Well Lucky me is officially done with this semester and its a great feeling.
THE HOT LIST:
1. Kansas: Can Turner Succeed?
2. Big 10 Expansion: Should the Big 12 be concerned?
1. Well to Husker fans, news broke out late on Saturday night that former Husker Coach Turner Gill is indeed the next head coach at Kansas. He was formerly introduced yesterday saying that what Kansas needs to do to be on the top of the Big 12. "Recruit, beat Missouri, Recruit, win the Big 12 North, Recruit, win the Big 12 Championship and if you can do that your playing for national titles, and after that we'll Recruit." Look I love Turner Gill, he was a legend QB coach at Nebraska and was a star for the "scoring explosion" back in the 1980's. The real question comes can Turner Gill actually compete and live up to the lofty expectations he's thrown out in the first week in his new job. My thoughts are he can't and heres why. This is a very dangerous road that Turner is walking on with this being his first major coaching job. Think about the success rate of those coaches who came from mid-major programs and succeeded. The pool is limited. If you weren't a successful assistant at a major program (Gill was) but didn't go straight to a major program you tend to be on the losing side of keeping your job and bringing success to a program.
I think Turner is actually trying to get back at Nebraska for snubbing him out of the head coaching job 2 seasons ago when Tom Osborne decided to go with Bo Pelini as head coach and not Turner. Look for everything he did for this university that says something when your mentor snubs you from the job. I don't deny that he wouldn't have done a great job at Nebraska but something on the side tells me that Tom knew he would struggle at Nebraska and therefore knew the fan base wouldn't hold firm with him running the team. Nebraska needed to get its attitude back and clearly Bo was the guy for the job. What's concerning is that Turner faces a monumental uphill at Kansas to live up to his expectations. First, he has to face Nebraska every year, starting with playing in Lincoln next season. Second, he has to face Missouri every year in a rivalry that Turner doesn't fully understand. Third, Turner is use to recruiting mid major level talent and likely will continue to do that at Kansas, and if you don't develop that talent then you'll likely see yourself losing 5 games each season. Look at his track record as a coach, he won 2 games in his first season at Buffalo then 4. In his third season Buffalo won the MAC but got stomped in the bowl game. In this past season his team was 5-7 again missing a bowl game. People at Buffalo were starting to become irked about how the program had begun to regress after winning a conference title. I don't question him as a person, a professional, and as a developer of your men. Thats clearly why Kansas hired him because of his personal demeanor, but Turner will find out very quickly how cut throat the Big 12 is and after a few losing season and not beating Nebraska in 5 tries I'll see Kansas fans become tiresome of Turner and that will likely end up with him out the door and looked at as a failure at Kansas. That in turn will force Turner to go back as an assistant coach before he attempts to seek out another head coaching job in the future.
2. An interesting article came to my attention about the Big 10 increasing it's talks about adding a 12th member to their league and having a conference championship game to add revenue and to keep the Big 10 Champion more fined tuned for the post season. The question comes with who the Big 10 (Slow 10) should add. I think they'll look into Norte Dame but with their lucrative TV contract and BCS tie in as an independent they'll likely shoot down an invitation to be in the Big 10. That leaves the conference exploring a possible Big 12 team or Big East Team. Likely both conferences wouldn't want to lose anybody but really they can't hold any teams in it, just ask the Big East when it lost VT, BC, and Miami to the ACC. With that said teams like Pitt, Iowa State, Nebraska, Syracuse, Rutgers, and Missouri all look like a decent fit for the Big 10. Ideally the Big 12 should look to give up one of its teams to add Arkansas or TCU to it. That means that Missouri or Iowa State would be on the chopping block and I'd be hard pressed to think that the slow 10 would look at Iowa State. Although it would make a lot of sense with them playing Iowa every year where that game could have conference implications and be put at the end of the year. I think they'll likely go to Missouri who in turn would bring a bigger market to the Big 10 which they sorely need for revenue. That leaves TCU or Arkansas and a much needed restructuring to the conference. I'm all for keeping the Big 12 strong but if we can get rid of Misery an add Arkansas or TCU I'm all for it. We'll have to keep an eye to see how this all shakes out.
Coming back tomorrow...