Baylor Hires Matt Rhule As New Head Coach: What Does It All Mean?
Baylor will bring on Temple head coach Matt Rhule to take over. Can he get the offense rolling to go along with his defensive style? What does it all mean?
– Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak
Let the rebuilding begin
Who better to bring in to rebuild the franchise than a guy who did it at one of the toughest places possible?
Al Golden might have proved it possible to win at Temple, but Matt Rhule actually won something big, turning the program back around with a rough 2-10 season with a nice 6-6 campaign, and then rolling to a 20-7 record over the last two seasons with an appearance in the American Athletic Conference championship last season – losing to Houston – and getting back this year with a dominant win over Navy.
He’s a proven motivator and top defensive head coach, but can he get the offense rolling? As long as Baylor is winning, style shouldn’t matter, however …
Can Baylor fans get used to a defensive slugfest life?
Forgetting about all the issues under Art Briles, the program became a big thing on a national scale with massive points and yards being cranked out in historic fashion. This is the team that made scoring 60 points seem commonplace – that’s not going to be Rhule.
His Owls played killer defense over the last few seasons, finishing third in the nation this year, holding down the better running games just enough to get by, and – the key to rolling in the Big 12 – cranking up a secondary that finished second in the nation in pass defense.
However, Temple didn’t see anything like the Oklahoma offense, or Oklahoma State, or Texas Tech. The stats are misleading – the Owls played Army, Navy, Connecticut, South Florida, UCF, and a slew of other teams that don’t throw.
That’ll change in a hurry.
It’s not Lane Kiffin, but …
It’s a good hire of a guy who was about to be one of the hottest head coaches on the market.
The rumors of Lane Kiffin were fun, and there was a goofy Internet click-bait dalliance being had with the idea of Mike Gundy, but Rhule is a solid prospect – even if he’s not an A-lister.
Texas got Tom Herman, and this is the reaction from Baylor to step up the hot coaching arms race. Herman might have been the bigger hire, but Rhule is the one who actually won the American Athletic Conference this season. Herman didn’t. Willie Taggart – who’s being talked about for the Oregon job – didn’t do it, either.
Matt Rhule, Baylor head football coach
Turning 42 soon, he’s a young, smart, energetic head coach who knows how to get a defense rolling. The former Penn State linebacker doesn’t have any Texas ties, so can he recruit along with the Hermans, the Stoops, and the rest of the Big 12 world? That’ll be the key right away, but he proved at Temple he can win without the four-and-five star talents.
But he’s a Pennsylvania guy who’ll have to quickly adapt. The offensive coordinator will be the key, but defensively, he’ll step it up in a hurry.