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Thursday, December 15, 2011
Where do the Big 12 recent hires rank?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Two Big 12 jobs came open and have been filled since. Where do they rank in the scale of college football?

Analyst Brock Huard weighed in on ESPN Insider, ranking nine of the most recent hires. Urban Meyer came in at No. 1, but Texas A&M's hire of Kevin Sumlin checked in at No. 3, under the heading of "The ideal fits."
It was paramount for the program to find a coach with established recruiting contacts in Houston and the state of Texas and a charismatic figure who could attempt to infiltrate the recruiting hotbeds of the Southeast.

It would be preferred if that coach had an understanding of the culture and expectations in College Station and a track record of success.

Therefore, Sumlin's the fit. I liked the hire for the Aggies, but like I've said, he's in a difficult spot with a lot to prove. He won't be starved for motivation.

Huard ranked Kansas' hire of Charlie Weis last, at No. 9, calling it a "head-scratcher."
Mark Mangino went 50-48 in eight seasons in Lawrence and was just 23-41 in conference play. If those are the expectations for Weis, who finished 16-21 in his final three years as coach at Notre Dame, then this move is understandable. However, Weis brings a pedigree, name, Super Bowl rings and a resume of success as the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator that far exceeds mediocre standards.

This rebuilding job will take significant time. Turner Gill went the developmental route through the recruitment of high school players and the disparity in size, speed and strength on the field was pronounced in 2011. Weis will bring Kansas recognition and conversation, and Jimmy Clausen, Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel and Tom Brady can attest that he knows how to make a quarterback and an offense better.

I'm not quite as down on the Weis hire as most, even if it's pretty easy to see this becoming one that both sides regret. That said, this is a valuable second chance for Weis at a place that couldn't be more different than Notre Dame. Maybe the results are different this time around, too.