Before anyone goes and gets their panties in a wad, the following is not based on any existing rumor or source, just speculation.
It seems we have ourselves a quandry. Tubby Smith sure looks unhappy at Kentucky these days. He's lost that fire, that intensity, and seems resigned to resting his coaching fate on a pack of guys that don't float his boat.
Meanwhile, back in Ann Arbor, Tommy Amaker's attempts to bring the Wolverines out of the dark depths of probation have proven fruitless, as he has been unable to turn solid recruiting into results.
Could these two situations have a common solution? Our colleague over at Maize N' Brew beat me to the punch, but has read my mind. He has penned an "open letter" to Coach Smith, asking him to consider taking over the UM job.
You don't have to. Look at Tommy Amaker. He can take two senior laden squads with multiple offensive threats, make them worse, make them miss the tournament, embarrass themselves in a weak conference and never hear a peep out of the athletic director. ... [Y]ou're one of, if not the classiest and cleanest coaches in America. Since you've been at Kentucky there hasn't even been a whiff of anything amiss.
Seriously though. Talk about a free ride. Amaker hasn't developed a single athlete into an NBA quality player. Can you imagine how much fun you would've had with Daniel Horton or Dion Harris? How many first rounders have you produced? Five? Sweet. Michigan hasn't had a guy play in the Association in, well, good question. It's pretty apparent watching Michigan play that the gameplan is "how high can you shove your head up your colon?" Not a peep out of the AD. Nothing but support. You're one of the better X's and O's coaches in the country. Imagine being able to coach in an environment without having to look over your shoulder.
I have been proposing the same thing for several months now in private. The Michigan job is one of the unheralded "good" jobs in the game, and has been run into the ground by Brian Ellerby and then Amaker, whose credentials as a quality coach seem to begin and end with "former Duke assistant."
Smith would be free of the shackles of expectations he himself created at Kentucky, and Michigan would have a squeaky-clean championship-winning coach, no more probation and plenty of Michigan talent to keep him from having to recruit from afar.
Heck, Smith's first 2008 committment at Kentucky is a Michiganer (?), Draymond Green, a kid a bunch of UK fans are already slagging because he isn't ranked highly enough by some guru who hasn't seen half the kids he's ranking.
It's an interesting scenario. Not sure it would ever work out, but Smith could demand an upgrade to the facilities and step in and win more games than Amaker right away. And the fans would be ecstatic over Tubby's humility and grace under pressure.
Meanwhile, grumbling UK fans could get their Calipari or [insert name of overhyped coach here] on and pretend they were answering the "higher call" of protecting Kentucky hoops.
What do you think, Big Blue Nation?