Mike Shanahan And Florida/Michigan Are Sneaky Good Matches
Henry McKenna 08:01 pm, November 08th, 2014
Two wrongs don't make a right. If you put a dysfunctional coach in a dysfunctional place, you'll get dysfunction. There's no way around it.
So maybe I'm erring on the side optimism when it comes to displaced coaches and players, but there's a nice ring to Mike Shanahan getting hired as the head coach of the Florida Gators or Michigan Wolverines.
First, don't prematurely... erupt, there aren't vacancies at either university. Florida has Will Muschamp and Michigan has Brady Hoke. The two are, however, the most tenuous (or notably tenuous) employees in the NCAA. If Muschamp or Hoke are out [Update: Will Muschamp will step down from Florida's head coaching job at the end of the season], then Shanahan is a good option.
Shanahan has never been a recruiter. As an NFL coach, he's simply drafted his players. The talent comes to him, so his first hurdle is bringing talent to ailing programs, and he'll have to learn how to convince 18-year-olds to play for him, a 62-year-old guy. But come on, they're 18-year-old football players, not Tea Party Republicans. They can be convinced (unless, of course, they are 18-year-old football playing Tea Party Republicans. Then, I don't know what the fuck to say.)
In Shanahan, Florida or Michigan would get a man without a ton of defensive experience. Nor does he know a great deal about using a spread offense. He also struggled to get along with his franchise quarterback in Washington.
OK, did we get the "cannot's" over with? Let's do Shanacan.
Here's what Shanahan can bring. The man has a gifted offensive mind. He has won three Super Bowls (one as an offensive coordinator). He's a winning NFL coach at 177-143. And he worked in the college ranks from 1975-1983, some of which was spent as the Gators offensive coordinator.
He's a coach with incredible experience -- without recent success, albeit -- and both schools he reportedly wants to join are programs, which will make recruitment much easier. It's not unprecedented either. As noted by SB Nation, Pete Carroll was a coach with NFL experience, so too was Steve Spurrier. They both transitioned from NFL to college seamlessly.
Most important, perhaps, either school would be getting a coach that wants to be there. Because with concussion-gate at Michigan, and Florida doing Florida things, taking a job at either university will require hurricane Muschamp/Hoke cleanup. And not many people have the willpower to take on a project like that.
So Florida and Michigan fans may not like the idea, but they should look around and consider the other options. At which point, they should cue a slow clap and start chanting Shan-A-Can, Shan-A-Can, Shan-A-Can!
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