Discussion

If Greg Schiano had gone to Michigan ...

Updated: January 6, 2011, 3:15 PM ET
By Bruce Feldman

A heads-up on a book I'll definitely be reading: This is John U. Bacon's story about the upcoming book's he's been working on chronicling Rich Rodriguez's program from the inside since he arrived in Ann Arbor:

    For the past three years I have been granted unfettered access to the Michigan football program, from the meeting room to the locker room, to write a book about what I've seen. I thought I knew college football, and particularly Michigan football, as well as anyone. But after three years of seeing everything up close, I can tell you this unequivocally: I had no idea.

    If the tenure of Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, who was fired Wednesday, looked chaotic to outsiders, it appeared positively crazy from the inside.

In this story, Bacon talks about how Michigan had offered the coaching job to Greg Schiano, but he turned it down, so they turned to Rodriguez. A source I have once told me that Schiano regretted that decision right after he made it and frantically tried to get back in on the Wolverines job, but it was too late. Rodriguez had jumped at it. I'm curious about whether things would have been different in the Big East and the Big Ten if he had taken it instead of Rodriguez.

My hunch is that whoever took over UM at that point was going to take some lumps because the Wolverines were losing so many quality players, but under Schiano, the offensive system wouldn't have required such an overhaul. Just to replace the key parts while putting talent around a maturing Ryan Mallett. Maybe it might have been a different story. Maybe not. Then again, Schiano's program at RU has lost quite a bit of momentum since that time, going 3-4 in Big East play in 2009 and 1-6 this fall.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES