If Tulane hires Rich Rodriguez as it’s next head football coach Green Wave fans everywhere will rejoice.
Tulane fans have already taken to twitter and are hash-tagging every tweet with #InRichRodWeTrust.
But is Rich Rod the answer?
The arguement can certainly be made that Rodriguez knows Tulane. He was an assistant on the most successful team in school history. Rodriguez is also a proven commodity and a big name that people everywhere will recgonize.
It would be hard to argue the hiring of Rich Rodriguez.
But for fun…let’s try!
If hired, it seems Tulane fans are expecting Rich Rod to do what he and Tommy Bowden did in ’97-’98…go from 2-9 (1996, Buddy Teevans last season) to 7-4 (1997) and then 12-0 (1998).
That’s not realistic today.
During Buddy Teevens last season uptown (1996) the Wave finished with a 2-9 overall record…but 5 of those losses were by a touchdown or less.
Rodriguez and Bowden also inherited an NFL caliber quarterback who was perfect to run the offense they installed.
The 2011 Tulane team seems destined to finish 2-11 overall…nearly every loss has been a horrific blowout! Tulane’s only wins are against a winless UAB team and Southeastern.
If “RR” is hired which quarterback runs his spread offense next season? Could “RR” lure a top flight prep QB who runs the spread to Tulane?
College football has also changed a lot over the past 13 years…the gap between the have’s (BCS schools) and have-not’s (Non-automatic qualifiers) has grown.
The next Tulane coach will have a major rebuilding job on his hands.
I’m not saying Rodriguez can’t win or won’t win if hired…I’m just saying that the ‘savior’ expectations that Tulane fans have regarding him should be tempered.
I’d also like to add that Rodriguez won big at West Virginia University with some unsavory characters that would never be part of the Tulane program (most notably Pacman Jones and Chris Henry).
Also, look at the BCS top 25. How many head coaches on that list have been fired for losing? I can’t find one.
Look at Conference-USA…how many of the good (bowl eligible in 2011) head coaches in that league have been fired? Larry Fedora? Nope! Kevin Sumlin? No Way. June Jones? Fired in the NFL but not as a college coach. Tulsa’s Bill Blankenship? Negative, he was a high school coaching legend in OKC before joining the staff at Tulsa.
I’m all about second chances and I know the situation at Michigan was tough for Rich Rod but college head coaches fired from the highest levels for losing just don’t seem to ever find the success they once had.
Personally, if Tulane goes with a fired, former head coach I’d put all my eggs in the Mike Leach or Mike Haywood basket…both were fired for off the field issues…not because of losing.
Look, Tulane fans can agree with me or disagree with me (most disagree) but I’ve been consistent since 2006. In 2006 I lobbied for the Wave to hire a head coach from a subdivision or an up-and-coming assistant coach. Like many, the subdivision head coach I wrote about was Jim Harbaugh…one of the assistants I wrote about was Dana Holgorsen (who was an assistant at Houston at the time).
Tulane hired Bob Toledo. From day one I said it was a trash hire the school would regret. They did.
Tulane could also go the way of SMU and lure a big winner to New Orleans. In 2008, June Jones had just taken Hawaii to a BCS bowl game…he had numerous options but chose SMU because of the financial package, new stadium and commitment to winning.
I’ve said this name before and I’ll say it again…Tulane should perhaps contact Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. The 46 year old has won at Navy and makes $750,000 at the academy. If Tulane doubled his salary (reportedly Tulane will pay a coach a 7-figure salary) and used the lure of the new on-campus stadium and building a program from the ground up his way with the resources to be successful perhaps Niumatalolo would come.
If Tulane goes with an assistant than I stand by the guy I’ve been lobbying for all along….LSU’s Frank Wilson. He knows New Orleans, is a great coach and will recruit this state like no Green Wave coach before him.
Bonus: If Frank is hired….he should consider former Saints backup QB and current University of Houston co-offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury as his associate head coach/offensive coordinator. Terry Joseph (University of Tennessee) should also garner consideration as recruiting coordinator/defensive coordinator.
This staff would be young, exciting and start Tulane down a fresh Path!