For an offense that doesn't work, it's sure drawing flies: Alabama looks like they're hiring West Virginia head coach for their coaching vacancy. Rodriguez will be paid over 2 mil a year, roughly doubling the money he's seeing at Morgantown and putting him in line to be the next creepy bronze statue that archaeologists will be puzzling over in a few thousand years.
"We believe they elected their leaders via a strange game involving 22 men, an inefficiently shaped ball, and abundant use of the primitive intoxicant alcohol. This might explain their rapid decline as a civilization..."
Little help here, Rod.
We fully understand the political/legal/semantic tapdance that has to be done re: contract negotiations...but did Rodriguez have to deny the offer flat-out? From the beginning? Did he have to go on talk radio and screech about "planning to remain at West Virginia" for as long as they'd have him? When that exact term amounted to four days? Wouldn't we characterize that, as someone steeped in the parlance of The Daily Show and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, as being a bit of a "dickish move?"
But enough with the fuzzy naievete.
The quick snap implications:
--For an offense that doesn't work, the spread-option remains very, very popular. And profitable: 2 mil a year for Rodriguez's variant of it, a move that nudges coachpay up a bit without nudging it into the outright shameless range feared my those predicting a Saban-type deal worth 27 thousand million dollars a year for the head coach at Alabama. If and when that deal comes down for whatever school, the "amateur" veil of the NCAA will have been rent beyond repair, and you may crack open a beer in the stands without fear of repercussion. Point: this wasn't that deal.
--The variant you'll see at 'Bama will hiccup through its first year, since the thing just doesn't work as well without a speedy dervish of a quarterback under center. It doesn't; Adam Bednarikites were few and far between at WVU once they saw Pat White running rings out of the backfield, and John Parker Wilsonites will face the same fate if he's unwilling to run with some competence in this offense. Jimmy Johns at quarterback remains a real live possibility.
This isn't a certainty, though, and shouldn't be, since Rodriguez has worked with slowish pocket passers before. (Shaun King looked like a savant in this offense, and he's slowish in more than one sense of the word.) They're just not as productive as the Dantzler/White types, and will never be in this offense. Rodriguez hire=good news, 'Bama, bad news JPW.
--Coaching-wise, the other staff question is Kines at DC and whether he remains or leaves. Roddjob likes the 3-3-5, which Kines sort of runs, but preferred to employ a more manic version of the scheme in West Virginia, a free-blitzing style designed to compensate for the relative lack of pure talent on defense. Kines' staying would bring some nice continuity, but remember the Chinese aphorism: "When a man rises to power, even his cats and dogs ascent with him." Going by that and five thousand years of history, we'd bet on Kines leaving and Rod bringing DC Jeff Casteel with him.
--Despite being told repeatedly that Rodriguez is NOT Mexican, look for Alabama to become surprisingly pro-immigration should Rodriguez vastly improve the Tide in year one. If he goes 1-11, though, watch the whole state riot for border fencing in '07.
No, that's not the new Alabama pep band, because for the 3000th time, he's not Mexican. He's NOT MEXICAN!!! Never mind, dammit...
Addendum: Oh, and Randy Shannon gets hired at Miami, a quiet, discreet, and internal hire by the 'Canes. Probably the best thing they could have done, provided they hire an OC capable of getting ten yards in three downs. Dirk Koetter's not busy, or so we've heard.