So I'm somewhat on the kliff from an emotional standpoint with KK. Definitely a part of me completely understands why Tech felt it was a good fit and also understand why Kliff accepted the opportunity. However I disagree with the sentiment that says he would likely have never gotten another chance at Tech. The reality for a college football coach these days is an average stay in one place of between 5-10 years. Knowing that I think its pretty safe to assume that if Tech had gone with someone else, like Morris or Gray, then the opportunity would likely have opened up again sooner rather than later and KK would have been in a position of greater leverage.
As it stands now with Kliff accepting a chance to be the HC at his alma-mater at 33 I can't imagine it will be his one and only stop as a head coach. What's more, I also can't see this ending as magically as most of the rr fanbase suggests it will, what with hopes of a multiple 10 win seasons and regularly competing for big whatever championships. For me the questions aren't actually about his ability as a head coach (I think eventually he will be a really good one) but more to do with Tech's position as a program in the coming years. He's inheriting the #55 recruiting class according to rivals which places him behind not only A&M and texas but also behind other in-state powers such as Baylor, TCU and SMU and just ahead of the mighty Houston Cougars. Of course one bad year of recruiting a program doesn't make but if you go back and examine recruiting classes from the main universities in the state there is an interesting trend taking place.
From 2002-2007 the top three universities in the state of Texas based on average recruiting ranks were t.u.(10.7 ave.), A&M (21.7 ave) and tech (41 ave) and it wasn't particularly close after that with TCU (71.8), Baylor (78), Houston (82.8), SMU (93.7), Rice (102.8) and UNT (109.3) rounding out the top 9. These were some of Tech's best years in the Big XII and really it's not terribly surprising because instate competition for recruits outside of A&M and t.u. was virtually non-existent. Then around 2008 instate recruiting began to improve across the board and as it stands right now the top three have remained t.u. (6.7), A&M (17.3) and tech (35.2), but what's really important is what has been taking place with the rest of the universities recruiting classes. Baylor's average recruiting class has improved from it's 2002-2007 ave. of 78 to a 2008-2013 mark of 43.5. TCU has gone from 71.8 to 49.5 and even Houston and SMU have shown marked improvement jumping 16.3 and 21 places in the ave ranking respectively.
So the problem for tech as I see it moving forward isn't about keeping up with A&M and t.u. in recruiting as much as it is ensuring that Baylor and TCU don't start recruiting better than tech on a consistent basis. Again I have no doubt KK can recruit and coach up a team as well as most other coaches but the difficulties don't lye strictly with what tech does on its own but what it's competition is doing as well. TCU and Baylor are both programs on the rise who have gotten a taste for winning in the recent past. Both have reasonable levels of coaching stability to go along with wealthy alumni and at present a desire to spend some of that wealth on university athletics. Furthermore both schools are in/near a major recruiting hot bed and entertainment center making acquiring top level talent that much easier. I find it hard to believe that KK will be making much ground on those two schools in the coming years based on those factors, much less being able to catch A&M and t.u.
So in short I what I am trying to say is that while the deal seems to make sense for both parties on the surface I can't help but think that KK has sold himself short by jumping at this opportunity to soon. Perhaps tech will give him enough time to work things out and maybe his style and football accumen will make a more immidiate impact than I foresee right now, but I just can't get past the idea that if he had hung around for another 3-5 years the opportunity to coach at tech would have re-appeared and then he could have pretty well named his price. Thus becoming one of the few modern coaches to have his first and last HC position occur at the same place with no breaks in between.
I wish him the best of luck and hope that it works out for the best because it would be truly sad to see it turn sower on him.