Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports (where fantasy football drafts are interesting) came out with a list of the 25 most intriguing head coaches of 2019 yesterday.
Coach Mario Cristobal made his list in 12th place. Here’s what Mr. Forde had to say about the coach:
“He’s got a big opportunity with one of the most experienced teams in the country, led by a potential No. 1 draft pick in quarterback Justin Herbert. Cristobal also has moved to the top of the Pac-12 recruiting heap, signing the highest-rated class from that conference in 2019 and on his way to repeating that in ’20. The question is whether the former head coach at Florida International can manage a game — the brutal giveaway against Stanford last year hasn’t been forgotten.”
He has some praise for Cristobal’s recruiting prowess and ability to develop talent but had some criticisms about the in game adjustments. Most notably bringing up PylonGate from last season.
I have certain questions about the staff’s ability to motivate the players to get inspired to play “lesser” opponents. In game adjustments were definitely an issue last season when departed DC Jim Leavitt often refused or was incapable of adjusting until the outcome was settled. OC Marcus Arroyo was also complicit but not nearly as Leavitt / Heyward? / Coach Joe? Arroyo was dealt a bad hand when the offensive line became ineffective to a certain degree and Justin Herbert was unwilling in targeting anyone else but Dillon Mitchell. Regardless it’s on him to adjust and sit Herbert down to tell him to get his stuff together.
How is this Coach Cristobal’s issue? He’s the head coach so the buck stops with him. He thankfully made a new hire at defensive coordinator, bringing in Andy Avalos, who’s a rising star and master adjuster. It remains to be seen if Coach Arroyo can improve.
The mettle of this coaching staff as currently constituted will be severely tested in 2020 when a woefully inexperienced team returns, particularly along the offensive line and at quarterback.
I hope Coach Cristobal can get more mental fortitude out of this 2019 veteran laden team.
Who are the other notable coaches on the list?
USC HC Clay Helton for obvious reasons. Can he keep his job past September?
Florida State HC Willie Taggart. Please fix the FCS caliber OL. Please for the sanity of Florida State fans everywhere. A competitive game against Clemson would be nice. A Second place finish in the ACC Atlantic is the requirement for his retention.
Texas HC Tom Herman. Is Texas back?
Kansas HC Les Miles. I wonder if he has sampled the shrubbery in Lawrence yet.
Utah HC Kyle Whittingham. Poor Zack Moss gets saddled with the not so consistent Andy Ludwig. In terms of offensive coordinator capability as hythloday skillfully presents us, Ludwig is a boob (a special s/o to the ATQ Queen for this joke). The defense is legit so there’s that.