There are a lot of rumblings that Saturday will be Rich Rod’s last game as the Head Coach at Michigan, but I doubt the outcome of the game with Ohio State will have any bearing on the decision to keep or fire Rodriguez.
Rich Rod’s future at Michigan will be based on two things. One, is he a good fit at Michigan and two, how badly do Jim Harbaugh and Michigan want each other?
Today, rivals.com national college football writer Tom Dienhart tweeted, “The more people I talk to, the more I think Rich Rodriguez will be coaching his last game at Michigan this Saturday.” He is right, a well connected source close to Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon told me this week that they like Rich Rod at Michigan but he may not be a “fit.” If that is the case, why would they wait another year to make a move, especially if Harbaugh is antsy to leave Stanford. If Rich Rod isn’t a “fit” for the program now, it is hard to imagine he will be a “fit” in one year or five years!
Harbaugh can’t stay at Stanford any longer, nobody cares about football in Palo Alto and he will be overwhelmed with offers when his season with the Cardinal is over. Stanford is a stepping stone job and everybody knows his departure is inevitable.
Make no mistake, Harbaugh wants and covets the Michigan job, he knows he can return the program to its previous standing and retire a legend like his mentor Bo Schembechler.
I don’t know what will happen for sure after the Ohio State game, but I think we are about to see fireworks. Dave Brandon is a decisive guy and I am sure he wants to return Michigan to top 5 status and begin building a legacy immediately.
Some are concerned that changing pphilosophies will set the program back another two or three years as they transition back to a pro style offense to compete in the Big Ten, but Harbaugh is a smart coach, he would make great use of Denard Robinson, Tate Forcier and Devin Gardner. You can bet he won’t run them off like Rich Rod did to Ryan Mallet.