Mario Cristobal Oregon hiring grade elevated to an A

Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

A “Regrading the 2017-18 college football coaching carousel” from CBS Sports elevated Oregon hiring Mario Cristobal from a C+ to an A earlier this week. After four seasons as the head coach at Oregon, Cristobal left to return home to his alma mater in December to lead the Miami football program.

Mario Cristobal was grouped with other “coaches who were hired away” by Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports. Oregon accomplished a lot in four seasons under Cristobal. Cristobal proved his prowess as a recruiter with the Ducks. Oregon averaged signing an average of the 10.5 ranked class nationally in the four seasons under Cristobal.

Oregon was the dominant program in the Pac 12 and more so in the Pac 12 North in their four seasons with Mario Cristobal as the head coach. Cristobal restored Oregon to a top 15 program after the regression at end of the Mark Helfrich era and in their one season under Willie Taggart who left for Florida State.

Oregon finished improved from 6-6 in the one season under Taggart to 9-4 in 2018 under Cristobal. The Ducks won the Pac 12 North, conference championship and the Rose Bowl finishing 12-2 in their second season under Cristobal in 2019. There is a lot of anticipation what impact Cristobal will have with Miami.

"“Coaches who were hired awayMario Cristobal, OregonRecord: 35-13 | Accomplishments: Pac-12 championships (2), Pac-12 North championships (3), bowl games (4), 2019 Pac-12 Coach of the YearHow’s it going? When Cristobal replaced Willie Taggart after a season as offensive coordinator, I wrote, “it’s a hire that makes sense” but that “it still isn’t one that’s very exciting.” Well, once Oregon fans saw the recruits Cristobal began bringing to Eugene, it got a lot more exciting.Cristobal brought an SEC-like recruiting mentality to the Pac-12 that set the program in a direction to separate itself from its rivals. The results indicate that it was pretty effective!In fact, it might’ve been too effective because following a third straight Pac-12 North title, Cristobal’s alma mater came calling and asked him to return home and do the same for them. Now he’ll be bringing the same approach to Miami. Grade: A | Original grade: C+"

Cristobal and the staff he hired are elite recruiters. The anticipation is that Miami will compete with other elite programs in the southeast because of the tone Cristobal will set in recruiting. With the ACC likely eliminating divisions by 2023, Cristobal will have one less goal for the Miami football program to work towards.

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The SEC recruiting mentality Fornelli credits Cristobal with instituting at Oregon should work well at Miami. SEC teams have been recruiting elite players in South Florida since the mid-2000s. The challenge for Cristobal and his staff will be to keep as many players from South Florida home as possible.