It seems just like yesterday I was saying how dumb the hiring of Richard Rodriguez was and how Michigan would pay for settling on a coach after kicking Lloyd Carr out of town. Sure, they paid him a boatload of money, had to settle a legal dispute for him with 2.5 million dollars, had to handle the embarrassment of a scandal, and the losing to their two (one) biggest rival, Ohio State (MSU became a rival, for no reason, and people in corn and blue said how important the game was constantly).
So RichRod is gone. He left the cupboard more bare than Lloyd Carr could ever imagine. Most likely UofM will go back to a pro style offense, to avoid more boosters and alumni backlash. This won't set the offense back too much, because Gardner could take over and be a great bridge to the next pro style QB. Unless their Oline gets worse, they should be OK. The defense will really suffer, as it had little to no talent before and now they have to deal with a new coach and a completely new system. It can't get much worse, but it could stay about the same.
So who replaces him? It won't be Harbaugh, who doesn't want the job, and would rather go to the NFL to join his brother. Brady Hoke isn't a bad choice, although he had only one good season as a head coach at Ball State, and even then he crumbled under the weight of the MAC Marathon Ford Field Championship Game presented by Pizza Hut. He was a good defensive lineman coach during his stay at Michigan, but how hard was it to recruit good defensive lineman to Michigan in the mid nineties? He never got a promotion there, and after being such a hot commodity a few years ago, went to San Diego State. So that shows how much people wanted him to coach their programs.
Other candidates will emerge, and I am sure they will offer the world to Les Miles again, so he can bring his awful offense and grass eating ways to Ann Arbor. But, its OK Wolverine fans. It can't really get any worse. Sure, next year may be tough to watch, and you may never regain the elite status you thought you had. But hey, Nebraska made a comeback.