Posted by Frazier
My esteemed colleague makes an excellent point regarding Mr. Rodriguez. "Fit" really does matter for coaches. Bill Belichick was not a "fit" with Cleveland, but it's not like he's a completely different person suddenly. I certainly understand that Coach Rod may not "fit" at Michigan. In fact, it may turn out to be a disaster. However, I think some things warrant mentioning.
West Virginia ain't exactly South Carolina. Coach Rod is familiar with Big 10 recruiting, and the kind of players, and the kind of football played there. West Virginia is more of a midwestern state than a southern one in many respects. He understands what he is getting into there, this isn't like Bill Callahan trying to find Lincoln, Nebraska on a map. He's a smart enough guy to know what he's doing.
Coach Rod has shown flexibility. Urban Meyer inherited a team that wasn't in his mold and won a title with them. Coach Rod can do the same if he's smart. This is a many who started his career flinging it all over the field, and then turned into a running guru. He has coached players who have passed for over 500 yards in a game, and ones who have rushed for over 300. At Tulane they passed for over 300 and ran for over 200 regularly. Of course, the Big Man points out that the "spread" itself may be a problem at Michigan, but he's shown a willingness to change his formula for the talent. So we shall see.
Maybe this is what the Big 10 needs. Ohio St. shocked the world by beating Miami, but the Big 10 has generally looked a step slow for the last decade. This is a conference playing checkers while everyone else is playing chess. I think the Michigan braintrust saw their team lose to App. St. and Oregon, and Ohio St. get killed by Florida, and lose to Illinois, and realized that this "spread" thing, and this "speed" thing have been KILLING the top of the Big 10 recently. They are thinking that the "spread" plus Michigan's ability to draw great recruits, may turn them into a powerhouse once again. Right now, the Big 10 simply can't hang with the speed game, and Big Blue is trying to use that fact to their advantage.
All that being said, this is a monumental risk. If Coach Rod can get his team running his offense with the kind of players Michigan can draw (read: almost anybody they really want) then they could be a juggernaut. Or, they could turn into a fun, gimmicky team that lacks the resolve to win when it matters.