Monday, January 07, 2008

Sporting News' Matt Hayes on Coaching Hires

Sporting News columnist Matt Hayes spouts off about the college football coaching changes, and apparently holds a curious opinion about Husker hire Bo Pelini. C-?

Matt appears to favor Jim Grobe, who interviewed but I don't believe was ever under serious consideration - I mean, Callahan beat Wake TWICE. Hayes gave NU an "A" for hiring BC in a column in 2004, and we all know how well that went.

"Michigan got it right. Nebraska and Texas A&M didn't. Arkansas? Check back in two years. Want the definition of a good hire? Just ask me."

He gives UM an A for hiring Rich Rodriguez, which I would grade a "B+" myself - we'll see how he adjusts his spread attack to the talent on hand, and what kind of staff he assembles. Curious RR turned down Bama last year, and also curious he was apparently not the school's top choice.

A bigger joke is giving UCLA an A for hiring "tricky Rick" Neuheisel. I don't care if he's a Bruin alum, he's been a complete disaster everywhere he's been. Betting scandal, rape/sex scandals, using ineligible players, etc. There's a damn good reason no one has touched him in years since getting fired at Washington. He was 13-10 his last two years at CU and 15-10 his last two at UW, hardly what I'd describe as stellar. I say "C+" based on splash alone, there is no way he will be able to compete any time soon with the Carrol juggernaut at the school crosstown.

Hayes also gives Georgia Tech an "A" for bringing in Navy's Paul Johnson, which I
agree with - Johnson has shown a great deal of offensive flexibility in his jobs, and also give Arkansas an A for hiring Bobby Petrino - if he sticks around.

He also pans A & M's hiring of Mike Sherman, which I'm a little ambivalent about - true Sherman is a NFL coach, which historically has been an issue, but he did spend over a decade in the college ranks first, and has A & M ties, coaching the o-line there for six seasons. He recruited A&M's career rushing leader, Leland McElroy, during his earlier tenure at the school. I'd have to give it at least a "C".

The Pelini rating is an absolutely dumb - not only was he one of the hottest coordinators around the game and most definitely on a lot of schools short lists, the job was almost definitely going to either him or Turner; given the defensive issues on the team, Bo is the best hire. Anyone else, Grobe included, was for appearances sake only. The fans love him, players love him, and he schemes incredibly well. I'd give the hire a B+ only because it's his first permanent head gig, but he does have a Hall of Fame coach upstairs.

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