Pac-10 Coaching Carousel, Part I

Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, December 8th, 2007


The coaching fluctuation has been pretty consistent in the Pac-10: Two coaches out last year, two coaches out this year. Bill Doba is out. The Karl Dorrell Kool-Aid is now fresh out, and Bruins Nation has now lost the inspiration for 80% of their posts. It’d be funny if the Bruins really did go ahead and hire someone like DeWayne Walker, and completely destroy their fanhood for the rest of the offseason. The derangement would be something to behold.

So let’s go over the two vacancies and see what effect it has on the Bears, specifically the Cougars job, which might allow Tedford a graceful way to send off one of his coordinators…

Speaking of Walker, Wazzu has already contacted him for the vacancy. Walker’s defensive acumen has been impressive at UCLA; his defenses are physical, hard-hitting, and have carried their inferior offensive counterparts the past year, including the Cal game. Add in that he recruits very well and the Bruins He only carries a little of the taint of Dorrell’s failings, most notably a 44-6 blowout in Utah, which might harm his final evaluation. I do think Walker would be a good choice, but I’m not sure if he really wants to coach. It’s also pretty entertaining for 1-11 Tom Holmoe to give you a vote of confidence.

Cal’s Bob Gregory is also up for consideration. A Wazzu alum, Gregory has been widely condemned for his vanilla strategies of covering defenses, and although I was harsh on him in the wake of agonizing defeat, I really don’t think he did a TERRIBLE job. That being said, I can’t imagine Gregory staying after our bowl game. As I said on Thursday, someone’s going to take the fall for the end to this season, and the highest members in the Bears echelon to take it would be the coordinators. It’d be interesting to see him on the sidelines, depending on if Wazzu necessarily wants an alum. Gregory also hasn’t been terribly interested in a head coaching position before this year, so we’ll see how it all unfolds.

Another candidates is Brady Hoke from Ball State. Where’d the Brady Hoke love come from? First Michigan, now Wazzu. I do know Ball State has helped make many gamblers rich this year, but other than that, I don’t really see his appeal. A few other coaches have also surfaced as candidates. The sexy pick is of course Mike Price and his stripper dolls. If that were to happen, there would be mass rejoicing in Pullman. Until Price went mad as he recollected the desolate nature of the Eastern Washington whorehouse scene.

Either way, this is a program in rebuilding with Alex Brink on his way out. If Cal does recover from their tumble, Wazzu might be a very important place to assert themselves next year–the Bears are slated to face them the second week of the year in Pullman.

As for UCLA? I’m not even sure I can begin to describe their delirium. The Dorrellian years have left these fans totally deranged. The possibilities are fanciful and endless. They dreamed of Steve Spurrier as the Bruins tumbled three in a row. They wet their pants at the thought of Chris Petersen running hook and ladders all over the Trojans. The awesome Mike Leach setting Hollywood alight. Would you like cupcakes and frosting with rainbow sprinkles too?

There is a small caveat that the Bruins faithful seem willing to swallow, for all his schizophrenia on the field, Dorrell was a damned good recruiter. The talent is all lined up for UCLA next year and perhaps the year after to finally regain a seat in the pecking order. If the incoming coach is competent, he should be able to guide the Bruins to contend for the Pac-10 crown with a great deal of talent, but the long-term future will be most uncertain.

Cal fans who don’t want to worry about UCLA in the near future, pray for Brady Hoke to enter the mix. That Midwestern charm can be awfully folksy. Or Walker. His hiring has the potential to break the Internets. It’ll be fun.

Tomorrow: The eight who remain.

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