The Importance of Wisconsin’s Coaching Hire to the Big Ten

Deshaun's picture
December 10, 2012 at 8:31a

Potential investors in a corporation are, by nature, risk averse.  As such, the terminology used to describe various situations tends to skew towards the positive. In the corporate world a program supported by top management never experiences “failure.”  Rather, the program performed “less than optimally.”  One rarely hears about a “problem” their company is having.  A high-visibility project rarely experiences “concerns” or “challenges.”  Such occurrences are described as “opportunities.”  Wisconsin’s football program has recently found itself with just such an opportunity to excel.

The national narrative immediately following the announcement of Arkansas’s hiring of Beilema was less than complimentary of Wisconsin and the Big Ten.  The stereotypical Big Ten guy (“He's burly, smart, funny and down-to-earth. He believes in power running, physical defenses and big meals.”) won three straight Big Ten titles and was stolen by a mid-rung SEC program.  The way Dan Wetzel describes it, Bret Beilema had the third best job in the Big Ten (presumably after Ohio St and TTUN) and bolted for the seventh or eighth best SEC job.  The natives of the blue collars and Midwestern grey skies* are no longer interested in the local brand of football.  The Big Ten cannot hope to compete with the SEC (never mind that 19-19 bowl record between the conferences in the BCS era) anymore, and Arkansas’s theft of the Big Ten’s best coach is evidence of that.

*(editor’s note: Wetzel actually referred to “grey skis”. Though he may have genuinely been offering admiration for specifically tinted winter footwear, we will assume he was describing the color of sky which best fits the national media’s lazy narrative of the Big Ten.)

But as we said, Wisconsin has an opportunity to excel.  In fact, they have one of the Big Ten’s most important opportunities to do so.  This hire could further the national narrative of the second rate conference who could not hope to compete with the hypercompetitive SEC, or it could serve notice the Big Ten will also be making the commitment to win.  With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the candidates we’ve heard about so far:

• Paul Chryst (Pittsburgh Head Coach)
• Brad Childress (Cleveland Browns Offensive-Coordinator)
• Bob Diaco (Notre Dame Defensive-Coordinator)
• Darrell Bevell (Seattle Offensive-Coordinator)
• Al Golden (Miami Head Coach)
• Paul Rhoades (Iowa St Head Coach)
• William Taggert (Western Kentucky Head Coach)
     o Since hired to same position by South Florida
• Chris Peterson (Boise St Head Coach) – we’ll get to him in a minute

While the individuals listed above have experienced varying levels of success at different points in their respective careers, only one of them could be considered a “win” for Wisconsin.  Guess which one.  It would be hard to argue Chryst, Childress, Diaco, Bevell, Golden, Rhoades, or Taggert would be an improvement over Beilema for Wisconsin.  Certainly none would announce a return to prominence for the Big Ten.

Purdue had a similar opportunity recently.  Purdue’s head coaching position was open as a result of the ineffective and uninspired hire of Danny Hope following Joe Tiller’s retirement in 2009.  Hope’s salary was the lowest for a head coach in the Big Ten in 2011 and 2012 ($925,000 and $970,000, respectively).  Over the past three years, Hope was the #69, #65, and #67 highest paid head coach in FBS football, respectively.  Purdue paid its assistant coaches a combined $1,498,460 in 2011 (most recent data available), good enough for #51 nationally.  Some schools with higher paid assistant coaching staffs in 2011: Boise St #21, Iowa St #41, Connecticut #46, and Utah #49.  The point is not to throw more money at moderately talented coaches, but rather to spend the money required to hire top-flight head and assistant coaches.  During its most recent hiring process, Purdue targeted Butch Jones of Cincinnati.  However, it did not offer a compelling enough package to lure him to West Lafayette and he signed with Tennessee for $18 million over 6 years.  Purdue settled for Darrell Hazell of Kent State and declared victory.  Nothing against Hazell.  We all love when former Buckeye assistants rise through the ranks.  But Darrell Hazell was a head coach for exactly two seasons with a 16-9 record.  His record is strikingly similar that of another formerly hot MAC coach with Buckeye ties, Tim Beckman.  Illinois’s uninspired hire of Beckman prior to this past season has proven so misguided there were calls for his firing halfway through his first season (and they did not win another game all year).  Purdue and Illinois hiring less expensive, non-dominant coaches with limited head coaching experience and no conference championships mirrors Purdue’s approach to the Danny Hope hire of 2009.

In 2012, Wisconsin has to think bigger than Purdue and Illinois have recently.  With Mark Emmert’s punitive punishment of Penn St, the Big Ten needs a nationally relevant Wisconsin.  Penn State will likely be better than we originally expected when Emmert made his announcement, but any AP top-25 ranking should warrant an automatic national coach of the year award for O’Brien.  Purdue and Illinois have hired decent MAC coaches hoping to build the kind of programs on a budget that can compete for Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl appearances rather than Rose Bowls.  Indiana appears to have made a strong hire in ex-Oklahoma Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson, but there is a long way to go before they could be considered a legitimate top-25 program.  The Big Ten needs Wisconsin to be the team to compete with Ohio State for the Leaders Division for years to come.

The Big Ten needs Wisconsin to land the kind of coach the national media will refer to as “a coup.”  They need to get someone with the kind of cache to be able to recruit nationally, not just in Chicago and Ohio.  Everyone in the Big Ten recruits those two areas.  Wisconsin will not be a nationally competitive program with players exclusively from Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  They need a new coach who creates the perception that the program is better off now than it was a month ago with Beilema, similar to the perception of the post-Tressel hiring of Urban Meyer.

One of the biggest problems Beilema had in his time at Wisconsin was pay for assistant coaches, particularly those who received assistant coaching position offers from other programs.  “They were talking money that I can’t bring them at Wisconsin.  Wisconsin isn’t wired to do that at this point.”  Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez disputes Beilema’s claim he was losing assistant coaches to higher paying programs. 

“I think our pay scale for assistant coaches is competitive and fair,” Alvarez said. “As an athletic director, I have to make decisions. I know what people are making. And every time someone has a hint they may take another job, it’s not prudent to throw a pile of money at them.  We all see what the salaries are. I know what the salaries are. I get charts with them. We’re more than competitive.”

Alvarez went on to mention how he was able to keep a staff together for 15 years as coach at Wisconsin.  Here’s the thing, Mr. Alvarez.  This is not the 1990’s anymore, which means two very important things.  First, the game has changed and keeping a talented staff together for 15 years requires adequate compensation.  Second and more importantly, people have access to far more information than we did while you were head coach at Wisconsin.  When you say, “we’re more than competitive,” anyone can look that up rather than taking your word for it.  For example, in 2010 Wisconsin had the #41 highest paid assistant coaching staff (excluding 21 programs who are not required to report, such as Penn State, USC, TCU, Miami, etc) with a combined $1,619,165 salary.  That dollar figure remained the same in 2011, but the ranking actually dropped to #48.  By comparison, Auburn spent $4,196,450 on assistant coaches in 2011.  Heck, even Louisville spent $2,396,800. 

With whom is Mr. Alvarez attempting to compete?  I have the upmost respect for Barry Alvarez’s accomplishments as both a coach and an administrator.  There is a strong correlation between assistant coaching staff salaries and success on the field.  Let’s take a look at some figures from the 2011 season (most recent data available) comparing assistant staff salary with final AP finish.  Here are the facts:

-Of the top 14 schools in the final AP poll, 8 of the teams rank among the 25 highest paid assistant coaching staffs, 4 are private or land grant institutions and do not report (USC, Stanford, Baylor, TCU), and 2 are ranked well outside the 25 highest paid staffs. 

-Yes, Boise State’s assistant coaching staff ranks #21 nationally, higher than any Big Ten school but Ohio State and TTUN.

-Those two low paying schools in the top 14 of the AP are Wisconsin and Michigan St, with assistant coaching staffs ranked #48 and #45, respectively.

-The remaining assistant coaching staff salary rankings of top 14 teams are as follows (in order of AP finish): #3 highest paid assistant coaching staff Alabama, #2 LSU, #9 Oklahoma St, #19 Oregon, #18 Arkansas, #21 Boise St, #17 South Carolina, #12 Michigan.
The point is, spending money does not guarantee success.  But, refusing to spend it almost certainly precludes success.

(Edit: The data for 2012 assistants has been released. It’s amazing to see the coach by coach breakdown, which you can do here. What jumps out to me is that every Buckeye coach except 28 year old Zach Smith made more than every Badger assistant. That’s not an exaggeration.  Tight ends/fullbacks coach Tim Hinton made more ($275,000) than Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator Chris Ash ($265,000). Guess how much Ash will make as defensive coordinator at Arkansas this year: $550,000.  Again, with whom does Barry Alvarez believe Wisconsin’s salaries are competitive?)

Wisconsin has to make the commitment to success and get this head coaching hire right.  To do so, it has to think bigger than Bob Diaco, Darrell Bevell, and Paul Rhoades.  Wisconsin has to go after the types of people on this list:

• Chris Peterson – Boise St – Won two BCS bowls with 5 finishes in the top 11 of the AP poll with a WAC (now Mountain West) school. Has been the target of as many major BCS programs’ wish lists as John Gruden. Is rumored to be interviewing with Wisconsin.
     o 2012 salary* - $1,959,833 (#43)
     o 2011 Staff Pool* - $2,279,590 (#21)
     o Career record: 83-8
     o Years: 2006-2012
• David Shaw – Stanford – BCS bowl and AP top-10 finish in both years as head coach with run-based offense and tough defense.
     o 2012 salary – $1,500,000 (*per CoachesHotSeat) (approx #57)
     o 2011 Staff Pool – N/A
     o Career record: 22-4
     o Years: 2011-2012
• Butch Davis – advisor for Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Guided Miami through NCAA sanctions and rebuilt them into a national power. Gave North Carolina its best seasons since Mack Brown in the mid-90’s. Was not implicated in any wrongdoing in NCAA notice of allegations to North Carolina. History of success with physical, speed-based pro-style offense and defense.
     o 2010 salary - $1,752,000 (#37)
     o 2010 Staff Pool - $1,985,000 (#23)
     o Career record: 28-23 (North Carolina) and 51-20 (Miami)
     o Years: 2007-2010 (North Carolina) and 1995-2000 (Miami)
• Charlie Strong – Louisville – Has built Louisville into a Sugar Bowl program with 3 consecutive winning seasons in BCS conference.
     o 2012 salary - $2,305,000 (rumored recent raise) (#32)
     o 2011 Staff Pool - $2,396,800 (#16)
     o Career record: 24-14
     o Years: 2010-2012
• Jim Tressel – administration at University of Akron – Won 7 Big Ten championships, national championship in 2002, had 5-3 record in BCS bowls, and finished in the top-5 of the AP poll seven times. Has an NCAA show-cause penalty requiring him to miss the first 5 games plus the bowl game of his first season, but has no other restrictions on recruiting or team activities.
     o 2010 salary - $3,888,389 (#6)
     o 2010 Staff Pool - $2,238,450 (#13)
     o Career record: 106-22
     o Years: 2001-2010
• Bobby Petrino – unemployed – Won Orange Bowl at Louisville and Cotton Bowl at Arkansas. Prolific offense everywhere he has been. Has 5 AP top-20 finishes in 8 years, including three in the top-6. No NCAA issues, although contract would have to be structured to protect the school after motorcycle incident in Arkansas.
     o 2011 salary - $3,638,000 (#6)
     o 2011 Staff Pool - $2,338,600 (#18)
     o Career record: 34-17 (Arkansas) and 41-9 (Louisville)
     o Years: 2003-06 (Arkansas) and 2008-11 (Louisville)

*Salary and Staff Pool data refers to the rank of that figure in the most recent year that person was a head coach.  Data for assistant coaches for 2012 was not yet available at time of post.

So, how does Wisconsin go about attracting one of the first five names on this list?  Barry Alvarez could start by asking the following question during an interview with a candidate, “What resources do you need in order to win championships here?”  Barry Alvarez, in that interview with Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips on SiriusXM, was asked if he thought the new coach would have the ability to win the national championship at Wisconsin.  Alvarez replied, “Yeah, I do. I do.”  The best way to attract the type of coach who can win (or has won) national championships is to ask them what they need in order to do so, and then collaborate on a plan to achieve exactly that.  For example, when Ohio State announced its hiring of Urban Meyer, Gene Smith was asked about pay for assistant coaches.  “We'll put in place the resources necessary to attract the staff that Urban feels he needs,” he said. 

As one looks at the above list of candidates for Wisconsin’s coaching search, it should be clear Wisconsin will have to pay a salary in the $3 million to $4 million range.  However, to attract a top-flight coach, a school much offer more than the same salary said coach can receive from 20 or so other schools in the country.  Offering an assistant coaching salary pool of up to $2.5 million - $3 million would allow the candidate the flexibility to attract the coaching talent needed to win on the national level.  The good news for Wisconsin is they have one of the richest athletic departments in the country, with revenue of $96,038,912.00 in 2011.  That figure will only increase with the growth of the Big Ten Network.

Wisconsin should have a recruiting budget second to none.  Proximity to both the Dane County Regional Airport (Madison, WI) and General Mitchell International Airport (Milwaukee, WI) makes a recruit’s access to Madison easier than several schools in smaller towns.  Facilities upgrades are reportedly on the way.  This is good because ESPN has Wisconsin’s team facilities ranked #11 in the Big Ten, ahead of only Northwestern (who has a “game changer” indoor facility coming soon).  The interview should include input from the candidate regarding aspects of the team’s practice facilities, academic center, meeting rooms, etc that could aid recruiting and enhance the team’s likelihood of championship caliber success.  Any practice/team equipment the candidate feels is necessary should be made available.  The Adidas sponsorship could be leveraged for endorsement potential.  I’m generally not a fan of alternate uniforms, but kids between 15-18 like fresh gear.  Based on the uniforms in the Wisconsin-Nebraska game this year, I’m guessing Adidas has some ideas for merchandising.

Sometimes people fall in to the trap of thinking of coaches as football-teaching robots.  We have to remember these are real people who have needs and lives outside of football.  Madison was listed as one of the top 100 cities to live in 2010 by CNN.  Madison is known for being a great place to raise a family, both safe and entertaining for kids.  Similar to Columbus and Ohio State, Madison is a city which supports the Badgers in a way few other communities support their school.  To ensure the coach is able to tend to family outside the state of Wisconsin, Alvarez could include use of a private jet to allow the new coach access to the entire country.  Alvarez’s job is to identify the best possible coach, and then to sell him on everything the University of Wisconsin-Madison has to offer.

The point is Wisconsin needs to make a commitment to success on a larger scale for the health of the entire Big Ten.  Wisconsin has all the resources required to make just such a commitment.  Yes, there is more to attracting a great coach than simply throwing money at him.  Wisconsin has everything it needs in order to attract one of the best college football coaches in America.  However, they will have to change their thinking from “Who are the best head and assistant coaches we can comfortably afford” to “Who is the best we can get.”  Wisconsin must think bigger than competitive MAC coaches and coordinators of national powers.  Wisconsin needs a coach who can run a program that can compete with Oklahoma, USC, LSU, and Florida State.  Then it needs to put in place the resources necessary to do exactly that.  If Barry Alvarez settles for an affordable mid-tier coach on a budget, they will have made the conscious decision not to compete for championships, national or otherwise.  If a Big Ten team on the heels of a third straight Rose Bowl bid makes the decision not to compete, then we really are what Dan Wetzel thinks we are.

Comments Show All Comments

cplunk's picture

Well written, and I totally agree- Wisconsin has to get a big name higher to counteract the narrative.
Unfortunately, I don't think they can actually get most of the names on your list, nor do I think they will open the pocketbook for the types of assistants those coaches will desire. I'd love for them to get Chris Peterson, but I just can't see it happening.
The only thing I disagree with in your post is your statement that the post-ban-announcement Penn State is better than we thought. The sanctions have yet to truly take effect. For this season they basically lost Silas Redd (as though to injury) and a few backups. Their recruiting class was devastated (thanks, Urbs!!), but the majority of those players would not have played major rolls this season. The sanctions will begin to take effect this upcoming year, but we won't really see damage until the recruiting classes that have been destroyed represent the junior and senior classes. That's when most players truly make an impact. This would be the season after next and the one after that.

Deshaun's picture

I think they can if they market the entire institution/community. Anyone could just throw money at a candidate and hope for the best (see: Tennessee's pursuit of Charlie Strong). Madison is the kind of larger college town/community that offers more support than just a nice salary. I've seen a college coach (non-revenue sport) be sold on a new job based on the promise of his own office and no teaching responsibilities so he could walk his kids to school in the morning.

My views on Penn St come with the caveat all currently committed recruits and Bill O'Brien stick with Penn St. Considering Emmert's limitations, he has done an incredible job of holding the 2012 team and 2013 recruiting class together. I'm not projecting Leaders Division titles, but a .500 season here or there seems attainable.

Alhan's picture

Great post Deshaun!
I especially found it interesting that Wisconsin's assistant coach salaries stayed the same between 2010 and 2011 (it did increase by ~300k this year, see below).  By contrast, tOSU's assistant coach salaries increased by almost $1M in the same time-frame.
Adam Rittenberg took a look at the B1G Assistant Coach salaries here.  For those that don't want to follow the link: 

1. Ohio State -- $3.22 million
2. Michigan -- $2.755 million
3. Illinois -- $2.314 million
4. Michigan State -- $2.18 million
5. Iowa -- $2.16 million
6. Nebraska -- $2.13 million
7. Wisconsin -- $1.973 million
8. Indiana -- $1.96 million
9. Minnesota -- $1.745 million
10. Purdue -- $1.61 million

Only 10 schools reported the salaries.
Wisconsin is paying Indiana level money for their assistants.  That's never good.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

Deshaun's picture

I've been waiting for USA Today to release its updated database with the 2012 assistant coaches' salary figures. You went and got my hopes up. But it is good to see how much the Big Ten assistants are making this year. It likely means the complete 2012 FBS data will be available soon and we can perform a more comprehensive analysis regarding where Big Ten schools fit in the national landscape.

For example, as someone who follows this stuff, I did a double take when Alvarez claimed Wisconsin's assistant coaching salary pool was "more than competitive." My first thought was, "It sure is...if your goal is to compete with #52 UCF, #60 Colorado St, and #62 Louisiana Tech." Let alone the entire ACC, the entire Big XII, and the entire SEC (all of whom spend more than #48 Wisconsin).

Also, Penn St and Northwestern only release salary data of their head coaches, unfortunately.

tennbuckeye19's picture

I totally agree with most of what you've written above, Wisky has to make a solid hire now more than ever. I just don't see how they can go the cheap route and hire a lower level head coach. They've been to 3 consecutive BCS bowls and won 3 straight B1G titles (that sucks for me just to type that out). One of the best teams in the B1G cannot afford to go cheap when hiring their next coach. And they must start paying assistants competitive salaries or they will be in the exact same boat as before. 
One thing I've been thinking about with all these coaching hires the past week or so is Tressel's hire. Say Tressel was never our coach and say OSU was doing a coaching search right now. Do you think Tressel would be hired @ OSU today if he was coming from Youngstown State? Hiring now seems to be so much about making a splash, and if a splash isn't made, the fan base doesn't get excited or feels underwhelmed. So what do you think? In today's college footbal world, would OSU make the Tressel hire?

Deshaun's picture

As I recall, Tressel's announcement elicited more groans than cheers. The guy did win 4 FCS national championships, which is impressive. But many Buckeye fans (myself included) were deflated from not getting the Ohio-native hot coach coming off an improbable national title that was all but promised to us by the media: Bob Stoops. That lasted until the infamous, "310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan" speech, when Jim Tressel really made his splash. Andy Geiger tried to make the splashy hire in 2001 and missed, leaving us with a future 7-time Big Ten champion as a consolation.

So, we're looking for one of those under-the-radar guys winning on a smaller scale? There doesn't seem to be anybody like Tressel. Jerry Moore won multiple FCS national championships at Appalachian State, and just got fired. Minnesota-Duluth's Bob Nielson has won 2 of the past 4 NCAA Division II titles. But at 53, he's no spring chicken when it comes to making the jump major FBS power conference football. I think we may have caught lightning in a bottle with Jim Tressel, someone who had the championship pedigree, legendary coaching family tree in the school's home state, and immediately had success against a hated rival. Duplication of that confluence of events would require a perfect storm.

BuckeyeVet's picture

You, sir or madam, have too much time on your hands (or are really burning the midnight oil)! Just kidding - that was an excellent, well thought out write up. Thanks.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

Alhan's picture

+1 for everyone to combat the pesky downvote troll.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke


Upvote for great post, Deshaun!
My guess is Chris Petersen or bust. Alvarez has already said Chryst is not an option. Alvarez is going to sign Coach Tressel??? I dont see Gruden going to Madison. I see him taking over the Packers one day though being he was an assistant there.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Deshaun's picture

Of course Taggart is out too, hired at South Florida. The Tressel name came up when I was talking to a Tennessee fan friend of mine who wanted him to coach the Vols all along. The more I thought about it, the better fit he seemed for Wisconsin. While Tressel ran everything from a power downhill running attack (Clarrett and Beanie Wells) to a wide open attack based on mobile quarterbacks (Troy Smith and Pryor), a balanced run game was always part of the attack. The focus on academics matches Wisconsin's standards. Nobody respects Big Ten football more. He has a coaching tree from which to hire a solid staff (Jim Heacock, anyone?) and would be the best recruiter in school history. The guy has won the Big Ten championship in a ridiculous 70% of the seasons in which he was a coach. He clearly knows how to win on the national level. I never thought he would coach anywhere after Ohio State because it would feel like such a step down after leading one of the bluest of blue-blood programs, but Wisconsin feels like a good fit. The only penalty is he has to miss the first 5 games (four of which will be nonconference) and a bowl game in his first season? That's a far cry from Bruce Pearl's show cause penalty barring him from recruiting in any way for 3 years.

Doc's picture

Excellent write up Deshaun, very informative.  Thanks.  I think it is Petersen or bust for Wisky.  Anyone else will look to be a meh? hire.

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The Official DDS of 11W

Deshaun's picture

Thanks, Doc. I agree the vibe around the blogosphere indicates a massive drop off if Peterson declines. I personally would feel good about any of Peterson, Shaw, Strong, Tressel, or Davis. Any of those guys would likely be able to elevate Wisconsin to a more national level. But I sure hope they get a coach of that caliber before they get to candidates like Brad Childress, Darrell Bevell, and Al Golden. It's Wisconsin. They are going to their third straight Rose Bowl with a solid roster returning next year. Get a champion caliber coach, not an up-and-comer with potential.

Doc's picture

I'll agree with everyone, but Tress.  I really don't see him going to Wisky.  IF he coaches again it won't be in the b1g.  I don't think he would want to step on his Buckeye legacy.  To me Petersen is the only guy that won't get a shoulder shrug from the rest of the country.  Unless they can get a bigger fish, i.e. Saban, Pete Carol, etc..(which I don't see happening.)

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The Official DDS of 11W

cinserious's picture

I agree, the only realistically impressive choice here is Petersen. wisky has the money to do it, so  if they offer petersen and his staff the big bucks, they can realistically get  them. The success would return big profits for the AD and the big-ten would be upgraded significantly. One Q though: how do you mesh such differring styles as wisky smashmouth football with what boise st does?

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Deshaun's picture

Chris Peterson is obviously the white whale everyone has tried to catch but none successfully. I think one thing a lot of schools have missed on is the approach it takes to get a guy who is in high demand in a career field, but keeps turning down "bigger and better" opportunities. As a writer for One Bronco Nation Under God put it in a conversation with Bucky's 5th Quarter, "Well, asking how much salary it would take to reel in a guy not driven by salary is like asking how hot of a woman it would it take to turn a gay gentleman straight." Tennessee missed it. USC missed it. I think UW, the campus, and the Madison/Wisconsin community as a whole do have enough to offer. But the sales pitch will have to avoid the "how much money will it take to get you to sign on the dotted line?" approach. The focus has to be on family atmosphere, helping kids get a great education, etc. It can't just be about a better chance to win football games, because he has turned down a pretty stunning array of offers that would provide an opportunity to win games. I think with this one, you have to help him realize what a great situation this job is for Chris Peterson and his family. Oh, and offer to pay his staff an actual competitive salary, not what they paid Beilema's.

This is not the same gimmicky Boise St team from 2006 who beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl with the hook & ladder and statue of liberty plays. This team has the 6th best scoring defense and 9th best total defense in the country. Boise has produced a 1,000 yard rusher each of the past 4 seasons. This is a complete football team with a solid offensive line, strong running game, efficient passing game, and tough defense. I think it would transition to Madison very well.

cinserious's picture

Also the guy from stanford only has two yrs of success and with jim harbaugh's players. Butch jones i dont see alvarez wanting his miami/NC baggage brought into the big-ten, plus his records are not that impressive (especially considering he's a cheat!). I'm not sure what to think about petrino, sounds like he might be a great hire. Probably #2 behind petersen.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Deshaun's picture

Stanford's David Shaw was not included on the original list because of the short tenure of his term and success with the recruits of a man now regarded as one of the better coaches in the NFL. However, he runs the type of ground-first approach Wisconsin loves rushing for 2,738 and 2,253 yards in 2011 and 2012, respectively. He rebounded from the graduation of the most NFL-ready college QB in years with a Pac12 championship and Rose Bowl birth against...Wisconsin. They have turned into a very good defensive team (#14 scoring defense, #21 total defense) who held Oregon to 14 points in an OT game. The past two years Stanford has produced the #22 (largely Harbaugh) and #5 recruiting classes, so the man can recruit as well. Sure, it would be great if he had Peterson's 7 year track record or Jim Tressel's 10 years. But he appears to be making the program stronger as opposed to simply riding the previous coach's team to wins the way Randy Ayers won with Gary Williams's players before the program turned to mush.

Were you referring to Butch Davis in your second sentence? Butch Jones was the coach at UC who just got hired at Tennessee. Butch Davis has not been implicated by the NCAA as his name was not mentioned in the notice of allegations to UNC. He had recruiting classes ranked #17, #32, #9, and #29 in his four classes. His recruiting classes have yielded 18 NFL draft picks so far. That number was much higher at Miami. His last team at UNC missed 14 players for at least one game and 7 for the entire season, including several starters. They were slated for a big season, but had even more turmoil to traverse than our 2011 Buckeye team. At the time, Davis was fired for 2 reasons: an assistant coach funneling players to an agent (which has still never been tied to Davis) and an improper academics issue that was thought at the time to be a football issue, but has since spread to all UNC athletics (including men's basketball) and has not yet been tied to Butch Davis, except that a few of his players were enrolled in these "classes." Butch Davis is facing no NCAA show cause penalty.

Another coach facing no show cause penalty is Bobby Petrino. He was hired by Western Kentucky about 2 days ago.