(21) Mississippi State (8-4) vs. Michigan (7-5) (+4.5)
I wonder how Michigan fans would feel if the coaches had to switch teams after the coin toss. Would the Michigan Wolverines be any better off? Would anything change for them?
My point is that firing Rich Rodriguez for anyone but Jim Harbaugh is stupid at this point. It’s only his third year building his team and he’s already got a game-changing quarterback. People forget what he started with when he had to convert this team to his system. There was nothing but Lloyd Carr players who were slow and ran whatever the hell offense and defense that was for the last couple of years of his tenure.
And remember, Carr was only 9-4 in his last year at Michigan with a team destroyed by injuries to the offensive side of the ball (as opposed to the defense this year). It was that disappointment (on the heels of a 11-2 season no less) that got Carr run out of Ann Arbor in favor of Rodriguez.
Any impatience on the part of Michigan at this point will only doom the program to more mediocrity and maybe even more losing seasons.
That said, if they get a commitment from Harbaugh, even if it’s behind closed doors, Rodriguez has to go. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for this program to hire a former player who is as good a coach and leader as Harbaugh. Michigan is also the only thing that’s going to keep him out of the NFL too. There’s no way he’d bail on his alma mater in just a couple of years for NFL money.
As for Mississippi State, they are the most unbearable to watch 8-4 team of the year, if not of the last five years. I’ve seen four of their games from beginning to end and I still have no idea what it is that they do. Sure, Dan Mullen made them a winner, but this is a deeply flawed team.
I’m not even sure they have the tools to take advantage of Michigan’s particular defensive weaknesses. Watching MSU’s crap quarterbacks try to throw it on Michigan’s horrible pass defense might be the cure-all for a New Year’s hangover all by itself. They say laughter is the best medicine, after all.