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Comparing Rich Rodriguez at Michigan to RichRod at West Virginia


We all know and have discussed to no end that Arizona Wildcats football coach Rich Rodriguez had a tad bit more success with the West Virginia Mountaineers than he did with the Michigan Wolverines. Now, we're given a somewhat objective measuring stick to compare RichRod's two coaching tenures with some statistics provided by Coaches By The Numbers (h/t to Avinash Kunnath at Pacific Takes for the find).

In the coming days, we'll take a look at where Rodriguez stands in a number of statistical categories.

Today, we're comparing the good at WVU to the bad and ugly from RichRod's Michigan days. These statistics are talent -- as decided by recruiting class rankings -- compared to wins and losses.

And mind you, the Michigan numbers don't include the complete development of his recruiting classes.

Here's the breakdown in the Pac-12, courtesy of Pacific Takes, and in order of average class rank.

Coaches Avg. class rank Superior to opp.
Equivalent to opp.
Inferior to opp.
Lane Kiffin 6.61 16-6 2-1 0-0
Rich Rod (Mich) 8.98 11-6 2-6 0-0
Chip Kelly 21.09 20-1 10-2 2-3
Jeff Tedford 25.55 36-15 20-11 3-11
David Shaw 25.75 6-0 3-2 2-0
Mike Leach (Texas Tech) 30.12 29-8 8-3 9-11
Steve Sarkisian 31.46 10-5 4-8 4-6
Todd Graham (Pitt) 32.5 5-4 0-2 0-1
Rich Rod (WV) 45.22 20-1 10-3 8-5
Mike Riley 48.08 7-7 31-25 14-11
Jon Embree 53.75 1-1 2-1 0-8
Kyle Whittingham 65.46 35-8 11-3 16-14
Todd Graham (Tulsa) 84.57 7-2 20-7 5-8

Overall, it's clear Rodriguez had stellar recruiting chops at Michigan that, as far as current coaches go, have only been rivaled by Lane Kiffin at USC. And in terms of success, RichRod utilized his talent to the same degree at WVU than Chip Kelly has at Oregon.

Wildcat fans should hope he meshes those two successes into a winning culture at Arizona.

The statistics that date back to 2004 put Rodriguez's Michigan recruiting class talent at 11th-best, and that's outstanding, as it stands behind a host of top football coaches. Here's who's in front of Rodriguez.

1. Pete Carroll, USC

2. Nick Saban, LSU

3. Larry Coker, Virginia Tech

4. Lane Kiffin, USC

5. Luke Fickell, OSU

6. Les Miles, LSU

7. Urban Meyer, Florida

8. Lloyd Carr, Michigan

9. Mack Brown, Texas

10. Mark Richt, Georgia

However, Rodriguez's West Virginia recruiting talent comes in at an unimpressive, almost ugly 97th in these rankings. The measure, though, is comparing what each coach does with the talent given their wins and losses against teams superior and inferior to their own.

It was Rodriguez's WVU teams that were impressive, coming in 11th place in these rankings in overall stats and win percentage. Meanwhile, his Michigan teams were 183 in those categories.

The point?

The man can recruit and the man can coach.

Rodriguez doesn't necessarily need to be a top-notch recruiter to win -- not as a Mountaineer. But at Michigan, a boatload of talent translated to nothing.

The hope?

That Rodriguez's stats in this structure are skewed. Brady Hoke, who replaced Rodriguez at Michigan, went on to a 11-2 season this past year with many older players recruited by the new Arizona coach.