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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Did Gator Bowl loss cost Rich Rod two jobs?

Was Michigan's blowout loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl so embarrassingly bad that it cost Rich Rodriguez two head coaching jobs?

Maybe.

Baltimore Suns sports writer Jeff Barker recently got 25 pages via Maryland's public records law to see what really went on during the Terp's recent head coaching search (to replace the fired Ralph Friedgen).   Barker said "the idea was to examine search-related travel expenses, ask questions and see if there were any surprises."

So what did Barker discover?  Well, Maryland officials may (or may not) have contacted then-Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez in Jacksonville, FL while the Wolverines were "preparing" for the Gator Bowl.  According to Barker:

"I didn't know about the trip to Jacksonville, which was something of a mystery. It turns out that Michigan was preparing for the Gator Bowl at the time (Dec. 27) Maryland representatives visited Jacksonville. Michigan was then coached by Rich Rodriguez. Do I know for certain that Rodriguez was the target of the Jacksonville trip? Nope. But I do know Rodriguez was contacted by Maryland reps at some point during the search."

So what really happened?  The MZone has obtained this exclusive transcript of a phone call that took place in the office of Maryland AD Kevin Anderson on Sunday, January 2nd.    

2:15pm

The Terp AD meets with with his staff.  Several names of coaches are up on a big dry erase board: Randy Edsall, Rich Rodriguez, Mike Leach, Gus Malzahn.

Kevin Anderson:  "It's crunch time, folks.  We need to hire a football coach asap or we're going to start losing verbal commits.  We have four candidates--" (Anderson stops, walks over to the board and erases Rich Rod's name) "--Make that three candidates.  Jesus, did you see the Gator Bowl yesterday?  We dodged a bullet the size of Friedgen's waist size there.  Whew!"

As everyone else nods in agreement, the phone rings.

RING. RING.

Kevin Anderson (answering the phone): "Kevin Anderson."
Rich Rodriguez: "Hey, Kevin.  It's Rich."
KA (covers phone, to the others in his office): "Shit.  It's Rodriguez."

Everybody else in the office moans.

KA (uncovers phone): "What's up, Rich?"
RR: "You see the game yesterday?"
KA: "Yeah, that, uh, that, you played 'em tough..." (covers the phone, to the others in his office) "...for about half a quarter!"

Everybody in the room stifles their laughter.  Anderson holds his finger to his lips - Shhh!

RR:  "Listen, Kevin, I really enjoyed meeting you guys when you were down here on the 27th and I just wanted to tell you I'm interested in the Maryland job."
KA:  "Gee, that's, uh, great, Rich.  But if Dave Brandon hasn't made a move yet, don't you think he's going to keep you?"

Kevin looks at the others in the room and shakes his head - no fucking way.

RR:  "Maybe.  But I've gotten a pretty bad shake here.  You know, the cupboards were bare and the previous coach, Lloyd Carr--"
KA:  "I know, I know.  You mentioned Carr and the cupboards when we met -- 846 times.  How it was everyone else's fault."
RR:  "So, should I have my agent call you then?
KA:  "Uh, you know... "(Anderson grabs a piece of paper off his desk and starts crunching it up next to the phone) "...Gee, you're really hard to hear, Rich.  Got no reception.  Damn AT&T."
RR: "I thought this was your office number?"
KA: "Say what?  You're gonna fish this summer? Good for you, Rich.
RR:  "No, I said--"

Anderson quickly hangs up the phone.

KA:  "Fuck."

RING.  RING.

Anderson reaches down and yanks the phone cord out of the wall.

KA (to his staff):  "Okay, where were we?"

(HT: Angelique's Chengelis's Twitter feed)

5 comments:

surrounded in columbus said...

you are taunting karma, old friend.

you just know he's gonna end up at some place like Clemson in another year & be in a BCS bowl inside a couple seasons...

'cause we got that kinda luck

Yost said...

SiC:

I have no doubt RR will probably be very successful at his next coaching stop. However, that still doesn't mean he was the right fit for Michigan.

Second, I'm just tired of all his talk about the "situation" he inherited. And using SHAWSHANK examples about all the shit he went thru only to not be able to see "the good part."

As you know, I kinda believe a lot of that shit was caused by him clogging up the toilets.

surrounded in columbus said...

if we're not careful, people will begin to mistake us for WVU fans, circa 2008

Yost said...

Doubtful - my couch is not on fire.

Plus, if memory serves, weren't they mad that RR left? Needless to say, I'm okay with the exit.

surrounded in columbus said...

Bob(s): "Peter, it looks like you've been missing a lot of Rich Rodriguez, lately"

Peter: "Bob, i wouldn't say i've been really 'missing' it".

whatever anyone may think of his replacement, i doubt anyone is too torn up about R2's departure.

that said, at some point pissing on R2 is about as useless as bitching about hiring the Hokester.

in the end, they're both bad karma (or as i learned from the voodoo fortune teller in NOLa, bad Juju!).