It seems highly likely - if not inevitable - that the University of Michigan will be looking for another new football coach soon, perhaps even in the next three or four days. Rumors have been bouncing around since a couple weeks into the season when Michigan lost to Notre Dame, 31-0. Things have not improved much since then. Michigan's most impressive win is either the close victory over a 6-5 Penn state team or the close victory over a 5-6 Northwestern team. The offense has been stagnant and special teams have been frustrating; defense has been the bright spot, but they struggle late in games.
In an effort to get a jump start on some new hope, I'll be profiling a series of coaches whose names have been floating around as candidates. Some of them may be wishful thinking, while some may be our worst nightmare. At the end of each post, I'll rank the candidate in order of my wish list. I'll start off with a guy that would probably make quite a few fans and alumni happy.
Current position: Oklahoma Sooners head coach
Head coaching experience: 168-42 at Oklahoma (1999-present)
Current salary: $5,250,000 per year
History: Stoops grew up in Youngstown, OH, and was an All-Big Ten safety at Iowa as a player. He then coached the defensive backs at Kansas State under Bill Snyder and was co-defensive coordinator when KSU had an excellent run, which he used as a springboard to the Florida Gators defensive coordinator job under Steve Spurrier from 1996-1998, helping them win a national championship. He took over an Oklahoma team that had been 17-27 under Howard Schnellenberger and John Blake for the three years previous; Stoops proceeded to go 7-5 in his first year and then won the national championship in 2000. Since then he has only had two seasons of four-plus losses (8-4 in 2005, 8-5 in 2009).
My thoughts: Stoops to Michigan would essentially be a lateral move, but there have been rumors that he and the administration in Norman don't quite see eye-to-eye. This is about the time in his career where he has to decide whether he wants to be in Norman forever or whether he wants to try other challenges. Stoops has an array of brothers scattered around college football (Mike is Oklahoma's defensive coordinator; Mark is Kentucky's head coach; Ron, Jr. is an assistant at Youngstown State), and Mark is making quite a recruiting impact in Ohio. With the family's success and ties in the midwest, Bob would probably do a very good job of recruiting in the Big Ten imprint. Stoops has done a good job of producing NFL talent, and he has adapted his offense as the years have gone along while still playing solid defense. That monstrous salary seems like it would be difficult to overcome, especially with President Schlissel seeming slightly uneasy about the role of athletics at the university.
My wish list:
1. Bob Stoops