Saturday, November 27, 2010

Michigan Football: Rich Rod Out, Jim Harbaugh in?

Ohio State took it to Michigan again. They beat them in ever facet of the game. Defensively, offensively, it didn't matter, the Buckeyes ran away from the Wolverines, 37-7.

With that in mind, it would seem to me that Rich Rodriguez has coached his last game in Ann Arbor. There's no way that the school can or should bring him back. They need a shot in the arm, they need a new start, they need someone that is going to bring this team back to greatness. The Wolverines have lost nine of the last 10 games in this series including eight straight. That alone is grounds for change in the eyes of Michigan fans, boosters, and maybe the administration itself.

I do feel sorry for Rodriguez, however. He was the same guy that said he wasn't leaving West Virginia before he snuck away from the Mountaineers to take the Michigan job. Fans there were furious. They wanted retribution and they wanted his name stripped from the campus or the minds from every fan there.

But, on the flip side of things, West Virginia fans have kept their curse on Rich Rod and it's worked. The Wolverines haven't had the same kind of success since their head coach came to Ann Arbor. Success to them is beating Ohio State and they haven't been able to do that.

With Michigan's season coming to a close, the rumors will begin hot and heavy as to whether Rich Rod will keep his job through next season, if at all. We've heard these rumors before and we've heard the one name that continues to be brought up. This is a guy that has made an impact where he is now and turned a Stanford team into a top 10 team nationally.

This is a name that everyone knows is more than interested in the Michigan job because it's his alma mater. The name is Jim Harbaugh, the current head coach for the Stanford Cardinal.

His quarterback, Andrew Luck, is headed to the NFL, so is there really a reason to stay where he is? Is there a reason he shouldn't take the job at Michigan if it's offered to them?

I can think of one. Domination of the PAC-10.

Sure it doesn't sound like much, but when was the last time Stanford found themselves at the top of the conference that is usually dominated by USC? Does he really want to take over a Michigan team that won't be in the same conversation with Ohio State or even Wisconsin for at least the next few years? Will the Michigan brass expect him to turn this team around in a single year, expectations they know are far too high?

Whatever the expectation is, I believe Harbaugh will stay at Stanford and will send the Michigan administration scrambling to find someone that is wanting the job.

Only thing is, they'll be hard pressed to find a guy that has the same credentials and same big name than Jim Harbaugh. How shocking is it going to be when he declines their offer? What's next for Rich Rodriguez?

All those questions could be answered within just the next few weeks or sooner. We know that Rodriguez is, and should be, out as the head coach. Who the next man will be is yet to be seen. But I don't believe it will be Harbaugh no matter how much Michigan wants him.

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