Per USA Today and lots of others, former Texas OC and current Arkansas State head coach Bryan Harsin will be accepting the head coaching job at Boise State.
His swift rise is a real testament to the Mack Brown coaching tree *giggle* that has seen so many capable assistants *choke* become college football's hottest properties *GUFFAW* OK, sorry, I can't do it.
His swift rise IS a real testament to his acumen, both as an offensive mind and a canny situational evaluator. Harsin bolted at the right time from Texas, heading off to noted launching pad Arkansas State (former home of current SEC head men Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzhan) without so much as setting foot on the campus prior to accepting the gig. Following the playbook established with Will Muschamp's departure, Bellmont lackeys began a whispered smear campaign against Harsin - but both Boise State and BC readers knew better.
Harsin's brief legacy at Texas will always be somewhat mixed, and Interwebs critiques ranged from cogent questions about the deployment of guys like Daje Johnson to context-deficient ravings by imbeciles who slammed him for not generating points at the same pace that Texas did under Vince Young and Colt McCoy. But when viewed in the context of available talent and prevalent culture, Harsin's achievements at Texas were admirable indeed.
Whether Harsin was the "right hire" for Texas in 2011 is an interesting question. There's no doubt that he knew his business, and a little time spent breaking down his Inside Zone/Power/Pin n Pull series quickly put to bed any notion that he was coaching a "gimmick offense". The great Longhorn Scott did just such a breakdown that Spring, and amongst a general wave of approbation came questions of "So who, exactly, are these tight ends on our roster that are going to be single-blocking those DE's for a second and a half as so many of these plays demand?" The answer turned out to be "no one", and Texas' comical deficiency at that position along with a woefully underdeveloped OL and inexperience at QB combined to undercut a ton of the offense's potential.
The Harsin/Petersen/Boise offense works, and can work against the biggest and baddest in CFB. But it takes proper skill and development at key positions and a culture capable of developing trench toughness and precise execution. Mack lacked the football acumen to ID his roster weaknesses relative to the first need, and the self-awareness to understand that he himself short-circuited the culture requirement.
Harsin fought a strong uphill battle despite those limitations, and it's too bad that he wasn't around to enjoy the fruits of his and Stacy Searels' labors this season as Greg Swaim and developed OL finally came together. But it's hard to say that he didn't get out at just the right time, and with a free hand to shape - or, perhaps, continue - the culture at Boise, he a good bet to return the Broncos to prominence.
Good luck, coach.