Sometimes, you get a little lucky.
It was apparently the best-kept secret in college football, but apparently Tommy Tuberville was not a happy camper in Lubbock. Basically, the fit in a Texas backwater for a good ol' Southern boy like Tubs was so bad that he was willing to move down a conference to try and get back to a place that reminded him of the South. Although I'm not sure what part of Cincinnati is really in the South.
Thankfully, he waited about three weeks to find the job he wanted. He waited three weeks to inform anyone, including his AD. And now the poor Red Raiders will have to start scrambling to hire someone, and they won't be able to go after a coach they would definitely have gone after because we just hired him.
Timing is everything in college football coaching searches. You always want to get a coach early because you have a good idea of what coaches will be going and which coaches will be staying and who your candidates are. The longer you wait, the more likely chaos could ensue, and the more likely coaches you wanted could end up landing in more coveted spots.
Obviously, I have no idea if Sonny Dykes would have sought the Red Raider job as actively as he appeared to seek the Cal position. But you'd have to imagine he'd have seriously considered the place where he graduated from high school and college if he knew that job was opening up. At the very least, Cal might have been forced into a bidding war to try and get him, which might have made it harder to get him.
It's hard to find a group of people more beloved in Lubbock than the Dykes family. Sonny's dad Spike coached the Red Raiders for 14 years and took them to seven bowls, paving the foundation for Mike Leach to have his successful run. Sonny then authored some of the most incredible offenses the Red Raiders have ever spawned in Lubbock. He is well-respected among Texas Tech fans, and would probably have been a natural fit back home.
But it's not going to happen.
No truth to rumor Sonny Dykes isn't signed at Cal. He signed term sheet before his presser. He's excited abt where he is now— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 8, 2012
Sonny Dykes agent: "Coaching jobs are often abt timing & opportunity. The timing is not right for Sonny & Tech. He is Cal's head coach."— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 8, 2012
You can see the ambivalence in that last tweet, although the agent is probably annoyed he missed a chance at leveraging both jobs against one another and getting a heftier payday. I'm fairly certain Dykes is happy to set up shop at Cal.
Sonny Dykes told me 2 months ago, unsolicited, if he could live anywhere it'd be the Bay Area. He's on his way.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 6, 2012
Dykes and his family appeared to be happy at setting up shop in one of the nicest places in the country to start things anew. And all indications are that he's quite pleased with the foundation he's been given in California to try and run his offense. He's here for a few years and is ready to get down to work.
We will never really know whether Dykes would have chosen Texas Tech or Cal. And I'm kind of glad we probably won't ever know, because it sounds like it would've been closer than you'd have ever wanted it to be.
Poor Sonny Dykes. If he'd waited 3 days, he'd be coaching Texas Tech like he always wanted.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 8, 2012
@slmandel u tweeted that Sonny said he wanted to live in the Bay over anywhere and now you say Tech is what he always wanted? Which is true?— Philthy (@feilmynutz) December 8, 2012
@feilmynutz Both. Wants to live in Bay Area, but hard to ignore school/place he grew up on.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 8, 2012
If I were a Bear fan, I'd root hard for Dykes to succeed at Cal, and also root hard for Texas Tech to succeed too with whoever they pick as their new head coach. I doubt we'd want to be looking over our shoulder wondering if our coach might be interested in coming home, so it's best to hope that both teams perform well on the football field and enjoy long and stable coaching tenures.
Go Red Raiders! Beat Texas!