His Wolverines, who are 1--2 (no doubt to the delight of many in WestVirginia), play No. 9 Wisconsin on Saturday.
Dan Patrick: Doyou go into chat rooms and read what's being said about you?
Rich Rodriguez: Ilike to read USA Today and what some local folks are saying, but so many thingsout there aren't true, I'm in a better mood when I don't read it. If there'ssomething I need to know, my people tell me.
DP: Could you sumup what happened last December [Rodriguez left West Virginia before its bowlgame, sparking outrage and a lawsuit over his $4 million buyout fee, which heand Michigan ended up splitting] in a way that is fair to you and WestVirginia?
RR: I don't wantto go through that whole thing, but I'm sure everybody is glad it's over. Idon't think the whole truth came out. There's great people at West Virginia,and in the state, and that's my home. I have family there. I hope the factswill come out and people will say, Hey, he decided to change jobs, let's wishhim well and move on.
DP: Would you everschedule West Virginia?
RR: [Laughs.] Idon't think that would be a good idea now. Maybe in eight or ten years, we mayhave a nonconference opportunity....
DP: Eight or tenyears?
RR: How long doesit take for people to move on?
DP: I don'tknow—20 years? Will you be there then, Coach?
RR: I don't knowif I'll last that long. [Laughs.] But I'm 45, and if I could coach till I'm 60,that would be terrific. By then my son will be in college and I'll be ready todo something different.
DP: What did youunderestimate in going to Michigan?
RR: I don't knowif I underestimated anything. Even if Lloyd [Carr] and his entire staff cameback, they were going to be in a transition period because they lost all thestarters. Chad Henne and Jake Long and Mike Hart were four-year starters. Youcouple that with some new schemes, and we knew it would be a rough start. I'mdisappointed we gave some things away against Notre Dame....
DP: If I said youcould get a win but blow out your knee like Charlie Weis in that game ...
RR: I'd take thewin.
Take It to theHouse
BLEACHER SEATS areabout to become the must-have patio furniture in the New York area, witheverything from Yankee and Shea stadiums going up for sale to the public. I gotto thinking, what if you could outfit a dream house with pieces of great sportsstadiums. Here's what mine would look like.
• The doormat: asection of frozen tundra from Green Bay's Lambeau Field.
• My front-yardflagpole: Pesky's Pole from Fenway.
• My backyardfence: the Green Monster, complete with scoreboard. Especially if I don't likemy neighbors.
• On the walls:ivy from Wrigley Field. Outside and in.
• In the backyard:the pirate ship from Tampa Bay's Raymond James Stadium, for the kids to playin.
• In the rec room:the University of Texas's 55-by-134 foot "Godzillatron" video board.Super Bowl party at my house!
• For the roof:the hole from the Cowboys' stadium. So, as they say in Dallas, God could watchif he wanted to.
THE OTHER week Isaw the Titans' LenDale White go into a choreographed dance routine after hescored a touchdown—from one yard out. He basically fell forward into the endzone. Now, White is hardly the first to do something like this, and I'm all fora little exuberance. But how about a new rule: If you spend more energycelebrating a play than executing it, your team gets a 15-yard penalty forunwarranted excitement.
Born to BeGood
THE FLORIDAATLANTIC football team may be off to a 1--3 start, but at least they've gotthis going for them: a freshman linebacker named Yourhighness Morgan. This isthe best sports name since God Shammgod, the '90s basketball player. Morgan'sfamily certainly wasn't afraid to put expectations on their son—what was theirsecond choice, Hisholiness? Grammywinner? Just once I'd like to see Morgan playin a game called by Marv Albert, so Marv would have a chance to say"Yourhighness—Yes!"
THE FINE PRINT:Quite a celebration Sunday night for the last game at Yankee Stadium. This wasa nice touch: For confetti they used shredded playoff tickets.
Go toDANPATRICK.COM for more from Rich Rodriguez and other recent interviews, andhear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9 a.m. to noon ET, Mon.--Fri.
ILLUSTRATION BY KEITH WITMER
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (GREEN MONSTER)
KEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES (WHITE)
ICON SMI (RODRIGUEZ)