Michigan reportedly interested in Duke’s David Cutcliffe
That’s a new name for this coaching search.
After many reports that Jim Harbaugh-to-Michigan might be unlikely (since going back to college is a bad idea for NFL coaches), the Wolverines are reportedly interested in a strong X’s and O’s coach from the collegiate ranks. According to 247 Sports, UM has “gauged the interest” of Duke’s David Cutcliffe.
Cutcliffe is a hot name after bringing the seemingly always terrible Duke program back to relevance, and he’s known as a quarterback whisperer, having tutored the likes of Eli Manning. No, he’s not Jim Harbaugh, but if he’s interested, he could be a very solid choice for a program that needs some consistency.
Here’s a look at why this makes sense and why it doesn’t.
Why it makes sense
This makes a lot of sense for Michigan because Cutcliffe is a very good coach. He’s an especially good offensive mind, which is what the Wolverines have been lacking over the past two years, and particularly this year. He hasn’t had the most highly-touted recruits at Duke, but he’s a very good X’s and O’s coach who has gotten the most out of his players.
That’s the exact opposite of what happened during Brady Hoke’s tenure, when Hoke recruited well, but failed to develop those players well, or at least put them into a scheme where they could be successful. Michigan could recruit to itself, and it would be exciting to see what Cutcliffe could do with the talent in Ann Arbor.
Why it doesn’t make sense
Does Cutcliffe really want to leave Duke? Cutcliffe is a former Tennessee offensive coordinator and reportedly withdrew his name from consideration when the Volunteers were looking for a new coach in 2010. If he didn’t leave for Tennessee then, why would he leave for Michigan, where he has significantly fewer ties?
There could also be some concerns from Michigan fans as to whether he’s a big enough name, but that’s foolish, and the only people who would really have issues with this hire are those who want Jim Harbaugh or bust.
Likelihood it happens
Remember, this report just says that Michigan “gauged the interest” of Cutcliffe. That means they might have just been watching SportsCenter and realized he exists and is good at coaching football. Given that Cutcliffe didn’t leave for Tennessee, it’s tough to predict him to leave at this point. Until now, we’ll give this rumor a 1 of out 10.