If this is what progress looks like, I sure would hate to see what regression looks like. Michigan capped off its 2010 regular season by suffering a 30-point drubbing at the hands of the rival OSU Buckeyes. The loss means the Wolverines lost five (5) of their final seven games of the 2010 regular season and relegated the team to a losing Big Ten Conference record for the third consecutive season. The defense is one of the worst in the nation as are the Special Teams Units. The fact that the Wolverines qualified for a third-tier bowl game should not be enough to keep Coach Rod as the Head Coach for another season.
After the OSU loss, Athletic Director David Brandon tersely maintained that there were no changes to announce and that he would do his evaluation after the season ended which presumably means after the bowl game. Coach Rod's contract may have something to do with the timing of A.D. Brandon's decision if he in fact decides to terminate Coach Rodriguez. The contract (.pdf) is a six-year deal. Coach Rod is currently in year 3. (See sec. 3.01: Term of Agreement and Employment). Section 3.01 (b) provides that year 3 of the contract runs from Jan. 1., 2010- Dec. 31., 2010 and year 4 commences Jan. 1. 2011. This is potentially very important because of the contract's termination provisions (Article IV). Section 4.01 (a) provides that if the University terminates the contract in year 3 (i.e., in 2010) the severance pay-out to Coach Rod is $4 Million. However, if the University does not terminate the contract until year 4 (i.e., after 1-1-11) then the severance pay-out drops to $2.5 Million. A savings of a cool $1.5 Million to the University. It is also interesting to note that section 4.01 (a) provides that the parties agree that the University may terminate Rodriguez' employment without cause "...by giving to Rodriguez thirty (30) days' advance written notice of the termination of his employment."
A.D. Brandon's stated desire to do his employment review of Coach Rod after the season makes sense when you consider that within a week or so of Michigan's bowl game that the severance pay-out will drop by $1.5 Million. Thus, after the bowl, A.D. Brandon can give the proper notice, save the University over a million dollars, and get the Football program back on track by hiring the right coach. Go Blue!!!