Wednesday, October 2, 2013

As the Carousel Turns: 2013 Volume One

It's never too early for the Carousel to start turning, and we get to start the first week of October off with our first look at this annual ritual. With the firings of Lane Kiffin at USC, Paul Pasqualoni at UConn, and Doug Williams at Grambling. Let's see where we stand with these job openings.

Overall, the best job available so far, but probably the most difficult hire to make. It's not easy to appease a fan base, a booster group, and a national rep that may be too much right now. USC has a wish list that may not be a reality. Jack Del Rio is the leading candidate right now, but if he's the best that there is right now, USC may be in trouble. Del Rio has a weak resume overall, and may even turn down the job, as he did last time it was offered to him when Kiffin was hired.
James Franklin of Vanderbilt is another highly thought of candidate, but once again, has he put together a resume of becoming the next coach of what supposed to be a national power house program? The answer is no, as Vandy is not even living up to expectations this season. His previous work as OC at Maryland was hardly a standing ovation worthy performance either.
USC would also like to take shots at Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern, and of course, Chris Peterson of Boise State. Both are pipe dreams at best, as those candidates have no reason to leave their current jobs, and have resisted the urge to leave for jobs that are better situations already.
Herm Edwards, Jon Gruden, Charlie Strong, and others have all been mentioned, as has Rams coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher may want out of the Rams gig, but he's NFL through and through, and likely would not take USC up on their overture.
MY PICK: Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State
Why DeRuyter? Look at what he's done in a short time at Fresno State, and you get my answer. He's beaten Boise State (FSU's first win over Boise State and Chris Peterson in 9 years), and he has the Bulldogs on the verge of finishing 2013 unbeaten, and Fresno State is in line to head to their first ever BCS bowl. He understands winning, and he's gotten rather acclimated to coaching and recruiting California. He's a realistic pick, who may be looking to parlay a special season into a great job, and USC isn't far away.

The Paul Pasqualoni mistake was rectified this week, as he was fired on Monday after an 0-4 start that included losses to Towson and Buffalo. The Huskies will likely take their time this time around in making a hire, and you may not hear any names until November. That being said, there are several great candidates that make this program a winner.
Sean McDonnell of New Hampshire, Jack Cosgrove of Maine, and Tim Murphy of Harvard are immediate names that come to mind for this job, and I was a proponent of McDonnell when UConn hired Pasqualoni.
MY PICK: Rob Ambrose, Towson
Ambrose coached on Randy Edsell's staff at UConn before leaving to coach the Tigers. He took one of the worst programs in the nation in FCS football, and has turned it into one of the best in a brutal Colonial Athletic Association environment.
Ambrose has the street cred, and a reputation for building a winner in short turn. Ambrose is the perfect fit, and hey, he's already beaten UConn this season. Murphy makes a great fall back.

I've mentioned this job, but don't have any names to toss at you just yet. Doug Williams was fired after an 0-2 start, and the Tigers have now fallen to 0-5. I will be researching this job in the coming weeks, and will have a candidates list nest week.

Coming Tomorrow (10/3): Coaches On the Hot Seat, and Coaches Swimming in the Dead Pool

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