I recently reached out to Paul Myerberg, creator of wwwPreSnapRead.com , but now a college football writer for USA Today (btw, I reached out to Paul in hopes of having him on LTP very soon) where he has become the college football coaching tracker among other things. And you thought you were busy. Let’s take a look at the comings and goings of the coaching crazy season and put on our purple Wildcat filter to see what impact, if any, these changes will have on the ‘Cats.
Head Coach out the door: Fired John L. Smith
New Head Coach: Bret Bielema
Impact/Connection to NU: This one is huge. Wisconsin is going to its third straight Rose Bowl game and the main reason they were 7-5 in this year’s regular season could easily be attributed to assistant coaching turnover. Barry Alvarez is stepping in to take some of Bret’s dough and coach the Rose Bowl, but the search is on and guys like Pitt’s Paul Chryst, are in the hunt. The ‘Cats face Wisconsin in Madtown in early October next year, so the more upheaval the better as far as I’m concerned. Also, the departure of John L. Smith from Arkansas’ sideline might help with the constant reminder of the Michigan State ’06 game. Also, it prompts a “where are they now?” search of former ‘Cat assistant Garrick McGee.
Old Head Coach: Gene Chizik, fired.
New Head Coach: Gus Malzahn, from Arkansas State.
Impact/Connection to NU: Another direct connection here. Chizik is associated with Cam Newton by most, except ‘Cat fans. We’ll always link him to multiple runs on the field in the Outback Bowl after he thought the Tigers had finally won. Gus Malzahn was the offense coordinator on that same team.
Team: Boston College
Old Head Coach: Frank Spaziani, fired.
New Head Coach: Steve Adazzio, from Temple
Impact/Connection to NU: BC is somewhat of a recruiting rival for us in the northeast and, of course, they’ve been on our schedule the past couple of years. The Tom Selleck look-a-like drove the program face down in to the ground after the Eagles had become a program we aspired to be like just five years ago. Now, Steve Adazzio, who highlights his time on Urban Meyer’s staff moreso than his time at Temple, is in place. Adazzio was hired for his recruiting prowess in the northeast, but ‘Cats fans should be thankful. BC alum and Saints OC, Pete Carmichael, would’ve been a huge get for them and he didn’t even get a call. BC is off the ‘Cats schedule, so this will merely be a recruiting issue for us.
Old Head Coach: Jeff Tedford, fired
New Head Coach: Sonny Dykes, Lousiana Tech
Impact/Connection to NU: Direct. As in, we open the 2013 season at Cal! If there is one coach we should really dig in on it is Dykes. Tedford had a very solid record in his tenure at Cal and is famously known for bringing in Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers. However, the last few season the Golden Bears have been offensively challeneged in the high octane offensive Pac12. Not anymore. Dykes is known as an offensive mastermind and should present quite a challenge for our opener.
Old Head Coach: Butch Jones, left for Tennessee
New Head Coach: Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
Impact/Connection to NU: Miami (OH) had better watch out. Its “cradle of coaches” moniker might need to be transferred in-state to the Bearcats. Is there a mid-major program with a better track record of late? Mark Dantonio leaves Cinci for Michigan State then his successor Brian Kelly goes to Notre Dame and then his successor, Butch Jones, now departs for Tennessee. Well, the second biggest coaching surprise to me so far has been Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville leaving the Big12 for Cincinnati. The Bearcats continue to become a fringe Top 25 team annually and now, at least from a perception standpoint, may have rid the stepping stone job by getting a “name” coach to come to this as a destination. We compete once in a while with Cincinnati for Ohio recruits, but not that much. ‘Cats fans automatically think about the TicketCity Bowl loss when we see Tommy’s name.
Team: Georgia State
Old Head Coach: Bill Curry, retired
New Head Coach: Trent Miles, Indiana State
Impact/Connection to NU: None, really. Unless you consider the fact that Indiana will now have an easier time with FCS Indiana State, but that’s beyond a stretch.
Old Head Coach: Rob Akey, fired.
New Head Coach: Paul Petrino, coordinator, Arkansas
Impact/Connection to NU: None that I can find.
Old Head Coach: Joker Phillips, fired.
New Head Coach: Mark Stoops, coordinator, Florida State.
Impact/Connection to NU: Perhaps NIU catches a break with their Orange Bowl opponent who is now looking to fill the void left by Stoops.
Team: NC State
Old Head Coach: Tom O’Brien, fired after 7-5 season.
New Head Coach: Dave Doeren, NIU
Impact/Connection to NU: Well, we may have already received a direct benefit, although it is hard to tell. The ‘Cats recently net a rising star commit in athlete Tommy Fuessel, who decommitted from NIU and pledged his future to NU the same week. Tying this to Doeren’s departure is unfair, thought. Another connection is the fact Doeren would’ve been a front-runner for the Wisconsin vacancy according to some in Badgerville. Based on what he did as a DC at Wisconsin and at NIU, I’m glad he’s not in our conference. Doeren is also responsible for Mike Hankwitz being at NU, as he was co-coordinator with him under Bielema until Hankwitz got the boot.
Old Head Coach: Dave Doeren, left for NC State
New Head Coach: Rod Carey, NIU OC
Impact/Connection to NU: We shall see. The Huskies aren’t on the ‘Cats schedule (unfortunately!), but the rising stock of this MAC team is one that could eventually become a recruiting threat.
Old Head Coach: Danny Hope, fired.
New Head Coach: Darrell Hazell, Kent State
Impact/Connection to NU: Direct. Hazell’s hiring has Boiler nation whipped up in a fury of the good variety. Hazell put together Kent State’s best season and seems almost 180 from old school Hope in his approach. The Boilers have been AWOL on our schedule and don’t return until a Halloween home date in 2015 at which point we’ll see what Hazell has created.
Old Head Coach: Derek Dooley, fired.
New Head Coach: Butch Jones, Cincinnati
Impact/Connection to NU: Not much here, although I’ll now be rooting for Jones to get the Vols back out of the basement, or at least enough to beat their in state rivals, the cowards from Vanderbilt who I’m still pissed at for walking out the back door on their contracted series with us.
Team: Western Michigan
Old Head Coach: Bill Cubit, fired.
New Head Coach: TBD
Impact/Connection to NU: This is one we’ll keep an eye on as many forget that Western Michigan has been added to our 2013 schedule to fill the last minute cancellation of our series by Vanderbilt. Western Michigan has struggled mightily at the box office, averaging under 15,000 per home game during last season’s 4-8 nightmare. Names like Illinois State’s Brock Spack, Wisconsin OC Matt Canada and several other up-and-coming coordinators are tantalazing the fan base. We not only play them on September 14, but we open with them again in 2016.
There are a host of schools with unfilled vacancies ranging from the likes of Colorado all the way down to FIU. We’ll keep an eye on them as we head towards one of my favorite community events of the year – ESPN Bowl Mania! Stay tuned for an announcment tomorrow that will have the college bowl confidence pool up and running as we try and get our highest participation ever (record is about 150). We’ve got great stuff on tap this week as we’ll be hearing from USA Today’s Paul Myerberg as well as some history on the Gator Bowl, and I’m reaching out to Adam Rittenberg, Teddy G. and Dave Revsine to get some purple mafia insights in to the Mississippi State game and the state of the program.
One other angle today’s post begs is NU’s coaching stability. I haven’t found a stat for it, but there has been zero turnover in the past couple of seasons and the ‘Cats stability has to be atops the country right now with so much turnover going on. It will be interesting to see if Mick McCall gets any serious looks and/or other assistant coaches.
Speaking of this stability topic, Pat Fitzgerald addressed it head on and laid out the advantages he’s had in using it from a recruiting perspective in his recent interview with Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times. Check out the December 8 article here.
Show Me The Money
The coaching carousel underscores the arms race in coaching salaries and financial investment in facilities. Steve Rankin sent me this link to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, ranking the B1G coaching salaries, but I must point out a word of caution. Fitz, said to be getting $1.2Million in this grid, is off. Teddy Greenstein has repeatedly pinned Fitz’s salary in the $1.8million ballpark.
WildcatReport’s Louie Vaccher posted that highly sought after WR James Clark, who was on his official visit this weekend in Evanston, rated it a perfect 10 and said it has set the bar for the likes of Florida, Texas, Rutgers and Duke (the other four finalists) to beat. We’ll keep you posted.
LTP N Flag Project
Now through the Gator Bowl, we’ll be posting a Northwestern “N” flag per day from somewhere around the world that YOU contribute to. Simply email us a jpeg of your photo at email@example.com and we’ll put it in the blog and on our LTP Flag Map which you can see at the top of this page. Today’s photo is from John S., who took this beauty on a recent trip to Khatmandu, near the Tibetan border. It’s our second Khatmandu flag and this one speaks for itself.