Friday, September 21, 2018
  • USF Sports Bulletin
  • Joey Knight

The Jim McElwain hire was bad. But it could have been worse

While it's easy (and justified) to criticize the Florida Gators' decision to hire Jim McElwain, a history lesson is in order.

Remember some of the names UF was supposedly considering to replace Will Muschamp. Names like Hugh Freeze, whose Ole Miss tenure ended even more disastrously. Or Arizona State's Todd Graham, who is on the hot seat in Tempe. Or Arizona's Rich Rodriguez, who finished 3-9 last season but has the Wildcats back in the Top 25.

It's also worth taking a look at some of the other names from the 2014-15 coaching carousel:

Mike Bobo, Colorado State: McElwain's replacement is 20-15, including 6-3 this season. His name will come up in various Power five vacancies.

Tom Herman, Houston: This worked out, but only briefly. He was 22-4 with the Cougars before jumping to Texas.

David Beaty, Kansas: He's 3-29. Yes, it's Kansas, but three wins in three seasons is bad.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan: A 26-8 record sounds great, but he still seems more sizzle than steak. He's winless against Ohio State, 1-2 against Michigan State and fourth in the Big Ten East. All while making $7 million this year.

Mike Riley, Nebraska: He's still in Lincoln, but his 19-15 record (4-4 this year) suggests he probably won't be around in January.

Gary Andersen, Oregon State: He was out even before McElwain was this year.

Pat Narduzzi, Pitt: Solid hire. His 20-15 record includes a win over eventual national champion Clemson last season.

Paul Chryst, Wisconsin: The most successful hire of the bunch. He's 29-6 and in the College Football Playoff conversation with an 8-0 record this season.

Tony Sanchez, UNLV: He's 10-22 and hasn't won more than four games in a season.

Yes, the McElwain era was a flop. There's no way around that.

I'm not sure this is any consolation to Gators fans, but the rest of that year's coaching cycle suggests that it could have been worse.

Comments