MMBH Canned at Michigan
Yeah, it’s official. Michigan Man Brady Hoke (MMBH) is out the door at the University of Michigan, and the Carcajous will be looking for a coach as well as an athletic director. Hoke’s deal included a $3 million buyout, so I don’t feel too sorry for him. Based on his total compensation over four years amounting to $17.34 million. ESPN calculated his cost to the Wolverines as $559,354 per win.
Rumors, which are almost never accurate, place wishful thinking candidates Michigan Man Les Miles and Michigan Man Jim Harbaugh at the top of the wishful thinking wish list. Les Miles has a pretty good deal at LSU and Harbaugh is a pro coach who pisses people off wherever he goes. Methinks the Carcajous would be better off seeking the best football coach, instead of another Michigan Man, who seem to come with compromises. (Of course, we know that the last time they hired a coach, they had a severe bad taste in the mouth from non-Michigan Man Rich Rodriquez, who was recently named Pac-12 coach of the year for his great work at Arizona.)
So, speculation will swirl, as it were, although a dearth of high-profile candidates is going to lead some to speculate more toward up-and-comers than existing head coaches.
Who Will Replace Pellini and Muschamp?
The pool of prospective candidates for Michigan will be taxed by the searches for a couple of other high profile head coaching positions: Nebraska and Florida. Hugh Freeze of Ole Miss is now out of the mix, having signed a three year contract extension. The Gators seem to be hitting Jim McElwain, head coach of the Colorado State Rams, very hard, to the exclusion of other candidates.
Greg Schiano, former Rutgers coach who didn’t make it in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Bucs, is a name that frequently surfaces in coaching merry-go-round conversations. Schiano has been sitting on the sidelines for a year, and might be ready to get back into it.
Dan Mullen, head coach at Mississippi State, surfaces in these discussions, primarily because northerners think, “Whoda hell wants to be in Mississippi?) However, the Nebraska job would be an upgrade as far as money is concerned, so whoda hell would want to stay in Mississippi for $3 million when Nebraska is offering $5 million to the right guy. Mullen is riding the crest of his career achievements at Starkville right now. Chances are, he can’t improve much beyond what he’s done up to now in Mississippi.
Jerry Kill has been mentioned for Nebraska, which would be an upgrade for him, but his health issues might knock him out of the running. Besides, the Gophers have treated him well and have revered him. Will the allure of bigger bucks dangled in front of Kill prove irresistable?
This list is just a scratch of the surface, including only guys with head coaching experience. There are certainly up-and-comers who could excel in any of these jobs, but it will take an astute, non-political search to find them. It’s going to be an interesting coaching merry-go-round, fersure!
Best one today was the Cornhuskers doing a full-court press to steal Bret Bielema from the Razorbacks and bring him back to the B1G. Apparently he is tight with Shawn Eichorst, the current Nebraska AD from when they were both at Wisconsin. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that possibility.
Ranking 2a and 2b were Chip Kelly leaving the Eagles or Brian Kelly leaving the Domers for Florida. IMO, no way on the first one (Kelly has the Eagles lighting things up in the NFL right now) and ummmh possibly, maybe on the second, (mostly because ND hasn’t been setting the world on fire under the other Kelly and he may be thinking the ice is getting thin.)
Apparently McElwain has a buyout worth a cool $7.5 mil! To me that’s a big issue, but to Gator nation, it’s probably a drop in the bucket. Just raise the student activity fee right NT!
Whatever, it will be fun watching these schools, running around the country with bags full of cash to get a coach who they think will be able to return their programs to the stratosphere of greatness in college football in 2 or 3 years.
The Nittany Turkey says
Chip Kelly was pretty vociferous about the quality of the rumors about him. I think he has everything to gain by staying with the Eagles, and it’s dumb to think that a guy who is just hitting his stride in the NFL would be actively seeking a job in the bush leagues, with all the concomitant academic pissing contests and lame-ass internal politics. (In academe, the fights are so vicious because the stakes are so small. —Anon.) He has been to the mountaintop and he has seen the other side. How you gonna keep them down on the farm once they have seen Pareeee?
It ain’t just about coaching and recruiting today. Academic politics, fund-raising, and similar bullshit occupy a lot of time. A coach has to be cut out for that type of shit. Position coaches are rarely exposed to that kind of hot seat shit, and that’s no doubt why many of them bolt to the pros or out of organized football after being elevated. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone can take the bullshit for very long. In St. Joe’s case he could do so because he grabbed up a lot of power and could essentially do as he pleased. Damn few have that much autonomy anymore. In academe, someone’s always looking to undermine powerful people before they can consolidate power, as insecurity abounds. It sucks, and anyone who opts for that life better have some pictures in a safe somewhere for self-protection. But I digress (into one of my favorite topics: the battle of the wimps).
Brian Kelly? Hell, leaving the most prestigious job — albeit not the greatest paying one — in college football isn’t going to happen unless things are really dire at ND. Furthermore, he gets a lot more latitude since he’s Irish, as opposed to an Englishman like Tyrone Willingham. Perhaps he’ll grow weary of the academic bullshit one day, too. He get pressure from not only the administration at ND but also from God.
Foley really seems to be stuck on McElwain, but that $7.5 million, as you astutely posit, is indeed a problem. Foley has been in Ft. Collins for the past couple of days meeting with Jim and his wife. He returned tonight but without any McElwains. I don’t think that big buyout will be an easy pill to swallow for UF. Let’s see just how much they want the coach.
A couple of weeks ago, everyone was positive that both Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy were coming to Gainesville. I guess they were wrong. Now, they’re positive it’s McElwain. They’d all love to have Steve Superior back, but he’s firmly committed to South Carolina.
I don’t care if Bielema comes back to the B1G but I don’t think it’s going to happen, so maybe that’s why I don’t care.
The Big Ten needs some big names to enter the picture to revitalize what has become a pretty dull conference by and large. D’Antonio, Meyer, and Ferentz are earning big star-power bucks, and so is Franklin; but of those top ten highly paid coaches, only D’Antonio and Meyer are producing wins and getting premium bowl slots. Seems like a lot of money is being thrown around but producing meager results. On the other hand, Nebraska fired a guy who earned a little more than half of what D’Antonio’s package is worth, never won fewer than nine games in any one season, and usually went to decent bowls. Yeah, he’s a dick, but he wasn’t a loser.
So, yeah, we need some star power to revitalize the conference, but we need star power that can produce. It’s unhealthy to have just two or three teams always at the top. When it was Bo and Woody and St. Joe doing the coaching, everybody knew their place, but it’s a different world now.
So, I hear Charlie Weis is available…
K. John says
I always think it is pretty funny when a coach at a historic program like Oklahoma gets mentioned for a job at a lower tier school like Florida. It doesn’t happen and to my knowledge it has never happened voluntarily. Regardless of the money, coaches simply do not downgrade their position by going from an Oklahoma, or Ohio State or one of the other historically great schools to a stepping stone job like the one at Florida, and while it is a good job, it is a stepping stone job none the less. They only way coaches make that move is if they are fired.
The Nittany Turkey says
Here we go again with “The Tiers According to St. (K) John.” I say that any program capable of winning multiple national championships in multiple sports is top tier. Your definition of Top Tier was nebulous and arbitrary last year, and unless it has changed, it remains your opinion. Florida can attract any coach who has aspirations of putting together a national champion, with one of the best recruiting areas in the whole damn country right in its backyard. Don’t let your SEC hatred occlude the positive evidence for Florida being included in the top tier. (What differentiates Florida from LSU or Alabama, both of whom are presumably in the top tier? K. John says so?).
K. John says
My definitions are neither nebulous or arbitrary. They are well reasoned and based on 100 plus years of empirical data. History matters and there is a crystal clear line between the top tier and everyone else. Florida is very near the top of the second tier but needs another twenty years of winning, and perhaps a few legitimate national championships, to even be mentioned in the conversation. The same goes for LSU, Wisconsin and many others.
The Nittany Turkey says
We all have the same empirical data. The difference is in our interpretation of it.
Big Al says
Well, one good thing about State’s crappy season is that we don’t have to worry about anybody hiring our head coach or offensive coaches. Stoops might be another matter, but it looks like Florida, Nebraska, and Michigan want somebody with head coaching experience. This time next year will be the time to worry about losing Stoops when vacancies start piling up at the lower tier power five schools like Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Indiana, and Illinois.
The Nittany Turkey says
I think you meant Shoop there, according to context. But you could have been receiving short-circuited mental transmissions, as Michigan reaches out to Bob Stoops. I haven’t heard any such rumors, so I’ll take credit for starting one.
Big Al says
Yeah. You’re right I meant Shoop (our DC). At my age it’s hard to tell the difference between Stoops and Shoop.
In any case, I expect he’ll get a head coaching offer after next season – provided the defense can overcome the loss of Amos and Hull. (which the Sanguinarians are conveniently ignoring)
The Nittany Turkey says
The Sanguinarians are spoiled!
The Nittany Turkey says
OK, so McElwain was hired by second-tier Florida for a buyout of $7 million, $2 million of which was committed by the coach himself. This is the biggest buyout in history, as ESPN notes, eclipsing the total of $6.93 million schools paid for the contracts of Gus Malzahn, Hugh Freeze, Kevin Sumlin, Gary Andersen, Bret Bielema, Chris Petersen, Sonny Dykes, Craig Bohl, Dino Babers, Tim Beckman, Dave Clawson, Darrell Hazell, Dave Doeren, and Tommy Tuberville. LOL. The Gators, reeling from their troubled time with Will Muschamp must have wanted McElwain badddddddddddd.
On the Nebraska front, Mike Riley is the new head coach as of today, ending the less than serious speculation about Bret Bielema. It is interesting to note that none of the know-it-all rags and blogs mentioned Riley’s name in connection with any of the openings. Shows how much they know. Thing is, it will be hard for anyone to match Bo Pelini’s record, so the choice of a coach whose win percentage was just over .500 as opposed to .710 for Pelini raises some interesting questions. The administration must have been seriously pissed off at Pellini. Granted, he’s an asshole who speaks his mind on any number of issues, but he was also capable of producing a winning record.
And now, that leaves a couple of holes yet to be filled. Aside from Colorado State and Oregon State, there’s the extremely high profile hole left by MMBH’s departure at Michigan. In a “he who hesitates is lost” sort of sense, Michigan is on the clock.
So that was quick!
McElwain looks like a good choice for the Gators and maybe will be the springboard to move them in to K. John’s lofty Tier I status. Served his tour well under Saban and has done a pretty good job out at Colorado State. Seems to be a highly thought of “offense mastermind” and with all that talent in Florida, he should have no problem on that side of the ball. He’ll have to come up with a strong DC to compete in the SEC however (perhaps the now unemployed Bo Pellini).
And it only cost the Gators $3.5 mil a year in salary and a negotiated $5 mil to buyout his contract including a commitment to play CSU in Florida for a guaranteed $2 mil payout sometime in the next 6 years. Also saw that McElwain committed to pay back CSU $2 mil out of his own wallet “over time”. How long do you think it will take for some Gator booster to take care of that little detail for him??
He’ll be there until Alabama comes knocking in about 3 years.
Riley looks like about the best or maybe slightly better than the Huskers were going to do. Seems to me that they just traded-in their 2008 Honda Civic for another 2008 Honda Civic only with a few more miles!
By every indication he seems to be a very respected coach and a nice guy, but at age 61 how long does he stay to fulfill Eichorst’s dream of lots of B1G titles and National Championships
I checked the Corn Nation SBN blog and this is what they had to say:
“He’s 61 years old and a former defensive back for Alabama. He was the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, winning two Grey Cups in four seasons before leaving for the San Antonio Riders, the precursor to NFL Europe in 1991. After that, he spent four seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Southern Cal, where he worked under John Robinson and developed Rob Johnson. In 1997, he was named head coach of Oregon State, where he made progress turning the Beavers around, though the 5-6 record in 1998 didn’t really reflect it.
That record was enough to convince the San Diego Chargers to name him head coach in 1999, where he went 8-8, 1-15 and 5-11 in three seasons. He wasn’t able to develop quarterback Ryan Leaf (who later called him an “idiot.”), who the Chargers waived after the 2000 season.
After a season as an assistant with the New Orleans Saints, Riley returned to Oregon State as head coach in 2003, where he’s lead the Beavers to eight bowl game appearances in twelve years. His best season was 2006, when the Beavers went 10-4, beating Missouri 39-38 in the Sun Bowl. In 2014, Riley went 5-7 with Oregon State.
Overall, Riley is 93-80 at Oregon State and 58-63 in Pac-10/12 conference games. So what’s the attraction?
That’s a good question. Riley twice turned down offers from Southern Cal. The first time, the job eventually went to Pete Carroll and the second was to replace Carroll. The first time the Trojans offered the job, Chargers president Dean Spanos told Riley that he’d be fired if he even interviewed with the Trojans, so he declined to risk his job. He then turned down Alabama, thinking that he’d get the UCLA job.”
So Pelini had a .710 winning percentage and never had a season where he failed to win at least 9 games.
Riley had a .523 winning percentage and had 4 seasons where he only lost 4 games.
I think “Faux Pellini” (the cat) was the deciding factor in canning Bo.
Nebraska’s glory days are long gone and aren’t coming back. This coaching change assures that they will maintain their K. John Tier II status.
Now we can look forward to Meechigan’s coaching search, although I heard the resurrection process they’re using to bring Bo Schembechler back is running in to some problems.