Rich Rodriguez has donated his Michigan gear to the Salvation Army. Classy. And a nice way to leave a place that didn’t always treat him right. Truth is, Poor RichRod’s Almanac started closing before he even got to town. People just didn’t embrace him. He was too … different. And it didn’t matter that he recruited one of the better examples of a student-athlete that exists in America, Denard Robinson. Some of the same fans who wanted Drew Henson over Tom Brady cheered when Tate Forcier replaced the injured Big Ten Offensive MVP at quarterback. Now those fans have a native son in Brady Hoke instead of an outsider.
Hoke will do well because his mistakes will be forgiven where Rodriguez’s weren’t. Already, Hoke’s mediocre record at non-AQ schools is being justified, while Rodriguez’s impressive record in the Big East was constantly trashed. Hoke is being praised for keeping Robinson, when Rodriguez stole him from Urban Meyer and others in the first place. The whole thing reminds me of Colorado, where a Bo Schembechler disciple (Bill McCartney) was replaced by an offensive wizard (Rick Neuheisel) who nobody trusted. “Slick Rick” was underwhelming in the win-loss record and eventually banished in favor of insider Gary Barnett. He arrived in Boulder to wild praise and promised a “Return To Dominance.” Sound familiar? Well, Colorado never returned to dominance. We’ll see if Michigan does.
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