Just a few years ago, Bowling Green was part of the upper echelon of mid-major programs.
To put it in 2009 perspective, Bowling Green would have been been mentioned with the Utahs and the Boise States of the time.
Then, the program lost all momentum and has since come to screeching halt.
They no longer produce multiple NFL Draft picks, or run the spread offense as well as anyone in the country.
They had no direction.
Two years ago, Dave Clawson was a highly thought of head football coach at the University of Richmond.
He was rising up the coaching charts quickly and seemed destined to land a job eventually as the head of one of the better programs in America.
He got the chance to move into the best conference in America, at a position of high importance. Phil Fulmer wanted Clawson to be his offense coordinator at Tennessee.
This was it. His big chance. A year or two running the Vols offense, and he could parlay that into a high-major head coaching position. Maybe even be named the successor to Phil Fulmer.
He came in with his system and implemented it. Unfortunately, the most important position on the field (quarterback) was a square peg, and Clawson had to fit him into a round hole.
Let's just say it didn't work. The offense was terrible from the start, with Jonathan Crompton taking more than a couple steps back in his development. Arian Foster went off the deep in and became ineffective.
Everything that could go wrong was going wrong and there was nothing the Vols could do.
Then came the announcement that Fulmer would not return to Tennessee in 2009.
With that announcement, Clawson's chance at big time college football halted for the moment. His chance had expired and he was going to be returning to the lower levels.
That's where Bowling Green came in.
It's a perfect fit. Clawson runs the spread system that Bowling Green became successful under and has proven that he can teach it as a head coach and run a program, unlike former head coach Gregg Brandon, who was hired straight from the offensive coordinator spot.
Bowling Green is a program filled with potential. The chance is there for them to return to the elite of the mid majors.
Sure, Clawson would probably much rather be settling in in Knoxville right now in his 2nd season as offensie coordinator, but this job could set up nicely for Clawson.
Once Clawson gets his players and implements his system, there's no doubt in my mind that Bowling Green will return to mid-major prominence.
Only then will Clawson be able to take a step up the college football ladder.
The momentum will be behind his career again, and that one year as offensive coordinator at Tennessee will no longer be a negative. It'll be a positive because it'll be thought of as good experience.
For now, Clawson must point Bowling Green in a direction. Up.
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