It hasn't been the greatest week in the world for Rich Rodriguez. Even before Saturday's loss to Ohio State, speculation was running rampant about his job status and at least a few outlets reported that he was on his way out. That is not the case -- not yet anyway -- but there is still much speculation about whether or not Rodriguez will be the head coach of Michigan next season, especially with former Wolverine and current Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh out there as one of the hot coaching candidates.â†µ
Although Rodriguez's job appears to be safe until at least the conclusion of Michigan's bowl game, his week could get a little worse at the Wolverines' football banquet on Thursday. The annual banquet serves as a celebration of the current team and its seniors, but it also is a way to honor past teams. Well, coincidentally this year the 1985 football team will be honored. The quarterback of that team was none other than Jim Harbaugh, the man many people are lining up as Rodriguez's eventual replacement.â†µ
The obvious question is this: Will Harbaugh be in attendance on Thursday when the '85 team is honored? Per Dave Dye, Michigan associate athletic director David Ablauf said this afternoon that Harbaugh's plans for Thursday are unknown. Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that Harbaugh does in fact plan on being at the banquet, although he was only 75 percent sure about his attendance plans when asked back on Saturday night.â†µ
If Harbaugh does end up showing up, you will be able to cut the tension in that room with a knife. It's bad enough for Rodriguez that this could easily be his final football banquet with Michigan, but now Harbaugh, the favorite to replace him should he be fired, may be there? Yikes. That would be pretty, pretty, pretty awkward and just add to the uneasiness Rodriguez must be experiencing right about now.â†µ
UPDATE: Angelique Chengelis reports that Harbaugh is not on the list of attendees and is "highly unlikely" to show up.