Cam Newton may have been college football's best and most dominant player this year, but Denard Robinson was its most exciting. It wasn't just that he was carrying an entire offense, and an especially potent offense, on his back, it's that he was doing it without shoelaces. No, that's not it. It's that he was so excelling in such a wide-open offense while playing at Michigan, among the Big Tennest of all Big Ten schools.
By now you've heard that Rich Rodriguez was fired by Michigan this morning. Old-school Wolverines fans hadn't bought into Rich Rod since day once, when he first began importing his newfangled (do they say that up north?) spread offense.
Blame him for recruiting, even though he only had two whole years in which to do it. Blame him for his defensive personnel and his decision to switch schemes for no great reason. But the offense worked this year.
It finished top-10 nationally in yardage, largely thanks to Robinson. He was the missing piece, but now he's a piece with no puzzle. < ---- This is how sportswriters write.
With the likely return to traditional (zzz) Michigan football, where will Robinson end up? His high school coach says he should wait to see who Michigan hires, but the school isn't going to bring on another coach who will fully take advantage of Robinson's skills the way Rodriguez did.
Supposed leading Wolverines candidate Brady Hoke, a defensive-minded coach, has fielded one dual-threat quarterback in his time, Nate Davis at Ball State. Michigan's ideal, Jim Harbaugh, runs a very pro-style offense, even though Andrew Luck piles up rushing yards.
Robinson could follow Rodriguez, wherever that may lead, or try to find another offense that'll take advantage of his abilities. But with Terrelle Pryor sidelined for half the season or declaring early, the Big Ten is going to look so, so very Big Ten next year.