On March 28, KSU officially introduced Brian Bohannon as the school’s first head football coach.
So, who’s this Bohannon guy? If you have not heard the name much in the past, you’re not to blame. Bohannon served the past five seasons as the quarterback coach at Georgia Tech. In fact, he’s spent the past 17 years under the wing of triple-option connoisseur Paul Johnson.
There’s no doubt Bohannon did a great job on the flats. He helped guys like Josh Nesbitt, who was recruited to be a pocket passer for the Yellow Jackets under Chan Gailey, and Tevin Washington into fantastic executors of the complicated triple-option system.
Unfortunately, there’s not much flash and dash that comes with a quarterback who runs that type of offensive system. While the triple-option offense is spectacular when ran correctly, Johnson’s inability to woo local players became evident as Tech’s talent dropped off in recent years.
This has led many to believe the triple-option is inherently horrible for recruiting. I adamantly defend my stance that Georgia Tech will be stuck under a low ceiling as long as Johnson is head coach. That system simply cannot leverage a brand against what other powerhouse teams have.
Running a triple-option for a mid-major team in a non- football area and winning seven games a year means job security and a rather original brand. Running a triple-option in the heart of Atlanta basically means program suicide, at least for the Ramblin’Wreck.
So what is KSU’s fate? Many believe hiring Bohannon is a terrible decision. But you have to remember that KSU will recruit and function out of a different environment than the one Georgia Tech is melting in.
Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams does not see KSU making a hardcore ascent into big-time football, which is what Georgia State will attempt to do this season when it plays FBS football in the Sun Belt.
Williams sees a more blue- collar market approach to building a football team at the FCS level. This means KSU will likely join a conference like the Southern Conference, Ohio Valley or Big South and want to marinate at that level until winning is made a reality.
Division I college football exists in many tiers. Georgia Tech and Georgia State have found themselves in the wrong tiers in recent years.
KSU might be putting itself in pretty good shape. Georgia Southern is also slated to become a member of the Sun Belt in 2014, which means KSU will be the only FCS level program in Georgia aside from Mercer and Savannah State.
When you assess what KSU’s immediate environment will be, the assumption that a non- conventional system will hinder the program doesn’t seem quite as tangible.
Many high school teams continue to run the triple- option system with much success. The reason Johnson is struggling in Atlanta right now is because he’s trying to field a specialized system against juggernauts.
Georgia Southern has run the triple-option for years with success as a smaller school. While they are moving into a new environment in their own right, the stage is set for the Owls to find their place.
As long as you don’t correlate Bohannon’s name with the negativity that has bombarded his mentor, the prospect of seeing the most fundamentally complex offensive system in modern-day football surely comes across as something to be excited about.
Whether you like bashing Paul Johnson or not, it’s time to get over the “oh crap” rhetoric and invite in KSU’s first football coach.
Michael is a senior and a Communication major.