Rich Rodriguez Points To Dysfunction At The Big House As Reason For Failure


When Rich Rodriguez was hired to coach the Michigan Wolverines to was lauded as a smart hire.  Rich Rod was supposed to be the coach that lifted helped Michigan offense transition from the three yards and a cloud of dust strategy to today’s modern high-octane pass first schemes.

All seemed to be going well until Rich Rodriguez became the subject of NCAA investigation probing illegal practice time.  An investigation some would contend that was part of a witch hunt designed to run Rich Rodriguez out-of-town. A hunt that eventually led to Rich Rodriguez’ dismissal.

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With all of the of the controversy surrounding his departure from Michigan, Rich Rodriguez has never aired the Wolverines dirty laundry even while his critics blamed him for the fall of the program. Even amid allegations that some within the Michigan Wolverines program worked to sabotage the program in order to get him fired, Rich Rodriguez has remained silent.

But Michigan’s struggles have forced the comparison between the Wolverines and Rich Rod’s current team the Arizona Wildcats.  The Wildcats upset win over Oregon last weekend propelled them to a Top 10 national ranking. Meanwhile in Ann Arbor the Michigan Wolverines are struggling just to be bowl eligible.

With questions about Michigan’s future and the two programs headed in opposite directions it is natural for the media to look to the one common denominator that might be able to explain the discrepancy.

ESPN recently asked Rich Rodriguez to compare his failure at Michigan to his success at Arizona.  That answers should be startling for boosters of the Michigan Wolverines football program.

"“There was a lot of stuff [at Michigan] that people don’t know went on that we didn’t even know was going on — some BS, some non-football related stuff. It became more about the drama than it did about football, which is the opposite of what you’d think you’d get at Michigan. Had Bo Schembechler been there, I probably wouldn’t have had to deal with some of it.We still thought, with all the BS that was going on, all the things that were happening — it looked like some people were trying to sabotage their own program that were working for the university — all that stuff we went through, we still thought we’d be OK by the time we went to Year 4 or 5, that we were going to have a chance to compete for championships. But guess what? We didn’t get to Year 4, we didn’t get to Year 5. That was the most frustrating part about it.”“People say, ‘Why didn’t it work?’ Maybe it was going to,” he said. “Maybe we didn’t just get a chance to see it through. But I’m happy now. And we’re not done, either. We’ve got a lot of work left. We’re not nearly as good as we will be in the next few years. That’s the most encouraging part.”"

There is evidence to support Rich Rod’s assumption that he had the Michigan program on the track to Big Ten dominance. In his first year Brady Hoke coached the Michigan Wolverines to a 10-2 mark, his best season as Michigan’s coach. But Hoke has failed to rise to that standard again.  Instead as Rich Rodriguez’ recruits graduated for the program and Brady Hokes recruits began to take hold, Michigan’s record has declined. A fact that has led some to believe that Brady Hoke’s early success should be attributed to the Rich Rodriguez system instead of Hoke’s coaching prowess.

The problem at Michigan is becoming obvious.  The Wolverines have become infested with dysfunction and they will not return to winning until they rid themselves of it.  Now the question is whether or not anyone in the program has the power or guts to fix it.

What say you! Would you rather Michigan had kept Rich Rodriguez?