WHO IS THAT MASKED COACH
You may not have caught an appearance earlier this week on Connecticut Public Radio by the chief college football writer for USA Today. He didn’t have many good things to say about the new American Athletic Conference, the pieced together non BCS option for orphaned programs based on the remnants of the old Big East. He didn’t mince words when asked about the league’s national profile, saying it’s a bad league that garners no national respect and is only going to get worse next year when Louisville and Rutgers move into their new digs in two of the five power conferences.
The implication was clear. Allow me to restate that. There was no implication, the message was loud and clear. Anyone stuck in the league long term could find itself relegated to a diminished status in all athletics, not just football. Anyone looking to create a profile in football that would attract the attention of one of those five power conferences, and do so in a hurry, as I have said many times, the clock is ticking, would want to start with a high profile coach who’s shown he can be a quick fix for floundering franchises, preferably not an out of work NFL coach, someone who knows his way around today’s college ranks.
Coincidentally, the same USA Today has a feature this morning on just the kind of coach who could be the model for such a search. In year three of his tenure at his current school the coach has elevated the program to it’s best start in more than a decade, 4-0, vaulting it into one of the premier national television matchups of the season, against another 4-0 team.
Two years ago the coach moved into his current position and was immediately confronted by a mutiny of veteran players who were loyal to the former coach. He allowed the players to express their unhappiness and he allowed those who wanted to transfer to other programs to do so without penalty. The upheaval made for a long season and loud cries from long time program boosters for the coaches head. He weathered the storm as his own recruits started to stream into the program and football futures at the school seemed to be in for an uptick. He drew a pass last year despite a four and eight season because his top four quarterbacks were all lost for the season with injuries, leaving the reins in the hands of an uninitiated true freshman…with all hands back on deck, most importantly the starting quarterback, the program is at a level it hasn’t achieved since the last century and the coach the boosters were once burning in effigy is now the toast of the town.
In his previous job the coach took a program that had never played a game at the division one a level and led them on the fastest rise in bcs history. The name of the coach who could be a model for a program in need of a quick fix. Randy Edsall, who, by the way, came out of the ranks of assistant coaches.
If such a program, finds such a coach, or, who knows, maybe already has, now that would take that program a long way. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.