Michigan Should Ignore The Pleas To Fire Coach Rich Rodriguez

Michigan Football College Coach Rich Rodriguez

Photo: Flickr/One Raised Eyebrow

Amid all the college football coach firings this weekend, many in Big 10 country were awaiting a similar announcement out of Ann Arbor. Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez is on the hot seat.Michigan got pummelled by arch-rival Ohio State, sealing a losing record in Big 10 play in 2010, and, at 7-5, the team will appear in some nondescript bowl. Which, unfortunately, is better than where they ended the past two campaigns – out of bowl consideration altogether, for the first time since 1975.

The losing was made worse by players transferring because the program’s “family values have eroded,” and NCAA violations stemming from too much practice time.

No, it hasn’t been a pretty two years for Rodriguez, but here’s hoping cooler heads prevail, and Rodriguez remains head man for at least another season.

Rodriguez was hired in December 2007 – very late in the recruiting season for 2008. In his three seasons at the helm, Rodriguez has only participated in two complete recruiting seasons. None of those recruits are upper classmen. But some, including sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson, are already paying huge dividends. Robinson led the country in rushing this season.

Not surprisingly, the team has improved in each of his seasons: they went from 3-9 in 2008, to 5-7 last year, and 7-5 this season. If the pattern continues – and it should, as almost all of the players contributing to the 6th best offence in the country will return in 2011 – they’ll be nationally ranked next season.

If the school hires a new coach, Wolverine football will be set back a few years. It will take time for the new coach to re-assess the state of the program, learn the ins-and-outs of the university, become familiar with the local recruiting pipelines, and decide on a new direction for the team.

They’ve already invested that time in Rodriguez, and the team has improved every year. Let’s see if he can make one more big jump forward, before deciding to push him off the ledge.

See Also: Which College Coaches Got Fired This Weekend?

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