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Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Ranking the head-coaching hires

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

ESPN.com's Brock Huard takes a look at the coaching hires in college football this week, and the three in the Pac-12 run the gamut of his ratings.

His four categories: "Game-changers," "Ideal fits," "Pendulum swingers" and "Head scratchers."

Huard joins the almost unanimous chorus praising Washington State's hiring of Mike Leach, rating it a game-changer and the second-best hire behind Urban Meyer to Ohio State.

He writes:
Leach will have plenty of quarterback and wide receiver talent to recruit in the Pacific time zone, much like he had in the state of Texas. The locale, the recruiting demographics, and a fan base starving for success after just nine wins in four seasons is buying up season tickets and buying in to the conviction and plan of their new head coach.

He ranks Rich Rodriguez No. 5 and among his "ideal fits." He writes:
The Pac-12 South just lost half of its coaches, Colorado just finished a rocky first season under Jon Embree, and USC is beginning its first of three years of significant scholarship reductions. In other words, the opportunity is there for Rich Rod to put the Ann Arbor experience in the rear-view mirror and attempt to resurrect the speed, blur and fury he brought to Tulane, Clemson and West Virginia.

And he ranks Jim Mora to UCLA among the "Head scratchers." He writes:
Mora is wildly entertaining, incredibly motivated to re-write and redefine his career, and will bring boundless energy, a deep knowledge of the game and a tireless work ethic in his pursuits. Where Carroll had at least six years of experience in the college game before his hiring, Mora has essentially had none.