Thursday, May 24, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Ryan Autullo

Some thoughts on a Friday afternoon

So what do you think of the idea that a former UT player and assistant could be BG s next head football coach? We reported in today s paper that BG is interested in Missouri defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, a former Rocket captain and assistant coach.

First off, I wouldn t make a big deal of Eberflus being a UT guy. Wait, yes I would. Should BG offer him the position Eberflus would have a difficult decision to make. Does he cross enemy lines for a head coaching position, one that won t include an appreciable salary increase from what he s making at Missouri? I don t know the answer to that because I don t know the guy and I don t know what he values most. But I do know that there are only 119 Division I programs, so if your Eberflus, do you strike while the iron is hot?

Secondly, I imagine some of you are a little uneasy at the thought of a former Rocket leading your program. I would contest that you need to strip away your emotion. Take off your orange and brown shades, remove your stuffed Freddie Falcon from your bed, and think about this objectively. Eberflus has worked under a fine coach in Gary Pinkel for 17 years, and as my pal BJ wisely pointed out to me, the Missouri staff was handed $500 and turned it into $1,000. Pinkel has done a marvelous job renovating that program, and you have to believe Eberflus is responsible for some of that. So what I m saying is this. It doesn t matter if Eberflus received his degree at Toledo or at the University of Phoenix Online, if he s the right guy then don t fight it.

Now if you want to argue that Eberflus defense hasn t been all that spectacular at Missouri, I ll listen. From what I ve heard (and this is a small sampling) Tigers fans aren t in love with his work. Entering Saturday s Big 12 title game, Missouri has allowed 40 or more points in its last three games. That s not good, and in fact it s horrible. But here s the way I see it. Defense, particularly in college football, is largely about players and not so much about schemes. To a degree that s true with offense as well. But the difference between an offensive coordinator and a defensive coordinator is the offensive coordinator is constantly making decisions on the fly whereas the defensive coordinator can say, Let s run our base package and see what happens. Does Eberflus have the right players to succeed at Missouri? I have no idea. My central questions about the guy is this

Can he lead? Can he discipline? Does he have a personality that will lend itself well to recruiting? Will his players fear and respect him? Can he get his players to run through walls for him? Can he invoke enthusiasm from the student body and local fans? Those questions, to me anyway, are more important than whether he s a prolific coordinator.

Let me break it down to you this way. In the journalism industry, there are editors (bosses) and there are reporters. There are some excellent reporters, and I know many of them, that do not have the managerial qualities to be an editor. You re either a 1 or you re a 2. For the last 17 years Eberflus has been a 2. Does he have the stuff of a 1?

Other notes

-On Thursday Toledo hired former BG assistant Tim Beckman to a five-year deal worth $360,000 annually. That s big boy money. I reported in Thursday s paper that BG is prepared to make a competitive offer to its next coach. However I strongly doubt BG will be willing or is able to pay UT money. You have to consider that UT basketball coach Gene Cross, who had never been a head coach before this year, is making $100K more than BG s Louis Orr, who has won games in the NCAA tournament. You d like to see BG pay its next coach in the $280-300K range.

-I have heard BG has offered a scholarship to Vince German, the brother of Falcon freshman offensive lineman Tim German. Vince, from what I ve gathered, is a defensive end or a tight end. I m a little surprised that without a head coach BG is still permitted to extend scholarship offers. I m guessing Gregg Brandon was prepared to make German an offer before he was fired and therefore the assistants went ahead and proceeded. If I m a BG assistant and not wishing to stay with the program, I might consider offering a nephew or two a free education before I bolt.

-We reported in Thursday s paper offensive line coach Matt Campbell has left to take a position at Wyoming. I liked Matt. He was energetic, a screamer when necessary, but he always came across as intelligent and well spoken. He will be sorely missed. I can t help but think Brandon may head to Wyoming as well to be offensive coordinator. He coached there in the past and his former boss (his name escapes me) is still at the university in some capacity. You d have to believe Brandon would love to drop 40 points on BG when Wyoming visits Perry Stadium next October. Incidentally, Wyoming s new head coach is Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen, who plans to coach the Tigers through Saturday s Big 12 championship game.

-Finally, the MAC championship game between Ball State and Buffalo is tonight at 8 on ESPN2. Ball State is a 15-point favorite and we ll take them to cover. The Cardinals are very, very good, although because of their soft non-conference schedule I have no problem with them not making a BCS bowl.

Against the spread

Last week: 4-3

Season: 50-35-2

BG games this year: 10-1

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