Posted on: January 5, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 1:39 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that the news is official, and Rich Rodriguez has been fired at Michigan, the process of finding a replacement is underway in Ann Arbor. If we're to take Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon's words at his press conference on Wednesday to heart, it doesn't sound like a replacement will be announced quickly. In fact, Brandon made it sound like he hasn't even begun the process yet, which, if true, doesn't bode well for Michigan in 2011.
Still, if he hasn't begun the search yet, here are a few names that will likely be hearing from Michigan in the coming days.
Jim Harbaugh - Actually, from what Brandon said, I'm pretty sure Harbaugh has already heard from Michigan. Brandon may say he hasn't begun the process but reading between the lines, it sounds like Michigan has contacted Harbaugh and that Harbaugh has told the school he's not interested. Which is why Brandon didn't seem to have any problems addressing Harbaugh-related questions and even say that he feels Harbaugh is headed to the NFL. Still, until an official announcement is made by Harbaugh, a portion of the Michigan faithful will hold out hope.
Brady Hoke - Hoke's name has come up as a possible replacement, and he's made it known that Michigan is his dream job and he'd have no problem leaving San Diego State for the job. Still, even though Hoke has been successful at Ball State and with the Aztecs, I don't think that's enough to make him Michigan's top choice. Odds are the school will take a stab at some bigger names with Hoke as a backup plan.
Les Miles - Before Michigan hired Rodriguez, rumor was that Miles was one of the school's top choices to replace Lloyd Carr. Miles stayed at LSU, but it's possible that Michigan could make a run at their former offensive lineman once more. The question is whether or not Miles would want to leave his nice contract at LSU to take the job, or whether Michigan would be comfortable bringing him home.
Chris Petersen - Any athletic director at a BCS conference school who is looking for a head coach that doesn't call Boise State's Petersen isn't doing his job. Petersen's done a remarkable job at Boise State, helping keep a tiny commuter school in Idaho a power on the national scene. If he could do that at Boise State, imagine what he might be able to do with the resources available to him at Michigan.
Gary Patterson - During his press conference, Dave Brandon pointed out that whoever he brings in to replace Rodriguez, an emphasis will be placed on defense. That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be a defensive-minded head coach, but if Brandon wants a strong defense at Michigan, he could do a lot worse than TCU's Patterson. The question here is whether or not Patterson would want to make the transition north, or if he has a need to. After all, TCU will be joining the Big East in 2012, so if Patterson wants to coach in a BCS conference, he no longer has to leave the school.
Mike Leach - I don't think Brandon has any interest in Mike Leach, but I'll bet Leach has interest in Michigan. Hell, he has interest in every school.
Kyle Whittingham - Whittingham hasn't had any trouble maintaining what Urban Meyer started at Utah, and could bring that success to Ann Arbor. Of course, considering that Whittingham has been at Utah for 16 years, it doesn't seem as though he's in a hurry to leave the place. Plus, like Gary Patterson, he's now running a program that is bound for a BCS conference, so the motivation to leave isn't as strong as it may have been.
Urban Meyer - Speaking of Meyer, how about Urban Meyer? Do I think this would happen? No, I believe Meyer was serious when saying he wants some time off. Still, you know it's only a matter of time before somebody throws his name out there, so I may as well.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:29 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that Miami has finally hired Al Golden to take over for Randy Shannon, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald took to wondering why Golden was the man Miami finally settled on. Not a crazy question to ask considering the names that came up at times during the coaching search. Guys like Jon Gruden, Bo Pelini and Jim Harbaugh.
Well, according to one member of the school's board of trustees, the simple fact was that no big name coaches seemed interested in leaving their current jobs for Miami. Though, according to that same trustee, when it came to Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, it wasn't his lack of interest as much as his giant ego.
A high-level trustee fully aware of how the search was done said, ``We were not going to get a star, and it wasn't a money thing. Why would [marquee coaches] leave any of their great programs'' to take another college job? ``Florida didn't get one either. We hired the best person that wasn't in the top 20.''
The trustee said UM inquired about Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, who wasn't interested, and said Jon Gruden never seemed serious about taking the job. Chris Peterson(sic) gave UM no indication he wanted to leave Boise State. UM thought Nebraska's Bo Pelini had some interest, but he changed his mind. And UM was turned off by Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen's big ego, with one trustee saying he acts like he invented the game.
I know, it's shocking to hear that a coach who has experienced success doing his job might have an ego. Still, the most shocking thing about this -- if it's true -- is that Miami would take offense to a coach's arrogance.
Miami is the same school that employed Jimmy Johnson, isn't it? It's the school that walked off the airplane at the 1987 Fiesta Bowl in fatigues and, for most intents and purposes, defined swagger in the world of college football.
That's the school that has now decided a coach may have been a bit too full of himself? Interesting.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 3:49 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Boise State writers and fans want to know : why exactly is the TCU team that's virtually identical to the TCU team that lost to a Boise team that virtually identical to this year's Boise team in last year's Fiesta Bowl so widely considered to be better of the two teams? If the Broncos were better then, why are the Frogs better now?
It's a valid question. One answer, the simplest one, is that TCU owns both the better strength-of-schedule to date and the bigger win; as dominant as Boise has been and as valuable as a win over likely ACC champions Virginia Tech should prove to be, no win in the country is as impressive as TCU's dismantling of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Then again, part of the answer might also be that like it or not, in the minds of many poll voters Boise comes across as the mor e "mid-major" of the two mid-major programs. The Broncos are tucked away in one of the most remote parts of the continental U.S., while TCU is located in the middle of Texas in one of the nation's largest metro areas; the Broncos wear loud bright blue and orange uniforms and play on the notorious (and notoriously unique) blue turf while TCU stays with a muted purple-and-black color scheme; the Broncos play in a league where the biggest challengers are outsiders like Nevada , Hawaii , and Fresno State , whereas the Frogs get a former national champion in BYU and a team in Utah that has two BCS bowl wins this decade; Boise occasionally plays Tuesday night games against the likes of Louisiana Tech ; etc.
It's not fair --- it's not even close to fair -- but to say for certain those kinds of stereotypes don't have any effect on the perception of the two programs is to give poll voters the benefit of an awful lot of doubt. So it's no wonder that Boise is aggressively working to change that, first with their jump to the Mountain West and now with expansion and renovation plans for 33,500-seat Bronco Stadium :
It's no secret that money is what makes the world of big-time college football go round as often as not; when Kustra cites the need to "pay for the program," he's not just talking about shoulder pads and cleats, he's discussing the need to pay for coach Chris Petersen , a larger recruiting budget, staff raises -- all the things that go into making a football program every bit as successful away from the field as the Broncos already are on it.
It will take more than a "stadium master plan" to erase all the skepticism regarding Boise (or even to hold on to Petersen if one of the sport's true heavyweights comes calling). But Broncos have to happy to have the school and its donors making the effort all the same.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 11:58 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Ever since Minnesota fired Tim Brewster, the school's head has been in the clouds when considering who to hire to replace him. Names like Chris Petersen, Gary Patterson, Jim Harbaugh, and somebody at the school has probably wondered about Bear Bryant too. The thing that all these coaches have in common -- well, not the late, great Mr. Bryant -- is that if they were to leave their current jobs to take over at Minnesota, they'd be taking a step backward. Which Minnesota just doesn't seem to get.
Which is why I was somewhat relieved to see the latest name to come up in the Gophers coaching search, because this one actually seems sensible. According to a report in the Pioneer Press, Brady Hoke of San Diego State is now on the list of "serious" coaching candidates. Which just makes sense, so kudos to you, Minnesota.
Hoke has experience in the Big Ten, spending eight years at Michigan as a defensive coach and is from Ohio. He also led Ball State to a 12-1 mark in 2008 before moving on to San Diego State. Now, in his second season there, Hoke has the Aztecs at 7-2 with a chance at a Mountain West title if they can pull off the upset of TCU this weekend.
In other words, he's a coach that has had to work his way up the ladder, and had success everywhere he's been. You don't think he'd be interested in coming back to the Big Ten -- most certainly a step forward for him -- and taking over the Minnesota job? The most important thing for Minnesota to consider, though, is that it's not the the only school who has likely taken notice of Hoke. Colorado has an opening right now, too, and it's likely going to turn its attention to Hoke soon as well.
Posted on: November 4, 2010 2:26 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:06 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Since firing Tim Brewster , just about every college football coach who has experienced any kind of success in the last 20 years running a program has had his name pop up as a possible candidate to take the head coaching job at Minnesota . Names like Mike Leach , Tony Dungy , Chris Petersen , Gary Patterson and even Lou Holtz have been tossed out as candidates. All coaches who probably wouldn't leave their current gigs for the Gophers without a gun pointed to their heads.
Another coach who had been named, and is actually out of work and looking to get back in the game, is former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer . Fulmer would be a much more viable candidate than somebody like Petersen or Patterson, but there's one small problem for Minnesota. According to a radio report, he doesn't want the job.
Jimmy Hyams , a radio host at Knoxville's WNML-AM/FM, said on his show Thursday that he contacted Fulmer about his interest in the Minnesota job and that Fulmer said it "was not a good fit" for him. Which isn't all that surprising. Odds are that at the age of 60, if Fulmer wants to get back in to coaching he's going to want to do so at a program that won't provide such a sizable challenge as Minnesota does.
The Gophers aren't built to compete in the Big Ten right now, and it would take years before any coach was able to get the program on par with schools like Ohio State , Wisconsin , Iowa , Nebraska and even Michigan .
Posted on: November 3, 2010 2:05 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:06 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Halloween was four days ago, but it seems that Minnesota refuses to take off it's costume. It decided to dress up as a big-time football program this year, and go from coach's door to coach's door offering each one the opportunity to take over for Tim Brewster.
So far in the Minnesota coaching search we've heard some big names. Guys like Tony Dungy, Mike Leach and Phillip Fulmer have all been mentioned as possible targets for the Gophers. Well, while it is somewhat delusional for Minnesota to think that it's the type of school that a coach would view as a step forward in their career, the Gophers want you to know that we've only seen the beginning of their delusions.
According to a report in the Pioneer Press, the Gophers have three other targets atop their list.
At least the University of Minnesota is shooting high in its quest for a new football coach.Look, everyone! Minnesota thinks it's people!
Seriously, while I admire Minnesota shooting for the stars in its search for a new coach, who exactly is it trying to kid here? Chris Petersen is at a program like Boise State that doesn't seem to have much in its way to a BCS bowl game every season, and if he chose to leave Idaho, he'd have his choice of just about any program in the country with an opening.
Why would he choose Minnesota?
Then you have Jim Harbaugh, who might be looking to leave Stanford for a job in the Big Ten, but that job is in Ann Arbor, not Minneapolis.
Gary Patterson is in much the same boat as Peterson, but it's possible that TCU could be moving to the Big East in the future, which would basically be a guaranteed trip to a BCS game every season as well. Plus, Minnesota considered Patterson before hiring Brewster, and he wasn't all that interested then, so why would he be now?
I get why Minnesota is going this route. First of all, you never really know. If they drive up to one of these coaches homes with a Brinks truck full of cash, someone might just say yes. It also looks good to the fan base that the school can say they tried to land the big name coach.
But it's not going to happen.
Posted on: October 30, 2010 12:28 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
A lot can happen in two seasons' worth of college football. But if Chris Petersen and Mark Dantonio can keep their programs at or near their current level, we'll have a blockbuster Week 1 nonconference matchup to open up the 2012 season, as Peterson's Boise State and Dantonio's Michigan State have agreed to face off in East Lansing on Aug. 31 of that year.
The timing is nice for the Broncos, as they continue to fend off charges of soft scheduling on their attempted rise to the top-two in the BCS rankings. (Their 2012 nonconference slate currently consists of the Spartans, BYU, and Miami-Ohio. Combine that with a Mountain West conference schedule and there shouldn't be too many complaints from the BCS-conference rabble.) Even nicer:
Boise State will receive a guarantee of $1.2 million for the 2012 gameElsewhere, the headlines have referred to this as a "series," and technically that's true, since the teams have also agreed to play a home-and-home at a later date. But that date is 2022 and 2023. Maybe those games will happen, but 12 years' worth of waiting means the odds are much better that at some point, the schools will mutually agree to skip it and find other suitors.
So make no mistake: this is a guarantee game for Boise, a $1.2 million payday in which both schools get a big boost to their strength-of-schedule. It's win-win. But Boise's elusive quest to get a true home-and-home against a team from outside the state of Oregon -- or even a two-for-one -- hasn't been fulfilled just yet.