It's pretty amazing to have so many high profile jobs open up and be filled, including Florida, Nebraska, Michigan and now, to a lesser extent, Oregon State. My question isn't so much about those hires specifically, but are you all that enamored or impressed by their hires? Maybe it's just me, but it seems that the candidates are a bit lacking and I go back to thinking if I would trade any of them for Texas Tech's current head coach, Kliff Kingsbury.
Florda has hired Jim McElwain, the coach that recently turned around Colorado State, the Rams having won 10 games this past year. McElwain is an offensive guy and moved Colorado State pretty quickly up the ladder on the offensive side of the ball. Colorado State won 4 games his first year, then 8, and the aforementioned 10 wins this year.
Up next is Nebraska, who fired Bo Pelini, a coach who never won fewer than 9 games a year and replaced him with Oregon State's Mike Riley, who has won 9 games only 4 times in his career at Oregon State. Not only that, but Riley is coming off of a 7 win season in 2013 and 5 wins this year.
I have no idea who Michigan is going to hire, but maybe it isn't going to be the biggest name. I have no idea if Jim Harbaugh is really a terrific candidate because I have no idea if he is interested in the job. I think the pie in the sky hire would be Les Miles, but that seems like a longshot. Either one of those hires would be home runs, but they might not be realistic. Is it Greg Schiano? Eh, I think I'd pass. Maybe Michigan poaches a coach at another program, like David Shaw or Kevin Sumlin or Gary Patterson or Todd Graham or Dan Mullen, but all of those guys seem pretty entrenched in their jobs. What about a long-time defensive coordinator in Pat Narduzzi? Hiring the defensive coordinator of one of your fiercest rivals?
Maybe it's Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State, the same coach where the school newspaper just published an editorial essentially stating that they're done with Gundy and if you want to talk about a Mike Leach vs. Gerald Myers sort of divide, look no further than Gundy vs. Oklahoma State AD, Mike Holder, where the relationship is apparently terrible and the newspaper notes that maybe Gundy's success is more a result of T. Boone Pickens than Gundy.
Coming off of a 4-8 season after initially going 8-5, we arrive with Kingsbury. Of course, Kingsbury may be the only coach in the country that has had to start (or wanted to start depending on who or what you think) a true freshman quarterback a handful of games in both of his two years. The biggest advantage that McElwain has over Kingsbury is that McElwain had the opportunity to be a head coach whereas Kingsbury went straight from offensive coordinator at Houston and then TAMU to Texas Tech. Mike Riley seems like an okay coach, but this doesn't raise the meter all that much for me personally. Unless Michigan goes out and makes a spectacular hire, maybe they're headed towards the coordinator route as well (although that's doubtful, it's Michigan, they'll get someone).
I keep coming back to the thought that given the circumstances and the recent events, I think I'm even more solid with Kingsbury as the head coach that I've been in quite some time. I'm not completely blown away by the hires or the realistic candidates for three of the best jobs in the country. This, of course, isn't to say that Kingsbury doesn't have his faults. We're going to get to those during the rest of the offseason, but we've learned over time that the grass is not always greener on the side. Oklahoma State may be learning that sooner rather than later. Again, I keep coming back to the idea that I'm just not enamored with the hires. This probably makes me look foolish more than anything else, "Oh hey, you like a head coach that just went 4-8?" The best thing is that we've got a handful of guys, including the leader, that could not be more invested in the program.
Yeah, I do like him. I like him a lot. But this isn't about me. This is about you. What's your temperature on the recent coaching hires and is it just me that I'm liking the Kingsbury hire (despite 4-8) more and more each day?