Monday, December 17, 2007

Rodriguez alters path, seeking success

For years, ACC football observers have thought Rich Rodriguez likely to follow Bobby Bowden’s career path from West Virginia to Florida State after Bowden retired.

Rodriguez, who assisted Tommy Bowden at Tulane and Clemson before becoming head coach at West Virginia seven years ago, has long been rumored to crave a move to Florida State as Bowden’s successor.

Florida State squashed that idea when it announced last week that offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher will succeed Bowden whenever he steps down. That may have opened the door for Rodriguez’s move to Michigan.

With Florida State out of the picture, Rodriguez’s chances of landing another college football glamour job outside of Michigan were slim. He turned down Alabama last year.

Ohio State with Jim Tressel, Oklahoma with Bob Stoops, Texas with Mack Brown and Florida with Urban Meyer appear to have good coaches set for long, successful tenures.

Southern California probably is outside Rodriguez’s geographical comfort range if Pete Carroll tries his hand at the NFL again, and Notre Dame’s academic standards are daunting.
So it’s easy to see why Rodriguez left West Virginia despite his roots in that state and his affection for his alma mater. A look at the state of Big Ten football demonstrates why he could win big at Michigan.

Rival Ohio State’s only losses the past two seasons have been to Florida and Illinois. Florida and Urban Meyer used speed and a spread option scheme to run the Ohio State defense ragged. Illinois used quarterback Juice Williams’ fleet feet to run out the clock with a fourth-quarter lead.

In the season opener at Michigan, Armanti Edwards showed how a dual-threat quarterback can frustrate Big Ten defenders in Appalachian State’s upset win.

Nobody coaches the spread option and running quarterbacks better than Rodriguez, so he is the perfect hire to take advantage of Big Ten defenses and get the Wolverines back on an even plane with Ohio State after six losses to the Buckeyes in the last seven years.

– Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Head Coach Jim Grobe to leave Wake Forest to Coach West Virginia.
unconfirmed reports are after the game in Meineke Car Care Coach Grobe will tell the team of his decision to leave to be the next
Head Coach at West Virginia.
(This is only unofficial reports)