Bringing The Big Ten Into The Future
Michigan's hire of Rich Rodriguez brings the Big Ten into the 21st century
Dec. 17, 2007
By Trev Alberts
Special To CSTV.com
Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
When Rich Rodriguez turned down
He's been so successful in the Big East - he's turned really good players into superstars like Steve Slaton and Pat White - and I think the challenge of going to Michigan and realizing that he's going to be recruiting a different type of athlete probably energized him to think about the possibility of getting the kind of players that he couldn't have gotten to West Virginia.
He has to be smart enough to look around at the Big Ten and see the kind of defenses that you see there on a regular basis. Those teams have struggled historically with those spread, wide-open type of running offenses that Rodriguez runs at
I'm excited for the Big Ten. You can put the Big Ten on notice - all of the teams, with the exception maybe of Illinois and Ohio State to some extent, the days of lining up in the same old boring, traditional I formation have gone out the door. This is a dynamic offense that is difficult to defend and I think that in the end, the winner is not only
From the players' standpoint, whenever you have coaching turnover, the players who had played an integral part of what they were doing this year - a guy like quarterback Ryan Mallett, for example - they probably are saying to themselves, I've watched film of West Virginia and I'm not Pat White.
But sometimes we get these coaches typecast. For instance, take a look at Paul Johnson. At Navy, the knock was that all he can do is run the wishbone, but he was at Hawai'i and he had a passing offense. So in my mind, what makes a successful coach is somebody who has an ability to understand the talent that he has and put the players in positions to be successful.
You would assume that there's going to be an awful lot of elements with the spread, but I think that Coach Rodriguez is smart enough to understand that he's not going to mortgage two or three years in
Although you could make the argument that
It probably doesn't hurt that they've had some success with the basketball coach that came from
They're not looking for the next Rodriguez. I just don't think that you can hire a guy that necessarily is a destination guy that will never leave. If Rich Rodriguez isn't a destination guy who will never leave, considering he grew up in the area and had such close ties, then you're never going to find that guy. You just hire the best football coach you possibly can.
There's a number of guys already in the mix. Todd Graham was the defensive coordinator there, he then was the head coach at Rice for a year and now he's the head coach at Tulsa, but I would assume that he might be a candidate at