Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Louisiana, you have Arizona State’s head coach.
Yeah, Herm Edwards might turn out to be fantastic at ASU, and there were several other directions the program could’ve gone after sacking Todd Graham, but Billy Napier would’ve been an easy fit.
A rising superstar in the business, he has seen time as an assistant at Clemson, Alabama, and then as the offensive coordinator last year for the Sun Devils.
The conventional wisdom was that the 38-year-old – 39 by the start of the season – was a head coaching job away from being ready for a Power Five gig, but ASU could’ve kept him on as an assistant head coach.
Had the Sun Devils simply elevated Napier into the top gig, few would’ve blinked – not a bad thing to be a year too soon than a year too late on a rising head coach – but that didn’t happen.
And now Napier is running the Ragin’ Cajuns.
It’s been a rough run for ULL with three straight losing seasons after being a perennial nine-win program. The defense fell off the map, and offense wasn’t good enough, and the former Sun Belt powerhouse became an also-ran.
This year’s team has options at quarterback, a solid group of skill players, and a decent enough line in the interior to build around.
The defense was a disaster, and it has to undergo an overhaul with a whole bunch of new starters after allowing 40 points per game.
But even with all of the issues and all of the problems, the Ragin’ Cajuns still managed to go 5-7 last season – they’re not that terribly far off from getting back to being a winning Sun Belt team, especially in the new world of conference divisions.
The missing piece might just have been a head coach like Napier. If this works out like it’s supposed to, enjoy him while you can.