While finding the right coach is never easy, timing may help if BC makes a change this offseason. Due to recent coaching changes at other schools, very few elite jobs will be open this fall. For the first time in a long time, BC may be able to bring in an established name.
The supply and demand dynamic of college coaching is fairly unique. If you consider college and NFL assistants, there are literally more than 1,000 qualified coaches for 120 positions. And if you narrow the scope even further, there are only 60 jobs among the five power conferences. The industry is full of hyper-competitive guys looking to get their shot. That is why you still see people risk taking career killing jobs (like Al Golden going to Temple). Everybody wants a chance to be in charge. But if a school like BC doesn't want to take a flyer on an unproven or lessor known assistant, they usually have to wait in line. Because once a good coach gets a good job, he's not going to move unless the next job is clearly better. That pecking order comes into play when BC is looking for a coach at the same time as a power program.
Look at last season as an example. Both Ohio State and Penn State filled openings. Pretty good Pac 12 jobs at UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State all made new hires. UNC -- despite unresolved NCAA issues -- snagged an experienced coach. Plus there were a half a dozen other BCS conference openings filled this past offseason. If BC had made a change then, we probably would have competed for many of those same candidates and lost out.
But the mass changes the past two college football offseasons has created a new hiring cycle. Fewer elite football schools will be making a change this year. Look at the Hot Seat Ranking. What potentially open job is that much better than BC? Tennessee for certain. Maybe Cal. Texas Tech, Oregon State and Indiana may offer more money, but I think we offer a better "fit" for some coaches.
We feel the need to apologize for what BC is as a football school, but a shrewd coach will know what it can be. They see that TOB and Jags won at BC and know that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to win here. Heck, even Spaz has two winning seasons and is over .500 for his career. BC offers low expectations in a low pressure media environment. While not sitting in Florida or Texas, BC has access to decent recruiting territories. You can get enough talent to compete in the ACC. Recruiting is more restrictive than it might be at most BCS schools, but there is a flipside benefit to that. BC kids in general are coachable and hard working. Stanford and Baylor are the most recent examples that with the right guy leading the charge, you can sell academics and recruiting successfully.
The drawbacks to BC...we know them already: facilities, potentially meddlesome AD, smaller fanbase, obstacles to elite recruits, and money. Even though I think BC would pay more for an established name, we are never going to have the highest paid coach in the ACC. Rarely will our coach be in the top half of ACC salaries.
But none of those issues are insurmountable. If a coach wins, better facilities and money will come (see Coughlin, see TOB). Gene's reputation is for being Coach Flip, but I think a rough season from Spaz will neuter some of his power related to football. An established coach will demand more freedom.
Then there is the stepping stone issue. Once a guy wins at BC either other people come calling or the place starts to feel small. That's not going to change. What I hope does change is BC's approach. Let a new guy come in and win. We don't need a lifer or the next TOB. Just leave BC in a better place, give us some exciting football and keep close ties after you're gone. Call it the Tom Coughlin model.