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After Worst Bowl Loss In School History, Michigan Has No Choice But To Fire Coach Rich Rodriguez

On the latest web episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay, I said Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez would be back next season with the school. I also thought the Wolverines would beat Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl Saturday afternoon. Consider me wrong on both counts.

Rodriguez has to be fired as Michigan head coach. The Wolverines were embarrassed by Mississippi State, giving up 52 points in a humiliating defeat. The 52 points allowed is the most in Michigan bowl history. The 38-point loss (52-14) is also the worst margin of defeat in school bowl history. Rodriguez has a 15-22 record overall at the school and is 1-11 against ranked opponents. But this loss is the one that hurts the most. And this is the loss that will cost him his job.

I was on board with the hiring of Rodriguez three years ago, as I envisioned an offense that would run much like it has this season. But I never thought I would be witness to probably the worst defense in recent memory, multiple late-season collapses, and no victories of note. The defensive ineptitude is on Rodriguez too, as he hired and stuck with defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who was terrible all year long. Add that to the sanctions by the NCAA against the program under Rodriguez and the time has come to make a move.

I said on the web show that you'll learn a lot about a head coach's standing within the locker room based on the team's performance in a game where the coach is in the spotlight. Florida sent coach Urban Meyer out with a victory over Penn State in the Outback Bowl in his last game with the team. Besides Denard Robinson, the Wolverines didn't show up for Rodriguez, and were beaten to a pulp by a second-tier Mississippi State team.

I'm not the biggest fan of Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, but if the Wolverines can lure him to Michigan, do it. Either way, Rodriguez should be fired immediately.
(AP photo)

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