Rank Order

This is how I rank the candidates that have been discussed the most.

I am only listing those that seem reasonable or have been suggested as realistic possibilities.
I have previously made clear my first choice was Jeff Brohm, but it doesn’t sound like he’s in play.

  1. Brent Venables.
    I get the “never been a head coach” thing. But the guy has just been saturated by being at successful programs at the highest level

  2. Chad Morris
    my opinion of him has changed considerably. Main reason is I think he could recruit Texas.

  3. Mike Leach
    Never though I would say it. But he does seem to do “more with less”

  4. Lane Kiffin
    Hurts me to think it, really. But the guy can apparently flat-out recruit.

  5. Mike Norvell
    Just don’t think he’s ready for big-time gig.

  6. Charlie Strong
    I only list him because he’s on the reported list. No way I could be happy about him.

Let’s get a composite read on rank order.
Everyone has listed their favorite, how about ranking them all?

  1. Venables. Defense is our main problem; he’ll fix it
  2. Morris
  3. Strong. Did better at Louisville than Petrino. I don’t hold Texass against him because that was and is a dumpster fire. He got it to where Herman might succeed. See Venables re: defense.
  4. Norvell. Recruiting is my question for him.
    5-6. Leach/Kiffin. Have been on my HELL NO list all along; nothing has changed there.


don’t care for strong, leach, but could stomach kiffin

  1. Morris - Love the idea of Venables better but the HC experience and recruiting of Texas with Morris has me flip flopping these two.

1b. Venables

  1. Kiffin - How much fun that would be to the circus that’s already being performed!

  2. Sumlin - Texas recuiting and a good coach. I’ll take the 8-9 wins per season with the occasional huge season that could come with someone like Sumlin all day.

  3. Norvell - Love what he is doing at Memphis but not sure he would attract the same pedigree of assistant coaches as the other 4 on the list.

  1. Morris- Like his pedigree and TX connections. Also, his offense is appealing
  2. Kiffen- The SEC is a player’s league. He could get players right away. I think he’s better suited now for a job like this one.
  3. Venables- Safest pick. good solid D coach. Could probably hire a top shelf staff. I would be very happy if he is the one.
  4. Norvell- A lot like Morris but less experience.
  5. Strong- Just something about his body language. Not a big fan. Also, Louisville wasn’t in the much tougher ACC when he was the coach.
  6. Leach- I have a lot of respect for him but this just wouldn’t be a good fit. Like I said, this is a player’s league and I don’t think he could get the players.


Rehire Bielema

!. Kiffin
2. Willie Fritz
3. Chad Morris
4. Mike Norvell
5. Dana Holgorsen
6a. Paul Johnson
6b. Jeff Monken
7. Mike Leach

  1. Venables–easily my favorite. Great defensive mind.
  2. Morris–good recruiter/offensive guru, but he’d need to guarantee hiring a solid DC
  3. Strong–don’t think he’s really interested but could do well on the hill if given a chance.
  4. Leach–eccentric but can win, just not sure at the level Hog fans want.
  5. Norvell–not sure he’s ready for the SEC.
  6. Kiffin–just no.
  1. Kiffin
  2. Kiffin
  3. Kiffin
  4. Kiffin



If only we could see into the future!

If I’m picking the coach I’d like to see five years from now in a successful Arkansas program:
Venables, Morris, Kiffin

If I’m picking a coach today that has the best chance to turn us around before the fans turn on him:
Kiffin, Morris, Venables


Kiffin should be able to give us a quick fix, and bring in better talent. Risky character.

Morris would give us an exciting offense that fans would like during a rebuild. An entertaining offense will buy him more time. He’ll recruit well, but it may take 3-4 years. Seems to have good character.

Venables should give a solid defense over time, and maybe a good offense, but if he doesn’t do it fast enough, the fans will turn on him faster, and blame it on his lack of HC experience. Seems to have good character.

1-Venables (and his “get back” coach if you saw gameday a few weeks ago.
2- Kiffin- Proven record
3- Morris- Texas ties, turned SMU dumpster fire into bowl team
4- Norvell- anybody see their defense last week in championship game? No thanks.

  • Morris
  • Venables
  • Norvell
  • Leach

I think my top 3 in order are:

  1. Morris–Texas connections; has HC experience; turned SMU around; fun offense
  2. Venables–great defensive mind. We need defense. Seems ready for an HC gig & has been very successful as a coordinator.
  3. Norvell–fallen some on my list mostly because I’ve come to like the other two more, not because I like him less. Has Ark & Tex connections. Can probably recruit both well. Didn’t build Memphis, but didn’t let it fall & has done quite well there.

No way: Kiffin–character & maturity issues. A scandal waiting to happen.

Wouldn’t want, but would accept & try to warm to: Leach.

Norvell: His generations’s Petrino. Brilliant young coach





  1. Kiffin
  2. Venables
  3. Leach
  4. Morris
  1. Morris
  2. Venables
  3. Sumlin

Rest are trash.

  1. Morris
  2. Kiffin
  3. Venables
  4. Leach

No particular rationale for each…simply “gut” feel based on the out of body experience I’ve been having over the last several days, absorbing all the stuff I’ve been reading about them on this site and others.