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Jim Harbaugh Coaching Watch: What Will Happen To Rich Rodriguez In Michigan?

Obviously, the job that Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh has been rumored around the most is the Michigan Wolverines. Harbaugh’s alma mater expressed interest in him a few years ago when Lloyd Carr first retired, but they eventually backed off and locked onto West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez.

Rodriguez moved the Wolverines away from their stodgy old-school way of playing football and began the transition to his high-octane spread offense. Unfortunately, the change has taken time to implement. Michigan went 3-9 and 5-7 in their first two seasons, and despite finally earning a bowl berth in 2010, they were a meek 3-5 this season in conference play, and now 6-18 in the Big Ten through three years.

Michigan has been mum on Rodriguez. Athletic director Dave Brandon has refused to stifle the rumor mill on his head coach. This little quip of information also doesn’t make things any easier.

If Brandon and school officials decide to fire Rodriguez without cause on or after Jan. 1, the buyout drops from $4 million to $2.5 million.

Rich Rodriguez coaches Michigan against Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on January 1st. Jim Harbaugh coaches Stanford against Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl on January 3rd. If anything is to happen on the Harbaugh-to-Michigan front, it’s likely to happen New Year’s week, so Michigan and Stanford fans should keep their eyes peeled.