Congratulations! You've just fired Rich Rodriguez; and so a 3 year debacle comes to an inglorious end. I'm not going to sugarcoat it: You embarrassed the Big Ten in your bowl game. The Game has become predictable and boring. Worse yet, it has had no impact on the Big Ten race since that epic contest in 2006. Your football team has become a glorified WAC program: a niche offense combined with horrible defense simply won't get it done in the big boy leagues.
So, three years too late, RichRod is out. And now you have your sights set on Jim Harbaugh, the rising star out of Stanford. He's a Michigan man through and through. He's turned around a program out west and just won a great bowl victory. What's not to like about him? He would be perfect for you! Right?
Let me tell you a story. At the end of the football season in 2000, Ohio State fired John Cooper. Like RichRod, his success in The Game was meager. Unlike RichRod, however, Cooper was a good coach and an outstanding recruiter. We had some unbelievable talent come through Columbus in the '90s. But he just couldn't get it done when it counted. So we let him go.
At that time there was a rising star out west, a coach who had just won a National Championship by turning around a once-great program. Bob Stoops had roots at Ohio State. He was a Buckeye through and through. We all wanted him. But, like Jim Harbaugh is apparently doing to you, he turned us down.
So the search committee turned its gaze to a little-known, 1-AA coach out of Youngstown State named Jim Tressel. Sure, he had won 4 1-AA National Championships there, but would it translate to big time college football? Ten years later, we've beaten you 9 times. We've won 7 Big Ten titles, including 6 in a row. We've been to 8 BCS bowls, winning 5 of them. We've won a National Championship. We've had a Heisman Trophy winner. We've finished in the top 5 of the final AP rankings 6 times. We've won 106 games and lost 22. (RichRod lost 22 in 3 seasons, by the way.) Nobody has been to more BCS bowl games. Nobody has won more BCS bowl games. No team in college football has been more consistent, including Bob Stoops' Oklahoma program.
My point is this: Jim Tressel wanted to be our coach. This is his dream job. Nobody talks about him leaving for the NFL or coaching anywhere else because this is the only place he wants to be. We took a chance on a guy from a lower division of the NCAA because he wanted this job, and it's paid off in a big way.
Michigan, if Jim Harbaugh doesn't want to be your coach, if he's talking to the NFL, then you don't want him. Let him go. Find somebody who wants you. You have too much history and too much class to be anybody's stepping stone. You are a destination job, now go find somebody who wants to be the next great coach at the University of Michigan more than anything else.
Don't get me wrong. I love beating the crap out of you every year. But you depress me. It's sad to see what has happened to you. I hope you find a coach that cares about you, that cares about The Game, and gets you ready to play us. Lord knows we'll be ready for you. See you in November.