Bear with me (Is that trademarked? My bad, Ted. Let me come up with a better way to start my argument.)
Go back in time with me, to the year 2007. I was 12 years old. I knew Guy Morris was not the best coach, heck, I knew he was not the best coach in Floyd Casey 95% of the time. After the season, Guy is fired and Baylor is on the coaching search. There are a few candidates, but the hot name on the list is an offensive genius, with experience and ties to Texas HS Football. That man was <redacted>. The coach hired by Baylor in 2007 was a graduate of a rival school to Baylor, had played, then coached high school football in Texas, then rose through various schools as an offensive coordinator and head coach of a school in what is now known as the American Athletic Conference.
Present Day: Baylor is finishing up one of the worst seasons in recent history (the last eight years) and yet, the football team is bowl-eligible and beat a few great teams to start out the season. Obviously, Baylor will need a new head coach. With the increasing likelihood that Grobe and the rest of the staff will be gone, who should Baylor turn to? Enter Chad Morris. A Texas native, he graduated from Texas A&M, then proceeded to coach for high schools. After years of dominating the state in 5A football at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Morris fetched himself a $1.3 million/year contract to become the Offensive Coordinator at Clemson. After a lot of success there, Morris took the HC job at Southern Methodist University and his first two recruiting classes at SMU featured only Texas kids. To some, this may be a cause for concern, but fear not, dear reader, for I will circumnavigate through the disbelief and (hopefully) make you a believer as well.
First, let’s start with the obvious concerns: Morris’ lack of a proven track record in college. After two seasons of mediocrity, Chad Morris really looks destined for 7-5 or 8-4 seasons. However, IF he is hired, he will immediately have the most talent he has ever had as a head coach, and he will have the resources he needs to create a better Baylor football team. Baylor is in a Power Five conference, SMU is not. Chad Morris has SMU on the brink of bowl eligibility. This is an impressive feat, considering the state of the program after June Jones left. Also, what will he bring to the table? Well, he has started the process of bringing SMU football back. But SMU has a record of 7-16 in the two years Morris is there. Obviously, SMU is on the rise, but right now, Morris doesn’t have anything to show for his coaching ability... except for the fact that the season before he came there, SMU went 1-11...
The fact that he recruited Texas so well the past two seasons is a sign that Morris knows what he is doing with regards to recruiting. It could also be seen as a sign that he is inept at recruiting the other 49 states. I truly do not believe this. Let me introduce you to a question I have created called “The Llano Theorem.” It goes like this:
Imagine that you live in a small Texas town (population approximately 5,000 people or less). There is one, maybe two high schools in the city or area. A football player rises up through the system and is obviously talented. However, with only competition being against smaller schools, he is only given 2-stars, despite the fact that this recruit is a 4-star talent. The kid is flying under the radar. His HS Football coach is sending out film to every major school, but (like most schools) these big-name schools get hundreds, if not thousands of recruit highlights and film every year. So, no big name school (Michigan, Alabama, Southern Cal, Clemson) will give this prospect a shot. Let’s say the next Baylor head coach takes a visit to your town after hearing of this prospect. Now, here is the ultimate question of the Theorem:
Would Baylor’s next head coach not only know of the coach, but know him on a first name basis?
If the answer is yes, then (if I am Mack Rhodes) I hire that coach immediately if I need a new head football coach. Baylor’s last two recruiting classes (2014,2015) have featured over 88% in-state signees. Texas is THE recruiting hotbed for football. Obviously, there are special talents all over the country, but getting a class with almost 90% of your signees from in-state is huge. Chad Morris is one of the only people who can come in and immediately recruit from day one. He has a proven track record (Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, De’Andre Hopkins at Clemson) and given the talent that Baylor will have next season, he is my personal pick for the next Baylor Football head coach.
(Although I wouldn’t mind seeing PJ Fleck and Kaz meet for the first time. The energy in that room would almost be too much. I think the walls would fall down and neither would have to play a trumpet… sorry, religion minor joke…)