Three-Point Stance: Short leashes; black sheep; recruiting notes
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with thoughts on two very early coaching fires, the most embarrassing team in each Power Five conference and some random recruiting thoughts.
1. It's a new world -- less-than-two-and-done
This is the way it’s going to be in college football. Win now or at least show progress or we will dump you in the second year of your contract. It happened to Willie Taggart on a large stage at Florida State and it happened to Chad Morris on a smaller stage at Arkansas.
So what are my thoughts on these coaches being fired in year two with not enough time to build their own roster? I’m fine with it.
Listen, if it’s clear a mistake was made in the hiring process and that there is no hope — and I mean none — that things are going to get better with the mistake you hired, it’s time to bite the bullet and get out.
Florida State has too much pride to be scraping for wins and bowl games and it’s clear the players didn’t care or believe that much under Taggart. I saw a much better product on the field Saturday against Boston College with Taggart sitting home.
And Arkansas? This was just a dumb hire in the first place as Morris was ineffective at SMU and was way in over his head in the SEC West. But it wasn’t even the losses by both coaches that was disturbing, it was also some of the wins. FSU should never struggle with teams like ULM and Arkansas should not be losing to San Jose State or barely pulling out a win against Portland State. Both coaches were bad hires and it’s time to move on.
So who is the perfect hire for each school? For FSU I would say Bob Stoops because of his name recognition and ability to run a major program and if he says no, go after PJ Fleck (if possible) or Jame Franklin. A big name hire is a must here.
As for Arkansas, Mike Norvell would be a home run if he’d take the job, but Lane Kiffin or Mike Leach would also be amazing hires. FSU will be back and back quickly with the right hire while Arkansas has the tougher road, but for each it was time to dump the dead weight at the coaching position. Listen up Manny Diaz, Jeremy Pruitt and others. Schools aren’t waiting around.
2. The black sheep of each conference
This topic came up on our podcast last week because I was thinking about what some schools thought of the losing programs in their own conference. So which team in each Power Five conference is the black sheep or embarrassment? Some people aren’t going to like this.
Big Ten — Rutgers. Is there any doubt? Rutgers was added to the Big Ten for the TV market alone and it has helped some schools recruit New Jersey better, but none of those schools are named Rutgers. Rutgers has gone 13-44 since 2015. That’s bad.
SEC — Vanderbilt. It’s hard to pick Vandy because they are the school in the SEC with the highest academic standards but you can’t ignore the losing. James Franklin had a nice run there but since 2015 they are 23-36. That’s not as bad as I thought it would be, but still far below other programs who have all made at least a little run here and there.
ACC — Syracuse — It’s hard to pick an ACC team because of the parity of the league and by parity I mean how awful it is. But Syracuse gets my vote. Not only are they geographically out of place in the ACC but they just don’t win enough. Dino Babers was a hot name last year after finishing 10-3, but this year it’s been back to bad. Take away the 2018 season and Syracuse is 25-45 since joining the conference. That’s ugly.
Big 12 — Kansas. Poor Kansas. This was an easy choice for obvious reasons. While Les Miles has them headed in the right direction, the Jayhawks have not won more than 3 games in a season since 2009. I’ll spare you their overall record in that span.
Pac-12 — Colorado. This was a tough one because it seems like it was just yesterday when the Buffs were in the Pac-12 title game. However, that was 2016. Take away that year and the best record they’ve had in the Pac-12 has been 5-7. No bueno.
3. Donnell Harris and other recruiting notes
There has been a little action on the recruiting front as we near the early signing period. Here are a few notes...
— DE/LB Donell Harris would be a five-star if he was still in the class of 2021, but he’s still a great get for Texas A&M as a high four-star commitment in 2020. He’s still very skinny but will fill out and could be a terror off the edge in the Aggies defensive scheme.
— LSU impressed everyone who was in attendance or watched their win over Alabama and its already paying dividends as DT Jacobian Guillory jumped on board after the win. He’s a coveted big body in-state and plays a key position. More importantly, five-star cornerback Elias Ricks announced he’s not taking any other visits and is all LSU now. That’s a huge out-of-state keep for Ed Orgeron.
—- Penn State recruiting continues to chug along nicely with the pickup of OL Jimmy Christ from Virginia. Christ had been a huge part of the Virginia recruiting class. Virginia has been a big state for the Nittany Lions in recent years.
— Tennessee DE Jay Hardy surprised some with his commitment to Auburn as many thought he’d end up in the Vols recruiting class. Hardy can play either defensive end or defensive tackle and continues the stellar recruiting by Auburn along the defensive line. This is a big blow to Tennessee as they are trying to keep more elite players in state.
— Chip Kelly and UCLA are on a bit of a recruiting run with four commitments in the last couple of weeks with two of them coming from Georgia. The headliner is local WR Logan Loya, who is a great fit for Kelly’s offense.