Somewhere wedged between NFL noon kick-offs and the latest college football AP poll being announced Sunday, news trickled out of Ames, Iowa that Paul Rhoads will be dismissed as the Head Football Coach of the Iowa State Cyclones. Athletic Director Jamie Pollard informed Coach Rhoads of his decision Sunday morning.
Coming off the heels of a devastating loss to Kansas State, one in which kneeling the ball likely reverses the game’s outcome at 1:22 left, the Iowa State record adjusted to 3-8 on the year. Despite making it to a bowl three of the first four years at Iowa State, this marks the 6th consecutive season with below a .500 finish. It was all downhill from year one with the 7-6 mark and the marquee win over Nebraska in Lincoln. The other bowl years were 6-6 regular seasons turned 6-7 after bowl losses.
Rhoads will be allowed to close out his seventh season as the Cylcone’s head coach with his seniors in Morgantown, West Virginia this coming Saturday. He will have one more chance to improve on his 32-54 overall record (an average of 4.6 wins a year) and go out on a high note. Rhoads is owed $4.6 million for the remainder of his contract originally set to dry up in 2021 for being terminated without cause.
Where Do the Cyclones Turn Next?
Iowa State returns some nice offensive building blocks between Quarterback Joel Lanning, Freshman Running Back Mike Warren, and Sophomore (and former Rivals 4-star, #7 nationally ranked) Wide Receiver standout Allen Lazard. Beside the players, the most recent South End zone expansion to Jack Trice was just the icing on the cake of facility upgrades. Both the football indoor practice facility and 60,000 square foot addition of the Bergstrom Football complex (2012) help give Iowa State about as much as it has had to sale in a long time. Do not forget to account for arguably America’s most loyal fan base. Pollard would be smart to parlay that all into an “offense first” coaching philosophy based search. After all, if you cannot beat them, join them.
AAC/MWC/MAC Head Coach
Air Force’s Troy Calhoun (Head Coach) – Though the triple option offense may not be offensive flavor of choice for anyone other than Joel Lanning or the Big 12 footprint, the point is you likely have to adopt some sort of offensive gimmick to succeed in Ames. Trying to run a pro-style offense with low-level recruits usually does not last long. Troy Calhoun knows what it is like to win without glorious recruiting classes.
Right Fit/Likelihood Grade: C+
Power Five Retread
Georgia’s Mark Richt (Head Coach) – Given the resources available at a school like Georgia, other SEC East counterparts like Missouri and South Carolina are probably real enough to know results at their schools would not be much different. If Richt gets canned, hard to reason he stays in the SEC. Though Richt has spent his entire college playing and coaching career in the southeast corner of the nation, he was born in Omaha Nebraska.
Right Fit/Likelihood Grade: D-
Power Five Top Assistant
TCU’s Doug Meacham (Co-offensive Coordinator) – As TCU loses Boykin, Green, Listenbee and Doctson to graduation, this year might be as good of a time to let go of the Co-coordinator tag. Given those who took a swing at Cumbie last year (a guy who wanted a TCU scholarship before Texas Tech offered him), Meacham can turn the table on Cumbie in 2015. Meacham is the perfect blend of that Houston high tempo tie that has been so popular as of late with being a Big 8/Big 12 guy as a former Oklahoma State player (OL) and coach (WR/TE). Think of Lazard under the tutelage of the guy who coached Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon. Right
Fit/Likelihood Grade: B
Oregon’s Scott Frost (Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator) – Iowa State fans: Lanning could be trained by Scott Frost and Marcus Mariotta’s quarterback coach at the same time. Frost again has that Big 8/Big 12 familiarity and would understand what he’s walking into. Frost got his first paid college coaching job at Northern Iowa, and likely has in-state High School relationships just a phone call away too. And who would not be surprised if Frost would take a job like this to set himself up to head back to his alma mater five years later?
Oh, and there is this.
I was told a couple of months ago that Scot Frost would be interested in the ISU job. Very loose source though. Name to keep in mind.
— Chris Williams (@ChrisMWilliams) November 22, 2015
Right Fit/Likelihood Grade: B+
Wyoming’s Craig Bohl (Head Coach) – OK, so he is two years removed from the FCS, but…Known for what he built at North Dakota State, Bohl understands what it takes to scout talent out of high school, who may not have top shelf physique, and win in the upper plains. The way Bohl got staff to follow him from NDSU to Wyoming, one would think the band would stick together through one more move given most of those guys are Nebraska cronies. The current struggle at Wyoming likely takes a little sheen off the reputation, and offensively Bohl would look to act like 90s Nebraska than fit with the Big 12. But Bohl has literally shown he can win in the Big 12.
Right Fit/Likelihood Grade: C+