The coaching carousel is still turning but I thought it prudent to take stock of what we have seen in the major hires so far bearing in mind Alabama still cannot find someone insane enough to take the job down there. So if we were handing out awards, these are some of the ones you might see:
We Got What We Wanted/Needed Award
North Carolina and North Carolina State who both went coach shopping with two fan bases convinced that their respective ADs would find a way to blow the search. Neither did and UNC got the big name it needed for instant credibility in Butch Davis and NC State got the tough and consistent winner in Tom O' Brien. What's more the combined number of days for the two searches was something in the neighborhood of 35 days. So in short the searches were quick and ended successfully.
The Golden Panic Button Award
Miami decided that since they were rejected by Greg Schiano of Rutgers it would better to close the deal quickly and avoid further embarassment by promoting defensive coordinator Randy Shannon. So let me see if I understand this: After Butch Davis left you promoted an assistant who promptly won a title but later bombed out because he could not run the program. So now that you need someone to rebuild the program you decided to follow the same route again? Who knows, it might work and will undoubtedly be painful in the process.
The Monster Resume Builder Award
Dennis Erickson who was named head coach at Arizona State after a one year stint at Idaho the school where he made his head coaching debut at. Erickson did the Vandals the service of blowing into town and then once he got a job back on the BCS level he blew right back out which had the effect of angering his players to the point they vowed never to trust a coach again. In fact the boys over at EDSBS wondered if someone offered Erickson the Alabama job if he would stiff ASU on the spot and take it. I do not think this is even debatable.
I Just Fired My PR Person Because Obviously They Do Not Have A Clue On How I Should Sell Myself Award
Jimbo Fisher who I have mentioned far too often for my taste. Fisher is still stuck at LSU despite marketing himself to UNC, NC State, and possibly any other school that will listen. I have two questions: (1) What is going on at LSU that he wants to get out so badly? (2) What is it about Fisher which keeps him down on the list for these schools looking for a new coach?
What Do I Freaking Have to Do to Convince You People I Am The Real Deal Award
Navy's Paul Johnson. There seem to be so many questions and misconceptions about his offense to the point he is on the top of many lists but never gets over the hump despite leading Navy to an unprecedented four straight bowl games with the lowest ranked recruiting classes in the nation. I would imagine if he interested in stepping into the big time this past month has been frustrating.
I Don't Know What I Want Other Than More Money Award
West Virginia's Rich Rodriquez who keeps talking about how he would loves to stay at WVU but also that the door is always open as he did during the UNC search. Then he says he will be in Morgantown until end of time but entertains the Alabama offer only to turn it down. I have no clue but I would appreciate if this guy would just go away for a bit.
Someone, Anyone, We Are Begging You Award
Alabama. The search goes on and rumor has it they could be looking for a coach a month from now since the prospect of an NFL coach came up, but that means waiting. Meanwhile Paul Johnson is hanging out and getting a lot of run on the Bama forums. In the end this is a classic case of a fan base who does not know what they want, an administration who does not seem to have any idea of how to identify what they need, and a job which entails so much pressure to win that I cannot see how this ends up being a good hire for any of the parties involved. I mean what coach is going to take a job at a school which has had five coaches in 10 years and just fired the last guy after he went 6-6 but was 10-2 the season prior? If someone wants a BCS level job regardless of the aforementioned bear traps, then that is who will likely end up taking the job. I think that puts the odds on Paul Johnson though I am not sure why ol Jimbo is not a more prominent candidate here.