He's hopped jobs his entire career. Some coaches just get bored being in the same place for more than a year. He liked Barry, but Auburn generally pays more - I don't know what they're paying him off the top of my head, but probably more. He has said it was a no-brainer to reunite with Auburn DC Kevin Steele, whom he'd work with in the past.
Don't you have a two-minute drill to screw up?
I think you're absolutely right. They added some new wrinkles against Auburn. Lots of pre-snap motion for the tight ends, slot receivers and running backs. The concept of the RPOs is great, but you essentially let the defense dictate your play-calling, run or pass. Against Auburn it seemed like Heupel wanted to be more deliberate with the direction he wanted to take.
Perhaps, but if football keeps spiraling the conversation will shift from the games to the coaching situation.
He's been in position to make plays but he doesn't make impact stops. Seems to be in the right position most of the time and he doesn't get exposed against the pass, but he's missed some tackles and struggled to get off blocks against the run.
The big question with Leach is does he want to leave a place that's in a remote location where there's not much pressure to win at a national level? Does he have an SEC itch to scratch? Would he want to bring his system into this league and go toe to toe with the Floridas and Georgias? Hard to say what drives him at this point. He can win eight games a year every year at Wazzu with the occasional 10- or 11-win season and Pac 12 championship game appearance and they'll rename the stadium after him someday. Or he can take his program somewhere with more visibility and different challenges. He's 56, so he's still got plenty of good years left to coach. What he's done at two programs that are in remote locations and near the bottom of their conferences is resources is nothing short of outstanding. Any AD who doesn't consider him for their job is not doing their job.
It comes up all the time in St. Louis and I've never really heard it mentioned in Kansas City. I can't explain why. I feel some people in St. Louis, and maybe the high school coaches and the players, hold MU to a higher standard when it comes to recruiting and building relationships and establishing a presence in the market. You hear that chatter all the time from the east side of the state, far more than you do from the west side. I don't know why that is, but Missouri coaches have always recognized that difference.
I don't know for sure. I asked him about those comments this week and specisfically asked how he guards against paying attention to the outside criticism. He cited two examples after the Auburn game: the third-string left tackle at Rock Bridge HS with 12 followers on Twitter and the "dark days" comment he heard from a fan after the game. Here's how he answered my question Monday: "The only thing I’m worried about is our team. I want them to stay focused on what happens in these walls and what happens in our locker room. That’s the only message that was meant for, for our team to focus on what matters on us taking care of each other and working to become a good football team." Maybe so, but when he made those comments two weeks ago he sure seemed to be talking about how the criticism affected him personally. And that's OK. We're all human and nobody likes negative criticism. But you don't hear head coaches acknowledge that stuff publicly. That was unusual. To his credit, Pinkel put himself in a bubble and purposely avoided all media coverage of his team for this very reason. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. Then again, it's harder to avoid in 2017 when you're a head coach and you have to be on Twitter to communicate with your recruits and you're getting slammed by fans all the time on the same medium.
Buyouts are wiped out once a coach gets another job in coaching - or at least the school owes the fired coach only the difference between his current salary and his new salary. Heupel makes $700K, so they'd owe him that for next year, but not the whole sum if he lands another job. Odom's buyout is relatively cheap, about $1.35 million if he's let go after this season. Sterk has made it very clear he doesn't do midseason coaching changes. I take him at his word here. He sat staring at empty sections at Mizzou Arena and didn't fire Anderson after dismal loss after dismal loss. In fact, he didn't fire him until Anderson told him he wanted to know his fate with about two weeks left in the season. As for the chancellor, he doesn't seem all that consumed with athletics or very experienced with athletics, at least not like some of his predecessors at Missouri. I'm not sure what else he's supposed to say in that situation other than what he did last week.
That's always a challenge, like it was when Rhoades stalled before deciding to bring Anderson back for a third season.
The fact that Webster Groves has two DI recruits probably played a factor. The FBI scandal has opened the doors for a lot of coaches to get involved with recruits who were committed to the schools being targeted. It makes sense for Martin to put on a full-court press.
There are eight games left that could spell his fate. Sterk will want to see progress. He'll want to see a competitive team. If he's going to buy the "turnaround" narrative he'll need to see evidence that Odom is the right guy to turn it around, that he has pieces in place on the roster and on the recruiting trail to make this a relevant program sooner than later.
It's becoming more common to see DI teams play D2 teams in regular-season games in lieu of exhibition games. If I'm not mistaken Emporia State has also played or will play Kansas this year and Arkansas. I'm not sure the official reasoning behind it, but it's not unprecedented.
Missouri has one in-state commitment. Several more players with offers are still undecided. Obviously the season isn't trending the right direction to be able to sign those players who have offers from more successful, more established coaches. Here's the interesting twist for hot-seat coaches this year: With the December signing date, ADs have to be decisive with their firings and hirings. Any AD who wants to fire his head coach has to act fast to get a new coach in place so he can (1) salvage the team's commitment list and (2) hit the road immediately to sign players by late December. The market's probably going to be severely picked over by the time the traditional February signing date comes around.
There's no reason schools shouldn't kick the tires on Miles, but I just don't think his recent track record suggests he's a good fit for a Power 5 program. It's an offensive game, a QB-driven game, and that was Miles' weakness at LSU.
Yes, that very well could happen. There will always be a cluster of 30,000 fans who show up regardless of the head coach or the record. Unlike basketball games, football games are a social event. Fans come for the tailgating and for the experience. That core will always be there six or seven Saturdays a year. But when things are bad on the field, Missouri doesn't have a strong enough or loyal enough fan base to expect huge crowds. That means less revenue for your entire department, which makes you less competitive in every sport in the SEC.
It all depends on the coach's situation. If a head coach doesn't like his AD or he's trying to get out of town before he's fired, you might find a P5 coach willing to leave for an SEC job. Generally, I think the Missouri job is the right place for a proven Group of Five head coach who has experience as an assistant at a Power Five school.
I have no idea if he'd be interested in the Missouri job, but he's done a great job at Troy and will be attractive for Power Five ADs. And I would have said that before his team outplayed LSU for four quarters last week. He learned the Air Raid system as a player under Hal Mumme and Mike Leach at Kentucky, then coached under Tuberville at Texas Tech and under Mark Stoops at Kentucky. He runs an exciting offense. He's got SEC ties and he's worked under some proven winners. He checks a lot of boxes that Power Five ADs will want filled.
You're probably right. They'll find new shortcuts. I think the NCAA will have to somehow step in and rethink how significant a role the shoe companies have in the process. There might be some legislative changes to add more oversight to the AAU circuits. It's going to be a fascinating few years to see how this falls out. You know the coaches and others who were arrested will give up names. So many more coaches could get roped into this.
Sterk is low profile by default. But actually he made the rounds in St. Louis two weeks ago and did a bunch of interviews and addressed questions about Odom and the football program. He met with a couple writers at the Post-Dispatch and did our podcast. He faced some tough questions about the direction of the program after the Purdue loss. That said, he's not the type to make any bold statements during the season. I don't suspect that will change this fall.