Tuesday, December 07, 2004

At the risk of crashing the economy… | by Dylan

Maybe it’s time to take a step back – to call off the dogs. While I’m sure the U knows what it’s doing, our primary accomplishments in the search to this point are:

1) Incurring direct hits to the groin.


2) Making a bunch of young coaches really rich.

What was true on December 1st is true today. There aren’t that many proven coaches looking for new jobs, so what to do? What we can’t do is settle. The speculation about Petrino and Hawkins is, in my humble opinion, not tied to their ability, but their availability. As is clear from the 2001 letter to Garrett (at the time, the second coming of Elgin Baylor), making a huge splash is not necessarily required to find the right guy. But I can’t shake the idea that there was an element of luck involved with the Carroll hiring at USC. I’m not sure that we’ll be as lucky, and “hope” is not a strategy.

So why not Lou? Why not give Coach Holtz the chance to retire, not as the coach of a team that forfeited its bowl eligibility in a Pacers v Pistons reenactment, but as the man who came back to the only job he ever loved to rescue an American sports icon?

Holtz, Part Deux would solve a couple of problems. First, it would be a win in the media. Shouldn’t matter, but it does. Stopping the bleeding isn’t a primary concern, but it’s certainly a nice side effect. Second, it would give us time. It would alleviate the growing sense of panic, not just in alums’ and recruits’ homes, but in athletic offices across the country where receivers coaches are now being offered $10 million extensions. Some time would drastically reduce the possibility of a fourth consecutive catastrophe. Time would enable us to gently, quietly attempt to dislodge contracts in effect in places like Tampa and Norman, while not having to worry about the current coach looking over his shoulder. With a year’s worth of lead time, do you really think ND could not persuade any number of college or NFL coaches to come and resurrect the sleeping giant?

Fr. Ted, would you like to make a phone call?