The Miami Hurricanes still want Jon Gruden, but does he really want to give up an easy Monday Night Football job to coach college football? And if he does take the job, how does his impact shake up the ACC?
First things first: everyone has a different stance on the likelihood of Gruden accepting the job, with nobody being more certain than Canes fans. Our own Seventh Floor crew "has reason to believe" it's likely happening, and CaneSport says the last few details are being worked out as we speak. On 790 The Zone just a few minutes ago, Wes Durham and Tony Barnhart were talking about it like it's a done deal. But SI's Peter King said just a couple days ago that Gruden "is not going. Period." And Dan LeBatard, of ESPN and the Miami Herald, says Gruden isn't going to take the job.
Gruden reportedly met with Miami earlier today, and the school has reportedly scheduled a press conference of some sort for 3 p.m. tomorrow.
So let's say Miami hires Gruden. The U is back, right? Any South Florida kid who takes one look at Gruden's Super Bowl ring will swoon? You'll hear that cliche a lot over the following weeks, but two words should stunt that presumption: Charlie Weis. When Weis took the Notre Dame Fighting Irish job, too many assumed he'd be able to out-scheme opponents while letting his NFL background do the recruiting for him. Didn't work like that, and won't work that way for Gruden.
Gruden's strengths are developing quarterbacks and spending mountains of time on X's and O's detail work. He'll have much less time in college football for both than he did in the NFL, due to player time limits and time spent with recruits and alumni.
Yes, Randy Shannon's recruiting fell behind at Miami, finishing third in the state in 2010. The Florida St. Seminoles took advantage, boasting their best class in years and taking the ACC Atlantic. A decent haul by Gruden will be hailed as a return to form, but I'd like to see multiple years of top-ten recruiting before deciding he's the man who can bring the U back.
Plus, we have no idea how he'll deal with college kids, other than his two-minute film sessions with NFL rookies on ESPN. How would Gruden, who skipped through Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks like they were rap album skits, have dealt with this year's Jacory Harris-the other guy with the funny name who's not very good, I think his name is Spencer Whipple-Stephen Morris controversy?
Hate to be a naysayer, especially with the U poised to be back for the 10th straight year, but it takes a lot more than just a big football brain, a great resume, and the ability to stay awake for 40 straight hours to bring in top talent year after year.
Remember, this wouldn't be the first time this year that a very big name went to Miami with very big expectations.