I've been sitting on this post, unsure of the right time to bring it out.
A sports radio screamer mentioned this in the last month, and I agree: when you can't get the best athletes, you have to have an offensive scheme that is hard for opponents to prepare for on a single week. That's why Purdue did well for much of Tiller's run. Ga Tech was surprising this year running the option in the ACC. Leach has gotten nice mileage out of being unusual.
If I was AD for a day, I would look for:
a. an established coach at some a lower level; non-BCS, Mid-major, I-AA, etc. No more on the job training
b. a coach with success running an unusual offense.
Since the rest of the league has gone pass-happy, perhaps its time to bring back the triple option. Before you run away screaming "Walden!", consider this: Nebraska and Oklahoma were both running the option game when Walden came in, so there wasn't much advantage in the league to being the third.
The triple option would be an advantage now, since it is out of fashion. Just because you know how to defend a system doesn't mean you can install it in a week and make it work.