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Morning Commute: What We Can Learn From Rich Rodriguez

We don't know the future of Rich Rodriguez at Michigan quite yet, but it doesn't look good. Reports came out yesterday that Rodriguez had been let go as head coach, but the University quickly refuted that as soon as it became known that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh might not be interested in coaching his alma mater. What a mess.

So what does all this mean for us? Well for one, after watching him beat up on the Terps at West Virginia and steal some of our recruits, I'm taking some pleasure in watching him flounder around a little bit on one of the biggest stages in College Football. Even if he stays on this year, it's only a matter of time until someone they like better becomes available. So let's put that in perspective for Maryland hiring Randy Edsall.

There were a lot of fans that wanted the Terps to hire Mike Leach because his offense would help put butts in the seats. They were disappointed that Edsall wasn't enough of a splash hire, that he was too safe.

When he was hired at Michigan, Rich Rodriguez was a huge splash. And his offense was supposed to revitalize a tired program. How'd that work out for the Wolverines?

Three years later, the program has faced a bunch of sanctions, can't stop anybody from putting points on the board, and is in worse shape then it was when Rodriguez took over. This is the down side of making a splash hire that nobody thinks about until it actually happens.

On paper (quirky offense, questionable program management) Leach resembles Rodriguez more than anyone else. Edsall was a safe choice, and it was made because Maryland couldn't bring anyone on board who had the potential of blowing up in their face. Leach might have been able to make it work, but the athletic department couldn't take that chance.

So let this be a lesson to you. This is what happens when you hire a coach for the "sizzle," and not for his ability to coach a football team. Edsall may be boring, but he probably won't leave the program in shambles after just a few years. And that has to count for something.

Must reads from around the SB Nation network:

  • Federal Baseball on the Nationals continued search for a starting pitcher. 
  • Testudo Times recaps Maryland's big win over Colgate. 
  • Casual Hoya on the state of Georgetown basketball. Never good when they use "wreckage" in the headline.

On tap today at SB Nation D.C.: Chad Dukes on what, if anything, Mike Shanahan accomplished in his first season with the Redskins.