I know we've already got a good discussion going on what coach we'd like to see replace Mangino. One of the biggest concerns many people have (which I share) is that if we bring in some up-and-coming hotshot, they might use us as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and we would lose any momentum we've built in trying to develop the program.
So that got me thinking- where in the national pecking order does KU football sit? I think the best way to look at that question is to ask, "what place gives me the best chance at winning a national championship?" After all, any coach gunning for a top program will obviously have that as their ultimate goal in line.
Obviously, we're not a Tier 1 Program. My Tier 1 looks something like this:
Florida, Texas, USC, LSU, Miami, Alabama, Florida State (maybe), Michigan, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame (maybe), Nebraska, and Tennessee.
Each of these programs has an inherent recruiting advantage from their region and/or prestige.
After that, however, things get muddled IMO. The rest of the SEC clearly has passionate fan support, but is it any easier to win the SEC West at a place like Arkansas than it is to win the Big 12 North at KU?
If you throw out emotional ties a new coach might have to places like their alma mater, where might said hotshot coach go from KU? Mason left for Minnesota, but that had more to do with conflicts with the administration. And it's not like he went on to do more there than he ever did in Lawrence.
When I look at that Tier 1 list, I don't really see any jobs opening up any time soon, except for possibly Michigan (which could end up with Les Miles, opening up LSU).
So where do you think a hotshot coach looking to use KU as a launching pad onto bigger and better things would end up? Where does KU football currently rank in terms of "prestige" (which is admittedly an ambiguous term)? On the one hand, we have almost no local recruiting base, fan support has financially been good, but emotionally spotty, and have no real tradition to sell to players. On the other hand, we've got top-of-the-line practice facilities, we're willing to spend top dollar on a coach, and we have an athletic director that will be extremely supportive to whatever you need.
What schools out there scare you about taking away a young coach we might hire that shows a lot of promise?