Sideline Report: The coaching carousel that is college football


Braden Shaw, JagWire editor-in-chief

I’ve become quite infuriated with many things about college football — revenue sharing, the old Bowl Championship Series era and National Collegiate Athletic Association investigations, etc. — and this just adds to the list. Every year it seems that teams are becoming less and less patient with their programs and turning into tunnel-visioned lunatics. What happened?

The Southeastern Conference’s success happened, the money rolled in by the truckload and athletic directors all of a sudden didn’t want to win in five or ten years, they wanted to win now. But they just don’t see the bigger picture when it comes to how college football should work and how it used to be so glorious.

I’m not here to go on another tangent about Bo Pelini again, but I am quite frustrated some coaches getting fired (Georgia’s Mark Richt) and some others almost getting the ax (Louisiana State’s Les Miles). There are so many new job openings and coaches moving like pawns in the bigger chess game of college football.

In my humble opinion, Richt shouldn’t have been fired. He had a successful career at Georgia with a record of 145-51 and is second on Georgia’s all-time win list. He had the fifth-best winning percentage of all active coaches, but couldn’t get a national championship. He had a great fifteen years at Georgia, but was let go due to his “lack of success.”

Les Miles is another coach who recently went under fire and was even convinced he was done at LSU after last weekend’s game. Thankfully, he was spared by administration after LSU’s latest win over Texas A&M and carried off the field on his players’ shoulders. Their hands were forced, but athletic director Joe Alleva and the higher-ups made the right choice. They would have fired a coach who has won a national title (2007) and has a record of 111-32 at LSU, and has the number one ranked 2016 recruiting, which makes the notion ridiculous.

Coaches aren’t valued as much as they used to be and coaches are fired based on they can’t beat “this coach” or “that team” or win “that championship.” A coaching great by the name of Tom Osborne went 20 years without winning a title at Nebraska and fans called for him to be fired, adamantly claiming that he wasn’t working even with at least nine wins a season (sound familiar?).

It’s a good thing Nebraska didn’t kick Osborne to the curb, since he went on to win three national titles in 1994, 1995 and 1997. Good things come to those who wait.

Now with head coaching vacancies at schools like Miami (FL), Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri, along with others, these programs need to be wary of who they hire. They need to be able to give this new hire time and resources to succeed. They need to back up their big “championship or bust talk” by cutting their coach some slack.

The coaching carousel goes round and round every year, but wouldn’t be so crammed if everybody calmed down for a minute and just had some perspective.

Junior Braden Shaw is a passionate sports fan who follows sports at both the college and professional level. He loves to defend his unpopular opinions on the University of Nebraska, Sporting KC, Chiefs and Royals and is always up for a debate over any game or team.

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