3 Jonathan Smith replacements Oregon State should have on speed dial

With Jonathan Smith leaving Corvallis to take over at Michigan State, Oregon State should have a wide array of good candidates to lead the Beavers out of the tunnel for next year and beyond.

Jonathan Smith, Oregon State Beavers
Jonathan Smith, Oregon State Beavers / Tom Hauck/GettyImages
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1. Bronco Mendenhall could be coming home to his alma mater to do work

This is the one that should get Oregon State fans excited. Former BYU and Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall could be getting back into the coaching game after a few years away from the sport, too. Unlike Dan Mullen, he actually has ties to Corvallis, as he played defensive back for the Beavers from 1986 to 1987 after transferring over from Snow College. He is the perfect candidate.

My favorite trait about Mendenhall-led teams is they eventually play up to the zenith of what a program is realistically capable of. He had the BYU Cougars approaching LaVell Edwards territory at times, as well as matching what George Welsh did leading the Virginia Cavaliers decades ago. No stone will be left unturned at a program led by Mendenhall. He will keep the good times rolling there.

The best part about this potential fit is that Mendenhall may take it, simply because it is his alma mater, one that is firing on all cylinders for Oregon State standards. Conceivably, he could be able to get the Beavers football program to levels experienced under Smith, Mike Riley and Dennis Erickson. Thus, he could be the one to have Oregon State contending for playoff berths no matter the league.

Despite losing Smith to Michigan State, Oregon State hiring Mendenhall would still be a home run.

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