Rather than face Bob Stoops, Rich Rodriguez ran to Michigan. Personally, I think it was great timing on his part. Slaton is gone, and White will probably join him. Next year would be a tough one for the Mountaineers, and Rich's star might not be so bright. It must have been a tough decision leaving his alma mater, especially after his recent success.
What does this mean for Michigan? Longtime reader Hugh says "Generally, spirits are high here. My thoughts are that he is better than Miles or Schiano, not as good as STOOPS." At least UM got their man in a timely manner. Rich can now hit the road recruiting players to fit his system.
I've always believed that big time schools, like Michigan, have good enough players riding the bench to succeed if given a good coach. Take Oklahoma, for example. Once Stoops came in he only needed a few juco transfers to win a title. Other than that, he used players that John Blake couldn't get more than a few wins out of.
So Rodriguez should have some good athletes to coach. The question is, will he get results like Stoops, or results like Bill Callahan? Both Stoops and Callahan inherited teams that had been built to run. Stoops and Mike Leach installed a crazy passing scheme, and Callahan tried to run the West Coast offense.
I haven't watched a single Michigan game all year, so I can't say how well the current players will be able to adapt to the spread option. However, these next few weeks on the recruiting trail will play a huge role in Rich's career. He has taken a job where 9-3 or 8-4 just isn't good enough, and losing to THE Ohio State University is unaccptable. He shouldn't expect the same latitude that Weis is getting at Notre Dame. Rich will have to recruit players this winter that will be able to run his offense in 2009.
As for 2008, it will probably be another 8-4 type year. There will be some growing pains, but they should steadily get better.
Now for the fantasy update that only Doyle and I care about. If my beloved Cleveland Steamers are to advance to the finals, I need 33 points from Adrian Peterson and the Vikings defense. I'm hoping the D will return at least two Kyle Orton passes for touchdowns, so that AD only needs to get 18-20 points. If I had pick who to pin my fantasy season on, it would be AD. The man crush continues to grow.
Have a nice day,