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B1G Coaching Carousel 2021 - Part 1

Nick Sheridan out as Indiana’s Offensive Coordinator

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Minnesota at Indiana
Tom Allen needs a new offensive coordinator
Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first postseason firing in the Big Ten has taken place with offensive coordinator Nick Sheridan being let go by head coach Tom Allen at Indiana. Nick Sheridan’s contract was set to expire in January, but with the Indiana Hoosiers officially firing him now they will owe him a little over a month’s worth of his $500k/year salary.

Also announced with the news of Sheridan being out was that head coach Tom Allen would be taking a $200k/year pay cut for the next four years for a total of $800k. The official reasoning for this per the press release it that it is to help pay for the Sheridan firing, but since Sheridan had less $50k left owed to him that explanation stretches the bounds of probability. It seems more likely that this pay cut is to allow for a higher budget for the next offensive coordinator. Raising the pay of the offensive coordinator from $500k to $700k will allow Indiana to make a solid hire from outside of their program.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Indiana
Nick Sheridan’s greatest moment at IU
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

In Sheridan’s two years at the helm of the Indiana offense, the Hoosiers scored 28.9 and 17.2 points/game good for 59th and 123rd in the Division 1 FBS. Both are a decrease from Kalen DeBoer’s final season in 2019 when they scored 31.8 points/game. It wasn’t all bad under Sheridan, as last season the Hoosiers reached a recent decades high ranking of AP #7 and breaking long losing streaks to Penn State and Michigan. Unfortunately for Hoosier fans they’ve followed that up with a complete collapse this year by failing to reach double digits in half of their games this season.

Tom Allen needed to make some changes, and it’s possible that Indiana will still see further staff shakeups among the position coaches. This is a good first step for Indiana as Tom Allen will try to recapture the success of 2019 and 2020.

Thoughts from our Indiana writers:

Buffkomodo: Well, it happened. I’m not certain it’s a situation worth celebrating, but after a year like this it does give Indiana football fans something to at least be interested in watching.

What’s there to say about Sheridan at this point that hasn’t been said? Honestly, my take is that this was destined to fail. Tom Allen got too cute with this hire. Nick Sheridan was not prepared for this role, not because he’s incapable, but because he just didn’t have the experience needed.

This leads into a critique of Allen too. As much as he may think he is an elite coach, he’s kind of not. Not yet at this point. I think he’s the guy for this job, but not because he’s got a master strategy and knows how to coach. It’s because his personality is great and his culture is great. Recruits want to play for him and coaches do like him. In other words, he’s great to be around, but he’s playing checkers when others are playing chess. Hiring outside and bringing in one or two year rentals at the coordinator spots is how he needs to operate. You’ve gotta sell out on this hire and get back on track. Hit the portal and maybe replace Hiller and your trainer.

Other B1G coaching news from the past week:

On Tuesday, Penn State announced a contract extension for James Franklin worth $75 million over 10 years.

On Wednesday, Michigan State one upped them with a ten year $95 million extension for Mel Tucker.

The Florida and USC jobs have been filled. LSU remains open and Oklahoma now has an opening. Have yet to see strong rumors linking B1G coaches to either of those or any of the other openings, but we will update this article or post another one as news becomes available.