Importance of OSU hire can't be overstated

EVERY ATHLETIC DIRECTOR worth his salt has a short list of head coaches in his drawer -- and for situations just like this one at Oregon State. Sure, Oregon State was blindsided and no one ever dreamed Mike Riley would bolt after 11 years (14 total) at OSU. But AD Bob De Carolis should not be unprepared. Nor should the OSU debacle surrounding the recent basketball coaching switch be repeated.

But will that be the case?

We’ll see.

But here's what we do know: Long-term, short-term, however you want to slice it, the next few weeks will be as important as any in the history of Beaver football.

Oregon State has a soaring opportunity here.

Conversely, if they misfire they could plumb new depths below the current morass of middling seasons and seven straight losses to their rival.

If De Carolis is seen to be scrambling, if he did not have both a short list nor plan of action he could implement immediately on replacing his head football coach, then there should be two key positions at Oregon State that need to be filled in the athletic office.

But if he was prepared, then this coaching search shouldn’t take a whole lot of time.

Yes, there are challenges to overcome, including candidates that are currently preparing for bowl games. But the bottom line is De Carolis should have his new guy in place before the start of the dead period on Dec. 15, if not sooner.

De Carolis will attempt to keep any leaks moving forward – on candidates, interviews, everything. And for good reason.

This may or may not come to pass but media and fans lend far too much credence and attention to speculation and unattributed reports that a school missed on their “top choice.”

There are loads of candidates who could end up being home run hires. And there are also ones who could flame out -- no one can know until a few years go by. But what can be said: the difference between the guy on the top of the list and the guy on the bottom isn’t necessarily a wide gap.

OSU has multiple choices to choose from here to make the most significant hire that, arguably, has ever been made at Oregon State.

There is not just one “right man” for the job, there are many “right men” out there. It’s now the job of Mr. De Carolis to pick one of them, and to be proven right a few years down the road.

It is more important to get the right guy than to rush to make a hire to try and save the recruiting class. You don’t set out to lose any guys but it’s inevitable, some will flip. You can bank on that. I

t’s probably not going to be to the level of the dumpster fire that was Vanderbilt a few years back, but the OSU class that signs in February will be different than how the class looks today.

On the flip side, the new coach and staff may not want every verbal pledge Mike Riley recruited because there are better fits to his offensive/defensive system, even in the highly abbreviated recruiting cycle the new staff will have.

What also works against OSU is there is no more oversigning – they can’t go with s small class and “bank” some scholies until 2016. They can sign 25 this year and no more. Regardless of whether they go below the 25 threshold this class, they can only sign 25 in ’16 as well.

Numbers-wise, Oregon State had an impressive, and unusual, 21 verbal commits at this stage. But the class was also ranked 10th in the Pac-12 and No. 61 nationally. And those numbers were actually going to trend down because OSU had more verbal commitments (21) than all but one school in the Pac-12.

It wasn’t going to be a highly rated class had Riley stayed, and it will probably be lower with a new staff because so many recruits are now off the board.

That said, there is also the opportunity for the new coach to go and grab some highly rated verbal commits from other schools. It all depends on the coach who comes in.

You’re up, Mr. De Carolis.

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