Reader mikeo90 talks Todd Graham:
Well, we have a coach: Tulsa's Todd Graham. Finally the imbroglio that was the Pitt head coaching search is over. Thank God! Now I can get back to doing real work, without the constant urge to refresh Twitter and my slate of favorite blogs. Graham wasn't my first choice, but I'll take him.I was a fan of Tom Bradley and really hoping he'd get the job. Bradley was labeled by some as the 'safe choice' and he probably was, but in terms of recruiting, generating goodwill for Pitt, and stabilizing the program, I don't think any candidate was stronger. That also seemed to be the consensus amongst most fans, alumni, and donors, but god forbid Steve Pederson make the obvious choice. Pederson's arrogance, egotism, and constant need to be right clearly drove this hire. He was determined--hell bent, in fact--to get his 'own guy', even if it meant overpaying and alienating important people in the process. Pederson succeeded in doing both. So much for being humbled after getting kicked to the curb by his alma mater. This hire signals to me that Pederson's power and hubris are both still very much intact.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this is a bad hire. In fact, I think Graham is a pretty good hire (much better than Michael Haywood and his 10-15 MAC record) he's just not the guy I was really hoping for. Since taking over at Tulsa in 2007, Graham has compiled a 36-17 record, including three 10-win seasons and three bowl victories. In 2006, he led a previously terrible Rice team to a 7-6 record. His offenses are consistently amongst the highest scoring in the nation. On the downside, Graham seems to have the look of a carpetbagger, jumping from Rice to Tulsa to Pitt all within the span of five years. Money seems to be his objective and his wily negotion skills have netted him nearly $2 million a year at Pitt. So we'll see what happens. Graham's record speaks for itself and I'm able to get a lot more excited over him than I was Haywood. I'm just not sure how long he'll be around.
Prediction: Graham will lead Pitt to a BCS bowl within three years, then bolt for the next best job immediately.
The silver lining in that is Pitt would finally achieve that elusive Big East crown. Only time will tell if I'm right and whether it's worth it. Until then, welcome to the University of Pittsburgh, Coach Graham, and good luck...you'll need it with some of these "fans".
P.S. Fire Steve Pederson.