Okay. The following list is all the winning-record football teams that the Michael Haywood-coached Miami RedHawks beat in the two years he's been there:
• Temple (8-4)
• Northern Illinois (10-3)
This does not make Haywood a bad coach. On the contrary, he is a very, very good coach. The one-year turnaround he did at Miami, which still remains slightly statistically inexplicable, is an unheralded feel-good story among this year's multitude of worthwhile narratives. An eight-win turnaround is incredible.
This is apparently enough of a resumé for the University Pittsburgh (UPitt?) to snag him from the MAC East and put him into the Big East. I wonder if that might've been too soon for him to get a promotion.
Then again ... how much more time does he need to cultivate his sea legs before proving he can coach with the big boys? One year? Two? But the position is open now. Like another Pittsburgh coach — Mike Tomlin of the Steelers — one can be introduced into a high-profile position and experience some "on the job training," if you will, if the institution has the patience for it. (Pittsburgh does not have a ravenous fanbase that expects results yesterday, coughmiamifloridacough. The first year's gonna suck a little anyway in Pitt. It always does.
So good luck to Haywood at his new place of employment. Although this saddens me: no longer will Bowling Green beat a preseason-ranked Pitt in their home opener. Although his old team might finally be a "W" again...
So that brings up the question of who can replace him. It's anyone's guess right now, but we can probably rule out any falling stars of larger conferences. They grow 'em whole in Oxford — they don't implant used saplings. Nevertheless, we'll be tracking the progress of the (sigh) fifth MAC football vacancy this offseason, perhaps including the willy-nilly throwing about of names on the Twitterwebz as possible candidates. This guy! That guy! But not the other guy.