Grading the new coaching hires
On Nov. 9, Memphis coach
Ten weeks and
And oh, by the way, a Hall of Fame coach (
At the risk of jinxing things, it seems like sanity has finally been restored and the sport will soon return to working order. Here's my report card for the major programs that hired new coaches.
Strong's call to the head coaching ranks was long overdue, and Louisville is a great fit. While the Cardinals had a great run of high-powered offenses under
It seems like the most ideal match imaginable, with the school landing its first choice (for once). Kelly is Irish-Catholic, charismatic, a proven winner and practitioner of a brand of offense that's both exciting and simpler than
The former Nebraska star returns to the Big 12, where he will now go head-to-head with the Huskers. What Gill pulled off at Buffalo -- taking over the worst program in Division I-A, bar none, and leading it to a MAC title three years later -- is one of the most remarkable accomplishments of the past decade. And his ties to the Heartland should help elevate Kansas' recruiting profile.
The formula worked once already. Cincinnati AD
It's puzzling why Holtz didn't land a major-conference gig sooner. He took over a program that went 3-22 prior to his arrival and wound up winning consecutive Conference USA titles while beating non-conference teams like West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Boise State. The lone red flag: The last time he worked at a BCS-conference school (South Carolina), he got demoted.
Props to Tech for landing a high-profile name to help ease the sting of the Leach fiasco. Tuberville's recruiting ability and defensive prowess could help the Red Raiders reach the next level. My one concern: Tubs seems intent on maintaining an "Air Raid" offense, with which he has little experience and will be working with unfamiliar assistants -- much like his downfall at Auburn.
I'll admit, I'm not that familiar with London, but on paper there's a lot to like. The 49-year-old has spent most of his life in Virginia, engineered dominant Cavaliers defenses in two seasons (2006 and '07) as a coordinator under
Mind you, this move was decided two years ago, and FSU desperately needed Bowden to go ahead and pass the torch -- but I'm not fully convinced he's the right guy for the job. We know Fisher can develop quarterbacks (
It's no secret Tennessee whiffed on several more qualified candidates, most notably Utah coach
In an attempt to replicate the