Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris' most recent offensive game plan against South Carolina may have been a dud, but all it takes is one glance at his entire body of work to realize that he's head coach material.
According to ESPN.com, Texas Tech's search for a new head football coach—which began last week after Tommy Tuberville left for Cincinnati—has been narrowed down to two men: a pair of brilliant offensive minds with ties to the state of Texas in Morris and Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.
Morris was interviewed by Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt on Tuesday, according to OrangeandWhite.com's Greg Wallace, and Hocutt had the following to say afterwards:
We’d like to get a decision done as soon as possible. But at the same time it’s an important decision and we’re going to take time to make the right choice.
While both candidates have a lot to offer, Morris is the clear front-runner for the job.
Sure, Kingsbury's track record with the Aggies this season has been impressive. The question is, how much of A&M's offensive success should be attributed to Kingsbury, and how much should be credited to Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel?
It's a fair question. After all, Johnny Football has accounted for over 69 percent of the Aggies' offensive output this season.
While the 33-year-old Kingsbury is finishing up his first season as a college offensive coordinator, the 44-year-old Morris is in the midst of completing his third (Tulsa 2010, Clemson 2011-12) and has an additional 16 years of experience coaching at the high school level in Texas.
In addition, Clemson's offensive improvement from Morris' first season with the Tigers in 2011 to this season has been considerable.
Clemson ranked 23rd and 26th in the country respectively in scoring offense and total offense a year ago, scoring 33.6 points and 440.8 yards per game in 2011. This season, Clemson ranks sixth and ninth in the nation in the respective categories, racking up 42.3 points and 518.3 yards per game.
Clearly, Morris is a superb offensive mind at the college level. Even though it was at the high school level, he is an experienced head coach as well. More than that, he's proven for slightly longer than Kingsbury that he can direct a Top-10 offense and will have solid talent to work with in Lubbock considering the Red Raiders ranked 12th in the country in total offense this season under Tuberville.
It's certainly not a knock on Kingsbury, but when you look at the numbers, the improvement and of course the experience as a leader of young men, Morris is the obvious front-runner for Texas Tech's vacant head coach position.
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