Bill Connelly, a writer for the SB Nation mothership, goes down the list of options for the exiled former Texas Tech coach and puts the Arizona Wildcats ATOP that list.
Our Kyle Kensing recently broke down some options for head coaches and discussed how high (they're high) the expectations will be for whomever rolls into the Old Pueblo.
Who else is there? Florida Atlantic (huh?), California if and when Jeff Tedford is booted and UCLA -- WHEN Rick Neuheisel is relieved of his duties. Kentucky, Ole Miss and Boston College are also considered, but uh, as bad as Arizona's situation is, I'd think those aren't in the conversation.
Scoring an impeccable 41-outta-50 in Connelly's "totally arbitrary" rankings, the Wildcats make "too much sense according to Bill. Much of that has to do with, of course, Arizona's already-implemented and background with the Red Raiders' Air Raid bastardized Air Zona offense. Even with quarterback Nick Foles leaving, the personnel in place for the Wildcats makes a lot of sense.
How Much Of A Fit Is The Current Personnel (i.e. how much do they currently pass)? (1-10) Excellent. Arizona ranks 118th in Adj. Run-Pass Ratio, throwing less than only East Carolina (coached by Leach's former defensive coordinator) and Hawaii (ditto). Offensive coordinator Seth Littrell even coached under Leach as well. I'm not sure how much Leach cares about a smooth transition, but this one would probably be the smoothest. 9.
Plus, the Wildcats are in a totally winnable division and conference. USC isn't that good and the Utah Utes have really screwed the pooch on joining a FBS conference with a bang.
Furthermore, Arizona has shown they can recruit. Apparently, the state itself is pretty talented, but more importantly, the Wildcats have a strong influence in Texas already, a place that I'm sure Leach is comfortable picking talent from (who wouldn't want to have success there?).
Here's Bill on the recruiting state of the ... state of Arizona.
Quite solid. Including junior college transfers (a pipeline Leach would almost certainly utilize), the state of Arizona produced 10 four-star recruits according to Rivals.com in 2011 (thus far, there are eight more in 2012), and by my count, 32 players signed with BCS conferences. 8.