Eddie Gran Is Staying In Clifton, For Real. That Is A Great Thing

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With everyone reporting/assuming that Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark is likely to take the UAB job Eddie Gran will be sticking around for at least one more year. That is unquestionably a good thing for the performance of the team next year. Anyone who says otherwise has not let facts penetrate their initial perceptions.

There is no denying, and I don't pretend to deny, that Eddie Gran got off to a rough start as the Cincinnati Bearcats offensive coordinator. Gran obviously had a plan in mind for what he wanted to do on offense, and he stuck with that plan to the letter for the first four games of the season. If I can quote myself here this was more or less the plan.

The results were mixed to say the least. Yes, the Bearcats put up big numbers against Northwestern State and Purdue. But Purdue was terrible, and Northwestern State was an FCS school punching above their weight. In other words those are the schools that you are supposed to roll against. But UC was also supposed to roll against Illinois and Miami, and didn't.

Thus was born the Gran must go mentality of some members of the Cincinnati fan base. I got then, and still sort of get their frustrations at the time. The Bearcats became a perennial 10 win team behind a consistently explosive and exciting offense. Even during that lost 2010 season the offense was still pretty good, it was the defense that wasn't. Whatever UC was in August and September, it wasn't good.

Those people made up their mind against Gran after four games. From then on everything they saw that supported their claims, and ignored the very real changes to the offense starting with the USF game. They ignored that the offense in November and December* was irrefutably better than it was at the start of the year. There are several reasons for the gradual transformation and improvement of the offense, and Eddie Gran was one of them.

*Bowl game aside when the Bearcats rash of injuries finally became more than this team could take.

Gran may not be a savant on the order of Art Briles or Chad Morris, but did anyone really expect that coming out of the gate from a first time play caller? He may not have started out great, but he was pretty good once he had his sea legs under him in late October. Now with the offensive staff the same, minus Tyson Helton, and a wealth of skill position talent returning the Bearcats offense could make the proverbial leap in year two of the Tuberville/Gran era. That is if Gunner Kiel or Bennie Coney can play at a Brendon Kay - ish level.

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