Instant gratification and speedy commerce isn’t limited to social media posts and Amazon purchases. No, fans calling for a coach’s head on a pike is happening more quickly every year as well. Silly season is already hovering over Knoxville, Tennessee and Lincoln, Nebraska like summer in early April. People are willing to do a lot of dumb shit when it comes to the hiring and firing of head coaches. I guess losing football games will do that to a person, though…
A lot is made about how fans wrongly fire good to decent coaches and pay the price when they end up picking a replacement that bobsleds them to a 3-9 season. Case in point, the Huskers firing perennial 9-win-a-year Bo Pelini for mega disaster Mike Riley. Also, go ask an East Carolina fan how they’re enjoying life after Ruffin McNeill.
These indiscretions and questionable decisions are called out in modern day college football media, though. What’s not called out, however, is the wish list fans and administrators put together for the prospective coach that can turn things around. You know, the list that reads like a bunch of brand new and thoroughly untested IPOs of an obscure pharmaceutical stock. Maybe it’s the disconnect of fans not necessarily using their own personal money to pay for that new coach’s contract, but there’s absolutely no concern for practicality or experience. Average Joe fan does NOT want the car that’s got a few years on it, has proven to be reliable, with no instances of a recall issued, and can often be purchased at a discount. Nope. They wants that brand new Tesla right off the assembly line.
So, not every young and upstarting coach is a total bust. Urban Meyer was once a highly coveted coach from (then) group of 5 team Utah that has proven to be a blue chipper over time. Same could be said for Bob Stoops when he was hired away from Florida in his late 30’s and proceeded to win 10 conference championships and a national championship. But those examples are few and far between.
More than likely, you’re gonna hire someone that looks good right now, but that’s just because it’s realllyyy late and you’re realllyyy drunk. Take a look at some of the names that were proclaimed as “slam dunk hires” a few years ago.
Now, this year there’s a whole new crop of young and hungry aspiring head coaches where the jury is still out on whether they’ll be legit upgrades from their predecessors or if they’ll crash and burn even harder than Bobby Petrino’s Motorcycle and his job at Arkansas.
BUT look at what’s out there, waiting, BEGGING to be hired.
One national championship, played for a second, two conference championships, highest winning percentage at LSU, and fired for not beating the greatest college football coach of all time.
Coached for Jimmy Johnson at the U and with the Cowboys. Rebuilt a Miami program that won a National Championship on auto pilot right after he left (should have won a second one if not for one false flag at the end of the Ohio State game), and coached eventual football gods Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, amongst others. Fired due to an academic scandal investigation at UNC that was recently declared null and void.
National Championships at the Div 1 and Div 2 levels. Multiple conference championships. Multiple 10+ win seasons. Fired over an NCAA investigation and some tattoos. Forgotten only because he was replaced by Urban Meyer. Was issued a show cause (aka blackballed from coaching) in 2011 that just recently expired.
Those coaches are out there and available. Proven work horses that can not only win big in some random division in the Sun Belt but can thoroughly thrive and dominate at some of the biggest schools in college football. Best of all, they can be picked up for a fraction of what it’ll cost to hire a coach that’s young enough to be a part of the same generation that most older fans equally hate and refuse to listen to. About anything. Anything at all.
God damn it. You’re still going to try and hire Lane Kiffin, aren’t you?