Thoughts From Around College Football Part Deux: Times of Change
With just a handful of regular season games remaining, and Bowl bids on the verge of being handed out for the holiday season, I felt it was time to weigh in on some of the various topics around the college football landscape.
NEW ERA IN KNOXVILLE...
Lane Kiffin was announced as the new head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers earlier this week. At first thought, I just can't get excited about this hire.
I tried really hard, because Knoxville is the home to some of the most passionate and dedicated fans in all of college football. Even though I'm not a Tennessee fan, but I love their tradition, their fanbase, and I think a good Tennessee is not only good for college football, but more importantly the SEC.
But I just don't see Lane Kiffin fitting the SEC mold. Lane Kiffin is a PAC-10 guy. He should have taken the Washington job.
He was an offensive coordinator at USC, he coached for the Oakland Raiders, he has a relationship with California recruits. It would've been an easier sell to California recruits to come to Washington, as opposed to Knoxville across the country.
All said, I hope it works out for both parties involved, but I actually thought that somebody like a Charlie Strong, or a Will Muschamp, or even a Mark Dantonio would've been a better personality fit for Tennessee.
Auburn Seeking Greener Pastures...
The marriage between Tommy Tuberville and Auburn always seemed to forced to me. When Auburn was winning, and things were good, the marriage seemed to be a happy one on the surface.
But I always got the impression that Auburn was never completely sold on Tuberville, which really baffles me because of his tremendous success against Alabama.
But upon a 38-0 beating at the hands of the "rising Tide" this past Saturday, an abysmal offense, and a non-bowl qualifying 5-7 campaign, Tuberville and Auburn mutually agreed to call it quits with one another.
And my advice to Auburn officials and fans alike is this...BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR...cause you just might get it.
I'll argue until cows milk Pepsi that a big reason for Auburn's success was the sleeping giant of a brother in Tuscaloosa. With this Alabama resurgence led by Nick Saban, I think this Auburn job is going to be a tough challenge to take on for the next head man.
And my question to Auburn would be, who's out there better than Tommy Tuberville who is going to legitimately challenge Nick Saban and the Tide for the top-flight Alabama recruits?
Because other than Mack Brown, Pete Carroll, or Urban Meyer...who could do that? Those coaches don't grow on trees, Auburn.
I would posture that Tuberville always did more with less during his tenure at Auburn, and I will be interested to see not only who Auburn gets to fill that position, but also where Tuberville will land as well.
Lay In The Grave You Dug...
That's what Notre Dame and their athletic department are going to do with Charlie Weis, despite his 1-16 record against Top 25 opponents and 28-21 overall mark in his four years in South Bend.
The 28-21 record comes out to a 57 percent winning percentage at Notre Dame in those four years, lower than Bob Davie, and lower than Ty Willingham (GASP!).
I'm not pulling any punches on this pompous, arrogant fool. Weis has disrespected alumni, he's thrown players, coordinators, and the athletic department under the bus during his tenure there.
And as for his "schematic advantage," bet you're regretting that idiotic proclamation aren't ya Chuckie, well that advantage was good for about four first downs for the entire game against your arch-rival USC, and a combined score of 76-3 in your last two meetings against Pete Carroll.
Memo to Charlie Weis, stop your excuses! Because you have zero left, and remember this...You are still head coach of Notre Dame because you were smart enough to fool an entire fan and alumni base into thinking you were a competent coach, and they signed you to that absurd 10 year, 40 million dollar deal.
And I don't want to hear it Notre Dame fan, you don't legitimately have the money to buy Weis out, then shell out premium bucks to someone else, or you would have.
Notre Dame football is and will be a joke. And don't get me wrong, Notre Dame football will "improve" on their record next year, because have you seen their schedule next year? Besides USC, its laughable.
So Notre Dame, go out get your eight to nine wins that you should be getting because you are Notre Dame, and your brand amazingly still sells itself to top flight recruits, get your middle-tier bowl bid, go get humiliated like you do every year by USC, and go on thinking that you are still relevant. Sweet dreams are made of these.
Some may be thinking, "Wow, this is really harsh," Notre Dame deserves more respect than this.
My answer is yes...Notre Dame did, until they fired a good man in Tyrone Willingham, who didn't get the five years every other coach in the HISTORY of Notre Dame football got, to hire this Emperor Weis, who is running out of clothes to explain why he still has a job, and why he deserves five years based on his performance, but Willingham didn't.
They did this to themselves at Notre Dame, they dug this 400-pound grave, and now they've got figure out how to get out of it.
Bulldog Mike Leach...
Mike Leach has quietly built Texas Tech into a solid winner in Lubbock. And college football presidents are finally beginning to notice. Washington interviewed Leach for its open position on Monday, and seem to be courting the Red Raider coach.
Now whether Leach is using this courtship as leverage for a raise from Texas Tech isn't known, and Texas Tech has said that its willing to extend Leach's deal and offer him a raise.
What is known is that Leach and his coaching philosophy is somewhat of a great equalizer and has been so against the big boys Texas and Oklahoma every year. Leach's system in the right environment could be a perfect fit to cause fits every year...
But I don't think Washington is that place.
If I'm Mississippi State, I offer Mike Leach that job and I sell him with the following thoughts...
1) Mississippi is the highest Division I recruit per capita. And Mississippi State is a state institution, thus easier to gain admittance into.
2) Mississippi has terrific JUCO programs within the state, and Mississippi State would be a primary place to go. If you're Leach, you could fill depth problems specifically on the defensive side of the ball, through those ranks.
3) Mississippi is relatively close to Texas, a place where you've built many recruiting relationships, it would be much easier to pitch a move to Mississippi as opposed to Washington.
4) It's SEC football, better national exposure than the PAC-10, better recruiting opportunities.
These are just my thoughts, I think Mike Leach at Mississippi State would give people in the SEC West something hard to think about.
That makes more sense for Mike Leach, IF HE MOVES from Texas Tech...better recruiting grounds, familiarity with the area, and he is a Southern guy. Hell, I thought he'd be a better fit at Tennessee than Lane Kiffin.
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