The Top 20 College Hoops Jobs: An Analysis

Posted by rtmsf on May 12th, 2011

Much of the talk last week about Gary Williams’ replacement centered on the relative attractiveness of the Maryland basketball head coaching position.  It was interesting to see where people fell on this.  Some folks viewed the job as a borderline top ten slot, citing its rabid fan base, its top-tier facilities, its conference affiliation and its location in a recruiting hotbed as evidence supporting that contention.  Others suggested that the position was really more in line with a top 25 ranking, a place where fans have unreasonable expectations and league affiliation (read: Duke and UNC) actually hinder the program’s status more than it helps.  It’s an interesting debate, and it got us thinking about how we would rank the top twenty or so jobs in college basketball as of today.

It Says Here That Duke is the Top Job in College Basketball

After thinking about it for a few days, we broke the twenty out into five groupings, as shown below.  We view the jobs within each grouping as roughly equal to each other, using the inexact criteria that coaches would be unlikely to jump ship within a grouping, but would be heavily enticed to do so in a grouping above theirs.  Note the word, “inexact.”  Each individual has different motivations and will make professional decisions on criteria distinct and separate from ours (e.g., Billy Donovan turning down Kentucky twice, and Jay Wright/Jamie Dixon turning down Maryland).  But this analysis doesn’t take the current coach into consideration; this is meant to be an examination of the attractiveness of the job itself.  Feel free to tell us how stupid we are in the comments below.

Coaching Pinnacles

These five positions are destination jobs that guarantee big paychecks, huge followings, and, unless an elite NBA job comes calling, an expectation of long-term stability.  They represent all but one of the top six programs of all-time, and the daily pressure on each of these fellows to succeed at the highest level is among the most excruciating in collegiate sports.

1. Duke. Possesses unbelievable facilities with a national brand synonymous with long-term, sustained success.  Every college coach in America would give this job a glance if offered.
2. Kentucky. The only reason UK isn’t #1 is because dealing with the expectations of the always-rabid/sometimes-insane fanbase turns some coaches off on the job.  Otherwise, everything you need to succeed is in place.
3. North Carolina.  Only slightly less rabid of a fanbase than UK, but equally remarkable in resources, national support and pedigree.  The only negative is a prevailing sense of the coach having to be a Carolina “insider” to succeed there.
4. Kansas. Certainly few complaints here, buf it the top four jobs were available in the same year and three elite coaches were in the running, KU would be the odd school out of that musical chairs equation.
5. UCLA. Sigh… this job is still elite regardless of a juxtaposed fan base that on one hand is apathetic while on the other expecting Final Four and national championship banners every year.

The Football Schools of Eternal Comfort

Don't Worry, Be Happy...

These three jobs are roughly interchangeable.  They represent most of the amenities and professional respect of the above five positions with approximately 1% of the same pressure to perform.  Their coaches make massive amounts of money, have great facilities and enjoy fertile recruiting bases, but basketball remains a distant second banana on these three campuses and is unlikely to change soon.  So long as their teams don’t completely tank, they have better job security than just about anyone.

6.  Ohio State. OSU moves ahead of the other two in this grouping because the fans are generally more supportive of its program than at UT or UF and everything else — resources, recruiting, etc. — is pretty much a wash.
7.  Texas. Retirement job.  The pipeline of talent is such that the Texas coach can win 20-25 games every year in perpetuity with an occasional NCAA run and the vast majority of UT fans will be satisfied, even happy, with their program’s success.
8.  Florida. Why take a Kentucky job with ridiculous levels of expectation and pressure on an annual basis when you can coast with good teams year after year after year after year at Florida?  The theme among all of the schools in this grouping is long-term comfort without constant pressure to win a national title.

The Third Tier of Hope & Optimism

Arizona Fans Happy That Sean Miller Stuck Around

This tier of all basketball schools wants very badly to break into the top five grouping, but for a number of structural, historical and competitive reasons, they are unlikely to do so.  In most cases, a given coach at one of these six programs would have to give a long, hard look at an opening in the two groupings above them.  It’s no guarantee that they’d leave, but given the resources, fan support and mystique of the above eight, they would all strongly consider it.

9.  Louisville. This fanbase is larger than you think and its coach has the backing of a university in a veritable arms race with the school sixty miles to the east.  It’ll never become “Big Brother,” but it’s a top ten job in this sport.
10.  Syracuse. Far and away in the worst location of the top ten (perhaps even the top twenty), but its decades-long pipeline into NYC and its cachet as New York’s team has made the SU job very attractive to any future coach who might aspire to follow a legend.
11.   Arizona. The fanbase is relatively small but very supportive, and the location is hard to beat for many coaches fond of playing golf year-round and enjoying a direct talent pipeline into the fertile SoCal prep training grounds.
12.  Michigan State. Spartan basketball is much more than just Tom Izzo, and the connection to talent in Detroit and surrounding environs is one that makes this job highly desirable should it ever open again.
13.  Connecticut.  UConn has done very well to siphon off some of Syracuse’s support in the Big Apple, but its location in out-of-the-way Storrs makes it more difficult than it should be to sell this as a top-tier job.
14.  Maryland. The Terp program has elite resource availability and a strong if not dominant fanbase, but its conference affilation with two of the top three jobs in all of college basketball make this a tougher pitch than it otherwise would be.

Faded Glory

C'mon IU, Get Your Act Together...

This is a special category for a job that was ranked among the elite but has been tainted by so much inconsistency and mediocrity over the last two decades so as to render it much less prestigious than it once was.

15.  Indiana. The Indiana position simply doesn’t hold the same national weight that it once did, although if any school could find its mojo and quickly rise back up into the elite grouping, it’s obviously the Hoosiers.

They’re Trying…

Memphis Just Needs a Better Conference

This grouping of schools is interesting in that they’re all coveted jobs but each has at least one major weakness that makes them less attractive than the tiers above them.  Some weaknesses are bigger problems to solve than others, but none can be ignored.

16.  Georgetown. The Hoyas still have a significant but dwindling national recruiting presence left over from Hoya Paranoia and the Zo/Answer days, but its basketball facilities are frankly not commensurate with an elite job.
17.  Villanova. VU is Georgetown without the national recruiting power, although its on-campus facilities are better than their Big East friends to the south.  Like GU, though, playing in an off-campus NBA arena several miles away is not ideal.
18.  Memphis.  The only major problem that Memphis suffers is its affiliation with Conference USA.  It’s a top-level program in terms of resources and support, but until it finds a major conference to attach itself to, there will remain issues of perceived irrelevance.
19.  Purdue. Purdue suffers from a bit of “little brother” syndrome (with in-state Indiana ever-present) and has a reputation as a penny-pincher when it comes to paying their coaches and upgrading facilities (although Mackey is due to complete renovations in time for the 2011-12 season).  
20.  Gonzaga. We had to put a mid-major in here somewhere, and we chose GU over Butler and Xavier because the Zags have built such an avid national following and recruiting base (internationally, even) that this will be a plum destination position should Mark Few ever decide to leave it.

Honorable Mention:  Pittsburgh, Illinois, Washington, Butler, Missouri.

rtmsf (3773 Posts)


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30 Responses to “The Top 20 College Hoops Jobs: An Analysis”

  1. James C. says:

    Whoa, if you’re going to create a category specifically for elite teams down on their luck for 20 years, you HAVE to include N.C. State.

    The program that gave birth to the ACC, tremendous resources, and in the span from 73-83, they won two national titles and fielded one of the most dominant college basketball teams ever, led by perhaps the greatest college basketball player ever (David Thompson). Another national title would give us three and put us in some very, very elite company.

    Hell, all we heard from pundits nationally during the coaching search was “N.C. State USED to be a really great job, but not anymore…”

  2. Mark P says:

    Yeah, James, but Indiana has had flashes of brilliance in the past two decades, and they were in the title game in the past decade. I don’t think anybody on earth would think of NC State as on par with Indiana in any way.

    Okay, one nit to pick: Arizona has a relatively small fan base? I wonder what you mean by relatively. In terms of basketball attendance, Arizona has been #1 in the Pac-10 for 27 straight seasons, despite playing in a smaller market than USC, UCLA, ASU, UW, Cal, and Stanford. Also ranked top 20 nationally for 25 years. I’d say we have a huge fan base relative to the size of our city.

  3. WakeFan says:

    Duke is not #1 fpr a very simple reason : Who would you rather follow, Roy Williams or Coach K?

    I also think it’s rather silly to put a mid-major job on the list. If you’re going to put one, though, it has to be Xavier. Coaching at Xavier seems to pretty much guarantee a coach the status as the next big thing.

  4. wilko says:

    WakeFan…
    “But this analysis doesn’t take the current coach into consideration; this is meant to be an examination of the attractiveness of the job itself.”

    FOLLOWING K isn’t in the criteria for their list. That K has built Duke into a top 5 consideration for best job considering where he started in the basement is a tribute in itself.

  5. Matt says:

    I disagree with Duke being number one. Aside from K, Duke is probably in the “Third tier of hope and optimism” range historically, we really don’t know how much of their “Pinnacle” status is due to Coach K.

    Also, you don’t elaborate why Kansas would be seen as less attractive than the other three. Had you said built-in recruiting base, I would buy it, but that’s all that separates it from UK, UNC, and Duke. Facilities and fan bases are comparable, they play in a stronger conference than UK and weaker than UNC and Duke (on average). And it seems to me that history and tradition weigh heavily toward Kansas. Eight men have held the head coach position at Kansas in over 100 years, fewer than any other school on this list, and what coach wouldn’t want to step into a legacy that can be traced directly to Phog Allen and James Naismith?

  6. Mark P says:

    But following a legend is part of “the job itself.” Not sure the author meant that K isn’t part of the criteria. Considering the sentence it followed about Dixon, etc. turning down Maryland, I think the author means the list doesn’t take into consideration the various and diverse personal/unique reasons each coach would have to like a certain job more or less. Perhaps I’m misreading it, though, as that’s kind of a truism (since nobody should ever think “Jay Wright likes Villanova more than one would think” reflects on the merits of the Maryland job).

    I suppose you could put “following a legend” under the heading of expectations. Roy Williams probably would have gone to UNC no matter what–and winning a title in his second year would have made him a smashing success regardless–but I imagine stepping in seemed more appealing when you have two joe’s between you and direct comparison with the Dean.

    Similarly, if Sean Miller had taken over in 2007 and failed to make the NCAA tournament, the fan base would have been screaming for his head on a pike. But taking over after three tumultuous years… and especially after a coaching search that, up until Miller changed his mind, makes the Maryland missteps seem like Bismarckian genius–we got turned down by Tim Floyd, TIM FLOYD–he had miles more rope than he would have had otherwise.

  7. rtmsf says:

    Trying to respond to everyone here; thank you heartily for all the comments. Keep ‘em coming…

    @ James C. – I think we’ve seen in the last two coaching searches just how attractive the NC State job actually is. Put simply, it’s not. If this were 1990, the job would have been at or near the top 15; nowadays I’m not convinced that it’s top 40. Despite its troubles, IU is still a marquee name in the sport and the job is a plum one, but it has absolutely been devalued in recent years (it would have been top five not all that long ago).

    @ Mark P. – mainly, I was referring to its national draw. Most of the other schools ahead of it have a national following to a certain extent. I’m not sure that Arizona has much of that. I was at the 1997 F4 and frankly UA’s turnout was incredibly small (similar to UConn this year in Houston).

    @ WakeFan – right, Wilko nails it in his response. Not part of the criteria. I believe that if both UNC and the Duke jobs were open at the same time and both were going for the same coach (i.e., Stevens, or Alexander SuperCoach in the future), Duke would get him. The difference between Duke, UK and the UNC jobs in my estimation is that the former doesn’t have an entire state of nuts (I say that endearingly) breathing down the coach’s neck constantly; in a weird way, there’s actually a little less day-to-day pressure as the top guy at Duke, but with every bit the same amount of resources and recruiting prowess as the other two (in fact, perhaps more).

    Regarding Gonzaga/Xavier, as I said, I wanted to put a mid-major in the list. You can remove it if you like and add Pitt or someone else. Still, the fact that XU loses its coach nearly every four years isn’t necessarily a good thing to me. I think Gonzaga may have moved past XU in that it can be a destination job for the right person — that’s what Few has built there. I don’t ever see XU becoming a destination job; thus, why I ranked them lower.

  8. rtmsf says:

    @ Matt – right, but that’s what we have. K has built that job into the CEO position at Google, essentially. It’s a plum spot, and I’d argue the most plum spot for anyone in the business. See my analysis in the previous comment as to why — I think Duke would get the guy if it came down to a competition for one coach.

    As for KU, certainly the recruiting base is problematic, and feel free to disagree with me, but I believe that the national perception of KU basketball, while elite, is simply not at the rarefied air levels of Duke, UK and UNC. I also feel that this is true within the business of coaching. It’s right there, and should be in that top group, but I do not believe that KU would be able to out-recruit any of the above three schools for a coach. Again, my opinion. Reasonable minds will differ, that’s what makes it fun.

  9. Bill says:

    It makes a difference to recruits. I note that since UCF improved its facilities, the school is now landing recruits that otherwise would go to a major conference team.

  10. Matt (2) says:

    @Bill: UCF is also involved in a possibly major recruiting scandal involving using an agent / runner as a recruiter.

    I think the top four are virtually indistinguishable. Pick your poison: rabid fan base, following legend, Carolina “family”, or recruiting disadvantage (and only two national titles). I know this comment is going to get drilled by KU fans, but I think it’s interesting that KU’s two NCAA titles came from an unconscious performance from Danny Manning (very similar in some ways to Kemba this year, if Kemba had had his Maui games in the Big Dance) and in 2008 when Memphis committed the worst choke. 2 titles are 2 titles, but for a school that’s entrenched in tradition, KU doesn’t have the modern dominant teams (ala Duke 1992 and 1999, UK 1996, UNC 2009) that the others do.

  11. Dick Nixon says:

    Really, this article just completely turn me off on this website – this being the first time I have visited. MSU a #12 job – behind Arizona and just above Maryland? Indiana at #15? Please… Go back to high school journalism class when you were warming the bench as a water boy I cant stand homers.

  12. rtmsf says:

    Hey Dick – who exactly are we a homer for?

  13. nvr1983 says:

    Dick–
    I’m not sure how our site (I didn’t write the post, but I am an editor) comes off as being homers here. We are a national site that isn’t affiliated with a team. It seems like you are from a Big Ten school (probably Michigan State) based on your comment. Personally I think you can make an argument within groups in almost any ranking system. How would you change the rankings? If you feel like Michigan State or Indiana should be in the top 5 I think you have a point to argue (even if I am guessing it would be a weak one), but if you think that 11-15 should be rearranged in some order that is understandable although I think it is a point of personal preference once you get down to small adjustments in the rankings.

  14. rtmsf says:

    For what it’s worth to anyone else who comes here and thinks we’re ridiculously off, a Hoya blogger showed a D1 coach our list, and this is what he had to say:

    “I shared the article and asked this question of a current Division 1 coach. Response was that though the order may not be dead on, the top 15 are the top 15 (he wouldn’t put any of the 16-20 in the top 15), and Georgetown is definitely in the top 20.”

    http://www.casualhoya.com/2011/5/12/2167713/is-georgetown-a-top-20-coaching-destination

  15. badgerball says:

    What about Wisconsin – Top notch facilities, a rabid fan base, and success year after year…
    after year…
    after year…

    Wait what, another NCAA tournament – someone tell Indiana what that feels like.

  16. Chicosisafag says:

    Hey guys what about Marquette…Top 10 or 15 in every objective historical college basketball statistic catagory out there. Top notch facilities and the second largest BBAll budget behind Duke’s. I think the little Catholic school in Milwaukee has been overlooked.

  17. rtmsf says:

    @Badgerball – Wisconsin was probably the toughest omission. But remember that the criteria is the attractiveness of the job itself, not to be confused with Bo Ryan’s excellent performance. I don’t think that coaches looking at any of our top twenty jobs would choose Wisky over those, but it is a very good program.

    @Chico… – Marquette is not a destination job in my eyes — I’d probably put the Eagles/Warriors at around #30. Hell, they lost Tom Crean to Indiana and we have the Hoosiers ranked in the mid-teens. Not sure where the bball budget comment is coming from — this information, from BBState, has Marquette at #8 in hoops expenses (2009). Note, EXPENSES, not revenues. Even Northwestern is at #4 and they’ve never once been to the NCAA Tournament.

    http://www.bbstate.com/info/schools-hoopsbudget

  18. Joe says:

    I think some people are missing the point of this article. It’s not about the relative “strengths” of a program, but more like a coaches “wish list”.

    I am an MSU alum, hopefully one that is a bit more articulate than the poster above. While would argue that MSU is a stronger “program” with better history than Arizona, Syracuse, Louisville, Florida and Texas (it’s a toss up with OSU), I wouldn’t quibble too much with your placement of MSU on this list. I would say that much like UNC, when Izzo moves on, we will get “our” guy. Somebody who isn’t looking at MSU as a rung on a ladder. I’m not sure you could say that about some of the schools ahead of us.

    As a New Yorker, I will add that except for SU alums, nobody downstate gives a fig about Cuse. I ‘ve seen Cuse’s website and their attempt to position themselves as “New York’s University” but quite frnakly the majority of the state’s population (the city, LI and Westchester counties) aren’t driving seven hours or more to watch Cuse in person. If Lavin succeeds in bring SJU back, they will reclaim the city for hoops.

  19. rtmsf says:

    @Joe – you nailed it. Strength of program historically is but one factor that coaches will use when assessing the job itself. In most cases, strength is a positive, but as NC State and Indiana fans should know (but they won’t recognize), it only gets you so far.

    What you say about SU in NYC is probably true, but from a national perspective and a recruiting perspective, people around the country view the Orange as “New York’s team.” That’s a positive thing for SU, and they’ve tried to enable the perception as much as possible. And I’ve been to more than a few packed houses at MSG involving an out-of-area team and the Orange — they’re closer to NYC’s team currently than anyone else. I completely agree with you, though, that SJU is now in position to reclaim that title over the next five years.

  20. badgerball says:

    My larger issue was with 17 and below (including the honorable mention) – I believe Wisconsin is on the same level as a team like Pittsburgh (probably higher – because as you mention it isn’t about success – but look at attendance figures and facilitities). Wisco is certainly higher as a destination than tight fisted Purdue and Missouri – the only real advantage they have is more fertile recruiting

  21. Matt C says:

    I have got to disagree with the 6, 7, 8 choices. The points you make about facilities, pay, and expectations at those 3 schools are true, but as far as a desirable program to coach (what this article is supposed to be all about), I think those 3 are all behind most of your third tier. I think MSU, Louisville, Cuse could pull a coach better than any of those schools and your comment that coaches in the 3rd tier schools would “give a long, hard look at an opening in the two groupings above them” is very false. I really can’t see any coaches from the 3rd tier leaving for the 2nd tier, especially Florida and Texas who have absolutely 0 history as basketball programs. I am a Michigan State fan and I can all but gaurantee you that Tom Izzo wouldn’t for a second considering leaving MSU for Ohio State, Texas, or Florida. I don’t think Calhoun, Boheim, or Pitino would either.

  22. rtmsf says:

    @Badgerball – admittedly, it gets more difficult to distinguish programs the deeper into the list you go. But I’m still not convinced that Coach X would find Wisconsin to be a better position right now than Pitt, Purdue or Mizzou. But we’re really starting to slice hairs at that point.

    @Matt C – perhaps you disagree, but coaches within the profession wouldn’t. Regardless of what you personally think, the amt of money and resources and recruiting bases and lack of pressure that those three jobs offer make them plum positions over Louisville, MSU, Syracuse, et al. MSU vs. Texas to get a coach? Hard for me to believe that Texas loses that battle – sorry. And you’re once again confusing the issue of current coaches (Calhoun, Boheim, or Pitino) and what they may or may not do as individuals, with the attractiveness of the position. I said in the comments above Donovan turned down UK b/c of his specific personal interests and career path, but most coaches at Florida (if it weren’t Donovan) would be hard pressed to at least not strongly consider the jump. It’s not about Donovan, Izzo or Calhoun. It’s about the position of head basketball coach at Florida, MSU, and UConn. That’s where you’re getting confused, by putting personal coaching preferences of individuals over what the norm is.

    A final point — Florida with zero bball history? I believe the Gators have just as many national titles as Michigan State. I’d be careful with that one.

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  24. Warden11 says:

    Well Frank Haith ought to disqualify Missouri from a mention, no?

  25. WakeFan says:

    Mark Few staying at Gonzaga speaks more to his individuality than it does to Gonzaga’s imho. Of course Gonzaga is definitely a top 5 mid-major program. Over Mark Few’s 12 year reign Gonzaga has been to 3 Sweet 16s and never further. At the same time 3 different coaches have taken Xavier to the 2nd weekend a total of 4 times, making it to the Elite 8 twice. The fact that so many coaches have had high enough levels of success at Xavier to get some very good jobs speaks to the ability to win the Xavier program offers. In evaluating the job it has to be a positive, not a negative.

    To say that having to follow Coach K is not relevant when evaluating the Duke job is properous. Expectations for that program are built on what Coach K has accomplished, and, when his successor undoubtedly fails to meet that bar, support will disappear extremely quickly. It’s a very fickle fanbase that’s more a fan of Coach K than of the school itself. 10 years after Coach K retires and the write-up for Duke will look eerily similar to that of Indiana.

  26. WakeFan says:

    properous = preposterous

    apologies for the misspelling

  27. rtmsf says:

    @WakeFan I view Gonzaga as a more stable situation than Xavier, and one that has a national brand name far more prestigious than Xavier. I’m not saying that the perception is either right, or fair, but having seen GU gear all over the country (and none for XU), I’m fairly confident in that statement. If Gonzaga and Xavier both go after the same random player, I think GU has the advantage. They’ve started to approach what Duke was in the mid-80s — every white suburban kid’s favorite team. Xavier — not so much.

    You might be right about Duke +10, but that’s not really the analysis we did. The analysis is what Duke has to offer right now, and the fact is that the resources and national recruiting base that the program offers is in my opinion better than all others as of this moment. Five years, ten years down the road — remains to be seen. Duke’s last three years of recruiting and the 2010 national title have really solidified what was already a top-tier situation. But I will say that among the top four, it’s really a matter of splitting hairs. Nobody will completely agree among that group.

  28. wasabiGREEN says:

    were gonna find out in the next couple of years which of these programs has the replacing power. duke, unc, cuse, uconn’s coaches are all getting OLD. 5 years and they all will be gone. who’s gonna take there spots? izzo will then be the unquestioned big dog coach in the country. with pitino and the cheater down in lexington bringing up the rear.

  29. James C. says:

    I apologize about the extremely late response on this one, but someone brought this article (back) to my attention and I just read some of the responses.

    @Mark P My response was based on the criteria laid out by the author: “This is a special category for a job that was ranked among the elite but has been tainted by so much inconsistency and mediocrity over the last two decades so as to render it much less prestigious than it once was.” I suppose we could quibble over the verbiage “was ranked among the elite” (top 5? top 10? top 20?), but State is certainly “much less prestigious than it once was” because of “the last two decades” of “inconsistency and mediocrity.”

    No logical State fan would ever make the argument that State’s past surpasses Indiana, or that State holds a greater place in the lore of college basketball than Indiana. But I do feel like we have a legitimate argument that the State program has been largely overlooked and diminished in the eyes of some because of who our neighbors are. These folks seem incapable of divorcing Duke and UNC when looking at the State program and its history objectively…everything N.C. State must be viewed through the blue-tinted glasses of the Heels and Devils. The State program has more than its fair share to brag about (moreso than several of the teams on this list) outside of what Duke and Carolina have accomplished.

    Point being: State fits this *specific set of criteria* put forth by the author better than he, you or most others may realize.

    @rtmsf You say the last two coaching searches prove the State job is no longer desirable, but you make this assertion from a macro level without considering the difference between the two searches. In 2006, State was coming of five-straight NCAA tournament appearances but was helmed by a bumbling idiot of an AD (Lee Fowler, who has yet to find gainful employment as an AD since) who insulted Rick Barnes with a lowball offer and tried to “big time” John Calipari by not returning his phone calls on time (WTF?!?). Beyond his first two targets, he was a blind, deaf fool that quickly proved impossible to work for. No one wanted to answer to him as boss, and he had ZERO mid-major coaching candidates targeted (rumor was Xavier’s Sean Miller–former State assistant with family in the area–could’ve been had with a phone call). That left Sidney Lowe as his only option, and we got what you would expect in hiring an alum with no college coaching experience.

    This year’s search conversely was helmed by a far more competent AD, but she’s in her first year on the job, and the previous five years of minimal success under Lowe erased any positive direction the program might’ve been heading in back in ’06, making it more difficult to attract a candidate from another BCS-level program.

    But look at all the vacancies that were filled this offseason. Outside of Arkansas, did ANY school really hit a homerun with their hire? Missouri got played by Matt Painter and wound up with Frank Haith. Texas Tech hired an unemployed coach in Billy Gillispie, as did we in hiring an unemployed Mark Gottfried. Maryland struck out on several big names before landing a solid-but-not-spectacular Turgeon. In other words, ALL the schools who thought they could lure up-and-comers at lesser major programs found it difficult going, not just N.C. State.

    So to say State is possibly outside the top 40 in job prestige? I’d like to see the 40 you’d rank ahead of it.

    (FWIW, Mike DeCourcy–in a response to one of my tweets this evening–feels like State is a top 25-ish type job, which is fair.)

  30. dennis says:

    Sorry Badger fans they shouldn’t make anyones list. Only the last two coaches have ever had any success in BB at Wisconsin and thats arbitrary. I dont agree with Purdue being up there next to Indiana and ahead of Illinois. Although if part of its based on expectations its possible since they have never done anything on a national level. IU 11FFs 5 ncs Illinois has 5ff and the best winning% in the B10. Purdue 1 ff in 1969. Wisconsin?? Probably the worst b 10 program ever until Dick Bennett. Still with mediocre recruiting and very little success in Ncaa even during the best decade ever for them. Wisconsin is just now moving into the middle of the pack. Short memories make for bad posts.

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