1) If you were UM's athletic director and you had to get one guy from your region, who is that guy and why?
Huffman: Kyle Whittingham. Look no further than Gainesville to see what Whittingham is capable of. A disciple of Urban Meyer, he'd bring toughness, swagger, and a high-powered offense to Coral Gables. Whittingham is a chief reason the Utes are headed to the Pac-12. He's been very impressive while at Utah, and with a full stable of athletes, and more fertile recruiting ground to work with, would be great at the U.
Trieu: I don't know if he's a realistic candidate or not, but I consider Pat Fitzgerald to be one of the finest young head coaches in the country. He has recruited well and has Northwestern's program on the rise. He's very loyal to the Wildcats though, as he is an alum, so I don't think he'd leave, but he'd be one of the guys I'd want from up here.
Powers: 12 years ago Oklahoma was a prominent program that looked to an unusual place to fill its coaching void. Instead of turning to the usual regional suspects OU athletic director Joe Castiglione went outside the box and hired Steve Spurrier's right-hand man: Bob Stoops, who had served as the Gators defensive coordinator. One year later the Sooners, who fed off of the intensity and passion of the new coach, won the National Championship. Ironically, it is now Stoops' right-hand man who would be a perfect fit for the Canes. Venables has proven himself to be a valuable commodity at Oklahoma and has led a number of spirited defenses which have historically been able to slow even the most exciting Big 12 offenses. He has the fire and passion that the current talents could rally behind and that could lead to a quicker turnaround. He is an excellent recruiter.
Simmons: I think UM is on the right track if they are looking for a coach in the South by taking a look at Dan Mullen. He knows what it is like to play in the South by coaching at Florida and Mississippi State, he knows what it takes to recruit in the South, and he knows the state of Florida because of his time under Urban Meyer in Gainesville. He has made Mississippi State a competitor in each game this year, he has taken them to a Bowl game in only his second year as head coach, and he seems to be moving in the right direction to making them a player in the SEC Western Division. He is young, he knows the game, he has some fire, and he is a guy I would look at hard in the South. Not only is he a good candidate, but he is a realistic candidate.
2) How is this current situation going to impact Miami's recruiting efforts in those parts of the country? The south Florida kids who want to be Canes will likely come here no matter who the coach is but what about in your areas?
Huffman: It's already having somewhat of impact with Todd Barr, for example, having to cancel in-home visits with Miami that were scheduled. The longer it drags on, the more alluring the West Coast schools become.
Trieu: I think it will affect kids some, but not necessarily a ton. For kids in the Midwest, just being recruited by "The U" is something to be excited about and tell your friends about because they know about the tradition the school has and there is a certain aura around that program. If that has all faded, the kids up here are unaware of it, because in all honesty, the majority of these kids don't follow college football all that closely. They just know Miami has a great tradition, has put a lot of guys in the NFL, and a lot of these kids idolize Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Andre Johnson, Devin Hester, Frank Gore, etc.
Powers: The only way that the coaching change could affect the recruiting efforts would actually be to boost them. Randy Shannon did not seem to come after as many players in the state of Texas as past regimes and there are probably plenty of players who would definitely be interested in playing for a school that has the prominence and history of Miami.
Simmons: I do not think it really hurts their recruiting effort this season too much, especially if they get a coach in place in the very near future. Kids love Miami for Miami and they will remain with the Hurricanes. As long as UM gets an established head coach in place soon, I expect them to do ok in recruiting this year. I just think Miami is Miami in recruiting and these kids want to take a look at them regardless of the coaching situation because of their history and tradition.