Hot Reads: Projecting the Best Hires of 2017
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Hot Reads: Projecting the Best Hires of 2017

January 25, 2017

Everything is a competition in college football — recruiting, facilities, uniforms, the competitions themselves. If something to do with the sport exists, it can be used as a measuring stick.

Paul Myerberg of USA Today recently measured the run of offseason assistant coach hires and Bob Diaco-to-Nebraska made the top-10 list at No. 6:

Diaco will bring his 3-4 expertise to Nebraska, a move that may not be as dramatic as one might expect. The Cornhuskers are built for a shift to that style, with a nice list of linebackers but little pass-rushing talent at traditional defensive end. Diaco will also bring a mean streak — and a sense of energy — largely lacking on defense during Mike Riley’s first two seasons with the Cornhuskers.

Diaco ranked behind the hires of Matt Canada (LSU), Kevin Wilson (Ohio State), Todd Orlando (Texas), Chip Long (Notre Dame) and Steve Sarkisian (Alabama).

That’s an interesting collection of assistants. You have three guys — Diaco, Wilson and Sarkisian — who were successful Power 5 coordinators and less successful head coaches. This is less true with Diaco than it is with Wilson or Sarkisian, but this is sort of the redemption-tour group.

The other three are still up-and-comers (mostly) and I’m a little surprised to see a couple of them ahead of Diaco. Canada’s last five seasons have been spent at three different schools. He coordinated the Wisconsin offense that ran through Nebraska in the 2012 Big Ten title game, then went to North Carolina State for three season and then went to Pitt last season.

Long’s first season as a coordinator was last year at Memphis. Now he takes over a Notre Dame offense with Brian Kelly’s program at what seems like a turning point.

Orlando’s been around plenty with defensive-coordinator stints at Connecticut, Florida International, Utah State and Houston under his belt, but those were all small speed boats compared to piloting the ocean liner that is Texas.

Do all of those resumes outweigh Diaco’s four years at Notre Dame? Maybe, but if I were ranking them in terms of the success I think they’ll have in the next five years — which factors in these guys’ bosses, program stature, etc. and serves as sort of a look towards how these hires will be viewed in the future — I would probably end up here: Wilson, Sarkisian (mostly an Alabama/Saban thing), Orlando, Diaco, Canada and Long.

No Sleep ‘Til Signing Day

We’re a week out from national signing day and things are always fluid, but Nebraska might be as involved in that annual circus as it has been in recent memory.

Need help keeping all the schedules straight. Erin Sorensen put together a handy list of when all of the prospects with Husker ties are expected to announce their decisions.

The Grab Bag

Today’s Song of Today

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