21 thoughts on “Morning Buzz

  1. Come on Wolfie! He’s coached exactly zero games in the Pac-10. How is anyone supposed to answer this question? This is just a fanboy/hater test.

  2. Yes, I’m voting 10th since every other coach has won at least one game as a Pac-10 head coach.

  3. missinglink, You’re right this is a “fanboy/hater” test, but I think you can rank Kiffin based on his accomplishments, however slim, to date, as well as his perceived potential or lack thereof against the accomplishments and the perceived potential or lack thereof of the other Pac-10 coaches.

    Heres the way I would rank them:
    1. Riley, Oregon State, 64-47, 9 years
    2. Neuheisel, UCLA, 11-14 (77-44 overall), 2 years (10 years overall)
    3. Erickson, Arizona State, 19-18 (167-82-1 overall), 3 years (21 years overall)
    4. Tedford, Cal, 67-35, 8 years
    5. Harbaugh, Stanford, 17-20 (46-26 overall), 3 years (6 years overall)
    6. Sarkesian, Washington, 5-7, 1 year
    7. Kelly, Oregon, 10-3, 1 year
    8. Kiffin, USC, 0-0 (7-6 overall), first year (1 year overall)
    9. Stoops, Arizona, 33-39, 6 years
    10. Wulff, Washington State, 3-22 (56-60 overall), 2 years (10 years overall)

    Erickson is clearly the most accomplished coach, but in 3 years at ASU, that program has only had one good season & hes probably nearing the end of his career. Riley and Tedford have had similar success at their respective schools but the edge should go to Riley since Tedford has had more talent. Neuheisel probably fits in with these two. Id give him the edge over Tedford since he won a Rose Bowl at Washington. Harbaugh appears to have turned the Cardinal around and Stanford will find it difficult to retain him. After six years, Stoops is 33-36. Im surprised he lasted this long. How long did they give Toomey? After two years, Wulff has not been able to turn Washington State around, and expectations are already low. Kelly and Sarkesian have the number of HC years under their belts as Kiffin. Kelly had the most success but he stepped up from OC with a lot of talent. Sarkesian exceeded expectations, and Kiffin did about as well as expected.

  4. I’d put it another way since he hasn’t coached yet for SC. Who would you rather have coaching of the Pac 12 coaches?
    Yes:
    Riley, Harbaugh, Whittingham
    Maybe:
    Kelly, Telford, Sark?
    Probably not:
    Stoops, Harkins
    No:
    Erickson, Wulff
    Hell No:
    Neuheisel
    So Kiffin is somewhere from 4th to 8th without coaching a game yet.

  5. NJ……..explain Neuheisel? And I live in Arizona and Erickson is way past his prime. He’s retired on the job. His first year he had an unbelieveably easy schedule with 8 home games. It’s been all down hill since. And Stoops is working with limited talent.

  6. What is Neuheisel’s record against Kiffy???
    I know for sure he lost at home to a young (bad) UCLA team last year. That Vol team was more talented than the Southern Cal team he just took over… good luck

  7. Rick’s got a losing record with his alma mater and historically goes into the tank in his third year with a program (look it up). I expect the gutty little bruins to go 4-8 this year with their lack of talent, lack of leadership, and lack of an easy schedule.

    If it was Dorrell, UCLA would fire its head coach, but since it’s Ricky (and he must have some incriminating pics of Dan Guerrero) he will not be fired. The hiring of CRN will be ucla’s undoing and one of the reasons SC will retain the monopoly on the City of Angels.

    I think Lane is somewhere in the 3-4 range (behind Harbaugh and Riley and potentially Kelly, but ahead of Sark (when factoring in recruiting ability), Stoops, Erickson, and Tedford and well ahead of Wulf and Neuheisel)

  8. TC, I like the way you just grouped them. I started out doing that but ranked them all within the groups anyway. And dont worry if they ever asked me to support Neuheisel at USC in some Bizzaro World, Id say hell no too. But I still think hes a good coach. The guy started out as a walk-on QB at UCLA in the early 80s & worked his way into the starting role for Donahue. After a rough start in his senior year, he led the Bruins to a Rose Bowl where they crushed favored Illinois & Neuheisel won the MVP. He was a pro QB for 3 years albeit without any real success. He was an assistant for Donahue from 88-93 as UCLA went 41-27-1 (3-2-1 vs. USC). Colorados Bill McCartney brought him to Colorado in 94 & Neuheisel took over the following year. He went 33-14 in 4 years with the Buffaloes & then Washington tapped him, where he went 33-16. He committed some violations at both schools & left Colorado with scholarship reductions. Washington fired him after 02 because he had participated in a college basketball pool & lied about it. He then spent some time under Brian Billick with the Ravens. The guy has learned from some great coaches: Donahue, McCartney & Billick. He recruits well & apparently isnt breaking the rules anymore (or at least getting caught). UCLA improved a bit in 09 from 08. Neuheisel’s past suggests to me that the potential is there to keep UCLA in the top half of the Pac-10, with an occasional championship every few years.

  9. After a couple season with slow lane at the helm you will change your tune. I am really looking forward to reading this blog after the season šŸ™‚

  10. @sureshot: Dorrell got five years and finished with a 6 – 6 record (5 – 4, Pac10) and more importantly, lost to SC big every year but one. Neuheisel has been there 3 years and will get his 5. Also, he actually had head coaching experience prior to the UCLA job, unlike Dorrell. And anyway, UCLA is probably coach-fire fatigued. In other words, he may get 6 years. Next time you want to write an inaccurate accusation like that, submit it to the LA Times instead. They love defending Dorrell (and keeping UCLA mediocre)

  11. @miguelito — well, that will give the blog at least one person who follows it. man, the comments sections are empty. Not a big fan of Jon Gold (seems his attention has wandered since taking over) but at least his blog has a pulse.

  12. Trojan Conquest is dead-on with his rankings.

    This is a big year for a lot of those coaches. Oregon State has a tough out-of-conference schedule so hopefully Riley and the program will succeed and gain national respect. Chip Kelly will have to prove himself with an unknown QB while Sark will be on the opposite side of the spectrum with a QB everyone seems to like. Harbaugh will be on the spot to prove he’s the next best thing.

    As far as Neuheisel – he is still around because his contract is too big to write off, from what I understand the school is even tied to a long-term home loan for Slick Rick. Until that contract runs out and he is replaced, the football team will remain inconsequential.

  13. BruinInSeattle,

    Without BruinRob posting comments and doing his best to offend fans of USC and fans of the English language, the comments section has gone rather quiet.

  14. We keep falling for Scott’s pot stirring.. it’s our fault guys… remember Charlie Brown running to kick the ball,Lucy holding it… how many times do we fall for Lucy/ScottWolf’s pot stirring trick when there is nothing else to talk about???

    “First time shame on you… Second time SHAME ON ME”

  15. People like to look at wins and losses to determine who is best. This only works after the coach has had some time at the program. Rick has a good winning record; however, if you look closer he inherited some very good teams and after the third year or so the programs went downhill fast. As such, I could not rank him highly. Erikson does have the best overall record now that Pete is gone; however, he has not recruited well since being in ASU and has not done well.

    When analyzing a college coach (his staff included as he had to recruit them as well so it is a package) you have to consider four items:

    1) How well they recruit a staff – first priority?
    2) How well they recruit players – hard to win without talent?
    3) How well plays are called – play calling is essential both offensively and defensively?
    4) How well do they coach the players?

    I have to rate Kiffin very highly as, in my opinion, he has recruited the best staff and the best players in the Pac-10 this year. He and his father will be calling plays. Everyone already knows about Monte, but Lane is an incredible play caller. When he was last at USC we averaged 49 points per game, last year was only 26 ppg. UT went from 17 ppg to 29 ppg with the same players. I have to rank him #1 here as well. I have no idea how well he coaches, but time will tell. Overall I would have to rank him #1, Harbaugh #2, Sarkesian #3 and Kelly #4 with the rest being inconsequential.

  16. Sy, All of your points are valid. But I think your ranking puts too much emphasis on potnetial and not enough on performance, especially given what a coach has to work with. To call Riley inconsequential is a bit far-fetched, IMO. Moreover, with the exception of Harbaugh, your top four are all based on promise rather than performance. Still, I hope you’re right about Kiffin.

  17. Sy……….wishful thinking, for all of us Trojans. Proof will be in the pudding. But to rank Kiffin #1 now is a bit of koolaid drinking.

  18. Hi NJ Trojan,

    Riley may have a good team come up, but his recruiting is very weak. He has one to four 4 star recruits and lots of 3 star and 2 star recruits each year. He can never produce consistently strong teams without talent and depth. He has neither. His ability to coach and play call; however, is good.

    Sarkesian took over a team that lost all of its games the year before and turned them into a highly competitive team. They had no depth and felt the pain with their mid to late season contests, but the LSU and USC games were impressive. He too cannot recruit well and that probably should lower his ranking. I thought it best to give him the benefit of doubt. His play calling and coaching are very good.

    Kelly recruits very well. Only Kelly and Harbaugh recruit the kind of talent to make their programs national contenders. Kelly also calls plays very well and as such is very relevant.

    Don’t get me wrong, inconsequential coaches can produce Pac-10 winning teams, but it will be a fluke and tough to repeat. Without talent and depth no school can consistent produce winning teams. Coaching slower and less athletic teams will cost you in the win column. It is inevitable.

    Lane is the best of the group in three of the four major categories. He was a great choice (possibly our best possible choice) and will create very exciting teams to watch. They will be high scoring and their talent will be maximized. He has proven that ability already. Sark, for instance, could only gain 30 ppg with talent like Sanchez. I believe Lane is grossly underrated and has shown new qualities in the wake of the sanctions. You learn the most about people when adversity comes their way. He is impressive under fire as his recruiting is still going strong and his team has stayed mostly intact – so far…

    My two cents worth…

  19. Sy………all that sounds good and I hope you’re right, but I think you’re looking through cardinal and gold glasses.
    Riley would have been able to recruit at SC much better than at OSU. This is like saying LeBron would have won in Kobe’s place with the Lakers. Probably, but we’ll never know. How do you compare recruiting at SC vs other Pac 10 teams. I do hope you’re right.

  20. Hi Trojan Conquest,

    UT was average in recruiting when Lane got there. The year before he came they had only four 4 star recruits with the rest being 3 and 2 stars. In his first recruiting year there he landed the #1 player in the class, two 5 star and eight 4 star players. Before Pete left USC Tenn was ahead of USC on the Rivals recruiting rankings with only a month to go before national signing day. Lane can recruit anywhere! Riley has not had nearly the same success in recruiting. Kelly just arrived at Oregon and still has had more recruiting success than Riley who is well established.

    Looking forward to the next five years I think you will find Lane standing out in spite of the sanctions as the #1 winning coach of the current Pac-10 teams. Utah will be a very interesting challenge. They are somewhat unknown as they have had only a few real contests each year. They will be heavily tested in our conference and I do expect them to do well. I think (for what it’s worth) that Kelly and Harbaugh will prove very successful. As for Sark, it will be very interesting to see if he will move into the elite of the Pac-10. I think he is very capable and as Washington wins more the recruiting should become easier.

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