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January 4, 2011

College Football Report - Michigan Fires Rich Rodriguez:

Michigan made its move. According to Detroit Fox 2 and the Detroit Free Press Rich Rodriguez is out as head man of the Michigan Wolverines football team. The cards were on the table and the Wolverines flipped it on Rodriguez. Four years ago, while Rodriguez was with West Virginia he was seen as a home-run-hire. Now, Michigan fans are happy to be without a coach.

Rodriguez (left) went 15-22 in three seasons in Ann Arbor, with two losing seasons in 2008 and 2009. In his first season he lost a Michigan record nine games. This season, a 5-0 start turned into a 7-5 ending and the worst bowl loss in Michigan history in a 52-14 rout against Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.

The biggest and most influential statistic that may have tossed Rich Rod from Michigan was a 0-6 record against the Wolverines two biggest rivals in Michigan State and Ohio State. He was also 1-10 against ranked teams.

Michigan’s offense turned into one of the most dynamic offenses in the country this season, ranking No. 9 in the nation in total offense. The defense fell flat, however, ranking No. 110 in the country.

Rodriguez was given the cold shoulder from the get-go when he brought his spread-option offense to Ann Arbor. Michigan had long been a pro-style system offense and the change seemed like an unfavorable one around the state. The defense was another problem, under the direction of Greg Robinson, Michigan’s 3-3-5 defense couldn't hold up against the bigger offenses of the Big Ten.

The question now comes, who’s next? The hearts and minds of many around the state is set on Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Right now, that seems like a far-from likely scenario for the Wolverines. A source close to Harbaugh said his options are set as staying at Stanford or heading to the NFL.

The Wolverines will be adamant on bringing in a Michigan man to lead their team once again. The pro-style offense is almost a given to resurface around campus.

A candidate who will surface the situation is San Diego State Head Coach Brady Hoke (right). A past Michigan defensive line coach, Hoke spent 1995-2002 at Michigan before head jobs at Ball State and SDSU. This season, in Hoke’s second as the Aztecs head coach, San Diego State returned to a bowl for the first time since 1998. Hoke has also stated that Michigan would be his “dream job.”

Hoke’s pro-style offense ranked No. 16 in the nation and featured a 3,800 yard passer, 1,500 yard rusher and two receivers with 1,000+ yards. The Aztecs nearly brought in wins against Missouri, TCU and Utah, losing by no more than five points in each game.

LSU’s Les Miles name will also surface, as he’s a past Michigan man, but the buyout in Miles contract may be too large to touch.

Whoever the Wolverines bring in, Michigan fans will just be happy his name isn’t Rich Rodriguez. Count on a pro-style offense, count on a coach with Michigan ties and count on someone who can move the program in the right direction fast. The school can’t afford another turnaround like the Rodriguez era. Count on a few outside phone calls heading quarterback Denard Robinson’s way, as well.

I'm putting all my chips on Hoke and betting on him, though. Who want's in?

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All writing and views subject to © Drew P. Kochanny, All Rights Reserved. Photo's credited to rights owner.