Top Five Coaches Needing Big Springs
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz
Posted Feb 19, 2013

Which coaches need to set the tone for 2013 with a strong spring?

2013 Pre-Spring Preview

5 Coaches Needing A Big Spring

By Richard Cirminiello
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- 2013 Coaches In Need of a Big Spring - No. 6 to 13 

5. Randy Edsall, Maryland
Ralph Friedgen was booted by his alma mater after going 9-4 in 2010, and 75-50 over the course of a decade. Regardless of the circumstances, Edsall’s 6-18 mark over two seasons will eventually cause some problems for the coach.

The Terrapins showed progress in 2012, despite using a slew of rookies and being besieged by injuries. Still, if Edsall can’t produce six wins and a bowl berth, he could have a hard time returning next year. After devolving into an infirmary, the quarterback situation figures to be far more stable, and all of those wide-eyed kids are now a year older. Edsall has had two years to weed through the roster, bring in his own kids and change the culture in College Park. Now it’s time to start being more competitive in the ACC.

4. Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut
Fans scratched their heads after Pasqualoni was brought back to the Big East to succeed Randy Edsall. After back-to-back 5-7 seasons, those same fans are ready to pull their hair out.

Pasqualoni inherited a team that had just played in the Fiesta Bowl, garnering all kinds of national attention, and has promptly steered it in reverse. The Huskies finished in sixth place in the league in each of the new regime’s two years, failing to pull out the close games. Pasqualoni turns 64 this summer. If he can’t turn things around in a hurry, Connecticut would be delusional to bring back for a fourth year a coach whose peak in the profession more than a decade ago is getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror.

3. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Ferentz has become an institution in Iowa City since arriving in 1999. But even institutions don’t last forever.

The Hawkeyes, as much as any program in the FBS, pride themselves on stability within the coaching staff. However, it’s become obvious that Iowa is in need of a major jolt after going 19-19 over the last three seasons. The 2012 edition went 4-8, the school’s worst mark since Ferentz’s second year. The staff better have a few motivational tricks up their sleeves, because Iowa is thin on slam-dunk talent, and the Legends Division is deep. If Ferentz is to remain the dean of Big Ten coaches, he might need to milk a little magic from a roster that doesn’t stack up favorably with the rest of the division.

2. Mack Brown, Texas
How much longer will the Longhorns accept the relative mediocrity that’s gripped the program since the 2005 BCS National Championship win over USC?

Yeah, most other programs would beg, borrow and steal for Texas’ on-field production. But Texas is not most other programs. Over the last seven years, the well-heeled ‘Horns have won just a single Big 12 championship, which doesn’t cut it; nor does a 22-16 mark and back-to-back December bowl games over the last three seasons. While Brown is very well-liked, especially by AD DeLoss Dodds, patience is running predictably thin in Austin. The coach will be 62 when the new season kicks off, and suggestions that the game is passing him by will amplify if he can’t guide UT back up to the Big 12 mountaintop.

1. Lane Kiffin, USC
From the opening practice of spring, Kiffin will firmly reside beneath college football’s microscope, the result of last year’s disastrous 7-6 campaign.

When you’re the head coach of the only program to ever descend from preseason AP No. 1 to unranked, job insecurity is assured of following you like a foul odor. Not only did Kiffin fail to capitalize on the return of QB Matt Barkley, but the spiraling trend at Troy continued on National Signing Day. Still smarting from scholarship reductions, the Trojans will need to find strength from somewhere, yet there’s been no indication it’ll come from the coaching staff. Kiffin has the unmistakable look of a lame duck leader, which could make for an entertaining year from one of the game’s quirkier characters.

- 2013 Coaches In Need of a Big Spring - No. 6 to 13 

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