Morgantown, West Virginia – It’s abundantly clear that when Rich Rodriguez accepted the head coaching position at the University of Michigan – leaving his alma mater and home state in the process – he made the worst decision of his life.
Rodriguez was fired from Michigan after 3 seasons and a 15-22 overall record and had modest success at Arizona, finishing 43-35 in 6 seasons before being fired amid sexual harassment allegations.
If Rodriguez would have stayed, it’s unlikely that the Mountaineers would have seen much more success than they already have in the Big 12. The competition is very different than the Big East and West Virginia would still have recruiting difficulties and a talent disparity between the Mountaineers and schools like Texas and Oklahoma would still exist.
Although Pat White was one of the most talented players in West Virginia history, physically he was not on the same level as Terrelle Pryor. Pryor went on to become the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes from 2008 to 2010, winning two Big Ten championships, and then had a long career in the NFL was a wide receiver.
Rodriguez’s decision to leave West Virginia was misguided for multiple reasons, but ultimately he had the best chance of winning a national championship at home in Morgantown, particularly with an ultra-talented Terrelle Pryor running his offense.