Not who, but what?

It seems obvious at this point that barring some miraculous reversal of form, BB is on his way out.

Lots of names have been and will be thrown around as his replacement. My question goes beyond that: What kind of coach do you want, or do we need (which may not be the same thing)?

It seems to me that the names being thrown around so far have all been offense-first, throw-it-all-over-the-place guys. Many Hog fans seem to be convinced that the only way we can win is the Petrino way – lots of passing, defense be damned. I’m not so certain that’s the answer.

Maybe we need a coach who will emphasize defense. Certainly that side of the ball needs fixing too. That’s what Gary Patterson did at TCU – build strong defense first, then the offense behind Andy Dalton, etc. It’s not sexy, but throwing for 400 yards and losing isn’t sexy either (remember the Bama game last year?).

Historically speaking, it seems that the next coach is usually the opposite of the previous coach in personality, philosophy, etc. I have followed Hog football for over 50 years and the only constant in coach successions is to expect someone 180 degrees different than the previous coach. I’m not saying that is good or bad, just an observation.

It would be nice to see a decent defensive team. I thought we would get that with Bret, considering he was a defensive coach. Instead we’ve seen historically bad defenses under him.

I also think we have seen the blue print to success, and need a wide open offense, if we could get a mixture of both that would be too good to be true.

Defense is about recruiting first and foremost. Recruiting has to start with the defensive front.

I’d like to see a defensive genius who’s open to any style of offense and flexible. (See Gary Patterson)

But…fans will be happier if we have a sling it around offense even if we have the same record as ground control teams.

Defense wins championships

Offense sells tickets.

I want both.

Fantastic post and one that really gets at the heart of the matter IMO and not just the “hot coach today.”

I am a big PJ Fleck guy and I will tell you why. He took over a program that was garbage and built it by himself. He didn’t take over a program that was already rolling (like Norvell or Bielema for that matter). In 2013 Western Michigan went 1-11, but he signed the best class in the MAC since 2000. In 2014 they went 8-4 and Western Michigan (a perennial doormat) had the highest ranked MAC recruiting class AGAIN. In 2015 they went 7-5, signed the highest ranked MAC recruiting class for the third year in a row and won a bowl game for the first time in school history. In 2016 WMU went 12-1, beat Northwestern and their only loss was to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl. They signed the highest ranked class in the MAC for the 4th straight year.

Now, I am not advocating for Fleck, but who can be our PJ Fleck?

I like Chad Morris for a myriad of reasons. He is from Texas and was a high school coach there for 16 years. He spent a year at Tulsa before becoming the OC at Clemson and lead recruiter for Deshawn Watson, who I may add is not from SC. IMO Morris is the best hire Dabo has had, even over Brent Venables, because without Morris or DW4, I am not sure Dabo survives. So Morris then takes over at SMU.

SMU was a complete goat screw. June Jones up and quit and moved back to Hawaii. In his first year SMU went 2-10 (1-7). Last year they went 5-7 (3-5) and this year they are 5-2 (2-1). All of his recruiting classes thus far are from the state of Texas.

He is an innovative offense first guy, but I think he can be paired with a good DC and have some success.

There is my case for Chad Morris.

Chad Morris. We need a recruiter first and foremost. He is that. And specializes in Texas.

And he runs the kind of offense HS kids in Texas want to play in, instead of running his mouth about how bad the HUNH/spread is.


Hmmm, but who is the DC?

I think you trust your hire of HC and let him make that call. I do not advocate ADs dictating who should and should not be assistants.

Multiple on offense

Young and hungry

Proven program builder

Gets most out of available talent

Defensive background

Go make the young man in Ames, IA an offer he can’t refuse.

agree on defense

however… we are much closer to success with wide open offense IMO
takes fewer players// scheme can win. we have seen it before.

building a consistently dominant defense requires recruiting to a level we have never seen and will likely never be able to accomplish at arkansas.
we can still be a good defense that tries hard every play and has that fighting razorback tenacity that we are known for … sadly i guess we used to be known for

On a related note, I know some people who, taking note of who recruited those players that Matt Campbell has been winning with this year, have suggested that Paul Rhoads be elevated to the HC here. Not advocating that myself, just throwing it out.

Absolutely not!

That would be a bigger disaster than we already have, I hope you smacked your friend.

Having two failed head coaches as our coordinators is part of our problem. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. In fact, I’d argue Bielema’s decision to hire Enos might’ve been the beginning of the end for him. He’s gotten Bielema away from running the football.

No way re: Rhoads.

More important to a wide-open offensive guru (to which I’m not opposed), I think finding a man who can fix the defense, and that’s going to have to be a recruiter. Honestly, when our offense works–and it really hasn’t on a consistent basis since late 2015–it’s a thing of beauty. I still like the idea of a quarterback lining up under center at least some of the time (not every play). It has always bothered me that on 3rd-and-1, teams snap the ball four or five yards deep before handing off. I think the closer to the line on those plays the better we are. Of course, you’ve got to have a line that you can run consistently behind.

I know Alabama has struggled somewhat with offenses that are wide open and have running QBs. All for the two-dimensional QB. But these offenses don’t work any better than the wishbone (I’m not advocating that!) if they turn the ball over. Alabama feeds on defensive touchdowns and turnovers. If we’re going to beat Alabama, we must have a defense like theirs, that is opportunistic and creates stops and turnovers. That’s why I’d advocate for a defensive specialist who can recruit but brings an OC that isn’t a stick-in-the-mud attack.

I’ve said this on another board. It takes 2-3 years to switch philosophies and probably another year to develop “your” players. That’s why we say five years minimum for a new coach. If we bring in an uptempo, sling it around coach, we don’t have the kids to run that system. We also dont have the kids in place for dual threat (even though I’d be interested in Kelley in that offense). So, what happens next year, IF we fire Bret then have another “down” year? Would the same individuals complain, because our schedule next year is considered relatively weak compared to this year’s. Heck we have Vandy instead of SCe. Plus no “good” or should I say “good P5” OOC opponent. I think you have to keep Bret, because if we lose next year, there is no excuse, regardless of same coach or new coach.

How do we not have the personnel to run a wide open offense?

Have a qb with a cannon of an arm, and a bunch of young really talented WRs, and Backs. Just need to repair the OL Bret and Kurt have destroyed.

i don’t think it would be a problem at all. It just takes good coaching, these kids weren’t running pro style offense in high school I can almost guarantee you.

The Defense, that takes a little more time, but once again if you have the players and coaching, it is doable. We’re lacking a little of both.

Good points.

I’ve been one that comments that recruiting stars and rankings are over rated. But, when you look at the teams in the Top 10 that are competing for the CFP, nearly all consistently sign top recruiting classes. Particularly in the SEC. I’m beginning to believe that is what it will take for sustained success. There are exceptions with certain coaches that seem to over achieve their recruiting rankings. Petrino is one that has a history of that, but so was CBB at Wisky.

I think CBB thought he could implement his formula used at Wisky, and it would work in the SEC. I liked the idea of Uncommon and the way he seems to keep these kids on track with academics and out of trouble. But, the player development aspect has not worked. We should have been seeing positive results in year five.

Is there a candidate that can suddenly attract top recruits and also be a great Xs and Os coach? I can’t remember when that has happened to teams outside of the traditional powers. In many cases, they were already signing top recruiting classes, but were underperforming because of coaching.