So the Gators have made Will Muschamp their selection while the Canes have hitched their wagon to Al Golden. The hot shot Texas defensive coordinator and coach in waiting left Austin to get his first gig as the head man in Gainesville, leaving Mack Brown behind the eight ball. Golden got out of Temple for greener pastures hoping to work a more high profile reclamation process.
Nothing too negative has come out about the hires themselves although, Jason Whitlock has weighed in with his thoughts that were none too kind to Miami's selection of Al Golden. Ultimately I think we're dealing with two pretty positive hires and guys that fans can get excited about.
With the Florida dynamic you've got folks jockeying for position, Florida State sits in the catbird's seat right now in terms of recruiting and program stability. As Jimbo Fisher expressed last week, regardless of who the Gators or Canes hire they're going to continue to run their program to Noles' specifications because ultimately they don't get to pick who their rivals get.
Personally I like the Muschamp hire more than the Golden selection. I think Coach Boom is akin to a "defensive version of Jimbo Fisher" in his pedigree (explanation coming) and will make a smooth transition into his role in Gator Country. Al Golden, though he has been a head coach, is going to be a bit of a rougher transition from Temple to South Florida. As we discussed last year in our "Dismissing Candidates" mini series the most obvious hurdles for a man in Golden's position will not be X's and O's but rather culture and recruiting.
Golden is stepping up in intensity, not just from the MAC to the ACC but from an expectations and recruiting stand point as well. Golden won 17 games in 2009 and 2010 and was the toast of the Temple community. Randy Shannon won 17 games during that same time period and it got him fired. On the recruiting side I do think that he will handle the transition from "giving kids a chance" to play FBS ball and change the Temple culture to "wooing recruits" to play for The U successfully. However, Golden make the academic restrictions leap that Miami-Shalala-Hocutt have been pushing will be interesting to watch.
On the field he is a good coach, no he won't inspire the true enthusiasm of the Canes faithful but he is a the pro styled guy that plays well in Coral Gables. I think a positive that hasn't been mentioned is Al Golden being very familiar with selling kids on a school that doesn't have a stadium, he did it at Temple and every little bit of experience with that delicate situation is going to help.
Overall a solid hire for The U and I guess we'll see what he can do now that he will be trading the likes of Doug Martin, Jeff Quinn and Mike Haywood on a weekly basis in the MAC for Frank Beamer, Paul Johnson and Jimbo Fisher in the ACC.
Coach Boom. While I like the Golden hire I have to admit I love the Muschamp pull for Jeremy Foley. He was a name that wasn't on many folks radar including myself and Laura McKeeman during out chat Friday. He's got energy, he's got a lineage that I absolutely love and he's a guy that can help make football fun in Gainesville again.
Pedigree. I love it. As those of you who read the site and follow the twitter should know I'm a big time Nick Saban guy. Everything the man touches at the college level turns to gold. So when I look at Muschamp I see Saban's handprints all over him from not just a defensive standpoint but also the advanced organization and recruiting areas. That carries a lot of weight in my book because one of Saban's biggest gifts isn't just his defensive schemes, its the high level, business like approach to football operations.
You pair this aspect of the Saban process with learning under Mack Brown and there you'll see why I call him a "defensive version of Jimbo Fisher" earlier in this piece. Mack Brown, like Bobby Bowden, is a politician, a schmoozer, a guy that knows how to shake hands and make folks feel like they're all invested in the program. From a media and PR stand point their are few guys in modern college football who handled it better than Bowden and now Mack Brown.
You combine the organization skills of Saban and the folksy whimsy PR teachings of Brown and you've got a skillset that can work wonders in Muschamp. Is he proven? No. Does he have a staff yet? Nope. There are some unknowns about Boom, that's true.
However, I'm willing to put my money on a guy that's recruited the south, dealt with the elite talent from his playing and GA days and has done so continuously since arriving at LSU in 2001. His only year not recruiting elite talent in the last decade was spent in the NFL dealing with professional players.
Ultimately I think both schools got a good hire, I'd lean towards Florida and more importantly Muschamp winning this deal because he is at one of the few jobs in the nation that rival the Texas gig he was waiting to snatch. Golden was a smart, fiscally responsible hire and for a school like Miami that's not printing their own cash a la Texas, Bama, Ohio State or Florida, fiscal responsibility goes a long way. I expect Boom to be wildly successful and if there is a big loser in all of this it is UGA, the Dawgs are going to be seeing on of their own do his best to end Mark Richt's tenure in Athens and ultimately punish his own alma mater.