OSU: What the hell is going on out here?!

WE NOW HAVE OUR first real big answer on the Oregon State head football coaching search, and it's not what Beaver fans wanted to hear. Vince Lombardi's famous quote, "What the hell is going on out here?!" is still relevant today -- and especially so when it comes to the matter at hand in Corvallis.

Tucked at the bottom of a recent Portland Tribune article was the mention that on Wednesday, Dec. 10, AD Bob De Carolis, deputy AD Mark Massari "and a couple of inner circle confidantes" will convene to discuss the coaching candidates list, and in that discussion they will identify a group of finalists.

On Wednesday.

So it will have taken nearly a week -- six-plus days since Mike Riley quit this past Thursday morning -- for OSU's decision-making entity to identify their finalists for the Oregon State head football coaching job.

You're up, Vince.

Couple that Wednesday meeting with the say-nothing open letter De Carolis sent out Monday, a full four days after Riley left, and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Oregon State was wholly unprepared. Now, don't get me wrong ...


It's understandable to have been blindsided by Riley's decision. Hey, absolutely nobody saw this coming. But it's an entirely different thing altogether for OSU to have been unprepared, a reality that now seems devastatingly clear.

It now appears certain that De Carolis did not have a short list of coaches' names in his drawer, like every AD needs to have. Forget about your head coach moving on to another job, maybe he has a sudden health issue pop up, maybe he gets hit by a bus. An AD always needs to be prepared to replace his head coaches and that includes the unexpected. And it starts with a short list, sitting in your drawer.

And if you're going to send out the kind of letter De Carolis took four days to send, one that a prescient poster on the BF.C message boards called "empty platitudes with zero substance," you send it out within hours of Riley's departure.

Personally I would have preferred an open letter with some substance, or no letter at all. But if you're bound and determined to send that kind of letter out, then a version of that letter needs to also be sitting in your drawer, ready to go at a moment's notice.

There have been reports in the last 24 hours that Oregon State is either focused on, or have talked to, four candidates: Brady Hoke, Matt Wells, Bronco Mendenhall and Beau Baldwin.

It's certainly possible that's true but it also doesn't seem to mean much of anything -- not with the Tribune reporting that the finalists won't even be determined until the Wednesday meeting.

The Tribune also reported Monday evening in an interview with Oregon State President Ed Ray that Kevin Weiberg (former Big 12 commissioner and current deputy commissioner of the Pac-12) has been hired by De Carolis as a consultant in the search. And that Ray says the head football coach hire could come soon - or it could take a while.

"Things might click and we might find somebody in the next few days, or it could be three weeks from now," Ray told the newspaper.

Three weeks out would result in a hire date of Dec. 30.

I can understand if you have a guy or two that you've zeroed in on, but that it could take some time because said candidate(s) want to consider all their other options. It's just like recruiting when a high school prospect loves the offers he has, but wants to see what else he can get before he verbally commits.

But this isn't that. OSU won't identify their finalists until Wednesday according to the Tribune report.

The Beavs can still render all these missteps moot in the end with a great hire. But the way the search has been handled so far doesn't inspire confidence to that end.

"What the hell is going on out here?!" Yeah, I don't know, Vince. When it comes to the Oregon State head football coaching search, I don't think anyone can answer that question right now.

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