September 11, 2015

I'm Not Thinking About Notre Dame

We play Notre Dame tomorrow.  All anyone can talk about right now is the stupid white frosted helmets.  Nobody is even considering the opportunity we have to shock the world tomorrow afternoon.

I'm not considering it, either.  Maybe if we had an offense.  Maybe if we had a pass rush.  Maybe if our "power running game" had an o-line that could generate any sort of push up the middle (note: a former walk-on is our starting center in Year Six of this coaching regime).  Maybe if our "power running game" had someone other than a 185-pound slot receiver as the ballcarrying centerpiece.  Maybe if our wide receivers could get any sort of separation, if our wily playmaking gunslinging quarterback were allowed to be wily, make plays, and sling guns, maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe.  Maybe if we had a real coaching staff.

But we don't, so we won't.  We won't realize the opportunity to shock the world, I mean.  Notre Dame is going to roll in here and trounce us.  And Hoofans drift a little closer to seeing the football program sink beneath the waves of apathy.

For me, the idea that we'll be hiring a new head coach in December is what keeps me tethered to sanity.

Here's this article, if you missed it:

Hot, Cold, On the Move: A Comprehensive Look at the Coaching Job Market

Read the fucking article if you haven't already.

Okay, let's break this thing down right quick.

  • Miami 
  • Syracuse 
  • Virginia 
  • Iowa State 
  • Illinois (already open!)
  • Purdue 
  • Rutgers 
  • USC 
  • Utah 
  • Washington State

From the Thamel article, I disagree with his takes that the following might open up:
  • Virginia Tech: They can't/won't force Beamer out before he's ready to retire, and I'm certain he wants to coach that crazy Bristol Motor Speedway game against Tennessee. (Coaching football in a NASCAR venue feels like the pinnacle for Beamer's career, doesn't it?)  In a related note, I bet those derps have a tee-shirt to celebrate the football game at a NASCAR track.
Yep, of course.
  • North Carolina: Fedora gets at least one more year, I think.  If not, then Chizik simply takes over.
  • Florida State: Too much buyout, too easy a path to the playoffs.  I honestly don't think there's a better job in college football.  Why would Jimbo Fisher leave?
  • West Virginia: I think Holgorsen has finally found some traction in the Big XII.  That said, West Virginia is nearly impossible to predict.  This will be a situation to watch closely, as the 'Eers present a more attractive coaching job than Virginia.  Good God, that hurt to type.
  • Oklahoma: At this point, Stoops and the Sooners are stuck with each other. 
  • Iowa: The Ferentz buyout is waaaaay too big. 
  • Maryland: Edsall has them playing pretty good football, all things considered. 
  • Arizona: Why would RichRod leave? 
  • Vanderbilt: It's way too early to fire Derek Mason.  You tasted a little bit of recent success, but, I mean, c'mon.  You're still Vanderbilt.  You don't get to shitcan coaches after two seasons, bros.
  • South Carolina: Spurrier's not ready to retire... yet.  But we'll see.  This is another one to watch very closely.
  • LSU: C'mon man, Les Miles isn't going anywhere.  Right?  I don't know, LSU fans might be getting pretty antsy given their recent string (three years with at least three losses).  They have huge expectations.
  • Georgia: They'd be crazy to fire Richt, but I understand the fatigue in that fanbase.  Greyson Lambert is their starting quarterback right now, and Lambert is softer than 5-ply Charmin.  He's a wad of cookie dough.  Greyson Lambert is Norweigan pillow soft.  He's saltwater taffy you left in a hot car.  He's newborn baby ass.  He's the cotton side of the Q-Tip factory.  He's Hubba Bubba.  He's Louisiana Delta siltflow.  He's the Stay Puft marshmallow man after the streams are crossed.  He's the lovechild of Wham and Air Supply.  He's kitty cat bellies.  So, yeah, maybe Ricky Richt is on shaky stilts.  I can buy that.
  • Notre Dame: I can't see the NFL tapping Brian Kelly in 2015.

So by my count, there will be ~10 Power 5 openings at the end of the season, which is right in line with the five-year average of 11 vacancies (8 in 2014, 7 in 2013, 13 in 2012, 14 in 2011, 13 in 2010.)

Using the ten I laid out, here's my take on how those jobs stack up in terms of being able to attract candidates:

~~~ tier 1 ~~~
#1 USC
~~~ tier 2 ~~~
#2 Miami
~~~ tier 3 ~~~
#3 Utah
#4 Virginia
#5 Rutgers
#6 Purdue
~~~ tier 4 ~~~
#7 Illinois
#8 Iowa State
#9 Syracuse
#10 Washington State

We're getting lucky in that there are mostly only SHITTY Power 5 jobs opening up at the end of this season.

Of course, there will be openings we don't currently anticipate... like if Jim Mora Jr., Kevin Sumlin, and/or David Shaw get NFL gigs. Openings at UCLA, Texas A&M, and/or Stanford would [obviously] bump Virginia down the list.

Okay, so let's be conservative and call it 12 openings. Hell, let's call it 15 openings just for gits and shiggles. The season is young, crazy things could happen in the next 14 weeks. (I don't, however, think 23 P5 jobs will open up, as Thamel listed in his "HOT" and "WORTH MONITORING" sections. The 12 he listed as "HOT" seems like a plausible number, and with past as prologue, the number fits.)

Thamel listed 40 total coaches as "movin' on up," "making the jump," and "next level." Three of the 40 (Bielema, Dykes, RichRod) are current P5 head coaches, so if they move up, it'd open a lower tier P5 job. I'm not going to mention those guys for the UVA job, because it'd simply never happen. Rich Rodriguez, for example, would never make the lateral move from Arizona to Virginia (or Virginia Tech). Furthermore, Bronco Mendenhall won't leave near-P5 BYU to make a lateral move.

Anyway, of the remaining 36 coaches, here are the 15 I think are most likely to land P5 jobs during the December 2015 coaching carousel, ranked in the order of likelihood: 

#1 Mark Hudspeth
#2 Ed Warinner
#3 Justin Fuente
#4 Matt Rhule
#5 Greg Schiano
#6 Matt Wells
#7 Bo Pelini
#8 Dino Babers
#9 Scott Frost
#10 Jeff Brohm
#11 P.J. Fleck
#12 Pete Lembo
#13 Will Muschamp
#14 Rhett Lashlee
#15 Brian Polian

This is not necessarily my ranking for Virginia's opening, but rather my take on how the college football world views these guys, in general.

USC is not going to be hiring from this group. They'll throw boats and hoes at a higher-profile head coach somewhere, but that'll knock loose a domino effect that opens another tier 2 or tier 3 P5 job.

In any case, I feel like Virginia will be "drafting" somewhere in the #3 to #6 range from the above list. Would we be happy with Fuente, Rhule, Schiano, or Wells? How about "reaching" for Frost, Fleck, Lembo, or Lashlee?

Of course, it's not that simple. It's never that simple. Schools have to find cultural and institutional fits, right?  The coaches themselves get to decide which jobs they want.

Or maybe it WILL be that simple. Honestly, it doesn't take much squinting for me to look to the future and see Justin Fuente, Matt Rhule, Greg Schiano, or Matt Wells being named UVA's next head coach.

Anyway, great article by Pete Thamel.  We'll dig deeper in the coming weeks.  For now, read these, and learn.

I dare you to read that one and not feel extreme jealousy for Houston fans.

'Gotta Coach Somebody'
An oldie, but a goodie.  It makes you reconsider what you thought you knew about Greg Schiano.

College football's next hot coach: The rise of Justin Fuente at Memphis
Fuente, for my money, is riding the fastest-rising rocket right now.  I mean, just take a look at THIS on, for Christ's sake.

Ed Warinner skilled at improvising on offense
Warinner's pedigree is impeccable.

Matt Wells finds balance on and off field with the Aggies
He sounds very UVA, doesn't he?

Still unknown: Is P.J. Fleck the Next Big Thing ... or just passing through?

The elite recruiter: How P.J. Fleck is revolutionizing Western Michigan
I'm still forming my opinion on P.J. Fleck.  I like what I hear, but it also seems very froo-froo to me.  I'm watching Western Michigan with great interest this season.

The fun thing about up-and-coming coaches: There is a lot of really positive, entertaining press about them.  Much better than reading about the spiraling albatross that Virginia Football has become under Jon Oliver, Mike London, and Steve Fairchild.


  1. You're right, the Tom Herman article has me super jealous. Think we could steal him from Houston? Maybe these days UVa is still a step-up from them...

  2. your the worst kind of fan. actually your not a fan at all. its been 1 week and your talking about changing coachs. weak. you suck and this blog sucks. fuck you. go be a tech fan bozo.

  3. Anybody watching UVA the past few years knows as long as Jon Oliver is here and meddling in the football decisions we will not attract a great coach unless they come in and tell him to stay in the suite and get no where near the program

    Mike London experiment needs to be over, Athletic department is experiencing shortfalls due to football but people like Jon Oliver and CL are too dumb/incompetent to be trusted with the program going forward

  4. Kendall, the latest rumor I've heard is that London and Littlepage are such buddies they're both leaving together, but not until 2016, and the big money folks have just washed their hands of the whole thing because of it. If so, what's your reaction?

  5. Do yourself a favor and don't think about Notre Dame right now either

  6. That's easy to say if your not a true fan.

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