The University of Michigan has fired Rich Rodriguez after 3 painful years. This is not only a good move for the school but for the Big Ten as well. The conference needs Michigan to return to glory so it can have a better representation in the post season as well as a better rivalry with Ohio State, which as of late has resembled the enthusiasm of a Browns/Steelers game. With the exit of Dick Rod, a lot of questions are now being asked. Obviously not only “who” will be the next coach, but also what type of offense will be installed? While we are waiting for the coaching questions to be answered the Thunder Treats Executive Committee has convened to come up with the Not-So-Top Ten moments from the era of Michigan football that was Dick Rod. Enjoy and feel free to add any in the comments section.
Prized quarterback recruit Ryan Mallett transferred to Arkansas less than 4 weeks after Michigan hired Rich Rodriguez. Mallett was a Heisman hopeful this year and led his team to a 10-3 record and a Sugar Bowl berth. Justin Boren also transferred from Michigan to Ohio State after Dick Rod was hired. Boren, when asked why he departed Ann Arbor, said that “family values have eroded.”
Michigan pulls out a 3 overtime victory over Big Ten opponent and a new record for points in a game is set for the Big Ten. However, Michigan also sets record for most points allowed in a game. This was the second consecutive game that Michigan gave up 40+ points as well, which is another first for the football program that has been around since 1879.
8. Michigan finishes ’08 season 3-9, worst season since 1967
Dick Rod’s first season at the helm didn’t go as planned really. After the 42-7 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State, Michigan sustains it’s worst season in 40 years. Michigan fans claim it can’t get any worse…
7. Dick Rod finishes career at UM never having beat OSU or MSU
Dick Rod finished as only the second coach in the storied history of Michigan football to never beat Ohio State. What’s better is that he couldn’t beat in-state rival Michigan State either. Another fun fact is that he was 0-12 against conference opponents with a winning percentage above .500. Half of those losses are from these two teams.
Michigan suffers there first ever loss to a Mid American Conference opponent. Not only does this season end at 3-9 but Michigan also misses a bowl game appearance for the first time in 33 years.
5. Rich Rodriguez hit with 5 NCAA violations
The NCAA placed Michigan on 3 years probation after finding Rich Rodriguez guilty of “failure to monitor” his staff and time limits for practices and workouts. This came after several unnamed players stepped forward to the Free Press and made allegations that Michigan routinely violated NCAA rules that govern practice and workout sessions.
4. Jonas Mouton punches Notre Dame player, Dick Rod claims there was no punch thrown
All I am going to do is show the video and post the quote from Rich Rod afterwards.
[youtube id=zPYueAc5XAE ]
“What are you talking about?” Rodriguez said. “I know they were talking about one incident on film, and I didn’t see anybody throw a punch or anything like that. The little bit I saw on the clip, I saw guys got tangled up together, and Jonas tried to free himself. There’s a whole lot of officials out there, and I’m sure if there was an infraction, then they’d call it.”
3. Purdue coach Joe Tiller on Dick Rod and his recruiting
After Rich Rodriguez and his staff stole commits from Purdue, Joe Tiller referred to Dick Rod as a “Guy in a wizard hat selling snake oil”. For those who don’t think it was a big deal to steal a verbal commit, you have to remember that this barely happened before Rich Rod got to town. It was always understood that once a player gave his verbal, he was basically off limits. It is an unwritten rule of recruiting. However Rich Rod’s staff stole more de-commits by themselves than the entire conferences of the SEC, Big East, Big 12 and Pac 10.
2. Gator Bowl – January 1, 2011 – Miss St 52, Michigan 14
Michigan finally made it a bowl appearance after a modest 7-5 season in Rich Rod’s 3rd year. However, they got absolutely dismantled by the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 52-14 route. The loss will go on record as the worst bowl loss in Michigan history. Yet another first for Dick Rod.
1. Rich Rodriguez cries at football banquet
They were there to honor the 1985 Michigan football team. When Rich Rodriguez took the podium he started to veer off course and began pleading with the crowd, “I knew after being on the job for a few months there were going to be some challenges. And more come out in front of us. We never ran away from it.” After tearfully reciting a few lines from the Josh Groban song “You Raise Me Up”, Dick Rod held hands with his wife and raised his own hands. The amount of awkwardness that ensued is immeasurable.
I know there is at least one or a dozen more instances that you think should be on this list and that is ok because I have never come across a Top Ten list that is perfect. The era of the Dick is over at Michigan and hopefully we can move on to a brighter future there. I really hate the University of Michigan but I love the Big Ten and as the saying goes, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. So here’s hoping Michigan finds it’s football groove again… Go Bucks.