Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The Savior of Ann Arbor?
You gotta love the spirit in Michigan fans. After not getting their man Les Miles, and then their second choice, Rutgers' Greg Schiano; Michigan found their man in West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez. The Wolverine faithful are happy to get Rodriguez and are feeling that their program is going to be at elite status real soon. Are you kidding me? Rodriguez is a fine coach, but he's not a miracle worker.
Let's start off with the facts. 1) Lloyd Carr is sixth among active coaches in winning percentage (75.2%), while Rodriguez is at 62.1%; 2) Prior to this season, Rodriguez had 8 wins over Top 25 programs in his six seasons at West Virginia. That's an average of 1.3 wins a year over ranked opponents. If you count this season, where he had a victory over Cincinnati, his average drops to 1.28; 3) While Rich is on a two game bowl winning streak, he still has a .400 record; 4) Since the departure of Boston College, Miami, and Virginia Tech to the ACC, West Virginia has reaped the benefits of a mediocre Big East. Rodriguez's overall record versus' Boston College, Miami, and Virginia Tech is 2-2, 0-3, and 2-3, respectively. So he's a respectable .500 against the big three of the former Big East. Currently he's 4-3 against his Backyard Brawl opponent, Pittsburgh, and 1-2 against South Florida; and 5) West Virginia's SOS is not what I call formidable. Starting with his first year at WVU in 2001, WVU's SOS has been 35th, 54th, 56th, 65th, 63rd, 37th, and currently 42nd. The Mountaineers have faced the likes of Ohio, Kent State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Central Florida, East Carolina, James Madison, Wofford, and Eastern Washington in their out of conference slate.
In case you are wondering, Rodriguez is 0-1 against the Irish, a 34-24 loss in 2001. I'm not going to compare Charlie Weis to Rodriguez. But if insist, Rodriguez's record in three seasons was 20-17, while Charlie's is 22-15. The schedule is not close whatsoever, as well as, bowl teams played. So you can throw that one out the window, Meeechigan fans.
I think Rodriguez is a fine coach, but I don't think he'll get Michigan to the promise land anytime soon. Heck, I'm not sure if he'll be the one to get the Wolverines past Ohio State. Good luck Michigan, you'll need it.