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Dr. Saturday

Rich Rodriguez’s new job keeps him in the game, but much harder to find

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

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Rich Rodriguez has never been accused of being the most charismatic guy in front of a microphone, or of cultivating a particularly good relationship with the media, in general, and he didn't seem to be having the best time earlier this year during his signing day stint for CBS College Sports, specifically. But seeing as he wasn't really doing anything this fall, anyway, he's decided to give the TV thing a shot. From a press release:

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Former University of Michigan football head coach Rich Rodriguez joins CBS Sports Network as a game and studio analyst for the 2011 college football season.

The announcement was made today by David Berson, Executive Vice President, CBS Sports and President, CBS Sports Network.Rodriguez will team with veteran play-by-play announcer Dave Ryan to call games, and also be part of the Network's weekly studio programming originating from New York City .

"Rich is an accomplished, well-recognized coach with a wealth of knowledge about the game," said Berson. "Rich was an integral part of our Signing Day and Draft coverage. We are excited to add him to our already strong line-up of football talent and look forward to showcasing his analysis and insights during the upcoming season."

CBS Sports Network, nee CBS College Sports, is not to be confused with CBS's top-rated broadcast channel, which typically lands the SEC game of the week — the former is a hard-to-find cable station in less than 40 percent of American homes with televisions that typically lands Mountain West and Conference USA games, along with Thursday night fare featuring the likes of South Connecticut State, Shippensburg, Elizabeth City State and West Texas A&M. For pure entertainment value, Rodriguez doesn't quite match last year's big "unemployed coach" hire, ex-Texas Tech boss Mike Leach, who brings the network an eccentric, occasionally short-tempered, foul-mouthed and politically incorrect wild card whose inevitable digressions on pirate society, art history, current events in light of libertarian/anarchist philosophy and modern relationships promised to be many times more entertaining than the games themselves. Rodriguez brings them a fairly nondescript personality who was 6-18 against the rest of the Big Ten and tears up over Josh Groban.

But given his past success at West Virginia and essentially scandal-free stint at Michigan, Rodriguez probably has a better chance of escaping the purgatory of a press box in Fort Collins, Colo., for an actual coaching job as offensive coordinator or even head coach at a smaller school over the next two or three years. And if not, he can always put his head down, work hard at his new craft and shoot for the big leagues when Urban Meyer starts feeling the itch.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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