This past week, many open coaching positions were filled. While Ohio State fans revel in the undefeated regular season of 2012, and head coach Urban Meyer's Buckeye coaching staff actively recruits talent for the upcoming 2013 season, how do these coaching changes impact Ohio State?
At the time of this writing, not all of the coaching positions have been filled. Below is an assessment on the coaching position filled by Cincinnati, as well as the currently open position at Wisconsin, and how the Buckeyes may be looking at these changes.
Who's Leaving? Butch Jones. Unlike the previous examples in the first article that detailed the coaching changes at California and Purdue, Jones is leaving Cincinnati to take on the head coaching position at Tennessee, from the recently fired Derek Dooley.
Who Is The New Coach? Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville's hiring ranks as one of the bigger shocks during this period of college football coaching upheaval (hint: the bigger one is below...). It is not because Tuberville is not well-regarded as a good coach.
It is because Tuberville is coming to Cincinnati. Let that one sink in for a moment.
Tuberville, a true Southerner who has never coached a program above the Mason-Dixon line, resigning from Texas Tech of The Big XII Conference, a conference with guaranteed playoff access once that system starts up in 2014, is heading for perpetual stepping-stone job Cincinnati of The Big East, a conference that seemingly appears to be falling apart with its members.
Speculation is rampant that Tuberville, who took the Texas Tech job in 2009, was never truly comfortable down in Lubbock. Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock worked with Tuberville at Auburn, and perhaps this job will provide Tuberville a sense of stability. For Cincinnati fans, who have watched their last three head coaches (Mark Dantonio, Brian Kelly, and Butch Jones) leave after each have spent three years on the job, hopefully Tuberville will stick it out longer than that for the Bearcats. In 2014, Ohio State and Cincinnati are scheduled to play. Will Tommy Tuberville still be at the helm for the Bearcats? We shall see.
Impact Upon The Buckeyes? To be determined. Considering how Ohio State has struggled to lure recruits from Cincinnati to Columbus, it will bear watching to see how Tuberville does while competing against Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer for Cincinnati talent that both offer.
Ohio State is supposedly going to hold its April 2013 spring football game in Cincinnati. I am curious as to how Tuberville will respond to Coach Meyer and Ohio State invading what Tuberville considers Bearcat territory.
Who Is Leaving? Bret Bielema. Bielema, the hand-picked successor to current Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, has left the comfort of Madison for Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take over as the head coach of the Razorbacks.
Articles bashing The Big Ten have been written about this topic since this coaching shockwave emerged last week, and I believe it is truly pointless to try to continue to argue why so many people believe this was a bad move by both Bret Bielema and Arkansas. Considering numbers usually make a more persuasive point, I will merely point out these numbers: 1 and 5. One represents the lone victory Bielema had while coaching Wisconsin against Ohio State (2010), while five represents his losses (2007-2009, 2011, 2012). I will only speculate that Arkansas fans are hoping for far better results against the likes of SEC heavyweights such as Florida, Alabama, and LSU than Bielema provided the fans of Wisconsin when his Badgers faced Ohio State.
Who Is The New Coach? To be determined. Barry Alvarez will coach Wisconsin versus Stanford in The Rose Bowl, but Alvarez will not be returning to the sidelines for Wisconsin in 2013.
Speculated candidates include current Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, current Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator/former Ohio State defensive back coach/former Wisconsin player Mel Tucker, and current Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator/former Wisconsin player Darrell Bevell. Alvarez is keeping this one pretty close to the vest. For what it is worth, while Pitt head coach Paul Chryst was the most logical candidate, I give Alvarez a big thumbs up for not raiding Pitt's coach after Chryst only spent one year on the job. Classy.
Impact Upon The Buckeyes? To be determined. Without a coach in place, Wisconsin fans are probably sweating Coach Meyer and his assistants, such as Mike Vrabel, poaching their recruits. No matter who winds up with the head coaching position, the rivalry between Ohio State and Wisconsin will only continue to amp up as both programs fight for supremacy within The Big Ten's Leaders Division in 2013 and beyond.