Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Random Ramblings

So SMU donors have built a coffer of over $10MM for a long term deal for a new coach and seem willing to offer upwards of $2MM or more if necessary per year. Just one mans opinion, but we should not have to match SMU in a bidding war to get Paul Johnson. Why? SMU may be full of big money donors ready to raise the Pheonix from the ashes, but they are strictly 2nd tier versus a BCS school like GT.

If PJ takes the SMU job because of the money, then it is clear to me that he has serious doubts about what he could do at a program that doesn't really need rebuilding. It makes me seriously question his competitive juices. PJ has said repeatedly that his offense would work well at the highest level and that he wants that challenge. He would get that challenge at GT - not SMU.

However, I have NO doubt PJ could work miracles at SMU. He could continue his miraculous reputation as a turnaround artist / offensive genious. However, to me, he would be known as a guy who is good at shooting fish in a barrel - low hanging fruit if you get my drift. I don't want to take one thing away from the wonderful work he has done at Navy. He deserves every award he gets. But to me, he's ready for a bigger challenge. SMU is not it.

At the end of the day, we would have to be "in the ballpark" in terms of money, but no way GT should have to match to convince him to come here - that is if his competitive juices really are what I think they are. What on earth does PJ have to prove at SMU?

Interesting subplot - remember that Paul Hewitt is the current president of the BCA (Black Coaches Association), which is considering filing suit against the NCAA to make a point about the lack of African-American coaches. Interesting because your own boss is about to make a major hire. The only reported African-American candidate we have interviewed is Charlie Strong, although that's more than most have done to be fair.

Interestingly, Hewitt does have something to say about it - although for some reason you haven't seen it. Here are some quotes from him related to Duke's head coach search, as they just interviewed Gramblings HC Rod Broadway.

“You know who really needs to be paying attention to these hires? Not you and me and the university presidents, but the players,” said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt, president of the Black Coaches Association. “Why go play for this school when, the minute I get hurt or don’t have eligibility left, I’m not viewed as a valuable person?”

Georgia Tech is, like Duke, looking for a head coach after firing Chan Gailey. Both universities reportedly are interested in Navy coach Paul Johnson, for one. “As the president of the BCA, what we want to see in a hire is inclusiveness,” Hewitt said. “We want people to have a chance to show their wares.”

Hewitt adamantly rejected the assertion that he or the BCA seek the hiring of coaches based on the color of their skin, or due to any other ethnic attribute. Rather, they don’t want people automatically excluded on that basis, either from search committees or pools of candidates.

The Yellow Jacket coach noted that, since the NFL adopted the so-called “Rooney Rule” in 2003 mandating that teams interview at least one minority candidate, there has been a surge in the hiring of black head coaches. Among those cited by Hewitt was Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, a longshot to replace Bill Cowher until he got a chance to interview for the job.

Hewitt received e-mails that took the 3,000-member BCA to task for its advocacy. “I quote here: ‘What do you people want?’” Hewitt said. “Like we are the cause of
the poor hiring record in college football. … I think that anybody that suggests that blacks and people of color have had a fair shake in college football is really living in the dark.”

Seeing the Will Muschamp saga play out struck a chord as I watched Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October on my DVR last weekend. I just imagine D-Rad as Jack Ryan and our Board of Trustees and/or the hiring committe having the following conversation:

BOARD: Don't you see, he's trying to get on the inside. He is the enemy.

D-Rad: I don't think so. I've studied WM for years. I've met WM. Have you met WM?

BOARD: He'll sabatage everything we've worked for.

D-RAD: I don't think so. His father-in-law is a Tech man. Did you know that?

BOARD: We'll be a laughing stock

D-RAD: Don't you see. He'll never be able to go back. His home country will arrest him on sight.

BOARD: Are you sure about this?

D-RAD: The SOB is trying to defect. The SOB is trying to defect.

BOARD: Did you say something?

D-RAD: I did............ BOOM!!!!!!

Guess who is the new head coach at Arkansas? Jim Grobe. Wow! Great get by Ark and you have to say THEY made a splash.

Also, Tommy Bowden parlayed his relationship with the Arkansas AD into a hefty pay raise and contract extension that will keep him at Clemson through something like 2014. I work with a former Clemson player who respects TB but thinks Clemson missed a golden opportunity. They just had a chance to have Tommy Bowden PAY Clemson to leave and they didn't do it. He is a slightly improved version of Chan Gailey in many Tigers opinions. Tiger fans were salivating over the strong possibility of getting Rich Rodriguez, who has Clemson coaching history and loves the south. In the words of one ex-Clemson player - Tommy just played us like a fiddle.

Oh yeah - what do you think the odds are that Wake Forest gets into the Paul Johnson sweepstakes now? If there is one team out there looking for a coach that has the players that understand something about the triple option - it's Wake Forest. Ohh..... the horror........... the horror......

However, the Wake job would not offer the same opportunity to leave PJ's legacy if you ask me. Grobe was about as successful on a sustained basis as just about anyone could be. Not a ton of upside to that job if you ask me.

.......... by the way, the SEC just got that much better. Losing Grobe is a big loss for the ACC.

.......... one last point on Grobe. Show me a rumor mill that had that one on their radar? Just goes to show you that things can be kept secret if people want them to.

One last note from the ACC - Check out this cool graphic on how the coaches voted in the final polls. Note that Frank Beamer voted LSU #1 and VaTech #2. Do you think he was aching for a rematch?

As if we needed another distraction, the search for LSU's new Athletic Director has "officially" begun. Just know that until Dan Radakovich says publicly he's not interested, his name is going to be linked with this job.