Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson made it clear during his press conference on Sunday that he wants the next coach of the Maryland Terrapins to have adapted to modern college football.
He wants a coach who runs a “wide open” offense, with the hope that it is a departure from what was seen in the Edsall era and helps put people in the seats at Byrd Stadium.
“I can tell you that I believe that if we look at football today, the fans want exciting, wide-open offense,” he said, “and I think that part of why we weren’t successful these last six games is that we’re going to open up the offense and there’s things ... that we did yesterday at Ohio State and so I think we’re going to continue and embellish that.”
Here are five possible coaching candidates who fit that mold, based purely on their offensive philosophy:
1) Tom Herman, head coach Houston
Herman was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator during last season’s run to a national championship. He has hit the ground running in his first season as the head coach at Houston. The Cougars rank 4th in the country in points per game (45) and are out to a 5-0 start.
2) Justin Fuente, Memphis head coach
Fuente resurrected the Memphis program after leaving his job as TCU’s offensive coordinator in 2011. The Tigers rank 5th in the nation in points per game (44) and currently sit at 5-0 with a showdown vs. Ole Miss on the schedule next week.
Under Fuente at TCU, the Horned Frogs ran the spread. His quarterback? Andy Dalton.
3) Dino Babers, Bowling Green head coach
The guy just came in and beat you in your own house earlier this season with an offensive display in the second half that is pretty much exactly what you’re looking for. Under Babers’ guidance, quarterback Matt Johnson diced up Maryland’s defense en route to a 48-27 victory.
Bowling Green ranks 8th in the country in points per game (40.7) and third in total plays per game (89.5) Babers comes from Art Briles’ coaching tree at Baylor. You’ve seen their offense run. It’s a philosophical fit.
4) Scott Frost, Oregon offensive coordinator
The Ducks have been synonymous with offensive innovation has high-tempo play, despite their relative struggles this season. Frost took over as the program’s offensive coordinator in 2013, coaching some guy named Marcus Mariota.
Certainly any system is helped by having a Heisman-caliber quarterback running it, but what was the biggest criticism of Mariota coming out of the draft? That he was a plug-and-play system quarterback who would struggle to adapt to the NFL.
Frost also has (what are now) Big Ten ties. As a player, he quarterbacked Nebraska to the 1997 national championship.
5) Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles head coach
As long of a shot as it is logistically, the least that can be said is Anderson’s philosophical prototype does not exclude Kelly from consideration. In fact, he is the modern embodiment of cool when it comes to college football.
His Oregon teams -- and their offensive scheme -- helped to put the Ducks on the national map.