ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Arizona’s Jedd Fisch second-to-last in USA Today’s new head coach rankings

Feb 20, 2021, 9:34 AM

New Arizona head football coach Jedd Fisch. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)...

New Arizona head football coach Jedd Fisch. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

It’s safe to say that the folks at USA Today are not high on the new head football coach in Tucson.

The national outlet ranked the Wildcats’ hire of former New England Patriots quarterback coach Jedd Fisch second-to-last in its new head coach hire rankings released on Wednesday.

Paul Myerberg, who compiled the rankings, placed Fisch ahead of newly-minted Louisiana-Monroe and former Auburn head coach Terry Bowden.

Myerberg pointed out Fisch’s lack of ties to the university and his roundabout coaching resume in ranking him so low on the new hire totem pole:

Arizona is banking on a coaching vagabond with one year of Pac-12 experience (UCLA in 2017) having the chops needed to bring the Wildcats out of the conference basement and into the mix for bowl bids, let alone a division title. Fisch has hired well, including the addition of former Michigan assistant Don Brown as his defensive coordinator, but does not seem to match the qualities Arizona initially laid out as prerequisites for its next coach.

Wildcats fans should remember that Myerberg also ranked the team’s recently fired head coach, Kevin Sumlin, third in his 2018 iteration of the same list, showing how futile predicting the success of an incoming coach off an introductory press conference can be.

Back then, Myerberg struck a different tone about the university’s hiring decisions, projecting that Sumlin would turn the Wildcats into a well-oiled offensive machine.

There’s no way Sumlin could have turned down the opportunity at Arizona, which isn’t just smack in the middle of solid recruiting ground — an area Sumlin maximized during his tenure at Texas A&M — but also features a very solid if young roster, notably with quarterback Khalil Tate. Should Sumlin’s schemes take hold, Arizona has the talent to challenge for a national ranking.

Sadly for all involved, the Wildcats went 9-20 under Sumlin, including the now-infamous 70-7 loss to Arizona State that sealed the coach’s fate at the school.

Arizona Football

Pac-12 Tournament...

Associated Press

Robbins: Pac-12 realignment talk premature without hard TV deal numbers

Bobby Robbins says until the Pac-12 has hard numbers on a future media rights deal, any talk about schools leaving the league is premature.

22 hours ago

Jedd Fisch, Arizona Wildcats head football coach...

Arizona Sports

2023 Pac-12 football schedule: Wildcats release early season start times

The Arizona Wildcats open their 2023 Pac-12 conference schedule by visiting the Stanford Cardinal. Arizona opens the year by hosting NAU.

9 days ago

Jacob Cowing...

Arizona Sports

Early 2023 college bowl game projection: Wildcats reach Sun Bowl

College football rosters have churned this offseason, and with spring ball over with, it's on to projecting the regular season.

21 days ago

Arizona Wildcats Jayden de Laura...

Arizona Sports

Arizona QB Jayden de Laura remains on team after settling sexual assault case in civil court

Arizona Wildcats quarterback Jayden de Laura will remain on the football team after settling a sexual assault case in civil court.

1 month ago

Jayden de Laura...

Arizona Sports

Arizona QB Jayden de Laura settles sexual assault case in civil court

Arizona Wildcats QB Jayden de Laura and his high school teammate, Kamoi Latu, settled a lawsuit over a sexual assault case.

1 month ago

ESPN Pac-12...

Arizona Sports

Report: ESPN not interested taking top Pac-12 football games in new media deal

Reports indicate the Pac-12 remains far from landing a new media rights deal as conference meetings conclude on Thursday.

1 month ago

Arizona’s Jedd Fisch second-to-last in USA Today’s new head coach rankings