Alabama's New Coach? Maybe not? No..yes he is.
I'm not sure if Alabama fans know hard the West Virginia head coach's job really is. There are probably more Blue Chip football players at Hoover High School each year than in the entire state of West Virginia.
I wrote an article a year ago about which states produce NFL players. My article was based on this story and fact list. At the time, I mentioned about what an amazing job Rodriguez was doing in the face of his challenges.
The entire state of West Virginia has produced only 4 players that are on current NFL active rosters. By comparison, the State of Georgia has 90 players on active rosters, and the state of Alabama has 44. The island nation/province of American Samoa has produced as many NFL players on active rosters as West Virginia.
(Image: Pat White is from Daphne, Ala.)
Last year's recruiting class had ZERO in state kids. There weren't any worth offering. This year, the state has only 2 players rated above 3 stars. He's signing both of them. He normally has to go into Pennsylvania and battle with Penn State. He has to go into Ohio and battle with Ohio State. Or get their left overs.
All of this with crap facilities in a Tier 2 conference. That's more time on the road. That's less time knowing kids b/c you're spreading your relationships thinner. That's just tougher recruiting.
Yet, he's put together a quality team.
Pair this dude up with a guy like Kines, and you've got something special. Hell, just better in game decision making and better offensive line play would get Bama 2-3 more wins per year 3 of the past 4 years.
The only pro UGA photo from the Sugar Bowl
He can give Bama that. His defense sucks but he just doesn't have the players up there. His Offensive Line is SMASH MOUTH. They are the only smash mouth spread offense that I've seen. This guy can coach., and he's been working miracles at WVU.
Yes, their schedule sucks. Yes, he shouldn't have lost to South Florida. But you should've seen all the turnovers.
BTW -- As for the snide comments in certain circles about his last night. This guy is about as Mexican as Mike Shula. I think his grandparents immigrated from Spain. The dude's ancestors are European. Just like most Bama fans. Although, I have to hand it to the commenter over at EDSBS who suggested a Houndstooth Sombrero for the press conference. Rodriguez is just a country boy from the West Virginia mountains with a lot of vowels in his surname.
I think that Bama fans will like him.
See also -- "The Land of the Misfits" (Yahoo Sports)