Stanford ready to make a move?

January, 13, 2011
1/13/11
11:26
AM ET
Jon Wilner provides an excellent bit of analysis on Stanford's coaching search.

His two conclusions:
1. Stanford likely makes a move Thursday and the school will host a bunch of recruits this weekend.
2. The best odds are on an internal candidate: associate head coach Greg Roman, offensive coordinator David Shaw and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

The Cardinal made inquiries with Boise State's Chris Petersen, and he said no thanks. It appears there were feelers with Oregon State coach Mike Riley, but that didn't get very far. And Yale coach Tom Williams also interviewed. Of course, there also may be a guy we don't see coming. There are no indications that athletic director Bob Bowlsby has a super-secret guy he's going to spring on us, but you never know.

Wilner, because he is covering the story, doesn't provide an opinion on whom he believes Stanford should or will pick to replace Jim Harbaugh. San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami goes with Shaw.

Early comments from outgoing senior receiver Doug Baldwin indicated a lot of players wanted Shaw, a former Stanford player with deep ties to the Farm. What Wilner writes here echoes my take:

The most important thing to everyone in the locker room, by far — and it has been lost amid the reaction to Baldwin’s comment — is that one of the three internal candidates gets the job.

The notion that the majority of players would be unhappy with Roman or Fangio in charge is ridiculous.


Here's an issue with Shaw: It's unlikely that Shaw would be able to retain Roman or Fangio, both of whom will have a number of NFL opportunities if they don't get the head job, starting with following Harbaugh to the 49ers. Shaw is much more likely to stick around and work for Roman or Fangio.

Then there's this on Roman, from Wilner:

If you were impressed with Stanford’s run/pass balance, with its use of tight ends, its endless array of formations, its protection schemes and overall creativity, everything about the offense, really — well, that was Roman.


If you were impressed? Not to gush about Roman, but the single most impressive thing in college football this season -- scheme-wise -- was the Cardinal's offensive creativity. Oh, the guy playing QB, he was OK, too.

If continuity from what Harbaugh built matters, Roman is likely the guy. If Stanford ties matter most, Shaw is likely the guy.

And, of course, there are a variety of other issues: Recruiting acumen; whether one is viewed as a climber who will leave when a bigger offer comes around; an ability to get along with boosters and administrators; and an ability to hire an good coaching staff.

It appears the suspense is about to end. So stay tuned.

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