There are several job openings in the world of college football, and USC is undoubtedly the top gig available. But what’s No. 2? Miami? South Carolina?
Not necessarily. No, as it turns out, it just might be Maryland.
“It depends on what the school really wants and how much Under Armour is going to get involved,” Bleacher Report college football analyst Brian Pedersen said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “That’s essentially Under Armour’s Oregon. That’s a flagship school. They get all the gear first, and if they want to make a huge push into football and have all that revolutionary-type equipment and everything and make a big splash, then maybe they want to get involved and pump some extra money into that position. It’s a good market for the Big Ten. There are decent recruits in the area. It’s a place where, if you get the right guy, I think there could be some success. Whether or not anybody is going to go after that job and take a flyer on it, I don’t know.”
But if Maryland has the potential to become Oregon-esque, why wouldn’t a top-notch coach want to go there?
“Well, I mentioned the recruiting is good there, but it’s not great – and other schools have very established roots in the area to where Maryland is not always the first choice,” Pedersen explained. “So it would have to be somebody wanting to take a gamble. Remember, Oregon wasn’t like that 20 years ago. It was a good program, but it wasn’t a great program. It took Nike getting more involved and saying, ‘We want to make this elite.’ At the time, it wouldn’t have been a place that could have lured a big-name coach. Mike Bellotti got that started, but he kind of did it from inside and built it up, and now it’s become a big-name thing. But even still, after Bellotti leaves, they go with their coordinator, and after Chip Kelly leaves, they go with their coordinator. So maybe it’s not somewhere . . . (where) you kind of have to develop a coach. Maybe they have to go with a coordinator or a quote-unquote hot young coach.”
Miami, meanwhile, seems like a no-brainer destination, but the job is not without drawbacks.
“It’s just so tough because they have a horrible facility,” Pedersen said, referring to MetLife Stadium. “And despite having such great talent down in that area, it’s where all the other schools are coming in to get (recruits). So they need to be able to win over the top recruits – not just the second- or third-tier recruits – to be able to be successful. And the last few coaches haven’t been able to do that.”