Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Underrated, pressure-packed coaching jobs
By David Ubben
We're talking coaches all week long here at ESPN.com, and colleagues Mark Schlabach and Travis Haney got in on the action, too.
Schlabach tabbed his 10 underrated coaching jobs, and two Big 12 teams made the cut.
Oklahoma State: Long overshadowed by Oklahoma, the Cowboys finally broke through during the past two seasons, going 23-3 under coach Mike Gundy. Last season, the Pokes went 12-1 and won the Big 12 title, their first outright conference championship since 1948. And it never hurts having wealthy booster T. Boone Pickens' checkbook at your disposal. In 2005, Pickens donated $165 million to Oklahoma State to help improve the Pokes' football facilities.
TCU: The Horned Frogs were the model of consistency in the Mountain West, winning 11 games or more in six of the past seven seasons. During the past three seasons, TCU played in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl and won the Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO in 2011. Now TCU can sell recruits on playing in the Big 12, which should help it attract bigger and faster talent. It doesn't hurt that 34 individual donors helped TCU complete a $105 million renovation of the west side and north end zone of Amon G. Carter Stadium last year.
Both great picks. TCU is about to become a much, much better job for the reasons Schlabach listed. In the near future, I could see it become a top 3-4 job in the Big 12.
Nationally, the Oklahoma State gig is underrated, but I was one to take notice. The money and winning have upgraded the job, and I tabbed it as the Big 12's third-best gig. Five or six years ago, that wasn't the case, but that No. 3 job has changed a lot in recent history. I would have had Nebraska and Texas A&M as that job before they left, but Texas Tech was in the ballpark late in Mike Leach's tenure.
For now, though? It's Oklahoma State.
Haney took a look at the two coaching jobs with the most pressure to win big this year. He says it's Texas and Oklahoma.
I'd sort of agree, but the definition of "win big" is a little different. For Texas, I'd define winning big this year as 10-11 games. For Oklahoma, though, it's a national title.
The pressure is there, and we could see it from both teams, but it's definitely a storyline to watch in 2012. Stoops isn't in a bit of danger for losing his job, but another 7-8 win season would apply a little more heat on Mack Brown at Texas. The good news? Texas is so young this year, they'll be even better in 2013, regardless of what we see in 2012.