After Michigan's awful performance in the Gator Bowl on Saturday, a number of fans of the maize and blue have started looking ahead to their ideal vision of the future. For most, that future includes Jim Harbaugh, and for many others it at the very least includes a coaching change. Some still support head coach, but what was left of his bandwagon quickly emptied after Mississippi State throttled the Wolverines in a 52-14 victory.
The center of discussion right now for Michigan fans seems to be Jim Harbaugh and if he would accept an offer to become the Wolverines' head coach. That's understandable considering the situation at hand, but it's important to remember that Rich Rodriguez has not actually been fired yet. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is scheduled to meet with Rodriguez at some point this week, and after that meeting it is expected that an announcement about the future of the football program will be made.
For at least today, Rodriguez went back to work as head coach of the Michigan football team. It can't be easy walking into Schembechler Hall knowing that your days may be numbered, but Rodriguez was back at work despite all of the speculation surrounding his future. While it seems unlikely that he will return, Rodriguez has to keep working with the assumption that he will be back. Plans for recruiting, evaluating players on the team and other things to get ready for the offseason need to be done, and just because his future is up in the air doesn't mean the work can stop.
I'm sure Brandon is working behind the scenes on something and hasn't announced anything about Rodriguez as a way to hedge his bets, but at this point I wish a decision would be made just for Rodriguez's sake. I realize college football is a cutthroat business, but it must tough for Rodriguez to try and lead the Michigan football program when people are busy talking about his replacement. The man hasn't even been fired yet and already people are talking about his successor.
Now, I'm just as guilty as anyone of doing this, but I think we've reached the point where Brandon just needs to make a decision one way or another and live with it. While it's not a bad idea in theory to not say anything in order to have multiple plans in place, what if Rodriguez gets sick of all the speculation and decides to leave for another job and some stability? That wouldn't be an issue if Michigan has a successor already lined up, but if things don't work out with Harbaugh and the plan B was to just stick with Rodriguez for another year, Brandon may really be put in a tough spot as far as hiring a new coach goes.
I guess you could say what's another 24-48 hours when we've come this far, but personally, as a Michigan fan, my patience is running thin, and I can't even imagine what Rodriguez is thinking right about now.