Hook, Line, and Stinker part deux: Coach Quest



Ever since the Connecticut debacle, and some would say the Navy debacle, Charlie Weis was pulled to the side of the boat, and it was only a matter of time before the gaff hook impaled the big tuna.  Unlike Bob Davie and Ty Willingham’s demise, Weis’s arrogance makes his downfall that much more interesting, and to some, delightful.  Weis has clearly been humbled, and his demeanor in the press the last 2 weeks wreaked of a defeated man…a man who knows his public execution is immanent.  The fish fry happened today, and we now wait to find a replacement.  Below are our top 5 choices, in order of most likely.  My gut is telling me Kelly, but the animosity between Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh would make the most compelling rivalry between the schools in years, and that’s the one I’m routing for.

brian kelly
1)    Brian Kelley, Head Coach, Cincinnati

After heading the Bearcats to a BCS bowl victory and several Big East conference championships, Kelly may have achieved all he can, which is quite a bit.  2 bowl victories, a conference title and a BCS bowl appearance is not bad in 3 years, nor is his 33-6 record.  But to move on to a school of National Prominence with an exclusive television contract aint a bad gig either.  When you consider his current program and resume, it will be easier for Kelly to move than some of the other top contenders.

2)    Urban Meyer, head coach, Florida
Certainly, Meyer has the most impressive resume of any candidate, and if Notre Dame had their choice, he would most likely be the guy.  A 5-1 record in bowls since he has been there, including 2 conference titles and 2 BCS titles.  In the past, Meyer had referred to coaching at Notre Dame as his dream job.  However, Notre Dame’s main problem is their higher academic standards.  They cannot get the players that Florida, USC, or some of the other schools have with lower academic standards.  With Meyer’s 2 national Titles and perhaps another on the way, the only reason for him to go to Notre Dame would be to become a Deity.  This would occur, however, if he were to go to the most preeminent Catholic university and performs a miracle.

3)    Bob Stoops, head coach, Oklahoma
Stoops name continues to surface, and he continues to deny.  Maybe because he is not the first choice, and doesn’t want to pine for something in which he knows the feeling isn’t mutual…yet.  There’s no doubting his success.  8 straight bowl games, 5 of which are BCS bowls including a BCS championship in 2000.  He has great regular season success with a 115-29 record, but much more shaky in Bowls with a 4-6 record.  That may suggest his 10 year run at Oklahoma could use a fresh start somewhere else.

4)    Jim Harbaugh, Head Coach, Stanford
Harbaugh has done the unthinkable, and he’s been brash and unapologetic in doing so.  He took a team from the toilet and turned them into a force that no one wants to play.  Say what you want about Heisman Candidate Toby Gerhart’s amazing year, but he’s not all Stanford has.  A big reason for his success is Stanford’s great offensive line.  When you are recruiting in the same conference against Pete Carroll, landing great players is no easy task, and Harbaugh has done it.  Speaking of, Harbaugh has made it clear that he doesn’t particularly care for Carroll, or USC’s arrogance.  Beating them twice in the last 3 years in SC’s house, including running up the score and embarrassing Carroll just 2 weeks ago in a 55-21 slaughter is evidence enough.  Even though Harbaugh is a Wolverine, what better way to establish a hate-fueled rivalry than by going to SC’s most storied rival?  We’re talking Bo Schembechler-Woody Hayes stuff here.  That could be really fun.

gary patterson
5)    Gary Patterson, Head Coach, TCU
This would almost certainly have to be a default hire, with the other 4 electing to stay where they are.  All but Kelly have vehemently denied any desire to go to Notre Dame.  If they cannot get them, Patterson isn’t a bad choice, and he may jump at the chance. Stuck in a small conference, Patterson has done about as good as anyone ever could, going 53-10 over the last 4 years, and more importantly, 4-0 in bowls.  He now has a chance to have a perfect season if he can win his BCS bowl, and against a top program, that would be extremely impressive.  That would provide the necessary catapult to see what he can do with a national power.

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