Despite a disappointing two win season it was only a few minutes into SMU’s 2015 season when the nation realized just how good Chad Morris is.
Morris was unable to bring the Mustangs close to .500, but he did reinforce the notion of why any struggling program could use him at its helm.
In 2014, SMU averaged 11.1 points per game which ranked the Mustangs an NCAA FBS worst at 125th. Without enough time to garner his own recruiting class, Morris was able to work his magic and boost SMU’s offense by 16.7 points per game. SMU jumped from 11.1 points per game to 26.8 points per game and was ranked 73rd among FBS schools.
It is obvious that Morris is an offensive genius, but does that mean that his program will be lopsided? Or is the NCAA trending towards a more favored high powered offense over a strong defense? Nick Saban and Alabama have continuously disproved the “offense first” style program, and after just one season on the Hilltop it’s hard to make the judgment that Morris’s style of football is one that favors offense over defense.
So come 2015-2016 could this hurt Morris’s job stock? Probably not. In just one season it’s impossible to make a judgment about SMU’s defensive when Morris didn’t have time to recruit specifically for his defensive vision. SMU’s offensive numbers accurately reflect the turnaround job that he is capable of, but to judge Morris’s defense will require at least two more years.
But what is it that makes Texas A&M a legitimate contender for Morris in the future? Morris grew up just down highway 80 in Edgewood, Texas. In 1992, he graduated from Texas A&M and took his first full time coaching job at Eustace high school in East Texas as the quarterbacks coach.
Morris is a prime candidate for A&M for many of the same reasons that brought him to SMU. His roots in Texas high school football run decades deep. He’s proven that he knows how to recruit and since coming to SMU and the birth of the “TempoCopter”, Morris has shown that his flash and dazzle is not just limited to his offense. The main key that A&M has over any other school is that Morris is an Aggie through and through.
While he remained unwaivered amid head coaching rumors near the end of the 2015 season, there is little doubt that if Kevin Sumlin is fired or leaves A&M, Chad Morris will most likely be a legitimate contender for the head coaching job.
In 2013, Kevin Sumlin signed a 6-year 30 million dollar contract with Texas A&M, in December of 2014 Chad Morris signed what Dallas Morning News reported was a 2 million dollar a year contract to coach SMU. So the next question would be, is SMU willing to dole out the money to even tempt Morris to remain a Mustang if Aggieland came calling?
It’s probably a little soon to make the assumption that Chad Morris would actually leave the Hilltop, but with the recent turn of events in College Station and the transfer crisis that Kevin Sumlin has faced, it only seems like a matter of time before Sumlin is out and A&M is on the hunt for a new head coach.