So now that Gary Andersen’s shocked nearly everyone and taken the Oregon State job, where does he rank among Pac-12 coaches? He went 11-2 at Utah State in 2012 and 10-3 this season at Wisconsin. He’s won at two vastly different schools.
You would have to say Andersen immediately joins the upper tier of Rich Rodriguez, Todd Graham, David Shaw and Jim Mora as guys who are highly respected within the conference.
This is not to say Oregon State will win next year, with heavy losses on defense and quarterback Sean Mannion departing. But they will remain dangerous for some conference opponent.
In the bigger picture, Andersen’s arrival will test whether a defensive coach who preaches hard-nosed football can thrive in the spread-happy Pac-12.
If anyone hoped Oregon State would hire a B-level coach to replace Mike Riley, those hopes were dashed when Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen surprisingly took the Oregon State job. Andersen went 19-7 and won the Big Ten West Division this season.
Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin spoke at the Broyles Award ceremony today.
“Coach Saban really took a chance on me when a lot of people wouldn’t do it,” Kiffin said. “He has been phenomenal to me throughout the entire year.”