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Louisiana Tech has blossomed into a coveted job

Louisiana Tech went from remote outpost and afterthought in the WAC to a steady G5 school in CUSA, winning bowl games and producing first round draft picks.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Before Louisiana Tech joined Conference USA they were members of the Western Athletic Conference. If you've ever been to Ruston, Louisiana, you would know that nothing about Louisiana Tech screams west coast.

They were misfits in a conference that couldn't care less about their existence as long as it kept the league afloat. But after the WAC finally met its impending doom, Louisiana Tech joined CUSA and the school's profile has raised since joining the conference.

In a conference full of relative FBS-newbies Louisiana Tech has become one of the most steady football programs in G5. With a good location and a good football tradition Louisiana Tech has been able to stabilize a conference maligned for housing a bunch of teams that lack tradition. As long as La Tech remains in CUSA West a coach will inherent one of the more easier paths to a conference title.

PROS

  • Ruston, Louisiana, is pretty rural but Louisiana is a great talent base to recruit from. After LSU, Tech is second on the food chain and since there's enough separation between them and the other FBS schools in-state Tech gets their fair share of talented prospects. Not to mention your close enough to Houston to get prospects from Texas too.
  • The path to a conference title is pretty easy. The only program in CUSA West that can compare historically is rival Southern Miss. Beat them and you should be in the CUSA Championship Game just about every year.
  • Joe Aillet Stadium received a huge shot in the arm last year with a new $22 million dollar facility in the south end zone. No worries about commitment from the athletic department here.
  • Several coaches over the past ten years have been able to parlay this position into great jobs.
  • From touching Spirit 88 before running onto the field, to the charm of hearing The Fire Bell, tradition abounds at Louisiana Tech.

CONS

  • The budget crisis in Louisiana is concerning. Louisiana Tech has lost a three-star wide receiver in this year's recruiting class because of concerns surrounding scholarship money and if public universities do take a huge hit in subsidiaries then Louisiana Tech football will be in serious danger.
  • Ruston isn't exactly a glamour city. I'm sure it has its charm as a college town but I doubt many are checking out the house market in Ruston.
  • As much tradition La Tech boasts the perception around CUSA is that the fan base is pretty tame.

Making the case for why Louisiana Tech should be ranked the fourth best job in CUSA: Jeremy Adcock, UDD Editor

This is the perfect spot for Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are one of those programs that cannot seem to get to the very top of the mountain for any sustained amount of time. They are in the top tier, but not one of the very top programs. They are in a football recruiting hotbed, but a bit away from being able to take full advantage of it. They are capable of making bowls every season, but they have those random 4-8 years that kill momentum.

Look at the coaches that have led Louisiana Tech recently. Gary Crowton went to BYU, Derek Dooley went to Tennessee, and Sonny Dykes went to California. Success at the next level aside, that is an impressive array of jobs that coaching Louisiana Tech led to. It is a high enough profile job that a coach gets noticed nationally if he does a good job.

The facilities are solid, the fan support could be better at times but is solid, and the stress level is nonexistent. It is the perfect job for a coach that is either up and coming (Dykes) or needing a second chance to save his reputation (Holtz).

Louisiana Tech will always attract good coaches, but don't expect them to stay in Ruston for too long.

If you were playing NCAA Football in an online dynasty...

You are probably choosing La Tech out of a pool of good mid-tier teams. Louisiana Tech is enticing because unlike the other teams like San Diego St., Cincinnati, or Memphis your path towards immediate bragging rights over your friends is a breeze.

No other team in CUSA West should stop you from building Louisiana Tech into a powerhouse. But if upward mobility is the game you should be out of there in at least two years as the roster is miles ahead of the rest of your competition aside from Southern Miss.

If you choose this job in real life...

You are probably a retread looking for a second chance to rehabilitate your image. The resources at La Tech gives you the ability to make a name for yourself again but because the fan base isn't as crazy you can fly under the radar.

Louisiana Tech has never gotten over the hump on a consistent basis so there is an opportunity for some legacy points if you're able to win CUSA Championships multiple times. But if history is a great indicator of the past head coaches at Louisiana Tech this is probably going to be your last stop at having success.

Verdict

One could make the argument that no school in CUSA has benefited more than Louisiana Tech since the current configuration of CUSA. The long flights to San Jose and Fresno have been replaced with trips to regional rivals Southern Miss and UAB.

After going 4-8 in their first year as a member of CUSA, La Tech has won 18 games with one CUSA West division title, a second place finish, and two straight bowl wins over the last two seasons.

Louisiana Tech has never been viewed as a sleeping giant in the college football world but that doesn't mean they can't become one. There's a lot to say about becoming a perennial bowl team and at Louisiana Tech that should be at least the bare minimum as all the resources are in place for you to succeed as an head coach.

Best jobs in CUSA countdown:

14. Rice

13. Charlotte

12. MTSU

11. FIU

10. UAB

9. WKU

8. UTEP

7. UTSA

6. UNT

5. FAU

4. La Tech