Thursday, December 9, 2010

Little support for Rich Rodriguez

Michigan fans evidently needed to see a little bit more from Rich Rodriguez this year than a 7-5 season and a trip to the Gator Bowl. Just 32% want him to return as the team’s coach in 2011 with 35% explicitly wanting him to be replaced and 33% unsure on the issue.

Those numbers represent a decline of support for Rodriguez. A May PPP poll found that 51% of Michigan fans wanted to see Rodriguez continue as coach while only 20% hoped to see him removed. Since that time support for him continuing has declined by 19 points while support for him leaving has increased by 15 points.

Michigan fans generally just don’t like Rodriguez. Only 20% have a favorable opinion of him to 38% who view him in a negative light. The 20% who view him favorably is identical to what it was in May but the unfavorable rating is up 12 points from 26% in that earlier poll. A fair number of fans who were on the fence about Rodriguez have now moved into the negative column.

To put Rodriguez’s numbers into perspective, North Carolina Coach Butch Davis sported a positive 41/20 approval spread on an October poll and 57% of the school’s fans wanted him to continue compared to only 14% who wanted him fired. Obviously the expectations are higher at Michigan, but Davis’ far superior numbers came despite his team posting the same record as the Wolverines this year and during the middle of an NCAA investigation that could land the program on probation.

While Michigan fans are pretty divided on whether Rodriguez should stay or if he should go, there’s a pretty broad consensus on who the school should target to replace him if he is indeed fired. 64% would like Jim Harbaugh to be the next coach compared to 23% who pick Les Miles and only 3% who want Brady Hoke.

Clearly any concern Michigan fans might have had about Harbaugh’s comments about the school’s academic standards a few years ago have been assuaged by Stanford’s winning ways on the football field.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Like most Michigan fans, I truly wanted RR to succeed when he came to Michigan. Like most I suffered through the first year and though it would get better. I bought the line that he put out saying that by the third year we'd be doing great. Like most fans, tired of the RR spin. It clear that his philosophy just won't work in the Big Ten. Lets wish him well in his new endeavors and find someone who can restore Michigan's greatness!!

AG said...

Rodriguez just plain hasn't gotten the job done. Frankly, he didn't even get the job done at West Virginia, either. What did he have to show for his time there? A Sugar Bowl win where they needed a fake punt to avoid blowing a 3 TD lead? A loss to a 3-7 Pitt team at home in which they only scored 9 points that kept them out of the national title game?

Just like at WVU, his teams do little more than run up the score on bad teams, get into 50/50 shootouts against mediocre teams, and get shut down both offensively and defensively against good teams.

Christian Liberty said...

no chance at all Michigan could get either Jim Harbaugh or Les Miles. Who do these Michigan fans think they are?! Do they have the same delusions of grandeur as Notre Dame fans, still somehow believing their school is great despite all the evidence to the contrary!?

Anonymous said...

All credit to PPP - thank you for running this poll on your own dime. I'm not a statistician or a polling expert, but I tried to do some analysis on the UofM fan website MGoBlog at

One of the interesting results is the shift in support for Rich Rodriguez based on the age of fans. In May, the older the fan, the stronger the support for Rich Rodriguez to continue as coach. By December, that has completely flipped around. Meanwhile, the 18-29 bracket seems very unsure about what to do.

Anonymous said...

When RR cam to Michigan I was so excited but now I am excited to see him leave. he is a nice guy and I feel for him but its not working here. His defense is the worst and the problem is Michigan always had great defenses even during break but don't break years. His defensive system is not working and will not work. He brought in a five star player in Campbell and now has him on offense. he does not get it. Good bye RR.

Christian Liberty said...

absent an NFL lockout, Jim Harbaugh would likely take a pro job.

The uncertainty of a labor stoppage possibly devaluing the services of a pro head coach makes it more likely that Harbaugh might settle for the Michigan job rather than take a pro job.

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