The Daily Herald's Lindsey Willhite used to cover the Wildcats, and is now on the Illinois beat. He's come up with a list of possible candidates to replace both Randy Walker, and Illinois' Ron Turner.
He's looking at teams that are playing better in terms of wins than last year. Here's his list - his comments are in the story but here are mine:
Kansas' Mark Mangino:Is that enough for everyone?
Didn't we just beat this guy? Kansas' success comes from a fast infustion of JUCO players, guys who traditionally have a hard time transfering to NU.
Navy's Paul Johnson:
Has had a great run running the Spread Option. Webb would probably thrive in this set, but I don't see all the speed among the running backs to make it work at NU. He's done a great job at Navy and the beat Air Force, but I don't see the Spread Option being very effective in the Big 10.
Rutgers' Gary Schiano:
I agree with Linsey - I doubt he'd leave his Alma Mater to come to NU
<%2!--Default NodeId For Tulsa is 650,2003-->Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe:
This guy has out recruited us in Oklahoma and has turned the Tulsa program around. Another 2 years of this and he'd be a prime candidate in the Big 12
Now for some more of my own....
Delaware's K.C. Keeler:
Yeah, its Div I-AA, but his no-huddle spread is terrorizing his conference. He also successfully replaced a legend, Tubby Raymond, and a Delaware Icon - the Wing T offense. Won a National Title at Rowan [Div III] and should be a rising star because in his 2nd year, Delaware is ranked 4th in I-AA. He's a UD alum, however. Here's a column about Keeler.
NU's Pat Fitzgerald:
A fabulous recruiter [ask the kids from Texas], bleeds Purple, but probably should be a coordinator for a couple of years before taking over the head job, although if the Cat fans would be patient, there's no doubt he would grow into the job and would probably stay at NU for a long time.
NU's Justin Chabot:
A man who knows the NU program in and out - is running the "back office" part of NU football. Again, could use some time as a coordinator, but NU would have one H**l of an O-Line.
PSU Ron Vanderlinden:
OK, I'll include him because there's a lot of folks who think he'd be the savior of the program. He's also a great recruiter, but had a problem at Maryland off the field involving academics, an issue that probably caused his dismissal [nobody talks about why]. Maryland is winning with his recruits, but it took an offensive genius to turn the program around, besides, he's probably waiting for JoePa to retire so he could go for the job at State College.
NIU's Joe Novak:
Beat Maryland, and everyone else with a hard nosed running game and a tight defense. Can really recruit in Chicago. Big question: is he ready for the Big 10? could he handle the academic requirements at NU, and he's probably on the short list at Illinois if Ron Turner's team continues to go south.
Whoever would come in would inherit a team that is ready to really make Walker's system go. A pack of wideouts who are ready to step up, depth at running back again, a defense that is only losing 2 starters.-- da Coach
Essentially a team like Maryland was when they made their coaching change.
I would hate to see a new coaching staff come in, have instant success, and then repeat the cycle of boom and bust we've had here. Randy has recruited a lot of kids who have talent and now have to "pull up their socks and get after it."
I would submit the idea that Walker should be retained so we can see just what he can build. He had a couple of rough years at Miami of Ohio, but they stayed the course, he won enough games to become Miami's winningest coach and he left a legacy that allowed Miami to continue.
Meanwhile, despite all the negativity on some other boards, NU has continue to recruit well - picking up 4 commits so far - including another top D-Tackle, a very speedy WR, and a couple more kids who fit the Spread Option. We're on track to pick up some good kids out of Texas, and would probably have more commits if we were winning and we had less whining.
There's two sides to this argument - what do you think?
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