It’s October and the coaching carousel starts earlier than usual with Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Nebraska and Georgia Tech all giving their head coach the guillotine at the start of the campaign. 2022. Matt Rhule was also hit today by the Carolina Panthers. This marriage never felt right to me. Rhule seems like one of those guys who is always made for the college game. It’s not a slight. Spurrier and Saban also disliked their time in the NFL. If I was one of these 5 power 5 programs looking for a new lead ball coach, Rhule would be at the top of my list of potential candidates.
If you’re in Rhule’s position… which job is best? Outside of Wisconsin. I think Wisconsin is clearly the best work of the 5, but I have a feeling it’s going to be Jim Leonard’s. Colorado and Georgia Tech are a lower tier in my opinion. The choice, in my opinion, is between ASU and Nebraska and I’m going to ASU.
ASU feels like a sleeping giant to me for the right coach. It is in a state with a growing population and close to fertile recruiting grounds. Good weather. Beautiful woman. Great uniform jumpsuits. A better academic school than it is awarded, but not the type of school that will ever deny someone grades or suspend someone for a low GPA before a bowling game. With the exception of the Jake Plummer Rose Bowl, ASU has never been great in my lifetime. You win 9 games at ASU a year and you’re probably the winningest coach ever and they’ll build you a statue.
You win 9 games a year in Nebraska and they fire you
If you object to Bo Pelini’s example, well…Frank Solich never had a losing record, went to a bowling game every year, finished in the AP Top 10 three times in 6 years and… got fired.
You can argue that Nebraska has more resources, more history, and maybe in the NIL era, Nebraska has more to offer the players because they are a de facto pro team in the State since the people of Nebraska care about NOTHING except for Cornhuskers Football.
Tom Osborne never walks through that door again. I wish Nebraska was relevant again. I think it would make college football more interesting to have resurgent blue blood, but since joining the BigTen, they haven’t been able to recruit Texas in the same way. It’s just not a good fit. I feel like the absolute ceiling for Nebraska at this point would be a 2nd tier Big Ten team like a Wisconsin. They will apparently always be behind Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, even as they make the program more competitive. The Pac-12, or whatever, will have a clearer path to the top than Nebraska would have in the BigTen. And even if you fail to win the conference at ASU… consistently win 9 games and they’ll build you a statue.
Even though Nebraska can and will pay you more money in the short term, you’ll probably make up the difference in the long run at ASU because you can get a second contract even if you don’t win a national championship. All things considered, ASU seems to be the correct answer here and I’m shocked at the poll results.