Five-Step Drop: Rich Rod Still Employed, but for How Long?
1. Rich Rodriguez was not fired by Michigan. Normally somebody not getting fired wouldn't be news, but reports during the afternoon from Michigan-based media said that Michigan had let him go. That turned out not to be the case. Other reports said that Jim Harbaugh, widely assumed to be at the top of Michigan's wish list, wasn't interested in going to Michigan and was going to stay at Stanford unless he went to the NFL. Harbaugh has been linked to NFL openings in San Francisco, Denver, and Miami, though technically the Dolphins had not fired Tony Sparano as of Tuesday night. San Francisco looks to be a long shot, because it reportedly hired Trent Baalke to be its GM, and Harbaugh is believed not to want to work with Baalke. Or maybe he would work with him. I haven't been this confused since the middle school cafeteria. Here's what I'm confident of: Rich Rodriguez either will or will not be the coach of Michigan next season.
2. Les Miles also may or may not be the coach of Michigan next season, but LSU athletic director Joe Alleva says nobody from Michigan has contacted him about interviewing Miles, probably because Rodriguez hasn't been fired yet. "I don't know what's inside the head of the Michigan AD," Alleva said. "I don't know what he has in mind. I'm sure he's got a plan, but I don't know if that includes Les Miles or not." As 14,376 people pointed out on Twitter Tuesday, Miles would be a long shot since Michigan Stadium has field turf.
3. Nebraska defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler was sentenced Tuesday to nine months probation, fined $400 and had his license revoked for 60 days after pleading guilty to DUI. Steinkuhler, the son of Outland Trophy winner Dean Steinkuhler, was pulled over in Lincoln on Dec. 7. Bo Pelini suspended him from the Holiday Bowl, which turned out not to be a punishment.
4. Connecticut named long-time assistant Hank Hughes as its interim coach Tuesday, but William S. Paxton of the Greenwich Time says the school should just give Hughes the job outright. He writes, "A few other programs have had recent success with in-house promotions. Just look at (Chris) Petersen's tenure at Boise State and what Gary Patterson has accomplished at Big East-(bound) TCU in nine seasons." That's a good point, but I'm imagining it'll fall on deaf ears.
5. Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has been offered the same job at Texas and now he has to decide what to do, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. No matter what Texas fans may think, this is not a no-brainer for Chryst, who is a Madison native. Not only would he be leaving home, but he would be leaving a much more stable situation. Unless you think Mack Brown would survive a second consecutive losing season, something no Texas coach has done since Ed Price had three losing seasons in a row from 1954 through 1956.