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Monday, January 03, 2011

And now...we wait

According to the Detroit News, Dave Brandon said he "still has work to do" in order to complete his evaluation of football coach Rich Rodriguez:

"I'm going to travel back to Ann Arbor when the team goes back (Sunday morning), and over the next few days will wrap up my work as far as my evaluation that has been a nine-month process.  I will meet with my coach, and I will have more to say on this matter the latter part of the week."

In layman's terms, this means he's stalling until after Stanford's Orange Bowl game tonight in order to "check and see" if Jim Harbaugh is interested and a verbal deal can be struck before Brandon announces his final "evaluation."  He's not simply going to cut Rodriguez loose - if that's his plan (and not much indicates otherwise) - without having a coach lined up and ready to step in immediately.  There will be no "coaching search."

If Harbaugh turns him down (or the administration vetoes the choice based on Harbaugh's past comments about Michigan), Brandon will move on to Plans B, C and so on.  Is one of those options the return of Rich Rod for a fourth year?  Maybe.  But my belief is that happens only if Brandon gets down to the Plan K portion of his list, give or take.  And since I assume that folks like Brady Hoke - who'd donate a testicle to coach in A2 - are slotted in pre-K, it means Rich Rodriguez is not coming back*.

U-M fans wait to hear Rich Rod's fate
And so we wait.

This is going to be a very interesting week for Michigan fans.  Rumors will be flying, Twitter will be atwitter with true and false tweets, and the mods on the Michigan message boards will be working overtime as passions flare.

The last time there was so much on the line for Michigan and its fans that didn't involve a football game on Saturday would probably have to be another January some 29 years ago.  In 1982, Texas A&M offered Bo Schembecher nearly $3 million for 10 years - then the richest contract in the history of college athletics -  to become its football coach and athletic director.  After several anxious days, Bo turned it down saying, "Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that there are things more important in this world than money.  For that reason, I've decided to stay at Michigan."

Now, like then, Michigan fans must wait.

Whatever Brandon's choice, as Greg at MVictors says, I hope it "unites the clans."   The internal bickering between large swaths of the Maize and Blue faithful is unfortunate.  I won't say "new" because I'm guessing such discontent by sports fans whose teams don't win every championship every year has always been there.  The only difference is that now the Internet has given us all a voice.  I bet had the 'Net been around in '79 after Bo dropped his 7th consecutive bowl game, the message boards at LetsGoBellBottoms.com would have been flooded with folks calling for his ouster and some dude would have scooped up FireBo.com, .org and .net long before.

And who can unite the clans - or at least the vast majority of them?  Probably only the selection of Harbaugh.  The return of Rich Rod certainly won't.  And a "surprise" pick like Hoke won't either. 

So until Brandon declares his decision, all we can do is...

* Yes, if Rich Rod does return for a 4th season, feel very free to mock me mercilessly in the comments section.


Mikoyan said...

This morning I decided to take State Street into work which took me past Shembechler Hall. I noticed a plume of black smoke coming out of the chimney, so the decision has not been made yet.

Yost said...

Oh, that's funny, Mik. Might have to do something with that.

Merrick 561 said...

Not sure they qualify as a reputable source (thinking probably not), but the big lead is reporting the Harbaugh to Michigan deal fell apart over the weekend.


justthinking said...

I call BS on the Big Lead.

justthinking said...

Not BS to you for posting it though, Merrick. Thx.

Tom said...

Here's what I don't get. Why would Hoke be considered a better candidate than RR himself? RR's track record, even with the past 3 seasons included, is light years ahead of Hoke's.

Brady Hoke's record is 47-50. He has 3 winning seasons out of 8 total, in the minor leagues of NCAA football. He's had 1 year that would qualify as good at Michigan. Also, no conference titles. IN THE MAC/MWC!!!!

RR's record is 120-84-2. 12 winning seasons out of 18 total. 8 conference championships.

WHY would anyone possibly want Hoke?

whetstonebuck said...

Because straws must be grasped.

john said...

Maybe Rich Rod or the next Michigan Head Guy, Jim Harbaugh should start recruiting like Nick Saban at Alabama. Just ridiculous.

Alabama refurbishes high school of two key recruits.


Tom C said...

The case for Hoke is simple. His teams play Defense. They play offense. A hell of a lot more than I see going on at the moment.

Yost said...

Ditto, Tom C.

And yes, Hoke has had three winning seasons - but look at the train wrecks he took over.

On the other hand, Michigan has become a train wreck.

whetstonebuck said...

I hear that train a-comin'. Comin' round the bend...

Mikoyan said...

Okay, if I wasn't convinced before.....I am now.....

Bring Harbaugh now!!!! That is Michigan football...taking another team out to the toolshed and whipping them.

whetstonebuck said...

I don't think there's a college program with enough money to interest Harbaugh at this point.

wv = porsha.

An extra inducement in the Harbaugh deal?

surrounded in columbus said...

Brady Hoke.

Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke.

Good lord.