Tuesday, November 3, 2015

As the Coaching Carousel Turns: 11/3/15

As the Carousel Turns: 11/3/15

Norm Chow was finally fired this week after a crushing 58-7 loss to Air Force that officially ended the bowl chances of the Rainbows for good in 2015. Now Hawaii moves on with what is probably the least desirable job in college football that is available right now. Hawaii has no money, terrible facilities, tepid fan support, and a questionable future from a budget standpoint within the athletic department.
Current Favorite: Nick Rolovich
June Jones is highly unlikely to return to coach the Rainbows, so why not turn to a current assistant who was so important to Hawaii’s past in former QB Rolovich. There will be no search committee formed to hire a coach, so that means one of two things. First, the school has no funding for a search committee, or second, they already have identified their guy.

This is not a terrible job, but the roster is most definitely depleted, and George O’Leary’s attempt at maintaining the program simply was not felt. The Knights are winless, but there is plenty of talent to go around in the region, and the right hire could get UCF back on track quickly.
Current Favorite: Geoff Collins
The DC at Florida could be the first guy to get the call when it comes to this job, and he has done a very nice job in short order in Gainesville in getting the Gators back to the top of the ever weak SEC East. Collins may not be the only guy in line for this gig, as Willie Fritz (Georgia Southern), Scott Satterfeld (Appalachian State), Blake Anderson (Arkansas State), and Mario Cristobal (Alabama Assistant, former HC at FIU) could all get a call.

This is only a great job in name only. Overall, this is one of the worst FBS jobs currently available. Miami plays in a stadium unfit for what they are, and it is 40 miles away from campus. Attendance has become horrible, the fan base is stale, and nobody under the age of 40 remembers how good they used to be. The facilities are not good, they have to compete with Clemson and Florida State for talent, and the entire program is spiraling. Could it be turned around? Sure, but not by bringing Butch Davis back.
Current Favorite: Rob Chudzinski
Chudzinski is the most likely candidate, but is an assistant in the NFL currently, and if the Colts turned the corner, and somehow made a playoff bid happen out of the mess they currently are, then Miami would likely have to wait for him. That may not do it for the Canes. Look for Davis to get a acall, as will Mark Richt if he is fired at Georgia. Others that would likely be considered are Doc Holliday at Marshall (has extensive experience recruiting South Florida), Jeff Brohm at Western Kentucky, and possibly Matt Campbell of Toledo.

Virginia Tech
With Frank Beamer’s retirement announcement this week, Miami had to cringe about being in competition with Tech while looking for a coach. Tech is everything Miami is not right now in terms of fan support, a more recent tradition of winning, excellent facilities, and they don’t have to go up against Florida State and Clemson annually in ACC play. This is not only one of the best jobs open in the ACC, it may be one of the best in the nation.
Current Favorite: Matt Campbell
Campbell makes the most sense in my opinion, as he has everything that the Hokies could ever want. He is a proven winner, he is young and energetic, and he can recruit his tail off in areas that are rich in talent. You don’t win at a place like Toledo just by showing up and hoping for the best. If you are looking for someone to reenergize this program, this is your guy.

This is an interesting job. The Terrapins have to compete in a region where the Virginia Tech and Miami jobs are open, but where the Terps differ from Miami is that they have a beneficiary who has enough money that he can make Maryland a destination job with the right moves made. With Maryland and their Under Armor empire behind them, the Terps dream of becoming Oregon East, and that is not difficult to imagine at this point.
Current Favorite: Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky
First of all, Chip Kelly isn’t coming through that door anytime soon, at any school, so you can get over it. Maryland wants a high octane offense, and if that is the case, then Brohm is your guy. Western Kentucky is scoring in buckets, and Brohm is a Bobby Petrino protégé, which makes him a perfect fit for firework offenses that can destroy scoreboards. What Brohm would have to do is increase the talent level, and with a firm commitment to football, there is no doubt that could happen at Maryland.

Jerry Kill suddenly resigned for health reasons last week, and that is a damned shame. Kill was the best thing to happen to Minnesota since Ricky Foggie was throwing passes there in the 80s. Here’s the problem. Despite first rate stadium facilities, and an increased dedication to the game of football, there are issues all over the place. The AD job is still basically open after serious scandal plagued the department. Nobody knows who the boss will be long term. Secondly, you are Minnesota, and you will never have first dibs at a really great potential hire. The Gophers have to be very careful here when it comes to making this hire.
Current Favorite: Tracy Claeys
Claeys has been the interim coach before, and the kids love him. Whenever Kill’s health was a problem, Claeys stood up and took control, and he deserves to be names the next head coach at Minnesota. There shouldn’t even be any other consideration, unless Minnesota tanks from here on out under his leadership.

This is not a great job. Let us be clear about that right away. Illini fans have always been a little myopic when it comes to their program, but there is no clear history of greatness at Illinois, and anyone saying differently is really not being truthful with themselves. It is a decent job. It’s not better than Minnesota, and may not even be as good as Rutgers should that job open. It is a good middle tier Big 10 job that has potential, and that is it.
Current Favorite: Rod Carey
The Illini are crazy if they don’t drop the bank check to get this guy. He has kept Northern Illinois winning every season he has been there, and he is obviously stamped for something bigger and better than NIU. The problem is that as of this moment, NIU may be a better gig. If they cannot land Carey, then they would be smart to reach out to Brock Spack at Illinois State, who has built that program from the ground up to compete for national titles on the FCS level.

North Texas
This job is right about the worst job opening available next to Hawaii. I hate to offend the folks in Denton, because this job does have some gifts to it, such as a fertile recruiting base, but look who you have to go up against in that region (Texas, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, etc.). The facilities are decent, and the stadium is fairly new, so you have that, and there was a history of winning up until about a decade ago, so there is something to go on.
Current Favorite: Matt Viator
If you want to go after the hottest commodity in your region right now, and get a guy who may actually think this is a move up, than McNeese State’s Viator would be a great pick. He knows the region, recruits well with lessor resources, and knows how to win. The Cowboys are ranked #3 in our weekly FCS PRS rankings, and are having an enormous season, and Viator would look to capitalize on it now, rather than waiting for later. Everett Withers of James Madison is rumored to have some interest as well.

Here we go again at USC, which has been unstable since NCAA violations pushed Pete Carroll out the door. His tree is poisoned, it would seem, as Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian were abject failures, and basically weren’t even very good guys to begin with. Pat Haden is starting to look like he will get yet another chance to screw this thing up, but there is only one way right now that he can go and not make a mistake when he bypassed Ed Orgeron for Sarkisian.
Current Favorite: Clay Helton
The team has very much responded to his direction since being named interim coach, and despite the loss to Notre Dame, Helton has win over Utah and California since. The players love the guy, and he seems to know how to get things done, and if you will remember, he beat a nationally ranked Fresno State team in the Las Vegas bowl after Orgeron was told he would not be considered for the job and quit.

South Carolina
Right now, the Gamecocks have the benefit of being the only SEC job that is open. That could change in coming weeks, so the program has got to use this time to get a jump on who they really want, and start going for it. This is a really good job, but it is a job that has been slipping, as Spurrier started to lose his grip on how to win here. Prior to Spurrier arriving at South Carolina, this was barely an average gig at all. Now, the sky is the limit. The right candidate will reverse course and get South Carolina winning in a very weak SEC East right away.
Current Favorite: Kirby Smart
If Smart cannot be reeled in, it’s nobody’s fault beside their own. Smart is going to be a coach somewhere, and if not here, Georgia would snap hi up given half a chance should they fire Mark Richt, and they probably will do that. Start making a move for Smart now, and this situation comes up smelling like roses. If not Smart, than the field could be wide open.

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