Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 11/30/16
As expected, Mark Helfrich is out as the Oregon head football coach. That means it’s time to start sifting through the emerging candidates for what is at the very least a good job, and perhaps a great one. I’ve seen several names mentioned, so I’ll run through a handful and offer my two cents.
Dana Holgorsen: I can see this being a very good mutual fit. Holgorsen is a fit for Oregon in terms of the style of football he plays. Holgorsen has also gone about as far as he can go at West Virginia. No knock on that program, but the infrastructure just isn’t there to expect the Mountaineers to compete with Oklahoma and Texas from a dollars and facilities standpoint. I make Holgorsen a very strong possibility to go after this job.
Chris Peterson: He already has a terrific gig at Washington, but those monster Oregon dollars could be tempting. I don’t see him leaving Seattle, but ya never know.
Bryan Harsin: The Boise State head coach is apparently a major contender. Harsin fits on a variety of levels, not the least of which is personality. Oregon has already stated they want a dynamic coach who can make the ticket sales cash register ring. Boise State is a nice enough program but the Mountain West is simply not close to a destination league and Harsin is therefore a candidate to be on the move sometime soon.
Chip Kelly: I think Kelly is back in the college ranks within two years. If Oregon invites him back to Eugene, it might be sooner rather than later. On the other hand, there’s that old thing about you can’t go home again. I know Kelly will get a load of plays from observers, but I think he’s a longer shot than the others to get the job.
Dan Mullen: It might be moving time for Mullen if the right job gets offered. He’s done an excellent job at Mississippi State, but let’s face it, there are better gigs for Mullen than the one in Starkville. He’s likely a very long shot here, but the guy can coach, so he has to warrant some consideration.
Scott Frost: Kudos to Frost for what he did this year at Central Florida, and he has ties to Oregon, having been an assistant there. Not a prime contender in my estimation, but Frost is a rising star in the coaching fraternity.
PJ Fleck: He’s on everyone’s hot list, simple as that. But it’s my feeling that Notre Dame is the eventual landing place for Fleck, be it now or in the near future.
There are some other names on the supposed wish list for Oregon, but I feel these are the main contenders. I make Holgorsen the favorite, for what it’s worth.
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The Tuesday free play worked out as Nashville notched a road win at Colorado in the NHL. I’ll return to college hoops for the Wednesday comp.
597 UNLV at 598 SOUTHERN UTAH
Take: SOUTHERN UTAH +9.5
I’m big on looking for intangibles when sizing up potential wagers. There’s a big one in play tonight as UNLV hits the road for the first time as the Rebels make the short trip to Cedar City to face the Thunderbirds.
UNLV has the better talent here, not much argument about that. But it is the initial road game after six straight at home and that can be a challenge regardless of the opponent.
Southern Utah is very limited in terms of personnel. The Thunderbirds have been a losing program for ages. Their last winning season was way back in 2006-07 and they’re going to likely be toward the bottom of the Big Sky again this year.
But here’s where the intangibles come in. Todd Simon is now the coach at Southern Utah after being the interim head guy for the Rebels last season after Dave Rice departed the scene. Simon certainly would have liked to become the full time coach here in Las Vegas, but the school decided to go in another direction.
I can pretty much guarantee that if there’s one game Simon would absolutely love to win this season, it’s tonight’s game against the Runnin’ Rebels.
Whether Southern Utah has enough to stay with UNLV for the full 40 remains to be seen. But I’m convinced this team will be ultra-fired up for the game and I suspect the visiting Rebels might get more than they bargained for tonight in Cedar City. I’m looking at taking the points with the Thunderbirds.