I’ll say this about Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell: He’ll be coaching in the Birmingham Bowl.
In an interesting coincidence, Boston College Football is playing the Bearcats in in their bowl game on January 2nd. With Luke Fickell connected to the BC coaching search, it makes for an interesting dynamic. If the Eagles did want to offer the job to Fickell, would they do it before the bowl game and have him coach against his former team right away? I would think not. If Fickell is the man, you’d think both teams would wait until after the matchup to pull the trigger.
But might we see the former Ohio State Buckeye switching locker rooms after the game?
Head Coaching Record:
2011 (Ohio State): 6-7
2017 (Cincinnati): 4-8
2018 (Cincinnati): 11-2
2019 (Cincinnati): 10-3
Why It Might Work:
Whether or not you view Luke Fickell as the top candidate for the Boston College job is really just a matter of personal preference. Most would see Fickell, at a minimum, as being one BC’s prime targets. He ticks off a lot of the boxes that you want to see in a potential head coach.
For one, Fickell has the obvious positive of coaching a mid-major program to impressive levels of success. After his first sub-par year with Cincinnati in 2017, the Bearcats were ranked in the top 25 and reached at least ten wins in both seasons.
But Fickell also has a ton of experience in big-time Power 5 football. He spent a whopping 14 years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Ohio State, between the years of 2002 and 2016, with one year as head coach for the Buckeyes added in for good measure before being replaced by Urban Meyer and returning to his old post of co-DC.
There’s also the fact that Cincinnati has had a good track record of coaches moving on to bigger jobs with success. Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly went to the Irish after a stint with the Bearcats, and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio has had a long and very successful career in East Lansing.
It should also be noted that “Fickell” does not in any way rhyme with “Az,” likely a major factor in the hiring process this time around.
Why It Might Not Work:
Fickell’s a very good candidate, but there are some things you wish were slightly better. For example, his year at Ohio State was not good (certainly by Ohio State standards), though one year probably wasn’t enough to get a good idea of what he could have done. And this is nitpicking here, but frankly, 9-10 wins is right about what the Bearcats have come to expect in the last decade or two. From 2007-2014, Cincinnati reached at least 9 wins in seven out of eight seasons, including 10+ in five of six from 2007-2012.
But the list of “blemishes” on Fickell’s coaching resume are few and minor. We could certainly do worse than a coach that has brought a mid-major program back to annual top 25 rankings and playing in conference title games.
What do you think? Would Luke Fickell be a good pick to elevate the Boston College football program to the next level?