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Why Mike Bobo is a good fit for Colorado State

Colorado State has announced the hiring of Mike Bobo as the new head coach of the football program.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado State Rams football team has named Georgia Bulldog offensive coordinator Mike Bobo as their next head coach. After weeks of speculation over who would replace Jim McElwain, Colorado State has found their guy. Similar to 2011 when the Rams were searching for a new head coach, the Rams have dipped into the pool of talented coordinators in the SEC for their head football coach.

Who is Mike Bobo?

Bobo is a former quarterback of the Georgia Bulldogs who played from 1994-1997. After his playing days at Georgia, Bobo got into the coaching profession as a student coach in 1998 and then a graduate assistant in 1999, both at Georgia. In 2000, Bobo took a job at Jacksonville State as their quarterback coach before being hired at Georgia in 2001 to be the Bulldog's quarterback coach. Bobo has been the Bulldog's quarterback coach since, and took over as offensive coordinator in 2007.

Why is Mike Bobo a good fit at Colorado State?

First things first, Bobo is quarterbacks coach who has helped develop some of the best quarterbacks that college football has seen over the past decade in current Detroit Lions starter Matthew Stafford and Kansas City Chiefs backup Aaron Murray. With the loss of Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year Garrett Grayson, it will be inevitable that Bobo and his staff find a replacement at the quarterback position. His options don't include the caliber of kids that he's had while coaching at Georgia, but he still has some talent to work with.

Currently on the roster is sophomore Nick Stevens who saw action in five games this past season. Stevens completed 15 of 25 passes for 136 yards and one touchdown is his limited action as Grayson's backup. The next quarterback on the depth chart is Coleman Key, a redshirt freshman who sat out in 2014. Key was a three star pro style quarterback from Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma. In his final season at Broken Arrow, Key completed 62 percent of his passes for 2621 yards and 29 touchdowns. The final quarterback that Bobo will have to work with is incoming freshman J.C. Robles, a two star pro style quarterback from El Diamante High School in Visalia, California.

So what does this have to do with the 2015 Colorado State football team? Well Bobo was in a similar situation at Georgia in 2014 when the Bulldogs lost four year starter Aaron Murray. Murray was replaced by Hutson Mason, a senior quarterback who had limited game time experience. What did Bobo have to work with? Arguably the best running back in the country in Todd Gurley and one of the best freshman running backs in Nick Chubb. With the talent at the running back position and inexperience at the quarterback position, Bobo changed his offense up and focused on his strength, running the football. Focusing on the run game allowed Mason to have a very efficient season at quarterback and helped the Bulldogs to an offense that ranked eight in points per game and 12th in rushing yards.

Fast forward to 2015 in Fort Collins. A new, inexperienced quarterback is almost guaranteed to take over for the Rams. What is the strength of the Colorado State football team? Running back and wide receiver. All-America wide receiver Rashard Higgins will most certainly help break in the new quarterback. At running back, Dee Hart (if he stays) will be Bobo's go to guy. Add in Treyous Jarrells who had a solid year as the back up running back, Jason Oden who was the third back in the rotation, freshman running back Deron Thompson who saw limited action in 2014, and Dalyn Dawkins, the nephew of Brian Dawkins and a transfer from Purdue, and the Rams have solid depth at running back to lean on.

The offensive style that Bobo used at Georgia will translate relatively easily to the system that the Rams ran under McElwain and offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin. Both teams ran a pro style offense with shifts at the line of scrimmage and motioning the wide receivers. Below are two videos to compare Bobo's running style at Georgia and McElwain's style at Colorado State and how each coach used their star running backs.

Bobo's experience as an offensive coordinator for eight years at Georgia is experience that Colorado State will need as the Ram's are now entering their post-Grayson stage as a program. Statistically, Grayson is the best quarterback to ever put on a Ram's uniform. Bobo has gone through that transition twice as an offensive coordinator when he lost Stafford after the 2008 season and Murray after the 2013 season. Bobo's experience changing an offense that relied heavily on a certain player will certainly come into play in his first season as a head football coach.

What's next for Bobo and the Rams?

Bobo will officially be named as the next head coach for Colorado State on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. MST. Bobo must quickly put together a coaching staff and he and his staff must hit the recruiting trail as quickly as possible. It is unknown who will be on Bobo's staff and whether or not he will keep any current assistants. Without many ties out west, it might be a good idea for Bobo to keep some of his assistants that have done a good job recruiting California, Colorado and other states west of Colorado. There has been a rumor going around that Georgia assistant coach Will Friend will join Bobo and possibly be the offensive coordinator. Friend is the offensive line coach and run game coordinator for the Bulldogs.

What ends up happening with the coaching staff is certainly unknown. However, the hiring of Mike Bobo shows that Colorado State is committed to bringing in some of the best minds in the game to continue improving the football program.