Reports surfaced this evening that Mike Bobo is a candidate for the Colorado State head coaching job vacated by new Florida coach Jim McElwain. Other names rumored to be in the hunt in Fort Collins include Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, Mississippi State co-offensive coordinator Billy Gonzalez, Notre Dame running backs coach Tony Alford, and Colorado State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin.
I'm on record as saying that Mike Bobo will be a college head coach one day. I just don't think this is necessarily the day. For one thing, Bobo's name isn't the hottest on that list. That title would go to Frost, or perhaps Narduzzi. If you're Colorado State and you're looking to build on the momentum McElwain provided, one of those guys makes sense. It would also make sense to promote Baldwin, whose offense averaged 497.8 yards per game (12th nationally) in 2014. Georgia was 30th at 454.9 yards per game.
For another, Bobo has never worked west of the Mississippi, and may literally have zero experience recruiting the mountain west. No one hates gratuitous use of the word "literally" when "figuratively" is what is really meant. But here "literally" is, quite literally, the right word. While McElwain came from Alabama, that only followed stints at Eastern Washington (his alma mater), Montana State, and Fresno State. It would also be a bit of a reach for Colorado State to go after another SEC offensive coordinator, especially given that the Athletic Director who hired McElwain was fired before this season. Frankly the situation at Colorado State sounds, if not toxic, a bit tumultuous. This Denver Post article on the machinations that led up to AD Jack Graham's firing would be enough to make me question whether it's the kind of place I'd want to coach.
In the end, I think this ends with Mike Bobo getting a substantial raise from his current $575.000 salary to something more in parity with defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt's $850,000 salary. In truth, with recent assistant coaching salaries in the conference going through the roof this may be the first step in Pruitt getting a raise after only one year on the job. Pruitt is actually the fourth highest paid DC in the league behind Muschamp, Kirby Smart, and John Chavis. Bobo on the other hand is the 40th best compensated assistant in college football despite a consistent track record of productive offenses, lights-out recruiting, and reliable quarterback development.By comparison Lane Kiffin made $680,000 last season at Alabama and Kurt Roper made $700,000 at Florida before getting the pink slip.
Colorado State has candidates who make more sense than Bobo, and those candidates will likely get first crack at the job. But if they pass on it, Georgia will have to dig deep to keep Bobo in Athens. Will Greg McGarity do that? I'm not sure. But even if Bobo doesn't make the final cut in Fort Collins he's due a bump to something like $650,000 to $700,000, and I think that's where this saga is headed. We'll be following this story as it develops. Until then . . .
Go 'Dawgs!!! (And stay Bobo)