- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (AP) - Dave Brandon made some big decisions as the chairman and CEO of Domino’s Pizza.

None of them will be as scrutinized as the one currently on his plate as Michigan’s rookie athletic director.

If Brandon fires football coach Rich Rodriguez, that would be the first move. The next would be hiring someone like Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, San Diego State coach Brady Hoke or an off-the-radar candidate.

“I have complete faith in Dave Brandon that he has been pursuing and will continue to pursue what is in the best interests of the University of Michigan,” said ESPN analyst Desmond Howard, who won the Heisman Trophy at Michigan.

“Many would like to see Jim Harbaugh back in Ann Arbor, but if he does not want to jump on the ship and help bring his alma mater back to prominence, then Dave is bright enough to have a solid plan B,” Howard said. “This job is bigger than any one coach who just happens to be the flavor of the month.”

Rodriguez was in his office Tuesday morning, quietly talking on the telephone.

Rodriguez’s third season ended Saturday with a 38-point loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. It dropped his overall record to 15-22 with college football’s winningest program.