Settle Down, West Virginia

So yesterday I am in a pizza place for lunch and they have ESPN on and Bob Ley is interviewing some old man who writes for a Morgantown, WV newspaper. The old man (sorry I don't have the name, but does it really matter?) was going on and on about Rich Rodriguez leaving WVU as though he'd been personally hurt in the exchange.

It makes you realize how much more insane college and high school sports are in a place like the backwoods of West Virginia. This guy got really animated -- and remember, he's being asked questions by Bob Ley -- and started squawking the following (paraphrasing): "We had a saying around here... 'In Rod we trust.' Where's that saying now? Where's Rod? Why isn't he here? Last year, he turned down the Alabama job and said he had a contract here and was going to be here a while. And now he's leaving. Why?"

Well, old man, first of all, settle down. You weren't personally slighted by this. It's a career decision. If someone came to you at your little cubicle at the Morgantown Gazette, or whatever it's called, and said, "Hey, I've got a position for you at much more prestigious newspaper in a much more prestigious location. You'll get better stories, more fame, your success will take you further and, oh, you'll be richer," what would you say? If you say you'd be loyal to your employer and not consider it then you're either a) stupid or b) a liar. Probably a little of both, in your case.

Now secondly, do I really need to explain to you why Rod might leave WVU for Michigan? Freakin' Michigan? Where should I begin?

1) Big Ten versus Big East. Um, no contest.
2) Big rivalry game is against OSU, and people will care. WVU's is against Pitt. Exciting.
3) Far more prestigious school, regardless of what the hillrats in WV want to believe. It's a fact, Jack.
4) Better recruits.
5) Better history.
6) Better legacy, especially if win.
7) More respect in the polls... which can lead to more chance of National Title game, etc.

Shall I go on? It's not even a contest, in my not-so-humble opinion. Michigan is a school with a fantastic tradition and a solid, top-notch football program. Sure, they're a conference rival of ours, but I can still respect worthy opponents. Just like Boilerdowd, I have no severe hatred for UM. And as for the forced outrage by WVU people, give me a break. Do you really think contracts have some kind of sanctity in college football? As Boilerdowd points out below, now WVU is potentially talking to Nick Saban. But wait! Doesn't he have a contract at Alabama? Yes, he does, but I'll bet all you backwoods clowns come out of the woodwork to worship at the altar of Saban if he were to make the jump to Morgantown.

Point is, Rodriguez got a better offer to run a better program at a better institution. It happens. WVU isn't Michigan and it probably never will be. Sorry if that hurts but it's best to come to grips with it.

Making Promises We Probably Can't Keep