From what could easily have been the most interesting coaching carousel in recent memory, the college football landscape finally seems to have settled with a different landscape than the one we had just a few weeks ago. So let’s take a look back, see where the movements have been, and discuss which of these moves was the best and worst.
UCLA: Jim Mora to Chip Kelly
This is a weird one. We can all agree that Chip Kelly probably will not stay in Westwood long term, but for the immediate future he brings a certain level of hype and excitement back to the baby bears fanbase. Even with the expected departure of Josh Rosen, Chip Kelly has one of the highest-touted dual-threat QB recruits in Dorian Thompson-Robinson coming in next fall. Chip Kelly’s system with one of the top dual threat QBs? Not again.
Oregon: Willie Taggart to Mario Cristobal
If you had told anyone that Willie Taggart would leave at season’s end, people would have called you crazy. Yet here we are. Willie Taggart leaves Oregon to head back to the state of Florida after just one season in Eugene. The Ducks opted for continuity over splashy hire and promoted Co–Offensive Coordinator Mario Cristobal to Head Coach. That move allowed for former Cal QB Coach Marcus Arroyo to be upgraded from co- to sole offensive coordinator yesterday. Cristobal will keep the majority of a stellar recruiting class for Oregon intact, but it will be interesting how much slack they are willing to give to a first-time Head Coach with no ties to the school or region.
Oregon State: Gary Andersen to Jonathan Smith
If not for the debacle that occured for Tennessee and their coaching search, Oregon State’s search may have been the most drawn out. After Gary Andersen’s abrupt departure, the athletics department had weeks to figure out potential targets all the while grading Cory Hall as the interim. Cal OC Beau Baldwin was pegged to be the next head coach of the Beavers, according to reports, but that was shot down and the search dragged on. The Beavers then locked up UW-OC and former OSU QB Jonathon Smith as their new Head Coach. Since he is a fan favorite in Corvallis, the expectations and requirements for what they would call success would be very lenient.
Arizona State: Todd Graham to Herm Edwards
Was there a more interesting story than this one? I mean really, we talk about Jon Gruden returning to coaching, but Herm Edwards? This one took many people by surprise. He’s a personality for sure; the weirdest part of all this is that ASU decided to keep all the assistant coaches and support staff and merely replaced the Head Coach. All seemed well until DC Phil Bennett announced yesterday that he would not be returning to the staff. This entire hiring and staff will be one to watch going into next season.
This was an interesting start to the offseason to say the least. We haven’t even gotten to the early signing period yet! Plenty of drama left in PAC-12 football and bowl season has not even begun.