WELP! WELP! WELP! welp
I-AA And Beyond
All these guys are risks. Just look at Bobby Hauck, who went a staggering 80-17 at Montana and has three two-win seasons and a seven win season at UNLV.
BOMBS OVER BEILEIN Y'ALL
BOB STITT, COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES
BASICS: 12 years as HC/OC of D-II CSM, before that two years as Harvard OC and smaller jobs. 90-57, 1-2 in three trips to the D-II playoffs. 50 years old.
PROS: Extensive head coach experience at an academically demanding school that had previous experienced no success. 2001, his second year, was CSM's first winning season in a decade; 7 wins was their best record since 1958(!). Since getting established with an 12-1 record in 2004 only two CSM teams have finished worse than 6-3 in conference.
Has a reputation as an offensive innovator after Dana Holgorsen credited him with the play WVU used to obliterate Clemson in that one Orange Bowl. Does weekly coaching recap show in which he diagrams plays. Seems cool with shirts that say "Stitt happens."
CONS: No experience with big time football, and I mean none: coaching career has taken him from Northern Colorado Greeley to Doane College to Austin College to Harvard to CSM. No idea how he'd recruit.
OVERALL: Here's your Beilein. Quality 50-year-old dude with long, successful track record and reputation as offensive guru with recruiting and can-he-be-big-time questions. CSM is a lot farther from Michigan in Big Time considerations than WVU, obviously.
BEAU BALDWIN, EASTERN WASHINGTON
BASICS: 56-22 in six years on the blood-red field at EWU, coming off consecutive final four appearances in the I-AA playoffs and a national championship in 2010. Had one year at Central Washington, a D-II school before that. Career as an assistant included four years at EWU as OC and QB coach; before that was a Central Washington QB and then their QB coach, commencing immediately upon graduation. 42 years old.
PROS: Wildly successful in the Big Sky. Young. Significantly improved on Paul Wulff's EWU tenure, which saw years around .500 most of the time with only two 9-4 outliers.
CONS: May have never left the state of Washington. Usual experience issues. Paul Wulff flameout indicative of the flier nature of any of these guys. EWU seems to have in-built advantages that lend themselves to success irrespective of HC quality.
OVERALL: Has had more success at a higher level than Stitt, albeit in a briefer time period and coming from a much less dire starting point.
ROB AMBROSE, TOWSON
BASICS: Took over a moribund Towson program that went 3-19 in his first two years and flipped the script, going 29-10 the last three and reaching the I-AA championship game last year. Former Towson WR, has spent virtually all of his coaching career either at his alma mater or UConn, where he was first their QB coach and then OC from 2006 to 2008. 44 years old.
PROS: Youth, crazy Towson turnaround, etc., etc. These guys all have the same profile.
CONS: Same as the other guys. Shorter track record than either.
OVERALL: If you're reaching down here Stitt seems like the pick.
[After THE JUMP: oh no the NFL, plus goblins]
Who hates the idea of hiring an NFL coordinator? This guy. Most of these gentlemen haven't tried to recruit anyone in 20 years and will flit off to the place they consider the real league posthaste.
GREG ROMAN, OC, San Fransisco
BASICS: Harbaugh's OC since 2009, first for two years at Stanford and then at SF. No college experience outside of those two years. 42.
PROS: Has run both the manball Harbaugh installed in Palo Alto and SF's Kaepernick-oriented pistol/quasi-spread, and done well with both.
CONS: Was never a college coach below the coordinator level; no idea about recruiting. Said delay of game penalties are "not always bad" in midst of season where SF led the league in them, so I would definitely die enraged if he was the guy. Seems more interested in the NFL long term.
OVERALL: This is the model for all these guys: at best a brief stop in college, often 20 years ago, and then a bunch of NFL position jobs before becoming a coordinator.
JOSH MCDANIELS, OC, New England
BASICS: Broncos head coach in 2009 and 2010. OC with the Rams, Patriots, and… uh, Patriots around that. Went 11-17 as Broncos coach. 38.
PROS: Super young! Former NFL head coach. From Ohio so recruiting and stuff. Probably knows Tom Brady do you know Tom Brady?
CONS: College experience consists of two years as an MSU GA. Belichick assistants have a massive failure rate.
OVERALL: I mean I guess but this is such a hopeful swing at the vague direction of competence that it would be sad.
HAROLD GOODWIN, OC, Arizona Cardinals
BASICS: Former Michigan OL spent a few years bouncing around the MAC as an OL coach then made the leap to the NFL to do the same. Promoted to Cardinals OC in 2013. This is a truly meteoric rise: as recently as 2011 he was a quality control coach with Pittsburgh. 41.
PRO: Michigan Man.
CONS: Would never be mentioned as a candidate if he's wasn't. Only offense he's coordinated to date finished 20th in FO's DVOA stat, 12th in total offense. Arizona is currently 28th in yards per play.
OVERALL: If we hire Goodwin at this stage in his career, the disease is terminal.
Ask again in five years (but hopefully not, because then we're sad again).
TERYL AUSTIN, DC, Detroit Lions
BASICS: Just named the Lions DC, before that a defensive backs coach for 20 years, including four in Ann Arbor from 1999 to 2002. Went to NFL in 2003, had one year as Florida's DC in 2010, then bounced back to the NFL.
PROS: Unlike almost every single other one of these guys, Austin coached college for a decade and established himself a good recruiter during that period. Michigan guy, albeit by adoption. Lions D is first(!) in YPG and YPP so far this year.
CONS: Very little track record. Florida's 2010 D was a bleah 29th in FEI, and then Urban temporarily retired and he was out of a job.
OVERALL: Austin is marginally preferable to Goodwin because he's been in college longer but this is all but elevating a position coach directly to head coach. No. God. No God Please No. No. No.
GARY KUBIAK, OC, Baltimore Ravens
BASICS: Remember him from my youth as John Elway's backup, moved into coaching immediately after. Was Broncos OC for a decade under Mike Shanahan, then a fairly good head coach for the Texans from 2006 until 2013. Career record was 61-64, made playoffs in 2011 and 2012 before dismal 2013 season doomed him. Currently Ravens OC. 53.
PROS: Absolute pile of experience. Was generally successful with the Texans until the end there. Seemed to be well-liked. Was virtually a QB coach as a player so if anyone can get pro-style QBs right it's him. Did one of those THANK YOU ads when he got the ziggy.
CONS: Had a "mini-stroke" during that dismal 2013; no idea if that would be an issue. Almost zero college coaching. Zero Michigan connections.
OVERALL: More attractive than most coordinators because of his extensive experience, and his age might actually be a bonus: if Kubiak gets settled in as Michigan's head coach he may not be inclined to leave, and NFL teams may not be inclined to ask. Prefer him to anyone currently in the NFL not named Harbaugh except…
DAN QUINN, DC, Seattle Seahawks
BASICS: Hasn't exactly constructed the Legion of Boom but he is in charge of it as Seahawks DC the past two years. Before that, two years as the DC at Florida; before that a decade of NFL jobs along the DL. Has a reasonable amount of college experience as a DL coach at William and Mary, VMI, and Hofstra. Almost hired by the Browns last offseason. 44.
PROS: Kind of good job with Seahawks. Final year at Florida saw Gators finish fifth in yards per game, though he was working under Muschamp. Promoted as Next Great Head Coach by Peter King's admittedly bootlicking NFL version of Grantland.
CONS: Will be frequent target of NFL teams. No connection to M.
OVERALL: If it has to be an NFL guy not named Harbaugh this would be my pick.
Well, a lot of these guys are in the right age range with a lot of OC experience. Brian Schottenheimer has been an OC since 2006, for instance, and has been talked about as an NFL head coach for a while now. But with no ties to Michigan and exactly two years as a college coach of any variety, he's an enormous question mark. Ditto Darrell Bevell, though at least Bevell was a Wisconsin QB.
People bring up Adam Gase a lot, apparently because he was born in Ypsi. He's got Goodwin's resume except he went to State, and Peyton Manning's the OC of the Broncos anyway. No.
GREG SCHIANO, formerly of Rutgers and Tampa Bay
BASICS: Completed all-time turnaround at Rutgers, turning most moribund outfit in the country into a consistent winner. After four straight losing seasons to open took Rutgers to five consecutive bowls, including an 11-2 season that briefly had Rutgers in contention for a BCS championship game bid. Hired by Tampa in 2012, only lasted two years there. Miami's DC at the turn of the century before getting the Rutgers job. Somehow just 48.
PROS: Turned Rutgers from laughing stock into okay-to-good program, lots of experience. Pro-style guy, if that's an asset.
CONS: Tampa exit was messy and acrimonious. Had that whole kneeldown thing that was cro-magnon dumb. Was "almost universally viewed as unaccommodating, intimidating and downright disrespectful" by NFL even before his hire. Former player said it was "like being in Cuba." Didn't coach anywhere last year.
OVERALL: Last thing this program needs is a guy who will piss off half of everyone immediately and the other half gradually. Do you know what a colossal wiener you have to be for the NFL to turn on you? They didn't turn on Ray Rice! Ray Lewis! Other bad guys named Ray!
But they turned on Greg Schiano.
JON GRUDEN, ESPN goblin
CUMONG MAN: Dude if he really wanted to be a coach he'd be a coach. He has found his true love and calling: yelling really loud in a TV studio while slowly turning into a goblin.
I SUPPOSE SO: Seriously dude is making bank and doesn't have to eat a metric ton of antacids every week.
OVERALL: omg gruden