Monday, December 17, 2007

Rodriguez To Meeechigan

By now it's sort of old news. Rich Rodriguez, now the former head coach at West Virginia, has accepted the head coaching job at Michigan.

Just when it appeared that Michigan was having serious trouble luring anyone to Ann Arbor, reports started coming out that Rodriguez was a candidate. The most telltale sign of his interest came with one of those "Rodriguez mum on Michigan job rumors". Because when you don't say anything that's a sure sign of interest. Well, unless you're Dick Satan.

So now the Wolverines have a head coach, and an entirely new style of offense. Personally, I think that if RichRod(now that is a great nickname) can get another mobile quarterback in there, *cough*Terrelle Pryor*cough*, then he could acvieve success in the Big 10. Let's be honest, Ryan Mallett is not the right QB for the Rodriguez system, so it's going to take a while for him to get the personnel in place. The bigger problem that I foresee is with the Michigan defense. The Mountaineers have never been known for stellar defensive play, especially against the run. They allowed an average of 126yds rushing per game in '04, but improved on that in '05(99yds/gm) and '06(87yds/gm). However, they regressed a little in '07 when they averaged 107yds/gm rushing on defense. In the Big 10, Rodriguez is going to be facing four teams(MSU, OSU, Wisconsin, Illinois) that averaged 200 yards or more rushing per game in 2007. Good luck with that.

Michigan did need a "big name" hire, and Rodriguez gives them that. It's invigorated a fanbase that was probably feeling a bit discouraged after other coaches rebuffed their hiring attempts. Better yet, I'm sure it's put their opponents on notice. As of right now, it appears that Michigan has made a good hire, though I'm curious to see who comes in to run the defense because that might be the most important decision in the early going. Only time will tell if Rodriguez is a good partner for Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that the Wolverine faithful will be all that patient.

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