- Associated Press - Monday, November 29, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (AP) - Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon refuses to let speculation about Rich Rodriguez’s future change his timetable to evaluate the football coach.

“Everyone needs to take a deep breath,” Brandon said Monday morning.

The first-year AD reiterated that he won’t do performance reviews of any of his coaches until their seasons _ not just the regular season _ are over.

That might make for another uncomfortable month for Rodriguez.

He helped the Wolverines qualify for a bowl _ possibly the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28 _ for the first time in his three seasons in charge of college football’s winningest program.

The situation swirling around Rodriguez’s status might turn into a circus at the team’s banquet Thursday night because Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh plans to be there to be honored along with his 1985 teammates. Harbaugh said Saturday night there’s a “75-percent chance” he will be at the event, adding he needs to rearrange some recruiting trips.

“That’ll be awkward,” former Michigan star and ESPN analyst Desmond Howard said.

Indeed.

Many of those who want Rodriguez to be fired, want Harbaugh hired, and both men are expected to be in the same ballroom for an evening.

“They’re grown men, they can deal with it,” Howard said.

Michigan’s regular season ended Saturday with a 37-7 loss at Ohio State, losing a school-record seventh straight to the rival, and dropping Rodriguez’s record at Michigan to 1-10 against ranked teams.

“I’ll be mad for a while,” Rodriguez said after the game. “This will sting.”

Rodriguez was asked at the postgame news conference whether he knew he would be back, or hoped he would be back, and acknowledged being worried about his future every day.

“But nothing is going to change how we work,” he said. “I took this job to make it the best program in America.”

He’s got a long way to go.

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