Jeff Metcalfe is reporting that ASU is down to three candidates for its head coaching position, and that an announcement will be made in the next two days. The finalists are: Mike Price, Dennis Erickson, and Mike Riley.

Please excuse me while I throw up.

I’m sorry, but none of these coaches inspires confidence that Koetter’s firing was for the best. Each of them is quite old, and while Erickson has had success, he’s had well-documented “off-the-field challenges” as well. He’s currently relegated to coaching Idaho. Yes, Idaho. Yes, the same Idaho that went 4-8 thsi season. Ditto for Mike Price, who’s accomplished four 10-win seasons, but little else, in 25 years of coaching. Yes, the same Mike Price who’s stuck in El Paso coaching UTEP. Yes, the same UTEP that went 5-7 this year. Finally, there’s Mike Price. While he has the Oregon State Beavers at 9-4 this year, it’s his first 9-win season ever and until midway through the season, still had an overall losing record as a head coach. He currently stands at 37-34. We fired Dirk Koetter for having a 40-33 record.

The deficiency most commonly associated with Koetter’s performance was underachieving in recruiting. Even more explicably, none of these coaches is known for their recruiting ability, and none is seems likely to do the hard work necessary to land those tough recruits. Hell, will any of these potential coaches–all of whom are just a couple of years away from receiving AARP membership cards in the mail–even be able to relate to the kids they’re trying to close?

We can only hope that this is all a smokescreen for the real hire. Lisa, you’re job depends on not messing this up.