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THE WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR

Dec. 26, 2011
Dec. 26, 2011

Table of Contents
Dec. 26, 2011

EDITOR'S LETTER
LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
THE YEAR IN SPORTS
POINT AFTER
Departments

THE WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR

Ten BCS programs have made new coaching hires. The early forecast: no title contenders and many who will weather a tough 2012

RICH RODRIGUEZArizona

This is an article from the Dec. 26, 2011 issue

Why he's a good fit

He was never a Michigan Man—but RichRod's folksy manner and high-flying spread will play well in the Pac-12.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

He couldn't get the Wolverines to play defense; now he inherits a Wildcats unit that ranked 110th (460.5 yards a game) in 2011.

Projected wins in 2012 7

TODD GRAHAMArizona State

Why he's a good fit

The charming, fast-talking Texan and the potential of his gun-slinging offense have already energized the faithful.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

After burning bridges at Rice and Pitt with one-year stops, he has to convince recruits that he won't jump ship again for greener pastures.

Projected wins in 2012 6

TIM BECKMANIllinois

Why he's a good fit

He knows how to recruit in Big Ten country, particularly in talent-rich Ohio, where he rebuilt the Toledo program.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

Beckman's been touted as a defensive-oriented coach—yet his defenses at Toledo and Oklahoma State ranked among the country's worst.

Projected wins in 2012 6

CHARLIE WEISKansas

Why he's a good fit

The big-name arrival has at least drummed up interest in a program left in shambles after going 5--19 in Turner Gill's two seasons.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

Weis had far more resources and much better talent at Notre Dame—and he failed miserably there.

Projected wins in 2012 3

HUGH FREEZEMississippi

Why he's a good fit

As the Ole Miss recruiting coordinator in 2006 and '07, the local boy (he grew up about 50 miles from Oxford) brought in impressive talent.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

Freeze's inexperience (he's worked on the FBS level for four years) will be tested in the mighty SEC.

Projected wins in 2012 5

LARRY FEDORANorth Carolina

Why he's a good fit

The bright offensive mind inherits a talented young quarterback (Bryn Renner) and an all-conference running back (Giovani Bernard).

Biggest awaiting pitfall

The possibility of further NCAA sanctions still looms over a scandal-ridden program.

Projected wins in 2012 8

URBAN MEYEROhio State

Why he's a good fit

The disgraced Buckeyes needed a game-changing hire—and they got one when they landed the Ashtabula, Ohio, native with two national championship rings.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

Penalties from tattoogate are coming, and no one knows when health and family issues may arise again.

Projected wins in 2012 9

KEVIN SUMLINTexas A&M

Why he's a good fit

He's got the charm and charisma to galvanize the fan base and attract top in-state talent as the Aggies move to the SEC.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

His up-tempo passing offense dominated in Conference USA, but now it'll have to work against nasty SEC West defenses.

Projected wins in 2012 6

JIM L. MORAUCLA

Why he's a good fit

The program needs a fresh start, and Mora is UCLA's first coach in more than 60 years with no ties to Westwood.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

Can he recruit? The former NFL coach last worked on the college level 27 years ago, as a grad assistant at Washington.

Projected wins in 2012 4

MIKE LEACHWashington State

Why he's a good fit

Low-profile Pullman is the ideal place for the former Texas Tech coach to rebuild his rep.

Biggest awaiting pitfall

Finding the players for the Air Raid offense won't be easy in the Northwest, which doesn't have the talent of Texas.

Projected wins in 2012 5

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