Friday, May 13, 2011
Which coach needs to win the most?
By David Ubben
The Big 12's coaches enter 2011 in an interesting position: No one is really on the hot seat. Some are closer than others, but it would take a scandal for any coach to lose their job midseason, like Colorado's Dan Hawkins did last year.
But, some still need to win worse than others. Who needs it the most?
Turner Gill's Kansas team went 3-9 last season and was blown out in five games, winning just one conference game. Can the Jayhawks be more competitive in Gill's second season?
Mike Sherman neared the hot seat after a 3-3 start last season that looked headed for a third losing season in three years. Then he won six consecutive games and got the Aggies into the Cotton Bowl with a share of the Big 12 South. Can he get over the hump and into the BCS in 2011?
Paul Rhoads won a bowl game in his first season, but as his team gets better, the schedule seems to get tougher. Now that the Cyclones will face the entire Big 12 South every year, can he get Iowa State back into the postseason?
Mack Brown suffered through the worst season of his career last year, and the worst at Texas since 1997, the year before he arrived. Does Texas get back on track this season, or with five new coaches, is this a project that will take another season to pay off? Or worse, is this the beginning of the end of Texas' run as an elite Big 12 team?
Tommy Tuberville loses a lot from last season's team, but he's done plenty to convince Texas Tech fans that he's the best man for the job, with record-breaking donor contributions and the school's best recruiting classes. Does that finally carry over to the field, where he has yet to surpass how often his predecessor, Mike Leach, won?