There are two finalists in Fresno State's scramble for a new head coach. Per an article in the Fresno Bee, the Bulldogs are considering former Fresno State OC and current Alabama OC Jim McElwain, and former Fresno State RB and assistant Kelly Skipper, who is now Oakland's RB coach. At least one of Fresno State's boosters has spoken positively about him. In 2009 he was reportedly asked by Fresno State boosters if he would like to coach at Fresno State. He replied, "Yes. Just let me know when Pat Hill leaves or retires." He was being considered for the Memphis HC job but pulled out of contention Wednesday, adding some weight to thoughts that he might be hired.
McElwain was at Fresno State as OC in 2007. That year the Bulldogs averaged nearly 33 points per game and over 400 yards of offense, nearly beat Texas A&M in triple OT, and ended the year with a win over Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl. Alabama is currently 16th in the nation at 36 points per game - in the SEC. He will inherit no shortage of offensive talent; Derek Carr, Robbie Rouse and Jalen Saunders all return. The defense is the question; ravaged by injuries, it gave up 48 points to perennial WAC bottom-dweller New Mexico State in a loss this year. Leaving is Logan Harrell, the team's best DT and a decent NFL prospect who had 10.5 sacks just a year ago.
As a Fresno State fan, I certainly wouldn't be averse to him being here, considering 2007 was our last bowl victory and it was over a BCS team. He might bring the recruiting push that Pat Hill seemed to lack.Incidentally, his QB that year, Tom Brandstater, may start for the Rams this week against Seattle.
Skipper, meanwhile, heads an Oakland Raiders RB corps that is still managing 140+ yards per game with it's #1 and #3 RBs down. Either of these sounds like a fair choice, although personally I'd prefer McElwain.