Is two years really the going rate for success or failure? Three? Charlie Weis is in his fifth season at Notre Dame. He flushed the entire team of anything Tyrone Willingham-related right down to the wallpaper. Five years seems like an absolutely reasonable slice of time, and most schools should probably accept this when they fire and hire.
It sounds like Michigan won't fire him this year, but this goes beyond that. Rodriguez's contract has four years left on it, so he has plenty of time to recruit the right football player and adjust the playbook accordingly. If the team flounders around .500 again in 2010, it's unfortunately still not enough time to make a final decision, so drawing conclusions in two years is just silly.
Urban Meyer was able to win a national championship at Florida in two years. While he is probably a better coach than Rodriguez, Meyer also had the advantage of inheriting Ron Zook's talented team, who was already well ingrained with a spread-type offense.
I don't envy being a Michigan football fan. Patience is not a strong suit for supporters of their team, nor has it been necessary. The same goes for fans of a handful of programs like Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Miami whose demands are to win a national championship every year simply because once upon a time they did just that. Unfortunately, the Boise States and TCUs have usurped precious spots at the big boys' table, so perhaps those fans are not so much impatient as they are melancholy. No school can be elite forever. And at this period in history, Michigan is a team that perenially draws national interest, but they no longer elite.
In a few years? Maybe they will get there. But not if they keep replacing coaches quicker than the country elects a new president.
(Photo credits: Getty, AnnArbor.com)