Minutes after Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne dismissed Mike Stoops as the head football coach rumors of possible replacements began spreading faster than the Oregon Ducks offense gets up and down the field.
With all these names you get the best-case-scenario-sexy names (Chris Petersen), hot up and coming names (Kevin Sumlin), successful in the past but currently with no job names (Mike Bellotti, Butch Davis, Mike Leach, Urban Meyer, Rich Rodriguez and Jim Tressel — wow is that list long) and the I’ve never heard of him so he’s not going to do it for me names (Larry Fedora).
I’m not so much worried about the name Byrne brings in as I am to what system and philosophy he brings in.
It has to be a coach who is going to create an offense that will score points … and then score some more points.
In the Pac-12 teams score points as often as Kim Kardashian changes boyfriends (or now, it will be husbands).
Going into this weekend nine teams were averaging 25 points or more — five of those are over 30. Those are Saturday afternoon shootouts. You have to be able to keep up. Your defense is unlikely to be winning you games.
This isn’t just a 2011 trend either.
Name a head coach in the past 20 years who has come into the Pac-10 (now 12) with a defensive mind and been successful. I don’t count Pete Carroll. He was all about putting talent on the offensive side of the ball and surrounding himself with offensive brains in the Southern California sun.
Not counting his 6-6 first year squad Carroll’s teams averaged above 30 points a game until his final season, when they were just below 27. That team went 9-4.
That model is what Byrne needs to focus on. Who is going to come in and light up the brand new scoreboard? Who will get the fans excited for an entertaining offense? Who is going to bring in pure speed at the skill positions, get the ball in their hands and let them run, run and run some more?
Once he finds an answer to all of those questions he’ll have found his guy. A coach who can get the Wildcats to bowls each year (just as Stoops did the past three) and occasionally make some noise in the conference championship and BCS chatter.
What I learned this week…
I learned the Nebraska football team has never come back from being down 21 points … until Saturday. I now know that because early in the third quarter the Cornhuskers trailed 27-6 against the Buckeyes. A turnover, a QB injury shortly thereafter and all the momentum led to 28 straight points and a 34-27 victory. GBR!
Tweet of the week…
Have to love Pete Carroll. Coach is always having fun. Wednesday was no different.
Hey @KingJames… http://twitpic.com/6zha8i
Suggestion of the week…
Steve Young Birthday Flash Mob
These always amaze me. Hardest part has to be getting sooooo many people on the same page at the same time.