The votes are in.
OK, my vote is in. The Eclectic 18 have languished long enough. I'm talking the 18 new coaches at Division I-A schools. They need to be sorted, ranked, rated, collated and called out.
The assumption at ol' State U is that different is better. Not always. As with all new coaches, it's TBD -- to be determined. Five coaches had a hand in 10 of the openings. Rich Rodriguez, June Jones, Paul Johnson, Art Briles and Houston Nutt created a coaching vacancy when they filled a coaching vacancy.
Michigan was going down to the Pop Warner level if it had to before Rich Rodriguez said yes.
SMU let boosters pay for its coach this time, instead of paying its players. Well, for now.
Arkansas is hoping to take Bobby Petrino back to Atlanta. If B.P. lasts the 13 games he did with the Falcons, that's exactly where the Hogs would end up if they win the SEC West.
Duke and SMU have hired coaches Nos. 10 and 11 (combined) since 1989.
Southern Miss booted a guy who had given it 14 consecutive winning seasons.
Equality is still a problem in the industry. Only two of the 18 hires were minorities.
Ole Miss had a coach within 24 hours.
It took SMU 10 weeks.
Will any of it work? TBD.
Whatever happened to ... Lloyd Carr? He resigned but still has an office in the football building. Lloyd gave this hire his stamp of approval, which is another reason to like it. One question, though. If you were so in love with the spread, Lloyd, why didn't you run it more?
Since then, Slick Rick humbly went back to high school (as a volunteer coach) and worked his way up to becoming the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator before going back "home." Bottom line, the guy can win, he works hard, he's an alum and he knows the landscape.
With Norm Chow in tow, UCLA is ready to go head-to-head with USC. There, I said it. The Battle of Los Angeles is on.
Whatever happened to ... a once-promising career? In one of the stunning falls from grace, Karl Dorrell went from UCLA head coach to receivers coach of the Dolphins.
So what? Jones arguably had it worse when he arrived at Hawaii in 1999. Eight years later, the Warriors were playing in the Sugar Bowl. At SMU, Jones will develop the next Colt Brennan, get the Ponies to a bowl and bolt for a high-major I-A job within three years.
SMU AD Steve Orsini knows it and welcomes it. Jones will lay the groundwork for SMU to get back on the national scene, or at least win Conference USA.
Whatever happened to... good guy Phil Bennett? The former coach's name has come up in Marshall's search for a defensive coordinator. Bennett was fired in October but completed his sixth season.
If Johnson can win at Navy (and he won big), he can win anywhere. That includes Tech, where there are familiar academic restrictions, though none as daunting as Navy.
Johnson made his bones at Annapolis running the option flexbone. You'll see him in the spread at Tech, but expect almost anything to be run out of it. In a wide-open ACC, why can't Johnson step in and start dominating?
Whatever happened to ... Chan Gailey, the coach they never warmed to at Tech? He was hired recently as Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, which is strange. Weren't Gailey's Tech teams known more for their defense?
For the second time in four years, the "culture" has to be changed in Lincoln. Kansas and Missouri are threatening to rule the Big 12 North. The game overwhelmingly favors offense these days, which isn't to say Pelini can't establish a good defense. But there is a lot more work to be done at Nebraska than meets the eye.
Huskerheads should start with expecting a bowl in '08 and work up from there. The days of dominating the Big 12, much less the national scene, are a long way off.
Whatever happened to ... ol' what's his name? Good question. It seems the Jets hired Bill Callahan as assistant head coach/offense to work with the offensive line.
Hogs everywhere are willing to leave that question open-ended until Petrino's wanderlust kicks in again. Until then, he will recruit NFL-quality quarterbacks, run up 500 yards a game and keep the Hogs a factor in the SEC West.
Whatever happened to ... Houston Nutt? Went down the road in the same division to Ole Miss.
It's doubtful this would have happened if Duke weren't this bad, or Cutcliffe's health history were better. After recovering from bypass surgery a couple of years ago, Cutcliffe had the itch. He left as Tennessee's OC to take over this pulse-less program.
The administration has promised upgrades, but like SMU, this program has been a coach killer. Cutcliffe is the best the school has had in a while and could do what Steve Spurrier did there in the 1980s.
Whatever happened to ... Ted Roof? The former Duke coach is now coaching linebackers at Louisville.
The Midshipmen will continue to run the option, lead the NCAA in rushing, command the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy and keep alive a five-year bowl streak.
Whatever happened to ... academy struggles? Not at Navy, where Johnson hit on a formula. The Class of 2007 finished a combined 8-0 against Army and Air Force. The Middies have won every Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 2003.
McMackin was promoted from the staff earlier this month. He doesn't immediately impress, but he is one of the more admired defensive coordinators in the game. Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp played on his Miami defenses in the mid-'90s. He has coached with two NFL teams (Seattle, San Francisco). At age 58, he more than deserves to be a head coach.
Things aren't as bad as they seem at Hawaii, either. AD Herm Frazier has been fired. State officials have to loosen purse strings to improve the horrible facilities. After going with finesse under Jones, perhaps the Warriors are going to win with an attitude on defense.
Whatever happened to ... SMU's salary structure? Jones is making $2 million a year trying to turn around the Mustangs.
The former offensive coordinator at Florida and Oklahoma State will keep things exciting. The Cowboys had the most balanced offense in the country last season (243.15 rushing, 243.2 passing). In the past two seasons, Fedora has turned down a chance to coach Rice, become the offensive coordinator at Alabama and received interest for the same position at LSU.
Whatever happened to ... Bower? Nothing yet, but it will. After 14 consecutive winning seasons, he won't be out of work for long.
Whatever happened to ... Novak? He retired after 12 seasons in DeKalb. Under his guidance, the Huskies beat Maryland, Alabama and Iowa State and reached No. 12 in the AP poll in 2003.
In 2006, his Houston team went 10-4 and won Conference USA, the school's first conference title in 10 years.
Whatever happened to ... Guy Morriss? Currently unemployed while still rocking his Tommy Bahama silk shirts. A shot a high school job in Kentucky didn't pan out.
After the failed Ed Orgeron experiment, the Rebels need some stability. Considering the guy had his cell phone records made public by a fan, that sounds ludicrous, but Nutt is a solid recruiter and coach.
Whatever happened to ... Coach O? Orgeron hooked on with the Saints as defensive line coach. Sean Payton's defense will immediately improve.
With Sumlin as co-offensive coordinator, Oklahoma finished fifth in scoring in '07. That fits the Houston culture.
Whatever happened to ... Briles? He went from near the top of Conference USA to the bottom of the Big 12. Is that a move up?
Sherman was an assistant at A&M for a combined seven years in two different stays. Like Bill Callahan before him, he is a former NFL coach in the Big 12 being asked to restore a traditional power.
Sherman won't run unethical pay websites, but the same old barriers exist. He will have to find a way to get past Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 South or he will face the same fate as Dennis Franchione -- in five years or sooner.
Whatever happened to ... the Coach Fran persona? Gone, kaput, done. Franchione was last seen wondering how it all went wrong.
The former Rams quarterback and assistant coach was Buffalo's offensive coordinator.
Whatever happened to ... Sonny Lubick? Early in his career he put Colorado State on the map. It has faded into irrelevancy lately and Lubick was fired.
We do know that Wulff's mom disappeared when he was 12. His wife died of brain cancer. If Wazoo is looking for dedication, it has found it in Eastern Washington's coach.
Whatever happened to ... Bill Doba? Never be the guy to follow the guy. The coach who replaced Mike Price was fired after five largely unimpressive seasons.
Stewart seems to be a nice guy but we know absolutely nothing about him as a head coach despite the Fiesta Bowl. Let's judge him in five years and see if he can deliver four Big East titles and two BCS bowl teams -- like Rodriguez did.
Whatever happened to ... amicable partings? It's still on between Rodriguez and WVU. We're waiting for Rodriguez's answer to the West Virginia lawsuit, which, Rich Rod's agent promises, includes a "bombshell."