As Tulsa giveth, Tulsa taketh away. After a relative scare with Clemson last week, which was extinguished when the Tigers chose to go with Tulsa OC Chad Morriss as their new man in the coaches' booth, it appears the continuing Tulsa domino effect could prove to be the death knell for the prolific Fuenderson offense. After Pitt hired and then fired Mike Haywood for giving his wife the ole Jay Mariotti treatment, the Panthers put their money issues aside and scooped up their supposed original choice in Tulsa HC Todd Graham. At least this time he didn't fake sign an extension and then bolt at the first available opportunity, right Rice?
With those two penstrokes, Tulsa is in a MAJOR bind... so why not take hold serve and take a look at one of the co-founders of a two time school record setting offensive system and hire Justin Fuente? After all, between Steve Kragthorpe, Graham, Morriss and Gus Malzahn, Tulsa has had their share of offensive gurus, and if Fuente is hired and follows suit, Tulsa is as good of a springboard to a major gig as any other job in the country. And as a bonus? They have money, lots of it - Todd Graham was paid $1.3 million this past season, which is ironically more than Dave Wannstedt was making at Pitt when he was fired.
Fuente isn't the only candidate, and it appears that current Arkansas OC Garrick McGee is the front runner, but let's say Fuente nails the interview and gets offered, what does that mean for TCU fans? Well, on the surface, it's a major bummer based on what he has been able to do as Co-OC the past two years. TCU has moved from beating Texas Tech 12-3 to hanging 40-50 points on teams on a weekly basis. If I have my arrangement right, Fuente calls all the plays and Jarrett Anderson handles things on the sidelines, so we are forever indebted to the man who realized that calling the short side option in third and long situations may not be the most successful of football tactics.
However, couldn't things be much, much worse? For one, it's pretty flattering that D-1 schools, even those who play in a conference with SMU, are snooping around TCU's OFFENSIVE staff to fill their head coaching vacancies. Plus, the beauty of having co-coordinators these past two years is that there are two guys who completely understand our offense; it's simply going to be a situation of Anderson taking an elevator to work on Saturdays rather than descending the stadium stairs. Sure, you'd love to have Fuente around next year as well, but at the same time, it was probably pretty inevitable that one of these guys would want to strike out on their own and hold down the job singlehandedly; getting offered a head coaching position is a no brainer.
Of course, there's always the chance that Fuente doesn't want to leave - I haven't seen any figures, but part of GP's extension was raises for his assistants, and based on the raises they've received the past couple of years, I have a feeling they are well compensated. Not $1.3 million compensated, but comfortable and with more job security. Regardless, if Tulsa chooses to go the Fuente route, they couldn't be making a better hire and TCU will be fine in the long run.