09.Dec.2014 New Day, New Coach, New Thread
So the speculation is clearly just that and nobody knows anything yet. How about we think about what would make this coach a good hire?
I don’t think young and exciting = automatic good hire. Nor does someone over 50 automatically = bad hire. We need to be careful of the natural tendency to want the opposite of the last coach, which is just emotional backlash. Emotional decisions are rarely good ones. Personal story, but I remember dating a somewhat conservative girl years ago…then getting bored with her and going the opposite direction. That got scary fast. Rinse, repeat.
If I were in charge of this hiring, I’d step back and ask what it takes to win in this conference. Personally, I’d go for a defensive minded coach. The two best OSU teams (2000 and 2006) were based around defense and ground attack. When we look at Stanford’s run it was based around D and a ground game, and even Arizona this year. So I’d go with D and then supplement that with a ground game and savvy/heady QB. This guy doesn’t need to set passing records, just make clutch throws and convert 3rd downs at a good rate. The teams setting passing records (OSU and WSU) are also the teams finishing in the cellar. For this reason, I don’t like Beau Baldwin in any capacity, even OC. My #1 guy is Kirby Smart. Doubt he’s even on OSU’s radar. But he fits the bill. If they could land him and an OC who understands game flow and has good instincts (to know what is predictable, when, and why) I’d be happy.
Boring? Maybe. But that would win big. This is a reason I like Mendenhall despite some disliking him. He runs that exact style.
Regarding Matt Wells, Scott Frost, etc. They are both worth hard looks and I like them, but if I were interviewing them I’d grill them on their defensive philosophy and understanding of game planning for each opponent (something Banker was terrible at–same D no matter who he was playing).