Whether you like him or not, you've been blessed by his voice on Monday Night Football, yet Jon Gruden would be a bad fit as the next University of Texas football head coach.
Reports have indicated that Gruden indeed would be "open to hearing" from Texas, according to Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports. Then again, wouldn't any coach be open to hearing from Texas? Actually, anybody who likes Texas football—even Matthew McConaughey—would probably be open to hearing from Texas athletic director Steve Patterson and the advisory committee.
So exactly why has Gruden been getting so much attention as a possible replacement to Mack Brown?
First, he's on Monday Night Football. Every week in the NFL, Gruden is seen on TV. He gets a lot of air time and publicity. In short, people know him and, more importantly, college recruits know him.
He's a former Super Bowl coach with a winning record. He turned around the Oakland Raiders before leaving for the Tampa Buccaneers and winning Super Bowl XXXVII. Gruden even strung together four 10-plus win seasons in his 11 years as a head coach in the NFL.
But that's where the case for Gruden should be stopped.
Make no mistake, Gruden is a good coach. Good—not great—and Texas is looking for a great coach. Gruden is 100-85 career as a head coach in the NFL. Again, good, not great.
Getting past his career accomplishments, how would he recruit? You've probably seen him doing the quarterback camps for ESPN. Can that be taken seriously? How many references to "Spider 2 Y Banana" must be made?
What is "Spider 2 Y Banana?"
Surely "Spider 2 Y Banana" is a joke, but then again, is Gruden really joking? Is "Spider 2 Y Banana" Gruden's legacy? Would recruits laugh in his face or take to heart a talk about "Spider 2 Y Banana?" Did I mention that "Spider 2 Y Banana?" fans at Texas would have to get used to hearing "Spider 2 Y Banana."
With all of the potential coaches who could replace Brown at Texas, how does Gruden even come close to sniffing the list?
The rumors as to who will be Mack's replacement began with talk of Nick Saban, a four-time BCS national championship coach and a two-time AP national coach of the year, heading to Austin before he signed a multi-year extension to stay at Alabama. Then there's Gus Malzahn, this year's AP national coach of the uear.
Gruden was never named coach of the year in the NFL.
There's also Jimbo Fisher, whose Florida State team is playing in the 2013 BCS national championship, and John Harbaugh, who won Super Bowl XLVII and has a NFL career record of 70-36 heading into the final week of the regular season.
The list continues, but Gruden can't hang with the top candidates. The final, and most important, reason as to why Gruden would be a bad fit at Texas is that he hasn't coached in five years.
It would be a huge risk to hire a coach who hasn't been in control of a real team since 2008. It would also be a risk to hire a coach at Texas who hasn't had any direct involvement with a collegiate program.
How do you feel about Gruden? Feel free to leave a comment below.
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