Thursday, December 20, 2012

My thoughts on Andersen

Like Chorlton, I'm optimistic. More and more, college football is a game of recruiting. Andersen's recruiting success at Utah State is pretty amazing. He took a moribund program that was way, way behind two established in-state programs (BYU and Utah) and started beating them out for recruits. That's kind of unbelievable. I have a hard time believing that any big time recruit is getting out of Wisconsin with Andersen on board.

Couple other nuggets on Andersen, courtesy of some Wikipedia research:

1) He is the first coach the Badgers have ever hired who has previously taken a team to a bowl game as a head coach. And he's been to two, and won one. (Of course, there are a lot more bowl games nowadays, but still.)

2) He is the first coach the Badgers have hired since 1932 (the great Clarence Spears!) who has won a conference title with a previous team. Spears led Minnesota to a first-place tie in the Big Ten in 1927.

(Slight caveat to nugget #2: Don Morton technically won the Missouri Valley Conference title with Tulsa in 1985. But he went just 3-0 in conference, as it was the last year of MVC football. He went 7-4 the next year with Tulsa playing as an independent, and then the Badgers hired him. Unbelievable.)

Some of the Badgers fans I enjoy following on twitter are quibbling about whether this was an A- or a B+ hire. I don't think we can grade with that level of detail. I prefer the famous Siskel & Ebert system—thumbs up or thumb down? My thumb is up. To look at it another way, I think it's pretty clear that by any objective standard this is the best hire in the history of the Badgers' football program—or at least since 1932.

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