ASU, UA get different grades for coaching hires

Jan 18, 2012, 9:16 PM | Updated: 9:31 pm

The flurry of coaching hires in college football is now
pretty much over, so the time for reflection has begun.

In all, there were 25 new coaches hired in FBS, and
Stewart Mandel of Sports
has kicked that
reflection into high gear by assigning grades to those
schools who participated.

Mandel’s assessments turned out to be good news for one
in-state school and not so good for another.

Mandel gives Arizona an A- for their hiring of Rich

AD Greg Byrne knew exactly who he wanted,
pouncing early (Nov. 21) in naming Mike Stoops’
replacement. While Rodriguez’s three-year tenure in Ann
Arbor did not end well, the pressure is much lower in
tradition-starved Tucson. He’s reunited the majority of
his staff from West Virginia, where he led the
Mountaineers to two BCS bowls. Arizona is still waiting on
its first.

The A- Arizona received was the third-highest grade handed
out by Mandel, with only Washington State (Mike Leach) and
Ohio State (Urban Meyer) garnering higher marks.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s ASU’s hiring of
Todd Graham, which got a D.

Forget the unseemly way he exited Pitt. Why
exactly is Graham is a hot commodity to begin with? It’s
certainly not due to his one 6-6 Big East season. He had
three 10-win seasons at Tulsa, but much of the credit
belongs to respected offensive coordinators Gus Malzahn
and Chad Morris. His one season without either, he went 5-
7. But perhaps his fourth dream job in six years will be
the one.


Only Kansas’ hiring of Charlie Weis got a lower mark.

Of course, this is just one man’s opinion, but Mandel’s
thoughts seem to mirror those of a good portion of the
national media who were turned off by the way Graham left
Pittsburgh and Rice after one-year stints.

But let’s remember that none of the coaches on Mandel’s
list have even guided his team through a practice, let
alone played a game, so these grades may very well look
much different a year from now.

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ASU, UA get different grades for coaching hires