With Louisiana hiring Arizona State offensive coordinator Billy Napier, it’s basically getting the Arizona State head coach.
That worked out really, really well for Louisiana, and it could be a big, big problem for Arizona State.
It seemed like a great theory for Arizona State. Hire Herm Edwards to be the Face of the Franchise guy, the master motivator and CEO who’d be a peerless recruiter and closer, and the type of coach everyone would want to be around and play for.
Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Phil Bennett was still going to keep everything going for one side of the ball, rising star offensive coordinator Billy Napier was going to be more than just a regular assistant in a co-head coach sort of way, and the transition was going to be almost seamless.
And now, Arizona State is starting from scratch.
Louisiana-Lafayette is getting a guy who very easily could’ve been the Arizona State head man. Napier is considered a hot coach on the circuit and destined for a Power Five job in the near future – almost no one would’ve blinked if AD Ray Anderson had promoted Napier to the head coaching job after firing Todd Graham.
Napier is gone, and Bennett is leaving after the Sun Bowl vs. NC State, too.
And now, this becomes Anderson’s coaching staff, and now, Edwards needs to come up with some amazing assistant coaches who can carry things for a while, or else this might turn into a total disaster.
Of course Edwards might turn out to be a whale of a college coach, but he hasn’t coached since 2008 and hasn’t been a part of a college gig since the 1980s – he’s going to need some time.
With the early signing period starting on December 20th, and with a bowl game to prepare for, and with the coaching staff in a total state of chaos, this didn’t work. The grand idea and plan appears to be a misfire.
So now it’s sink-or-swim time for Edwards and Anderson. In a division with USC and the Chip Kelly-led UCLA program, this could be a long, loud stretch if ASU doesn’t show something special in a hurry.