Thursday, December 15, 2005

Smart Move By Hawkins?

Boise State head coach Dan Hawkins will be named head coach at Colorado on Friday. Is it a smart move on Hawkins' part? Who is getting the better deal Colorado or Hawkins? He will be getting a hefty raise, about double his current salary of $525,000, but he will be taking over scandal ridden program that has hit rock bottom in its last three games.

Hawkins was rumored to have been in the running for at least a half of dozen big-time jobs last year after Boise State finished 11-0 in the regular season. He turned them all down to stay at Boise State. Maybe he thought he could hit the big-time in Boise. The Broncos were a heavy favorite to be this year's BCS buster and some prognosticators predicted they would win at Georgia in their opener. Boise State started the season ranked 18th in the country, but were embarrassed in Athens.

Hawkins and the entire Bronco football program practically vanished from the national spotlight. But after winning 9 of their last 11 and claiming a share of their fourth straight WAC title, Boise State and Hawkins have resurfaced. The Broncos have a mega bowl matchup against Boston College in their home stadium. A win would certainly make Hawkins a hot commodity once again, but another embarrassing loss would all but certainly place Boise State among the small fries of college football for the second time this season.

Taking the Colorado job before the MPC Computers Bowl might distract the Boise State players, but at least Hawkins will be addressing media on top of the football world and not at the bottom. Hawkins is a natural fit at Colorado. His somewhat clean image will be refreshing face in Boulder. His high-scoring offense will remind many of the Kordell Stewart led offenses under McCartney and the high flying days of Rick Neuheisal.

The talent and recruiting base at Colorado dwarfs anything he ever had at Boise. In a weak Big 12 North, he should have the Buffs back in the Big 12 Championship game, as long as he kind find a capable quarterback to run his offense. His complex offense excelled under NCAA record breaking quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie, but has not had the same firepower under the mobile but erratic Jared Zabransky.

Now, what happens to Boise State? The Bronco football program is at the beginning of expanding its football stadium and improving its facilities. Does this stop with the departure of Hawkins? His offensive coordinator Chris Peterson will likely be the top candidate to replace him, if he doesn't follow Hawkins to Colorado.

Dirk Koetter left Boise State in 2001 for Arizona State and the Broncos reached unprecedented heights under Hawkins. Many Bronco fans believe the real magic behind Boise's run the last four plus years is in the mind of Peterson. He is the genius of the Bronco's offensive scheme and not Hawkins. If that is the case, Boise State should not miss a beat if Peterson is named the new head coach of the Broncos.

So what about the WAC's other high-profile coach, Fresno State's Pat Hill. Hill has his Bulldogs attracting national attention each year with wins or great performances against top flight BCS schools. Although he has not been able to win an outright WAC title in his nine years, his name continues to be mentioned for many coaching opportunities in college and the NFL.

Hawkins probably realized he would not be able to get the national respect at Boise State that he coveted. Rather than squander another high-profile opportunity at a BCS school, he took the first that met his criteria. Should Hill do the same? It is evident, despite the dreams of some idiotic Bulldog fans, Hill will never win a national title at Fresno State, as long as the Bulldogs play in the WAC.

Hill has been rumored to be a candidate in Houston, if the Texans fire Dom Capers, which is highly likely. Hill is probably a better fit for the pro game, despite his success at Fresno State. Beating BCS teams and attracting great national exposure to Fresno State is his resume. He has yet to get the Bulldogs over the hump, and win a WAC title or earn a bid to the BCS. I doubt Hill will be offered a first rate opportunity at I-A school that is in the hunt for national title, but more than likely be offered a job at a program that will need some sort of rebuilding.

The WAC is already considered a lackluster league around the country. If the conference loses its two marquee coaches then it would really be fighting to earn some respect in 2006.


Blogger Karen Mojo said...

Roy Keane has just signed for Glasgow Celtic for 40,000 pounds a week - the world is going crazy. Heart surgeons don't get that much. Oh sorry - nice blog.Merry xmas Mojo scotland x


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