Everybody loves brackets and we all have opinions on the search for the next great coach to lead our Golden Gophers. Well it is time that you all have a say in the matter (and by having a say I mean pushing a button on the internet as an anonymous lurker and the results of said button pushing will have absolutely no bearing on the actual outcome of the coaching search). It is time for the voting to start and Gopher Nation to be allowed to speak.
And we've reached the Final Four! Up first is our 1 vs 4 seed matchup. Since we started this bracket a couple of weeks ago, it's been reported Mike Leach has about a zero percent chance of being interviewed or offered the Gophers head coaching position. That still hasn't stopped us from wishing he would be our coach. But up against a quality candidate like Air Force's Troy Calhoun (who destroyed Brady Hoke in their first round matchup), will Gopher fans wishful thinking be enough to push Leach through to the finals, or will they choose perhaps the best of the realistic candidates in Calhoun? Let the voting begin!
Current Position: CBSSports color analyst
TDG Candidate Profile
Why? -The guy won and he won in a challenging place (he's kind of the opposite of Shannon in this regard). He has a very effective offensive scheme that he teaches very well and his teams then execute it very well. There is no denying that Leach is a very smart football mind and very few would argue that he wouldn't be successful here. Leach has been the #1 target of Gopher fans since the day Tim Brewster was let go. Can he run the table in this competitive bracket? As the #1 seed he should be relatively safe this week.
Why Not? - He didn't leave Texas Tech on his own and it was surrounded by plenty of controversy. On top of that he didn't exactly get along with the powers at Texas Tech, they were kind of looking for a reason to edge him out anyway. So would the powers that be at Minnesota be willing to take a risk with the controversial pirate? The answer to that has been a pretty clear no. But even if they were others may argue that winning in Minnesota with the Air Raid offense isn't going to be nearly as easy as it was in Texas. Recruiting enough skill position players won't be as easy to pull off here. Lastly, some Gopher fans may have grown tired of not seeing a Big Ten caliber defense on the field. A Leach team has never been known to try and stop it's opponent it just tries to outscore them.
Current Position: Air Force Academy (HC)
TDG Candidate Profile
Why? -There probably isn't a coach in the country who does more with less. The Falcons are a well disciplined team who executes their schemes to near perfection. Part of that is the nature of a service academy cadet but part of that is the coaching of Troy Calhoun. Calhoun has great experience as a BCS level coordinator, an NFL coordinator and now a head coach in the best non-BCS conference. Calhoun has consistently won and finished right behind the big boys of the MWC. He is a winner, he is experienced and he would be a great fit in Minnesota.
Why Not? - Mostly because he probably won't come here. Calhoun is an Air Force graduate and there is a very strong tie there, he may be one of the rare coaches who isn't as concerned about moving up the ladder as he is with leaving a legacy. Some might be scared off by his wishbone offense but don't be. Most believe that he is not married to that offense and he has experience at Wake Forest, Denver and Houston running other offenses.