Now that I am over my "John Elway to coach the CU Buffaloes" fantasy (that was never going to happen) I have a more realistic selection as the next Buff coach: Eric Bieniemy.
I'm in favor of the Buffs going with Bieniemy because:
1. The name of the game in college football is recruiting, and Bieniemy was one of the best recruiters on the staff when he served as a CU assistant under Gary Barnett and later with UCLA. The late Eddie Crowder, successful former CU head coach and past athletic director, was once asked what was the most important attribute of a head coach at Colorado. "recruiting, recruiting, recruiting," was the reply.
2. Bieniemy brings back the much needed tradition of the great CU teams of the 90's. When CU had a 1990 team reunion earlier this season, the atmosphere was electric, and motivated an undermanned Buff team to upset Georgia that weekend. Bieniemy gave a pep talk to the team on game day, and he did various radio interviews proclaiming what a great university Colorado was. CU has an advantage over other down trodden programs in that it DID win a national championship in the not too distant past (1990). Eric Bieniemy was the emotional leader of that championship team.
3. Bieniemy is African American. Regardless of race, Bienamy is a fine football coach. Nation wide, however, there are far too few African American head coaches in big time college football. It would be good to see CU take the lead in this area with a progressive hire for its next head football coach.
4. Bieniemy could bring back Coach McCartney in some capacity. Coach Mac is wanting the head coaching job, too, but at age 70 he is not the best long term option for the program. With Bieniemy at the controls coach Mac could still be intimately involved in the program, and help mentor Eric in dealing with the CU Administration.
5. Other great former Buffs could be brought back as assistants. Jon Embree, the current tight end coach for the Washington Redskins, is a close friend of Bieniemy and has wanted to return to Boulder for years (he applied for the head coaching job before Dan Hawkins was hired)
6. Some say Bieniemy does not have enough experience to be a head coach at the college level. He hasn't even been a coordinator. I say see #1 on my list. His recruiting abilities will more than make up for his lack of game day coaching experience, and he can surround himself with experienced coordinators. Bieniemy's coaching resume is better than Dan Hawkin's when Hawk was hired. Hawkins had no experience at the top BCS levels, while Bieniemy has been an assistant at two top programs (Colorado and UCLA) in addition to serving as running backs coach for the NFL Minnesota Vikings in recent years.
Do the right thing, CU - hire E.B. to be your next coach!