Blog Entry

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

Posted on: November 27, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 3:52 pm
 


Posted by Bryan Fischer


Hot shot commissioner, brand new media deal providing more exposure than ever, facilities upgrades, more money and increased focus on wins.

It's a good time to be a head coach in the Pac-12... except when you're being shown the door.

As the coaching carousel begins in earnest with the end of the regular season, the for-sale signs are popping up all over the West. Thanks in large part to that new media deal, schools are feeling the pressure to win just as much as their counterparts in other parts of the country. The landscape is shifting in college athletics and athletic directors are coming to the realization that they have to find the right guy to lead their program or it's time to make changes.

And if you're an AD even thinking about firing the head coach, you probably should do so. Many have already come to that conclusion and before the Pac-12 puts on the first ever conference title game, there will likely be a third of the league's schools looking at having a new head coach in 2012.

Arizona got a head start on the process and appears to have gotten an A-list head coach for a bargain basement price. Athletic director Greg Byrne is known as one of the sharpest AD's in the country and it showed by shrewdly firing Mike Stoops early in the season following a loss to Oregon State. That allowed him to take his time to research candidates and see who would be the best fit, going so far as to seek out the opinions of the state's high school coaches. Former CBS Sports analyst Rich Rodriguez had taken West Virginia to the cusp of playing for a national title and though he had a rocky time in Ann Arbor, Michigan improved each year he was there. Now he's in Tuscon and while he has another rebuilding job ahead of him, his offense should fit right in out West.

Up the road in Tempe, Arizona State comes open after Dennis Erickson saw the Sun Devils slip from South division locks to barely bowl eligible. Injuries no doubt played a part in 2011's slide but with so many returning starters and upperclassmen on the team, things never did pull together like ASU brass thought it would. For years, this job was thought to be a sleeping giant with access to plenty of talent, decent facilities, a good city to live in and the ability to get plenty of recruits into school. Athletic director Lisa Love will likely target Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin as her first choice (he'll bring plenty of offense and has put Houston a game away from a BCS bowl) but it's possible former Oregon head coach Mike Belloti and even Mike Leach will get an interview.

If Leach's issues (lawsuits against Texas Tech and ESPN, perhaps too open of a personality) don't get him the job with Arizona State, he could be taking his talents to the Palouse. Paul Wulff inherited one of the worst programs in the country - BCS conference or otherwise - and turned Washington State around by steadily improving from year-to-year. They pulled a few upsets this season, including one over ASU that likely shoved Erickson out the door, and came close several other times but it appears they're looking to go in another direction. Leach will have some talent on offense that can utilize his system to put up some big numbers and he knows he can win with the Cougars after seeing Mike Price take them to the Rose Bowl. A West Coast guy, Leach can recruit California with ease and would provide plenty of interest in a program that hasn't had much at all the past couple of years. If he takes a job elsewhere however, AD Bill Moos might have to turn to an assistant coach or a lower-level head coach to fill the needs of a program that seems to be on the right track in a tough division.

Finally there's UCLA, which is probably the most attractive job that will come open west of the Mississippi. One of the few issues is the fact that athletic director Dan Guerrero is himself on shaky ground and may not be making the hire. After Saturday's embarrassing 50-0 loss to crosstown rival USC, it's clear that the gap Rick Neuheisel so recently talked about closing has never been bigger. The Bruins will play in the first ever Pac-12 Championship Game but based on how they played against the Trojans, it looks like they'll just be sacrificial lambs to an Oregon team in the top ten. When - not if - Neuheisel is let go following the game, the direction the school takes in finding his replacement will be an interesting one. Alumni are clearly fed up with the losing and have a prime opportunity to take advantage of local talent with USC entering scholarship reductions for the next three years. The facilities are good and few campuses in the country can compare to what they have in Westwood.

Boise State's Chris Petersen is the name frequently tossed around as the Bruins' top target but they have a better chance of knocking off Oregon and going to the Rose Bowl than they do landing Petersen. Boosters are ready to pony up the cash - as much as $3 million or more - but who's handling the search remains to be seen. After missing with his previous football hires, it's hard to see that being Guerrero. After Petersen, Sumlin seems like the top candidate but they'll have to move quickly. Leach, who went to school at Pepperdine and is well-connected in Los Angeles, still seems like a long shot due to his legal issues but he would certainly put people in the seats at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Off the radar candidates include Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, SMU's June Jones, Louisville's Charlie Strong and Belloti.

There are plenty of good jobs in the Pac-12 for the taking and someone is going to take them. Who and when remain to be seen.

Comments

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:09 am
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

SC finished 7-2 in the conference.  Stanford and Oregon finished 8-1.  Even if there's no championship game SC finishes 3rd.  Of course there is a championship game and they're not going to win that.  Bottom line:  any talk of SC being any kind of conference champion is just 10 pounds buffalo chips in a 5 pound bag.

Hey Eagle tell USC to have a nice New year....their season is DONE...no bowl...no championship game...no nothing.  sniff sniff

Hey look, dumb and dumber...lol  You little girls take your sour grapes and run along, especially you baby bear. 50-0 (before I forget, nice uniforms...Cry) and you're still popping off...too funny!! Hey duck, be glad SC isn't coming back up to your sorry school again to lay the wood to your exposed gimick team. Oregon's short reign is over after this season, deal with it...lol Oh and sniff, sniff...lol....what idiots...lol




Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2011 10:44 am
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

Paul Wolf is going to get fired today @ WSU.  Another article written on this site with little or now effort.  I think I will start writting articles from my little computer.......mix in a little research guys.  As far as the SEC top to bottom?  Some real bad teams @ the bottom this year.  Next year dream schedule:  Oregon v LSU in Eugene; Alabama v USC in Los Angeles;  Georgia v Stanford in Palo Alto; Arkansas v Washington in Seattle....come on out and prove it to the world that Defense is the only side of the ball.........what a touchdown fest those games would be.  Pac-12 would go 4-0!!!



Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2011 8:34 am
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

SC finished 7-2 in the conference.  Stanford and Oregon finished 8-1.  Even if there's no championship game SC finishes 3rd.  Of course there is a championship game and they're not going to win that.  Bottom line:  any talk of SC being any kind of conference champion is just 10 pounds buffalo chips in a 5 pound bag.

Hey Eagle tell USC to have a nice New year....their season is DONE...no bowl...no championship game...no nothing.  sniff sniff

Hey look, dumb and dumber...lol  You little girls take your sour grapes and run along, especially you baby bear. 50-0 (be for I forget, nice uniforms...Cry) and you're still popping off...too funny!! Hey duck, be glad SC isn't coming back up to your sorry school again to lay the wood to your exposed gimick team. Oregon's short reign is over after this season, deal with it...lol Oh and sniff, sniff...lol....what idiots...lol




Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: November 27, 2011 11:43 pm
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

SC finished 7-2 in the conference.  Stanford and Oregon finished 8-1.  Even if there's no championship game SC finishes 3rd.  Of course there is a championship game and they're not going to win that.  Bottom line:  any talk of SC being any kind of conference champion is just 10 pounds buffalo chips in a 5 pound bag.



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2011 11:14 pm
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

Hey Eagle tell USC to have a nice New year....their season is DONE...no bowl...no championship game...no nothing.  sniff sniff



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:09 pm
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

or find Ty Willingham... wherever he may be
Somewhere in the witless protection program. No one should ever hire Lose Willingham again. He torched Washington after nearly destroying Notre Dame's recruiting base. I mean 0-12? It takes incredible incompetence to lose that many games.



Since: Oct 25, 2008
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

Hey Eagle_mentor, get back to us when you're school is done cheating and paying for it, then we'll talk about who's the champion.



Since: Oct 25, 2008
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:37 pm
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

Yeah, take it from a Husky fan, you don't want ANYTHING to do with Willingham. Slick Rick brought them down but, Willingham took them to the dark depths, including an 0-12 season. Then again, seeing as I hate anything to do with southern California, go ahead and hire Willingham. The only thing better would be seeing him destroy USC.



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

@Brownybros believe Willingham is not a good coach, UCLA would be better off with Belotti or Leach.



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:21 pm
 

Coaching carousel begins in the Pac-12

@ eagle_mentor USC is on probation so they can not be champions.


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