Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 2/15/13
On Thursday breaking news shocked the college football world when it was announced that former Boise State and Colorado head man Dan Hawkins had been named the new head coach of the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes. Yes, the news was indeed shocking. Not so much in that Hawkins would continue his career North of the Border, but more that anyone would actually ever consider paying Hawkins to coach their football team. Apparently, there haven’t been too many Colorado Buffaloes game broadcasted in the Montreal market these last few years. At the same time, it got the Crystal Ball Run staff wondering: With Hawkins now opening the floodgates, what’s to stop other current and former college head coaches from fleeing to the snowy white North, and land of wider fields and 13-man teams? I mean seriously, what are crystal balls really worth when you can be pursuing Grey Cup titles instead? After a roundtable discussion that kept the Crystal Ball Run staff up long into the night, here are 10 names that we think could continue their careers in Canada.   10. Mack Brown, Texas As his seat continues to grow warmer in Austin, it only seems logical that Mack Brown might consider an escape to the snowy white North. After all, it’s likely that Kevin Sumlin and Nick Saban can poach his best recruits from 2,000 miles away, and even as popular as they are, we just can’t see a scenario where the Hamilton Tiger-Cats actually go through with plans to start their own television network. Much to the relief of Brown, I’m sure. Plus, with 12 players on the field instead of 11, can you imagine what Brown could do on defense? At the very least it’d allow him to get one extra safety on the field, because, well, let’s be real here: Mack Brown loves him some safety play. 9. Lane Kiffin, USC Like Brown, the defensive rules in Canada might play to Kiffin’s advantage. I mean with an extra player on the field, it seems more likely that Kiffin’s defenses would actually be able to, you know, stop the opposition once in awhile, right? Then again, as my colleague Allen Kenney pointed out, with the way Kiffin’s career trajectory is going, even if he is fired from USC it seems likely he’ll land on his feet somewhere. Like as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys or New York Yankees or something. 8. Gene Chizik, Unemployed All I’m saying is, can you imagine how far $180,000 could go with the Canadian exchange rate? What, too soon? 7. Todd Graham, Arizona State Graham has always had a wandering eye, and after spending a full calendar year at Arizona State, you’ve got to think he’s got an itchy trigger finger to get out of Tempe and onto bigger and better things. Plus, while Crystal Ball Run has yet to confirm it, rumors are that Graham has quite an extensive family based in Winnipeg. Being named the head coach of the Blue Bombers seems like a logical next step in his career. 6. Charlie Weis, Kansas It’s only taken one year for patience to wear thin with Weis at Kansas, where he wrapped up a sparkling first season with a grand total of one win. Of course in Weis’ defense, that two touchdown victory over the MIGHTY South Dakota State Jackrabbits didn’t happen by accident. Know what I’m saying? Of course if Weis does elect to go Canada, it will make for a couple interesting story lines. For starters, it will be another opportunity for the coach to make sweet music with Dayne Crist, his former quarterback at Notre Dame who followed him straight to Lawrence, and straight into the bottom of the Big XII barrel. Not to mention that Canada might be the one place on Earth where Charlie Weis actually DOES have a “decided schematic advantage” over the opposition. And while we’re on the subject, I’ve got to ask: Who would look better in a parka in the midst of a bitter Canadian winter than Charlie Weis would? No one, I say. 5. Houston Nutt, Unemployed Because at this point, who in the United States is willing to hire Nutt for any job, in any profession? Short of taking a job as a cashier at Panera, Canada might be Nutt’s best hope for future employment. 4. Brady Hoke, Michigan Oh, the “short sleeve shirt in cold weather” shtick is cute now, Brady Hoke. But let’s see how you handle sub-freezing temperatures and mid-May blizzards in Edmonton. Bet it won’t be nearly as fun then, will it? The jig is up coach. Get yourself a damn jacket. And while we’re at it, until you actually beat Urban Meyer, you should probably stop calling the school he coaches at “Ohio.” 3. Will Muschamp, Florida We include Will Muschamp on this list under the assumption that eventually, he may actually kill someone with his bare hands and be forced to flee the country. Assuming that happens (which at this point, we suspect it will), we don’t see him having a hard time finding employment North of the Border. 2. Bobby Petrino, Western Kentucky Like Graham, Petrino has long been known to have a wandering eye, and we all know that eventually he’ll be on his way away from Western Kentucky on his way to better things. Assuming Petrino can’t stay on the straight and narrow (or at the very least can’t get an SEC job within the next 12 months), Canada seems like a perfect fit for him. Not only would the wider field play perfectly to Petrino’s pass-happy offense, but the country’s liberal motorcycle laws would allow him to enjoy his leisure time away from the field as well. Plus, is there a more appropriate man to coach the Saskatchewan Roughriders than Petrino? No one that I can think of. 1. Nick Saban, Alabama All I’m saying is, if Saban can three BCS titles in four years at Alabama, imagine what he could do in Canada? The dude might never lose a game the rest of his career. For all his opinion, insight and articles on college football and beyond, please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres. Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter @CrystalBallRun.  
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