THE BIGGER PICTURE
As Ole Miss begins the search for a new football coach to lead the program, there are a lot of moving parts which, hopefully, will all be considered in the selection of a new coach. Some of these have been addressed before and some have not.
Let’s start with the ones which have been addressed and their relative importance.
Without good players, there is no good program. For some reason, the recruiting fell off a cliff. But hiring a coach just because he’s a great recruiter is an often fatal mistake, i.e. Orgeron. Any great, experienced, coach will be able to build a recruiting network quickly. While knowing Mississippi is important, knowing how to build
A good recruiting program in (hostile) territory—and quickly—is even more important. I would prefer someone who had credential already at a major college level. And remember: next year, A&M comes in and with that, the entire state of Texas as a legitimate recruiting base. Let’s not just focus on the neighborhood when a whole new territory is opening up.
NOT ALL ASSISTANTS ARE READY FOR THE BIG TIME
As Florida is finding out, being the top Number 2 doesn’t mean you’re going to be
A great number 1 (head coach). Working for great programs should provide great
Experience, but there are a lot of moving parts in any great organization and sometimes the number 2 guy is and has been number 2 because he just can’t get the organization all on one page. Personally, I would prefer someone who has had success as a Head Coach at a major program before trying to find the next up and comer. We can’t take that chance. And, sorry, major college is major college,.
WHO CAN FILL THE SEATS
There are two ways to fill stadium seats: one is with a great team and the other is with a great coach. If I told you Bill Cowher was coming to Ole Miss to coach, the season ticket sales would go off the charts, regardless of the talent currently in Oxford. Obviously, the best combination is a marquee level coach with marquee level talent. I would go for someone who has name recognition and brings serious excitement to the program because, face it, for the first couple of years, it’s all going to be on his name.
WILL THE NEW COACH MAKE THE OTHER SEC COACHES SWEAT
One problem with hiring within the assistant ranks in the SEC? Everyone knows
What to expect. Too much inside knowledge, too easy to game plan against.
Of course a head coach would like to see his assistants go to the competition—
They’re easier to gameplan against. After all..you already know how they think.
I prefer someone who will make the reigning powers worry a little bit about
What’s coming, not just provide a better version of the standard “offense” or “defense”. If the new coach doesn’t make the opposition sweat…why bring him in?
NEW IDEAS VS. REFINEMENT
You can’t dig a new hole by digging the same hole deeper. The fastest way to a (new) solution is a new concept ,strategy, idea, game plan, formation, etc. etc. This means
Innovation, not continued development of the status quo. No offense, but do we have another two or four years to spend on development when we what need now is impact? I think the answer is evident. What is the post-spread offense going to look like? I’d like to find out on my own field with my own coach leading the charge.
A HEAD COACHING POSITION IN THE S.E.C. IS A PRIVILEDGE
The truth: you can win a national championship with an S.E.C. team.
That statement is not so true of the other conferences in America.
A head coaching position in the S.E.C. with all of the television coverage, prestige, and, yes, tough competition is a great, high profile position. Remember when Ole Miss knocked off Florida and made the cover of S.I. It’s the big time. That means spending money alone will not get you the guy we really need. Ole Miss should bring in someone who really, really, really wants to compete in the S.E.C. and doesn’t just
Want a check or a checkmark on his resume.
DON’T OUTSMART YOURSELF
What we need is to not over-analyze the entire situation and forget to bring some big ideas to the hiring process. There are some serious moving parts that also need attention: the A.D., stadium upgrades, etc. The A.D. selection requires as much attention as the coach, because we need that to be 21st Century effective, not 20th Century status quo. We have to dissect what is required to jump ahead, not merely pull into contention, and see what progress can be made there .In other words, don’t aim at the duck, shoot ahead of the duck. No need to go through all this pain just to get back to even.
DOES HE REALLY WANT TO BE AT OLE MISS
Or does he just want the position and the paycheck. This place can break
Your heart or make you feel on top of the world, usually all in one weekend. I want someone who wants to be at Ole Miss..who has to be at Ole Miss… If I have to “convince “ to come, they’re the wrong choice. Period.
WHO SAYS WE CAN’T BE GREAT
Leave the room. America is full of great programs at schools that have less
Resources, history, and fan backing than Ole Miss. Saying “we’re too small to
Compete” is just voting for a very modest success rate. Not acceptable. It will start with an upset or two, then a string of victories, than as the profile rises so will
the ability to recruit and the prestiqe of playing at a classic, American university.We already are number one in tailgating and partying and we don’t even have that much to celebrate recently. What wonderful heights can we reach off the field with a team that delivers on the field? Bring me someone who can/has competed against the top programs and beat them (Baylor taking apart Oklahoma, etc.). Resources are important but they’re not everything. Texas has the richest athletics program in
the country and their football team is lackluster for the last few years. Believe it and it will happen.
YOU WILL FEEL IT WHEN YOU PLAY OLE MISS
Football is a collision sport. Make them pay when they play us, at home or on the road. The right coach will be so enthusiastic and supportive that our players will
“beat the hell out of you” as the cheer goes. Really. Aren’t we Ole Miss by Damn?
There is nothing wrong with playing a particularly physical style of football. Especially in the S.E.C. where bringing it is important.
This is a great opportunity and since the athletic house is getting cleaned out, let’s upgrade the process and intellectual approach we use to upgrade our program.
We need one more miracle finish from Archie and I, for one, think he’s got it in him.