Maybe Garrick has spoken with Mike Anderson and has received some advice on the job going into it that might lend itself to making a smooth transition and getting UAB competing in the CUSA. I would like to think Garrick will do an excellent job but I will only say it won't be out of incompetence if he doesn't succeed there. I'm not sure I'm buying that his past is what was holding other programs back from hiring him, but I guess it could have been a factor. UCONN (if I'm not mistaken) was his best shot at a BCS level job out of the gates, but few OC's get BCS jobs as their first HC gig.
He's taking this job because he feels ready to do it and doesn't want to wait on interview after interview until he finally lands a better offer. Perhaps out of respect for Arkansas he's jumping on this rather than waiting to see what else might pop up in lieu of coaches being hired away from other programs.
The truth is most of these mid-level conference gigs are pretty much mission impossible unless they've been previously built to some level of notoriety...he might have been better off in the Sun Belt, WAC, or MAC but it's hard to turn down a head coaching gig (when that's what you really want) when it's there in your lap not knowing what the future holds.