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December 24, 2012
Dallas Jackson is the National Columnist for Rivals.com. Email him your comments or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.At the end of each college football season, the coaching carousel starts to spin. Where it stops, no one knows.
History has shown that changes made during the spending season can be strokes of brilliance that elevate a program -- such as Texas A&M's hiring of Kevin Sumlin last season -- or they could spark immediate buyer's remorse, as was the case with Southern Miss, which fired Ellis Johnson after an epic collapse in just one season.
No matter the long-term effect, the short-term boost in recruiting is almost a certainty. According to Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell, some moves create a bigger bounce than others.
"The bigger-name guys will produce more instant dividends in recruiting," Farrell said. "Honestly, though, whenever you make any hire, it is exciting and there is a refresh button pushed.
The impact of each of the 25 hires made this year will not be determined until years into the future, but it appears that most can be grouped into one of five categories.
SURPRISE MOVERSBret Bielema and Tommy Tuberville
Keep an eye on: Tuberville at Cincinnati
Tuberville impact: This was likely the best possible situation for Cincinnati in replacing Butch Jones less than a full day after he left for Tennessee. It isn't quite the message that Cincinnati is a better job than Texas Tech, as some would have speculated, but the situation is better for Tuberville. He will have to recruit the same state as Meyer, but the two likely shared a driveway from time to time in the SEC.
What the locals are saying: "He just was never entrenched and embraced at Texas Tech. He signed a four-year deal when he was hired, then a one-year extension after the first year, but nothing since. I think he saw the writing on the wall that he wasn't in the long-term plans and dictated the situation to them by leaving now." -- Chris Level, RedRaiderSports.com
What the experts are saying: "The way he left Texas Tech was extremely surprising because that is not a bad program and Cincinnati is battling through conference realignment purgatory. Ultimately, this should bring a significant boost in recruiting because of what Tuberville is as a coach. He was undefeated in the SEC, and even if he is in an area that he has never recruited before, his name will hold plenty of weight -- more so than a new hire likely would have." -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com
STEPPING UPGus Malzahn, Sonny Dykes, Mike MacIntyre, Dave Doeren, Darrell Hazell, Butch Jones and Gary Andersen
Keep an eye on: Jones at Tennessee
Jones impact: This can be viewed as the bottom of the barrel for the Tennessee program and Jones can only be a positive impact. The team's win total has dropped in each of the last three seasons, and the Vols fell to Vanderbilt this season. Jones has been a success at his two prior stops, and there is talent on the roster waiting to be coached up.
What the locals are saying: "I don't think this is the exciting hire people wanted; it will be a wait-and-see from most Vol fans, and that is not Butch Jones' fault. For him to be successful early, he will need to hit the ground running full speed. His name is not going to draw immediate reaction from recruits, and I don't think many are going to be saying they want to go to UT just to play for Butch Jones." -- Brent Hubbs, VolQuest.com
What the experts are saying: "This is a big deal for Tennessee. That is a program that needs the right hire, and it needs it right now. I don't know if I can say this is a home run hire, but after the episode with Lane Kiffin and the disaster of Derek Dooley, the best thing that can happen here is for Jones to bring the Cincinnati magic with him and follow on the success of the last coaches to leave that school. It is unlikely he is going to jump in and have the success that Brian Kelly is having in recruiting at Notre Dame, but Tennessee isn't Notre Dame." -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com
GETTING A SHOTMark Stoops, Kliff Kingsbury, Bryan Harsin, Paul Petrino, Paul Haynes and Todd Monken
Keep an eye on: Stoops at Kentucky
Stoops impact: The best thing that Stoops brings with him is hope. Kentucky has been beaten down, and there is a sense of optimism right now. His turnaround of the Florida State defense -- and his family history with defense -- has been his calling card, but most times those teams had more talent than he has at Kentucky. That could turn with coaching.
What the locals are saying: "If Stoops can hire a solid offensive coordinator who produces points and he does on defense what he does on defense, it will be a nonissue. Of the openings in the SEC, it is easy to argue that Kentucky was the worst job and, for Kentucky to get a coach like Mark Stoops, everyone associated with the program has to be happy. The rest of the details can be figured out, but for now this is a very good thing." -- T.J. Walker, CatsIllustrated.com
What the experts are saying: "This is as good a hire as Kentucky could have expected to make based on what is happening there right now. I think that it is still a tough spot to get talent to go to. Joker Phillips was a very good recruiter and was not that successful at Kentucky. Stoops has some ties in Florida, but it is very unlikely that Kentucky will be able to use them to land four- and five-star players. The best thing here would be that they can mine out some three-stars who want to play like five-stars." -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com
GOING BACK TO SCHOOLMatt Rhule, Sean Kugler and P.J. Fleck
Keep an eye on: Rhule at Temple
Rhule impact: Temple has been holding steady since Al Golden picked the program up off the mat. It did not take the next step on the field under Steve Addazio that many had hoped to see, but the recruiting stayed on an upward trend and if that continues the base of talent will grow on the roster. If there is improvement to be made, it will be in transitioning from MAC players to Big East-level players.
What the locals are saying: "There were 119 serious applications, cut down to 36 potential candidates we considered for interviews. Twelve of those told us Temple was their dream job. Some of them were interviewing for other jobs and couldn't make it for our scheduled interview. Four of those who told us Temple was their dream job said they needed a GPS or an OnStar to get from the airport to campus, so we eliminated them as well. But the one who never wavered, who wanted this position more than any other candidate, just happened to be the same coach who ultimately we wanted the most, and he's with us today -- Matt Rhule." -- Bill Bradshaw, Temple athletic director.
What the experts are saying: "Rhule was there for a long time and knows the program and the direction it should be going in. He is a guy that everyone I speak with respects and talks highly of, and that will play well in recruiting. The program is back in the Big East, and while that may not mean all that much right now, it is another selling point. He is a Super Bowl champion and understands people, so I think there could be a boost to recruiting with this move." -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com
A CHANCE FOR REDEMPTIONSkip Holtz and Bobby Petrino
Keep an eye on: Petrino at Western Kentucky
Petrino impact: This could be a big one because Petrino has been successful everywhere he has coached. The offense should stay explosive, and there may be an uptick in recruiting. Speculation would put his time in Bowling Green at about two years, and that may mean he dips into the junior college ranks to sell players who need a chance at redemption to make good alongside him.
What the locals are saying: "He made a big mistake. He acknowledges that and he's taken ownership of that and he's paid a heavy price for it. But this is the United States of America, and we're a country of second chances. I was confident after talking to him and talking to other people that he deserves a second chance." -- Todd Stewart, WKU athletic director
What the experts are saying: "This is a huge fall for him to take, both personally and professionally. I think he will be successful, but it seems that distractions and dissension follow him. I don't think there will be a major bump in recruiting at WKU -- or at least one that would be noticed nationally. The fact of the matter is that Petrino will still be getting Sun Belt kids. Maybe he is able to get some more three-stars or some better two-stars, but there is so much competition for kids right now that there are few who would pass up a bigger opportunity to go to Western (Kentucky) just for him." -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com