Much of the discussion these days centers on a handful of candidates: Gary Barnett, Terry Bowden, Glen Mason, Rick Neuheisel and to an extent, Dennis Franchione. Obviously, these candidates have one thing in common: All are (or soon will be) unemployed. They are available now. They can be interviewed today and the media can openly discuss their interest today.
Now, if the guy that Orsini truly believes is the best man for the job is available now, you go get that guy now and not worry about who may be interested in the future.
However, the question has to be asked, “Why should SMU limit itself to candidates that are now on the market? Why not wait? Why not see who is interested at the end of the season?”
A better way to phrase that question is, “Why allow the timing of your decision to fire Phil Bennett with four games left limit your pool of candidates?” The answer is to do so would be ridiculous.
While I agree with Steve Orsini that there is some urgency in this hire, I believe, like Orsini, the urgency is to get it right this time. Making the wrong decision now is not an option.
I don’t believe that the job interest will wane or become stale. The job is the job. Just because it is the first open, doesn’t mean it must be the first to be filled. While there is some concern that the increased competition in the next few weeks will make the search more difficult, it is more important to hire the right guy. And again, I keep telling people, there won’t be as many openings as people think.
Further, I think we overestimate what a coach can accomplish between now and the end of the season. Obviously, he won’t be coaching. Recruiting? Sure. The coach can recruit, that has its own difficulty. The coach will have no staff. The coach will be spread too thin. Any coach is going to let most of the current staff go. It is absurd to suggest the coach will hire a staff completely filled with current unemployed coaches. That is not going to happen.
So, I am not concerned that SMU hasn’t hired anyone yet and doesn’t appear to be likely to this week. The level of my concern will increase after Thanksgiving, but even then, it won’t be time to panic.