On of my other hobbies is that I’m a bit of an audiophile. High-end audio is a small industry, one that tries to appeal to consumers at all points on the price scale. One thing you’ll hear audio engineers say often is that it’s easier to build cost-no-object gear than it is to build something excellent to a specific price point, but that doing the latter can be more rewarding from a development standpoint because it forces you to design more for less and that’s often an exercise that can payoff even with bigger budget equipment.
The point to my tortured analogy (this is a college football blog, so I’ve got to be heading somewhere with this, right?) is that when SEC schools start shuffling the deck chairs after the season is over, and we hear about the Grudens, the Petrinos and the Tubervilles (don’t laugh, I’ve heard his name being mentioned in connection with the Arkansas job more than once), maybe somebody ought to be talking about Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads. Here’s what Mike Gundy has to say about Rhoads:
Coming off a win against Iowa State, Gundy expressed his respect for Paul Rhoads while on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, and not just because the Cyclones ended the Cowboys’ national championship hopes last year.
“I have a lot of respect for coaches that are at schools that don’t have the traditions and luxuries that some people have,” Gundy said. “They have work at everything they do. They have to find a way to recruit, they have to find a way to stop people, manufacture points, be smart, special teams, team attitude, all those things. Paul knows this. I told him before the game how much respect I have for what he’s accomplished.
“I know they gave him a 10-year contract. They should give him a 20-year contract because he maximizes the talent that he has, and they play smart football.”
Iowa State is hardly a football glamor spot. And Rhoads was the guy who got called in when Chizik left the school holding the bag. He hasn’t exactly played with the strongest hand since he got there. All things considered, he’s built an impressive resume in less than four seasons. He’s also got a year’s coaching experience in the SEC, ironically as Chizik’s successor as the Auburn defensive coordinator.
He does the emotion thing pretty well, too.
As Gundy notes, Rhoads has a long-term contract at ISU. And he seems like a loyal guy. Kind of a younger version of Jim Grobe. But if I were an SEC school needing a head coach, I’d at least gauge his interest. He knows how to build to a price point.