Rabu, 11 April 2012

Arkansas Coaching Vacancy: Who replaces Bobby Petrino?

Arkansas AD Jeff Long had to do something about Bobby Petrino and at the end of the day, he made the right decision as he fired Bobby Petrino. Long has two decision he will have to make, who will coach the team for the rest of this season and who will take the job full time after the season. This team has the potential to win a National Championship so Long has some important decisions.

Interim Candidates

Arkansas Assistant Head Coach Taver Johnson
Johnson will most likely be the interim coach as he was put in charge when Bobby Petrino went on paid administrative leave. Johnson has been in a situation like this before when he was at Ohio State after Jim Tressel was fired. Johnson knows he will have a shot to take the job on the permanent basis if the Razorbacks do really well. Johnson knows that this will be a great tryout as long as he gets the chance.

Suspended New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
The Razorbacks are losing a great offensive mastermind in Petrino so why not replace him for a season with one of the NFL's offensive masterminds in suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton. Payton would probably not be heavily involved in recruiting but Payton could really make the Razorbacks offense dangerous. Payton also is very passionate and could really fire up his team before big games against SEC teams like Alabama and LSU. Payton would make a great interim head coach but lets be realistic, this is highly unlikely to actually happen.

Long Term Petrino Replacement Candidates

Boise State Head Coach Chris Petersen
The Razorbacks need to make a big hire that has great morals and Peterson is exactly that coach. Peterson has turned Boise State into one of the best college football programs in the nation as he has developed players very well. Peterson has sent tons of players to the NFL and he may have at least 4 players drafted in the first three rounds. Peterson also can replace Petrino's offensive abilities as he has one of the best offensive minds in college football. Peterson will be hard to get from Boise but the chance to coach in the SEC at one of the best programs in the country might convince Peterson to move to Fayettevile. Peterson should be the number one target for Long and he would be an impressive hire if Long can pull it off.

Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio has secretly been doing a great job in East Lansing as the Spartans have now had back to back 11 win seasons under Dantonio. Dantonio seems to be able to replace players and not have to rebuild which is very important if you want to be successful in the SEC. Dantonio has a great defensive mind and has made Michigan State's defense one of the best in the Big 10. In 2010, Dantonio got back to the sidelines as quickly as possible after he had a heart attack as he always once to be with his players down on the sidelines coaching. However, Dantonio has never been about the money so it will be hard to get him from East Lansing but the Razorbacks should definitely try.

Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong
Charlie Strong was the best defensive coordinator in the SEC when he was at Florida and he has now turned around the Lousiville program as he almost took them to a BCS bowl this past season. Strong will definitely be interested in the Arkansas job since he has been in the SEC previously. Strong grew up in Arkansas and went to Central Arkansas for college so he has some connections to the state of Arkansas. Strong also knows how to recruit in Florida and throughout SEC country so he could definitely help maintain the high standards at Arkansas. Strong came up through Urban Meyer and he has the high morals that Arkansas should be looking for. Strong would be a great choice to replace Bobby Petrino.

Iowa State Head Coach Paul Rhodes
Paul Rhodes has made a name for himself at Iowa State as he has been a great leader for the Cyclones which has let that program return to being respected across the nation. Rhodes has been in the SEC before as he was the defensive coordinator at Auburn for a year before he left to take the Iowa State head coaching job. Rhodes is one of the most passionate coaches in football and he would definitely fit in the SEC with other passionate coaches like Les Miles and Nick Saban. Rhodes would probably interested in the Arkansas but he might just be too committed to the Cyclones.

South Florida Head Coach Skip Holtz
Skip Holtz was successful in buinding East Carolina into a consistent winner before he left for South Florida where he has maintained the success that Jim Leavitt started in Tampa. Holtz is also the son of former Notre Dame and Arkansas head coach Lou Holtz so fans would be interested in bringing another Holtz to the program. Skip Holtz has also been an offensive coordinator in the SEC at South Carolina. Holtz knows how to recruit in SEC country and especially in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Holtz should be able to keep this program at a very respectable level and he would also be a great choice to replace Bobby Petrino.

Arkansas State Head Coach Gus Malzahn
Malzahn knows what it takes to be successful in the SEC as he was the offensive coordinator at Auburn and in 2006, the offensive coordinaotr/wide receivers coach at Arkansas. Gus Malzahn also played college football for two years at Arkansas as a wide receiver. Malzahn was very successful in his time at Auburn and could be interested in making a return to the SEC in the near future. However, he was just hired by Arkansas State so any move for Malzahn will probably have to wait till after the season.

UAB Coach Garrick McGee
Garrick McGee had been the offensive coordinator for the Razorbacks till he decided to leave to take the UAB head coaching job. Arkansas may look to bring McGee back since he has been previously affiliated with the program. McGee was also very successful when he was with the Razorbacks and he could keep the same offense that was run by Bobby Petrino and also a sense of continuity. However, Malzahn is in a situation that is just like Malzahn's in that he was just hired by UAB so any move will probably be after the season.

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