorsey doesn't get in. He's also being shortstopped in recruiting players because they say that type of player doesn't belong at Michigan. It happened recently with some kid from Florida, I believe,but I could be wrong. I've heard that the kid was told to get his grades up before he thought about Michigan. Reminds me of the Tom Goss era, when he said he wanted Michigan basketball to be like Duke and he didn't want anymore questionable kids (Detroit kids) playing at Michigan. If coach Rod is to stay at Michigan, this is another hurdle he's gonna have to overcome.
As far as the NCAA inquiry, plenty of teams do the same thing Michigan and Rodriguez are accused of doing. I'm not well schooled in the screwy ways of the NCAA rulebook, but I feel that this was something personal against Rodriguez. I'm sure Michigan had been guilty of this offense for years. I believe there was a personal dislike for Rodriguez so the story comes out.
I like Rodriguez and I do feel he hasn't been given a fair shake. Some of this mess he created on his own, some of it I believe has been the result of higher ups and other powerful people within the adminstration that don't want him there. The best case scenario is that he gets 8 wins to have a stay of execution. I just don't think it's gonna happen. I hate to say it but he could be gone by week 2 and the coaching search will be in full swing.