But is that true?
To find out, as least as far as the MZone is concerned, I went back into the archives to unearth what I wrote about Rich Rod in December, 2007. On Monday, December 17th, in a post entitled "The Rodrigeuz Era Begins," I wrote the following (bolded text added to original):
What a weekend.
From the depths of despair for many Michigan fans as the Wolverine coaching searched dragged on almost four whole weeks (which is equivalent to 8.3 years in today's Internet-fueled sports world) to the heights of ecstasy as U-M landed a coach who apparently believes the quarterback is allowed to stray outside the pocket by more than 4 feet (and not just to take a sack).
So, is it a great hire?
It's too early to tell. Just as it would have been impossible 48 hours after the fact to tell if the hiring of Mike DeBord would have been the first sign of the Football Apocalypse. We won't know how good this hire is until about three years down the road.
'Bama fans nearly wept with joy after their school lured Nick Saban to Tuscaloosa. But after a 6-6 season, including a loss to Louisiana-Monroe, now they might just be weeping, period. Pete Carroll was USC's 38th choice when he was hired to coach the Trojans. Southern Cal fans wanted the AD run out of town for picking some failed NFL coach to lead them. The end was near - the end of being average as Carroll returned the team to new found glory. And after Bo Schembechler was hired way back when, the headline of the Detroit Free Press screamed, "Bo Who?" Gee, I didn't know Drew Sharpe was that old.
So while we can be excited, whether or not it was great is yet to be determined.
I will say that our offense is going to be like nothing you've ever seen in A2 before (unless you're talking about Oregon, Syracuse, Appalachian State or any of the other spread offenses that have shredded the Wolverines in recent years). The only problem is, do we have the personnel to run it next season? If Rodriguez tries to reinvent the wheel too soon, well, talk to Husker fans about that one.
I will say that I like the hire better than Miles (who, hopefully, will stop holding press conferences now). From all I've heard, he's a great guy and a good coach. My one nagging concern is his record in big games, which is the main issue many folks had with Carr the last couple of years. West Virginia usually played a non-conference schedule that would make the K-State non-con cupcakes from the Bill Snyder era look like murder's row. Then they duked it out in the still-a-bball-league Big East. Yet they still managed to struggle in key or big games.
This season, the best team from a ranking standpoint they played was 18th ranked South Florida. They lost. They only had to beat 28 point dog Pitt - coached by Dave "Has he EVER had a winning record?" Wannstedt - at home to reach the BCS title game. They lost. Yeah, I know Pat White was hurt. But they were playing 28 point dog Pitt at home - a team coached by Dave Wannstedt! WVU's big wins this season were over Cinci and UConn (yes, in football).
And there are some nagging questions about his defenses. While known for his offenses, stout defense, a Michigan staple (except against teams coached by guys running offenses like Rodriquez), weren't his forte.
So, while I'm optimistic, I'm also realistic. Coach Rod, as he is known, has my full support (except for his nickname. He sounds like a porn star). I sincerely hope this is the genius hire the "sky is falling" crowd thinks it is (who apprently thought Michigan AD Bill Martin was going to pick a name out of a hat containing only Pop Warner youth league coaches once Les Miles didn't work out). Whatever happens, it's going to be fun as hell to watch.
Now only time will tell if that fun translates into something much, much bigger.
Okay, besides the fact that I really should trade in my blogging keyboard for a sign out front advertising my services as a psychic, I'd say that's a pretty fair, accurate and positive piece. Compare that with what's been written about Hoke by those who hate the hire.
Two days later, I had this to say after Rich Rod's introductory press conference in a post entitled, "First Impressions: I Like Him:"
Watched Rich Rodriguez's introduction/press conference in A2 yesterday and was very impressed with what I saw. Yes, he might need a little lesson about M history, but he's an engaging guy and his football record reflects that of an outstanding coach.
Basically, if we're going by Gut Feeling 101 - I liked him. A lot. How could you not after watching that?
Welcome to A2, Coach. Best of luck. I'll be cheering my ass off for you next season.
There you go. Our first two posts on the Rich Rod Era.
So who were these blogs, news outlets or sports writers - outside of Drew "Annoyance Journalism" Sharp - against Rich Rod from day one? Do they exist? Or is this simply something that has been repeated with such frequency, sheer volume has folks mistaking it for fact? In an admittedly cursory check, I couldn't find the anti-RR stuff in the wake of hire.
Granted, as Rich Rod's messy divorce from WVU dragged on (and on) and more players left A2 for a variety of reasons (even transferring to Tosu!), folks admittedly got nervous very quickly, including yours truly. Then when the 3-9 debacle hit, it grew. But aren't such concerns reasonable when given actual reason for said concern?
Thus, if some "sky is falling" folks want to treat Hoke the same way Rodriguez got treated when he got here, fine: Give him your full support and get ready to cheer your ass off for him and his squad come fall. And if actual events of his doing - on or off the field - demand a re-evaluation, that's fair. But not until then.