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Potential Offensive Coordinator Discussion

Not a Briles fan here... is it just me?

Arkansas Pine Bluff v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

So I posted an opinion tweet about a name I’ve been hearing making the rounds as an OC candidate for Miami, Kendal Briles, early this morning that has garnered some passionate discourse (and insults) from the base.

This is the tweet:

Briles is the son of Art Briles, the former wildly successful Head Coach at Baylor University who was fired after a sex scandal was uncovered that ultimately led to the removal of Baylor president Kenneth Starr and other high ranking officials. As the dust settled, there were dozens of women who alleged they had been raped by Baylor football players, and a systemic failure of officials at Baylor to act on past reports of sexual assaults.

According to the Arkansas Times

“[Kendal] wasn’t directly implicated in the coverup (though Baylor never revealed all the specifics of its internal investigation) but he was accused in a federal lawsuit of using the lure of relationships with white women to recruit black players.”

The case was later settled by Baylor out of court. This is a serious allegation, that he (Kendal) has yet to address publicly beyond reportedly denying it.

The Times further reported:

It wasn’t fake news. In addition to Art Briles and Starr, two others connected with the football program, the athletic director, and the Title IX coordinated also departed Baylor, which has settled multiple Title IX lawsuits. Charges were filed against several players. One was sentenced to 20 years.

Aside from the most egregious hang up I mentioned above (as if anything else was needed), there are football related reasons I don’t like the #BrilesToTheU talk. I won't waste time placing these in any particular order, so here goes:

Blatant Disrespect

Kendal Briles Throws Down The U

I won't tell you how much I dislike the idea of a grown man purposefully disrespecting our program by throwing down The U and then expecting to receive the privilege to coach here. I’ve heard people say “oh its just a rivalry, get over it” and to that I’d say “F*ck That”! There is a strong desire within our fan base to protect the “U” brand, so hiring him would be a big middle finger up to people like me who don’t take kindly to the disrespect. I do not like the guy as a hire for the University of Miami, but I won't belabor this point any further.

Job Hopping

Briles has been a rolling stone since being fired by Baylor back in 2016. He's held positions at a handful of schools since, with no longevity at any of them. He’s hopped around from the University of Houston to Florida Atlantic University to Florida State, and ultimately to the University of Arkansas where currently is wrapping up his second season. Short stints are becoming more common place now in the coaching ranks, but I don’t like his inability to attain longevity along the way. His longest tenure was working for his Father at Baylor, and we see how that ended.

Head Coaching Aspirations

While this isn't a knock, anyone should have aspirations to climb the ladder, it is definitely worth noting given his prior inability to gain tenure in his career outside of his Father’s shadow. Texas Tech was reportedly mulling hiring Briles in November 2021 (yes, last month), but ultimately decided to hire Joey McGuire instead. Again, no knock here per se, but expect Briles to be on the market in the near future as more HC jobs open up.

More Of The Same

In a head to head comparison of Rhett Lashlee and Kendal Briles last season stats, its clear that Briles would be more of the same, but a little less successful. Lashlee's offense was more prolific and explosive than Briles, and that says a lot to me. I wasn't a fan of Lashlee’s offense by any metric, but he lead in nearly every discernible category, and this leads me to the conclusion that more of the same isn't adequate for the reported $1 - 1.5 Million dollars Briles will expect to receive.

Lashlee Vs Briles 2021 Stats

There are other gripes about his in-game play calling and lack of adequate adjustments that are concerns worth discussing. Take for example this reply from a Razorback fan:

to which we followed up with:

I watched his offensive efforts with FSU last season, and he wasn't very good despite folks advocating for him as he improved an already poor effort/executing team from the year before. There is a reason Mike Norvell went away from him in favor of a new OC, and I would think the eye test was involved.

A beat writer for an FSU Blog had this to say about Briles offense at Arkansas:

Briles 3rd down efficiency (or better yet, lack thereof) is a big red flag for me. You can see from the graphic Briles had a really low efficiency percentage (37.74%) last season. Thats not effective and its not championship level football.

In contrast, looking at the top 4 playoff teams they have a 3rd down efficiency of

1. Alabama - 53.65

2. Michigan - 45.14

3. Georgia - 43.75

4. Cincinatti - 41.10

For reference, Miami - 41.95

Alternative Candidates

If you're gonna go big, go big. No reason we cant hire an experienced and effective coach. Look for someone that has show they can make the necessary adjustments in game and can scheme his personnel open.

In no particular order, here are several top offensive coordinators worth making a run at.

Kevin Wilson - Ohio State Buckeyes

Bill O’Brien - Alabama Crimson Tide

Warren Ruggiero - Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Todd Monken - Georgia Bulldogs

Those are my thoughts, what are yours? Let me know in the comment section below.