â†µTexas Tech athletic director Gerry Myers is advised to tread â†µcarefully in his search for a new football coach. Tech fans tend to be â†µgun-happy and lawless in the best of times, and most of the fanbase is â†µsolidly on the side of the deposed Mike Leach. â†µâ†µ
â†µBizarrely, Baylor head coach Art Briles has shot down rumors he might leave, which is probably â†µthe first time in the history of the Baylor football program that the â†µhead coach has discouraged interest in a move. So he's out. Your â†µoptions, then: â†µâ†µ
â†µThe retread. Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, â†µlast seen unenthusiastically participating in every defensive â†µcoordinator rumor mill across the South, has been sufficiently roused from his torpor to express an â†µinterest in the job: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"I'd be interested in visiting with them," Tuberville said. "I â†µâ‡¥haven't had any contact yet with anyone down there." â†µâ†µ
â†µThat's close-ish to the right geographic footprint for Tuberville's â†µrecruiting, but since the reason Tuberville is available was his â†µspectacularly ill-fated decision to hire spread guru Tony Franklin*, â†µTexas Tech's signature aerial bombing style would be an uncomfortable â†µfit. And if Tuberville wants to bring along the offensive â†µassistants/anchors that sunk his ship at Auburn, surely Tech would â†µpolitely decline. Tommy's got an open mind, though: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"It'd be crazy to change it,'' he said. "That's a trademark â†µâ‡¥of Texas Tech now. It's helped put them on the map. It's helped in â†µâ‡¥recruiting, I've noticed. Mike's had a good chance of getting â†µâ‡¥quarterbacks and receivers to come there - in the past, (Tech) wasn't â†µâ‡¥able to get them. We've run a lot of the spread over the years, and I'm â†µâ‡¥very familiar with it.'' â†µâ†µ"We've run a lot of spread over the years" may be a dirty, â†µgritted-teeth lie (or "marketing") but it is an indication â†µthat Tuberville will bend over backwards for the opportunity. Tech, as â†µof yet, has not bitten.
â†µUPDATE: Tuberville reportedly is interviewing Tuesday on the Tech campus in Lubbock.
â†µThe Vegas wedding. AKA the Bill Stewart: in the â†µaftermath of an emotional bowl victory, the interim head coach is â†µpromoted to the head job and surrounded by expensive assistants you â†µallow him to hire once you sober up and grimly consider the damage done. â†µâ†µ
â†µThe man in this case would be spectacularly-named Texas Tech â†µdefensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill. McNeill has the dual advantages of â†µnot being a special teams coach and not looking like the mayor of â†µMayberry, but his resume is seriously thin. He's been a position coach â†µfor 23 years and fell into the DC job at Texas Tech after the previous â†µguy stepped down due to "personal reasons" after a 49-45 loss â†µto Oklahoma State. He was the interim guy and got the job; if he got the â†µhead job at Texas Tech he would be the Gerald Ford of football coaches. â†µâ†µ
â†µAlso the guy has no game: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥During 30-minute news conference Wednesday, McNeill said he was â†µâ‡¥"very interested" in the job with a "double yes with â†µâ‡¥exclamation marks." â†µâ†µ
â†µSomeone hook that guy up with the cast of Jersey Shore â†µstat. â†µâ†µ
â†µMeanwhile, Stewart's not exactly disproving the widespread criticism â†µof his hiring, riding Pat White's senior season to a Meineke Car Care Bowl â†µvictory. This year West Virginia went 9-3 again but managed to lose to a â†µ6-6 Florida State team with no business in the Gator Bowl. Ace recruiter â†µand assistant head coach Doc Holliday, one of the expensive assistants â†µbrought int to keep the ship afloat, has just taken the head job at â†µMarshall. If Tech continues to experience success after this â†µhypothetical hire, how long before the offensive coordinator gets hired â†µelsewhere? â†µâ†µ
â†µThe Luke Skywalker. I guess this requires Spike â†µDykes to be Darth Vader, but other than that it's pretty apt: Sonny â†µDykes is currently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at â†µArizona. He's the son of Texas Tech legend Spike Dykes, a current â†µBroyles award nominee, and spent seven years learning the Air Raid under â†µLeach. He's a weird hybrid of a return to Tech's old culture and a â†µcontinuation of its current one. â†µâ†µ
â†µA problem: Arizona was just shut out in ugly fashion by Nebraska and â†µfinished this year 58th in total offense and 61st in scoring offense â†µdespite the benefit of a 2OT game against Oregon. For what it's worth, â†µthey did have an unusually tough schedule with nine Pac-10 conference â†µgames, a road game against Iowa and a home game against MAC champion â†µand fringe top 25 team Central Michigan. In 2008, though, the Cats were â†µ8-5 and finished 33rd in total yards, and 16th in scoring. â†µâ†µ
â†µThe Usual. I.e. pick off a high-performing head coach â†µfrom a local smaller conference. In this case it's Houston head coach â†µKevin Sumlin getting the most attention. Sumlin just had an explosive â†µyear with Case Keenum that saw the Cougars notch wins over Oklahoma â†µState and Tech itself en route to finishing 1st in passing and total â†µoffense and second in scoring offense. Houston was the only team in the â†µcountry pass-happier than Tech. â†µâ†µ
â†µSumlin didn't overlap with Leach at Oklahoma, but he has â†µexperience with the system, clearly enjoys the whole idea of going â†µ"guns up" and has made Houston one of the better teams in â†µConference USA. He's also just 45. He's only got two years of head â†µcoaching experience and just two years as a "co-OC" at â†µOklahoma, though, and so may be a bit green for a Big 12 job. Not that â†µthe rest of the names on this list other than Tuberville have more â†µexperience. â†µâ†µ
â†µ*(Franklin was undermined from day one at Auburn and fired midseason; â†µwhen I attended the Auburn-LSU game in the halcyon early days of the â†µFranklin regime one elderly fan in our proximity had a series of tiny â†µconniption fits, each one prompted by the Tigers going no-huddle and â†µthen looking to the sideline for a play call. Auburn fans were not â†µreceptive to new-fangled trickery, to say the least. Lord knows what â†µthat guy must think about Gus Malzahn's wild, motion- and â†µmisdirection-heavy glorified high school sets. Probably something about â†µcranberry juice.) â†µâ†µ
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