What does a BCS National Championship bring a coach these days?
Fame and Fortune?
A big contract extension?
Well, to put it simply—about 10 years of job security.
To illustrate the point, let’s look at the following:
—1997 AP National Champion—Michigan Wolverines, coached by Lloyd Carr. Carr was essentially forced to step down after the 2007 season.
—1998 BCS National Champion—Tennessee Volunteers, coached by Phillip Fulmer. Fulmer was ousted after the 2008 season.
—1999 BCS National Champion—Florida State Seminoles, coached by Bobby Bowden. Most likely, Bowden will retire/be forced to retire at the end of the season.
And what about the next three coaches approaching the magic 10 year cut-off:
—2000 BCS National Champion—Oklahoma Sooners, coached by Bob Stoops. Finishing on his most disappointing season in Norman since his first, the whispers may be starting. Combine that with lackluster showings in recent BCS championship game appearances, and Sooner nation may soon look to greener pastures.
—2001 BCS National Champion—Miami Hurricanes, coached by Larry Coker. Coker rode the wave of talent brought in by Butch Davis to a national title in his first season. After that, his teams posted progressively worse records, culminating in a 6-6 regular season in 2006. He was fired.
—2002 BCS National Champion—Ohio State Buckeyes, coached by Jim Tressel. With two losses so far this season and several other close calls, all is not well in Buckeye nation. The rumbling has begun and the phones are ringing off the hooks with disgruntled fans who disapprove of conservative play-calling. Furthermore, there are those back-to-back BCS championship game losses to SEC opponents.
Overall, this should serve as a commentary on today’s fan. There are 120 teams in D-IA (or bowl subdivision, if you will) and in any given season there are probably 12 teams at most who have a legitimate chance at winning the title. That’s it. Ten percent.
Yet, fans annually lambaste and berate their head coaches for lack of on-field success. To some, apparently, 9 or 10 wins doesn’t qualify as success.