Wednesday, November 28, 2012

(Opinion) Coaching Carousel gets stupid: Les Miles and Jon Gruden stuff

Okay. This one has been bothering me for awhile.

It's bad enough that college football schools just randomly, willy-nilly fire coaches. But what is worse is the random speculation that seems to fly out of left field for who will replace them.

Sure, I get that over-zealous alumni think that if they get a new football coach that they'll get a "Big Name" guy and he'll fix everything, but how often does that work?

It was absolutely amazing on Tuesday to see how fast the Les Miles/Arkansas rumor flew around the Internet. Yes, it came from a pretty reliable blog (Sports by Brooks), that is often ahead of the mainstream media when it comes to big-ticket stories. But Brooks's Tweet that Arkansas made a 5-year, $27.5 million offer for Miles to leave LSU to come to Arkansas went viral in hours. Heck, it was mentioned during the Indiana/North Carolina basketball game last night.

Read the story on it RIGHT HERE

The problem with it...

While maybe Arkansas asked Miles agent about it, there is and was no way that it would ever happen. It would defy any kind of logic. Sure, Les is a bit of a wild-card...but. A successful, national championship level coach spurns the team he's coached for years to jump to a wannabe? No, not in our lifetime.

We do however believe Arkansas floated the offer. (The Times-Picayune in New Orleans reported it too)  But we would also add that there is a BIG difference between an offer being made and someone actually considering it. 

And then there is this.

WREG-TV in Memphis is now reporting that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has offered former Tampa Bay Buccaneer coach and current ESPN football analyst Jon Gruden a share of the Browns if he'll take a contract offer from the University of Tennessee.

Read that story RIGHT HERE

The problem.

(1) Gruden is still being paid by Tampa Bay and the NFL won't allow him to double dip.
(2) Gruden just started a new deal with ESPN.
(3) According to multiple NFL reporters, the Browns deny any knowledge or existence of said offer.
(4) Haslam himself denies this.

The real issue here is the Tennessee fans believe that Gruden should be there coach. And they will say anything to make it happen. Yeah, sure his wife went there and he was a grad assistant there for a year, but really, be honest with yourself Tennessee fan: Why would he take THAT job?

Unfortunately, this is all exacerbated by a local and to an extent national media who fan the flames by speculating who THEY think would be a good coach for them. Sometimes it's delusional (ie: James Franklin to NC State or Miles to Arkansas) and sometimes it's very good (ie: Mark Stoops to Kentucky).

And then there is Auburn. Auburn, a school teetering on the edge of probation and coming off the worst season in decades. A school with a lot of money and the stereotype of the way-too over-zealous fan base. And that fan base is a bit torn. Many want to hire Bobby Petrino, who would win, but further pile dirt upon the schools reputation. Or do they go the more traditional route and hire a Mark Hudspeth or Sonny Dykes? Inquiring minds want to know....

We totally get that everyone has an opinion. And college football fans think their team can achieve greatness simply by changing the coach. But not everyone is Nick Saban and not everyone associated with a big name means a ticket to greatness. Does anyone outside of Tennessee think Gruden can walk in and take a team that won 1 SEC game this year and contend for a title in 2013? How long a rope would he get before they'd be calling for his head too?

The thing everyone forgets is sometimes you have to get a really good assistant coach (ie: Wil Muschamp at Florida) or go to a coach who has had success at a lower level (ie: Hugh Freeze). There are guys out there who'd be great at a bigger school, if the alumni and media would allow the school to look at them.

They also forget that quite often a name is floated just for the simple fact that coach wants a better deal where he is. How many times does Jimbo Fisher's name get floated for jobs? Each time Miles name gets out there, he gets a bigger and better extension. Don't buy the hype, when these names get floated, it's usually an agent looking to get his guy more money.

We just wish that everyone would refrain from jumping to quick conclusions. The thing that so many schools, alumni, fans and media seem to forget is that sometimes the devil you've got is better than the devil you want.

Besides, Todd Graham can't have every job? Can he?

Welcome to Carousel:


  1. Please learn the difference between "there" and "their" and when to use each.

  2. Thanks for reading... and proof-reading, Terry... glad you're keeping an eye on us...