Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss Herm Edwards’ firing at Arizona State, and debate possible candidates to replace him including Auburn’s Bryan Harsin and Jackson State’s Deion Sanders.
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DAN WETZEL: Three weeks in, another one got got. Paul went out for Herm Edwards at Arizona State. Lost Saturday 30-21 to Eastern Michigan. Somehow that was enough to do it.
PAT FORDE: That that's a pretty good capper right there. Pretty much dominated at home by a MAC team after other undistinguished performances and off the field issues.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, five seasons, if you count this one, 26-20, all sorts of issues, NCAA violation allegations, recruiting during COVID. I mean, look, it was a weird hire to begin with. Herm Edwards is really good on TV. He had a distinguished run as an NFL coach, had some good seasons, particularly with the Jets, but nothing overwhelming. Didn't see this one ever working, and it didn't. Pat, what do you think?
PAT FORDE: No, it didn't. Ray Anderson was an unconventional AD hire, and he made an unconventional coach hire of somebody who I think used to be one of his clients when Ray was an agent.
ROSS DELENGER: Yeah.
PAT FORDE: And so it was a buddy hire. Herm Edwards' record was worse than Todd Graham's. And he leaves the program under a cloud of a major investigation. Dan, you were talking about the recruiting philosophy. I think the recruiting philosophy was improper, unofficial visits that we end up paying for under the table during COVID during a dead period. So how's that for a recruiting philosophy? Probably not a very good one.
And then yeah, I mean, tons of transfers out after last season. They beat Northern Arizona in the opener. Then they lose to Oklahoma State. And then you lose to Eastern Michigan. And this is probably another one that should have been done last December instead of waiting, getting into this year, and fouling it all up.
ROSS DELENGER: Well, yeah, especially with the investigation. I think a lot of people around the country figured that that was going to be the undoing over the offseason was the investigation that Herm was going to be out. And there was a sense, when he wasn't fired after last year or during the offseason because of the NCAA stuff, there was a sense that Herm would retire during the year or after the season. It seemed like people were expecting him to retire. That's all I kind of heard.
Yep, so I mean, I'm sure we're going to talk about this. But gosh, that seems like a pretty good job. You're in a big Phoenix metro area, right? It's a big party school. Everybody seems to have lots of fun. The weather's amazing. You've got access to Southern California. I mean, you're in a terrible division. I mean, it seems like a great job, but maybe it's just me.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, I think everybody agrees it's like a sleeping giant. Other than the prohibitive Urban Meyer decides that he wants to-- who should they get?
ROSS DELENGER: I mean, just, that place strikes me as somewhere where you need young and energy and all that stuff. I mean, it just seems like a program that needs that. There's a lot of schools this cycle where you're going to have the double, or you can have AD and coach both go out. I mean, we've already seen it with Auburn. We probably will see with Auburn with the latter half falling.
Usually, as you guys know, usually the AD goes first so you can control the hire, you being the president or maybe a new AD. So that obviously didn't happen here.
DAN WETZEL: Then you lose to Eastern Michigan. And they go all the way to scandal.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, right.
DAN WETZEL: I mean, look, one of the guys you just basically alluded to, Bryan Harsin at Auburn, he obviously could be fired. Everyone assumes he'll be fired. He was good at Boise State. And he recruited Arizona well. Do you just take a Mulligan on that and say, hey, look, we'll take him, or does that have too of there's no momentum to him?
The name I like that I will throw out is Deion Sanders. I think Deion Sanders in a city like Phoenix is-- I think Deion Sanders would be very good anywhere. But I don't see him at a place where-- I don't know. Certain schools with too much boosters and too much-- too small of a town and you know--
But man, you put him there-- you know, he says he doesn't want to leave HBCUs and Jackson State and all that. That's fine. But he could also bring about six starters with him in the transfer portal if he wanted to do it. I just think a guy like Deion Sanders in a major metro like Phoenix would be a game changer for the recruiting.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: And you've got to get something to make people go, oh, yeah, this is hot now because once it gets going, I don't know how it doesn't stay that way.