The game of musical chairs in the football coaching world has begun. Fire your coach. There’s gotta be a better one out there somewhere. “Hey, why don’t you take ours? We want a new one too!” It’s that time of year when the music is played and everyone gets up and shuffles around. Changing coaches to bring “Old Swawmee Tech” to the promised land of a Bowl game is an annual rite of passage in college football.
Already this list of fired coaches is long and getting longer by the day. Of course we got rid of KU’s Charlie Weis early on this year but the interim guy, Clint Bowen, still dangles from a string. Florida’s Will Muschamp is a goner and whoever is coaching Colorado now probably will be too. Toss in Michigan’s Brady Hoke, Miami’s Al Golden and a host of others and it’s “break out the Alka-Seltzer time” for any college coach with a sub .500 record.
Michigan athletic director Jim Hackett offered this confused logic: “Firing coach Hoke was not an easy decision. He’s really earned the respect of all. We need more men like him in sport today.” Uh, right Jim. Just not at Michigan, right?
Actually, a coach doesn’t even have to have a losing record to get the hook. Right Bo Pelini? Nebraska jerked the plow away from Bo over the weekend despite a 66-27 record over seven seasons. Jayhawk fans might look at that with envy but not Cornhusker fans, especially when you look closely at some of those losses. 70-31 in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin and again this year a 59-24 throttling by those same Badgers.
Truthfully, Pelini’s fate was probably settled back in January of 2013, when current athletic director Shawn Eichorst took over. In his first interview Eichorst said, “I’m not a yeller, screamer or cusser. I’ve never thought that was an effective way of getting anywhere.” Uh, sorry Bo, but your language doesn’t exactly fit that mold! Pelini’s sideline and press conference demeanor was hot enough to pop the corn for a Cornhusker!
Nebraska’s looking for a reincarnation of Tom Osborne, the mild-mannered gentleman coach that quietly beat everyone’s brains out on the football field. Can they find it? It’s going to cost them $7.9 million to find out. That’s a lot of ears of corn!
One thing we know: When the music stops and all of these schools have their new coach. Each one of them will be the “perfect fit” to restore (you fill in the blank here of your favorite school) to gridiron glory. At least they will be the perfect fit until they start losing.
CHALK TALK: Dribble! Dribble! Hiding amongst the leftovers of Thanksgiving is the high school basketball season that gets underway this week. The Hays City Shootout tipped off Thursday with Great Bend boys and girls taking on Colby and most teams in the area have games Friday evening. The Keady Classic in Larned tips off with first-round games on Monday.
Missing me yet? Remember Angel Rodriguez the former K-State point guard who transferred to Miami? Last week he tossed in 24 points as the Hurricanes upset No. 7 Florida.
Speaking of fired football coaches, former K-State boss, Ron Prince, is tight ends coach and assistant head coach for the Detroit Lions.
“The only difference between me and General Custer is that I have to watch the films on Sunday.”—Rick Venturi, former Northwestern football coach.
Again on firing coaches: Since Kansas State hired Bill Snyder in 1989, the other programs in the Big 12 have had 48 coaches! Only one other institution has been as consistent and that is Amtrak. Amtrak has lost money for 43 straight years! That’s consistency!
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.