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Head Scratcher

by Dan Gunderson

When it came out on Saturday evening that North Dakota State University head coach Craig Bohl was most likely headed to Wyoming University to take the over their football program, there was some noticeable anger coming from Bison fans on Twitter.

I think a lot of the anger came from the fact that fans felt he was going to leave the team in the middle of the playoff run. I know that I was a bit confused at the timing of the announcement. I figured there had to be something BIGGER going on. Maybe, conference realignment was coming for Wyoming?

When those rumors were squashed so delicately by Wyoming fans (thanks guys) I figured it was the money. The guy before coach Bohl at Wyoming, Dave Christensen, was getting $1.2 million per year. I guessed that Bohl would be getting that money.

Guess again as Bohl’s contract is at $750,000 per year. So, no conference realignment and contract is smaller than predecessor? Hmm… I am still not upset at move but confused.

As a coach at the FCS level, coach Bohl has done everything he possible could have dreamed of achieving. There is no “next step” for him at this level. It is time to move on and see if you can be successful at a different program.

But, Wyoming? If he likes the culture and the type of lifestyle that is offered in Wyoming that is fine but can he be successful there? This team is in one of the worst FBS conferences in the nation, recruits largely from a FCS talent pool and not one person, outside of Wyoming, could name somebody who played football there in the past 10 years.

It appears to be a step backwards in talent and ability to be successful. I expected him to take a better job. I think a lot of us did. And maybe that is the whole problem with NDSU fans and me. We thought that being a great head coach at the premier program in FCS would equal into FBS jobs being thrown at him like candy.

I have heard people say why not Boise State University and I even said Nebraska University would be foolish to continue on with Bo Pelini and not look Bohl’s way. Evidently, I am the foolish one here.

Coach Bohl going to Wyoming has a lot to do with timing more so than what level he coaches at. What I mean here is that Wyoming came open at the right time for them to go after Craig Bohl. In essence, Wyoming choose Bohl more so than Bohl choose Wyoming.

However, there is still something to be said that the best coach at the FCS level was only able to get a job as a head coach at probably one of the worst programs at the FBS level.

The other thought here is can he parlay this job into another job at a better program. Yes but his window is awfully small. We have to remember here that Bohl is 55 years old. Not young by football standards.

He probably has five years to make an impact great enough for another school to give him a look. How big of an impact? Big enough that fans of said school can accept the fact that the next head coach will be 60-years-old.

When Texas University head coach Mac Brown started to coach, he was 34-years-old. He took over Texas University 13 years later at the age of 46. He seems kind of old for a head coach and he is only 62 years old.

It looks like Bohl is taking a big chance on a program that could be forever destined to be a bottom feeder. If things don’t work out at Wyoming, in my opinion, it will Bohl's first and last shot at coaching at the FBS level.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called “The Pinto and White Shadow Show.” Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.