With National Signing Day looming, high school and JUCO players from across the country are preparing to make a decision that will affect the next chapter in their life.
Whether that puts them in a position to take the next step to the NFL or winning a National Championship, players pick a school based on a plethora of things. One mainstay however is the head coach.
No one wants to play for a coach you aren't comfortable with, and trust me, many former collegiate players are still kicking themselves today after the choice they made.
Here's a list of ten candidates that you shouldn't let into your living room (and in some cases even your city) to talk to your son about lining up for him on Saturdays. Of the ten, most still hold jobs at their current school, while others are on the market.
Some of the names may surprise you. There's even national championsip coaches and some that routinely pull the top recruits in the country.
This list could be expanded much further than ten, and there are some coaches you may feel have been left out, but this is good start.
Yeah, yeah, say this one's a bit crazy, but before you write it off, listen to the facts.
We know he resigned then came back the next day. But if he cared so much about his family and his health, and was so concerned about it that he would need to step down from the top program in college football, you would think he'd take it more serious right?
Then there are the disciplinary incidents.
Brandon Spikes eye gouging a UGA player and Carlos Dunlap snagging a DUI before the SEC Title game are the most recent incidents for Meyer's program.
On top of that, you have the small fact that his players run (or drive) rampant in Gainesville and beyond. The Orlando-Sentinel cited that among the Gators 2009 team there were a total of 251 total traffic citations. What?! 251???
Sure, Urban isn't in charge when his players get behind the wheel, but discipline is necessary in a young man at all times, especially when you're on the level of Florida.
I'd want my son to be held accountable at all times, on and off the field. Behind the wheel counts too.
Does the smile mean he's genuinely happy to be in Fayetteville, or is the smirk one that implys he's already thinking of where he can coach next?
You can't fault someone for finding greener pastures, but this guys skips town about as quick as Usain Bolt. His failed stint with the Atlanta Falcons led him back to the college ranks where he had previous success tenure at Lousiville, but the Big East is no SEC, and he's still unproven at Arkansas.
If Petrino wanted to coach my son, any guarantee he offered about how he'd be there for my son's college career would be null and void. Can he be trusted?
Dennis Erickson is a proven winner on the field.
But off the field, things get shaky.
He performs at a low level when bringing in new players- his recruiting classes at ASU are definitely not synonymous with the word "top." In 2008, he landed a Top 20 class, but at a Pac-10 school like ASU, you have to be more consistent on the recruiting trail. Finishing outside the Top 35 just can't happen for a school like ASU.
And things can't happen like they do for the Sun Devils with Erickson at the helm. Blown leads, off-the-field troubles, extremely questionable graduation rates, and players on the field that even Sun Devil fans question. ASU racks up penalties at an alarming rate and on top of that, Erickson really doesn't produce players the way he should with his NFL background.
If my son were a QB recruit and I wanted him to win seven to nine games a year and be done playing football, then I'd let him go to ASU. If I wanted better for him in the Pac 10, Washington and Coach Sarkisian may be the next best option.
Les Miles. Or Mess Miles. He'll respond to either one.
With the facilities in Baton Rouge, coupled with an incredible fan base and the toughest atmosphere to play in college football, recruiting at LSU should be an absolute breeze. And yes, Miles has pulled his weight as a recruiter with several top classes.
However, his on-the-field doings are what would make me question him.
His close calls that have paid off in the past border on pure pure stupidity, and that seemingly caught up to him in 2009. Lack of clock management, using timeouts in unnecessary situations, and shady play-calling would make me second guess sending my son to play for him.
He's a national championship coach, but odds are, if he's recruiting your kid, so is Texas, Alabama, Florida, etc.
I'll take option b, c, and d before my son signs a LOI with the Bengal Tigers.
USF football exploded back onto the map thanks to Leavitt in recent years, but even quicker than that happened, Leavitt was on his way out of Tampa in an unfavorable fashion.
Leavitt found a way to win games in a state with three nationally renowned powers in Florida, Florida State and Miami. This makes him a more than capable coach, but things turned sour in a hurry.
After rumors surfaced that Leavitt had struck a player, USF launched an investigation and it was alleged that Leavitt told players to lie and change their story. In the end, Leavitt still claimed no wrong doing. That just doesn't fly with anyone, anywhere.
On top of that, his teams consistently finished near the bottom in terms of penalties committed.
Discipline is key, but not by physical force.
Sure, Leach can seem funny at times. He's given the media more than one great quote to run with. My favorite: blaming a loss to Texas A&M on the players' "fat little girlfriends."
Heck, it's even a lot of fun to watch his teams launch the pigskin around the yard. It was even more fun to watch Leach on the news as a meteorologist. And what guy doesn't like a man who has a knack for pirate lore?
What's not fun is allegations that you mistreat your players— that came to an end with the Adam James scandal. Leach "allegedly" locked James in several confined areas where he was not allowed to sit down while recovering from a concussion. Some of the details are still iffy, but it did indeed happen.
While it's no secret that Adam James was not a model player nor was he liked by some players or coaches, you just don't do what Leach did.
We also know Leach had been trying to get out of Lubbock, but when push came to shove in the James situation, Leach wanted to stay and lead his team in the bowl game.
He was fired with cause, meaning Tech would owe him nothing. This will be decided in court, but regardless, what Leach seemingly did, coupled with his questionable personality, should be enough for you to search elsewhere for another suitor for your son.
Rich Rodriguez, the coach who Buckeyes fans have come to know and love.
Some say Rich Rod is a good coach, but that is debatable. He was able to bring in good talent to Morgantown, West Virginia, but at the same time, he's brought in his fair share of players who didn't always measure to being upstanding people.
He recruited Adam "Pacman" Jones, and we all know how he ended up. And the late Chris Henry, who was able to turn his life around in the NFL, still had his fair share of problems while at WVU.
Then there was the situation where Rodriguez recruited a known drug dealer to play for the Wolverines in Justin Feagin. Of course, Rich Rod once again said he would plead the fifth. Feagin was arrested during an apparent botched drug deal, the police said he had a previous record of battery and trespassing, and it had long since been known of his activity as a drug dealer.
Rodriguez sure knows how pick 'em.
And we can't forget about perhaps his biggest scandal, possibly exceeding the NCAA limits on workouts and practices while having members of the coaching staff oversee several of these team activities. Several 2008 and 2009 Wolverine players confirmed these allegations, though once again, Rodriguez denied any wrongdoing.
I think these actions speak for themselves.
2001: George O' Leary is hired to coach the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He had some success at Georgia Tech, and the Irish saw him as a distinguished coach who would be a good fit in South Bend.
Wow Coach O'Leary, you received your masters from NYU-Stony Brook? That's impressive. Oh, wait, NYU-Stony Brook doesn't even exist. Interesting.
And you won three letters in football at New Hampshire? Nope, you didn't do that either.
Goodbye Notre Dame.
Lying on a resume is one of the worst mistakes you can make in any venue, much less for the most recognizable coaching job in college football.
Aside from that fact, there are the huge question mark surrounding the late Ereck Plancher, a former UCF running back who passed away in 2008.
An "Outside the Lines" special broke down the incident where Plancher passed away after a workout in which players allege O' Leary was verbally abusive towards Plancher.
It's also been alleged that the workout was much more rigorous than the UCF staff had claimed.
Dealing with the death of a player is hard, but the way this unfolded is nothing anyone should want to be a part of.
UCF and Coach O' Leary isn't where you want your son to be.
What's not for a momma to like about Lane Kiffin? He's a young, sweet talker who says exactly what you want to hear when it comes to bringing your son to his program.
I'll tell you what's not to like— almost everything. When Kiffin was coaching the Oakland Raiders, it seemed as though Al Davis was the crazy one after Kffin was subsequently fired.
However, after watching Kiffin's act at Tennessee, Davis may have been right on cue.
Not that I didn't like the fact that Kiffin was helping bring UT back to prominence and make the SEC East more competitive, but he was going about in all the wrong ways.
And having Ed Orgeron on your staff is just never a good thing, regardless of how good a recruiter he may be.
Kiffin managed to call out Urban Meyer on more than one occasion, and took the occasional jab at Florida any chance he could.
He wrecked his UT leased Lexus in the wee hours of the morning after a "late night" meeting at the football complex— several unsubstantiated rumors have circulated since the crash that Kiffin had college co-eds in the car, and that it wasn't the first time Kiffin and college girls were involved.
Kiffin has also been the subject of possible secondary violations which may include sending UT hostesses to potential recruits games and having personal contact with them.
Nothing was outside the lines for him, whether it be with words or recruiting tactics. His record as a head coach is abysmal (which doesn't always make someone a bad coach), and many wonder if USC made the right decision.
He still has his ties as a USC assistant where he brought in top recruiting classes and was tutored under Pete Carroll. Regardless, the USC athletics department is in hot water, which is not news to anyone. Kiffin leaves a wake wherever he goes, and that hot water will turn to a boil with Kiffin at the helm.
Heck, he may have already committed a violation at USC by picking up a recruit in a limo. He'll get a lot of good players because after all, it is Southern Cal, but that wouldn't mean my son would ever accept a phone call, much less a visit from this guy.
If he brought his wife Layla along, it may be a different story.
He's gone from Kansas, and that's a good thing.
Mangino's antics have been questioned for years, but that talk cooled off after he led Kansas to their best record in school history and snagged National Coach of the Year honors.
2007 seems ages ago, and Mangino's act finally caught up with him. His attitude and temper towards players has been a part of him since he came into the coaching ranks.
When you have many players saying he was verbally and emotionally abusing them almost all the time, it's clear there is a problem.
Mangino loved to hold things over players heads, like one player who's father was an alcoholic. This player also shared aspirations of law school. It was reported that Mangino allegedly said to that player, in front of the entire team, ''Are you going to be a lawyer or do you want to become an alcoholic like your Dad?"
Absolutely unacceptable, and it doesn't stop there. There were numerous claims of racial slurs and comments that you simply just don't make.
There was also an incident where he "poked" a player in the chest, which those outside of Mangino's circle said was no poke, it was a shove.
His profanity on the field carried off the field as well, and people around the KU campus began to question Mangino.
Academic fraud has been slapped on the Jayhawks under his tenure, as well as other major violations. None are as bad as his alleged abuse, though.
Mangino appears to be violent and offensive, and frankly, I'm not sure why anyone would want to play for him.
He may or may not get a shot at coaching again, but buyer beware, this man is no fit for coaching college kids.