Posts Tagged 'lloyd carr'

Who’s on the Hot Seat in 2010?

Even though it is only March, there is already some buzz around college football about head coaches at some prestigious programs who could be coaching for their jobs next fall.  College FootBlog takes a look at five coaches that will have a lot of eyes on them during the 2010 season.      

Mark Richt will need to compete for an SEC title if he wants to keep the heat off in 2010 (google images)

Unfortunately for Richt, the SEC, more than any other BCS conference, is a “what have you done for me lately?” league.  Despite a stellar record of 90-27, since taking over for the Bulldogs, to fans and boosters in Athens, Richt still has not been able to win the ‘big one,” and a repeat performance of last season’s 4-4 conference record could send him job hunting next January.  Of all the coaches on this list, Richt makes the least sense, but ask Ohio State’s John Cooper if a great overall record is enough to keep a job at a bigtime college football program.

4.  Steve Spurrier/South Carolina

“The Old Ball Coach” has made a very small splash since returning to the SEC five years ago.  Long gone are the days of his “fun ‘n gun” offenses he had when he led the Florida Gators to their first National Championship.  The Gamecocks expected big things from Spurrier, and although his overall record since taking the helm in Columbia, his SEC record is a very unimpressive 18-22 in his five-year tenure.  He could be one more .500 season away from a forced retirement.

3.  Dan Hawkins/Colorado 

Hawkins has faced criticism since his arrival at Boulder, and the rumblings from boosters and fans only intensified when he named his son, Cody as the starter at quarterback for the Buffs.  Many thought last season would be his last at CU after his team produced a dismal record of 3-9.  In Hawkins’ time there, he has managed a 16-33 record and a 10-22 record against Big 12 opponents.

2.  Ron Zook/Illinois

Like Hawkins, many were surprised that Zook still had a job this January.   Zook brought his excellent recruiting skills with him to Champaign, but other than his first third full season there, his Illini teams have never finished better than 8th in the Big Ten.  Take away his lone winning season in 2007, and Zook’s record is an absolute train wreck at 12-35.  A slow start in 2010, and Zook could easily be replaced during the season this fall. 


In two seasons in Ann Arbor, Rodriguez has just eight total wins (google images)

1.  Rich Rodriguez/Michigan

After a good start in 2009 with a 4-0 record, including a thriller against rival Notre Dame, Rodriguez’ squad managed just one more win the rest of the season.  The Wolverines lost back to back games by 25 points versus Penn State and Illinois, and many folks in Ann Arbor were calling for his head before Thanksgiving.  Rodriguez has fallen victim to the same stubborn attitude that Bill Callahan brought to Nebraska. 

In Callahan’s case, he immediately instituted a West Coast offense with old school, smash-mouth option-style personnel.  Rodriguez, on the other hand, immediately forced his spread option offense on a group of athletes who had come to Michigan because of Lloyd Carr’s pro-style attack.  Callahan wore his welcome very quickly in Omaha.  Rodriguez could easily follow suit. 

Let the Les Miles rumors begin!


Time for the NCAA to Change with the Times

With all the strong emotions created from college coaches coming and going from football programs like most of us change shoes, one thing has been lost–the student-athletes these changes affect.  While there are many arguements for and against a college coaches right and opportunity to walk from a program despite the agreed upon contracts, it is not the administrations, athletic departments and alumni that are affected the most, but instead, the young men who made their commitment to the particular school.

Despite only monetary punishments (and in the case of Rich Rodriguez and West Virginia, a possible law suit), there are no real sanctions in place for coaches or universities not holding up their contracts.  The players, on the other hand, are still required to sit out a year if they wish to transfer.  This is due to an NCAA rule that is strictly enforced.

Now, more than ever, college sports, particularly college football, have quickly become a huge income producer for colleges and universities.  The NCAA gets their cut of the revenues, too.  In 2008, the NCAA reports revenues showed over $590 million from television and marketing rights alone. 

This big business has created an environment where many top coaches will go to the highest bidder, and while the lack of loyalty is ridiculed, it is accepted as just a sign of the times.

Don’t tell that to Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.  Mallett originally signed his letter of intent to play for Lloyd Carr and the Michigan Wolverines out of high school.  When Carr was forced out of Ann Arbor, Mallett would find out that his new coach would be West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez, who ran a completely different offense that the traditional pro style offense that Michigan ran when Mallett decided to enroll there.

Mallett transferred to Arkanasas, and despite an appeal to the NCAA, he was forced to sit out the entire 2008 season for not honoring his commitment.  In the end, the NCAA showed no compassion for an 18-year old kid who was caught in a bait and switch by the Michigan athletic department, and he was punished accordingly.

It now appears that Kiffin will not be singing "Rocky Top" anywhere next season (google images)

More recently (just three weeks before college football’s National Signing Day), it was announced that Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin has decided to jump ship for USC after just one year in Knoxville.  Nevermind the 18 recruits who have committed to UT.  Two of those recruits have already signed the letter of intent, which binds them to that commitment.

And nevermind the fact that a huge factor in the commitments of these recruits was because of the coaching staff, that will subsequently not be there any longer.

A similar situation has been brewing in Gainesville, Florida, where head coach Urban Meyer announced that he was resigning, due to health issues.  A day later, after a huge fallout of the 2010 recruiting class for the Gators, which included a brief decommitment from safety Matt Elam, the bell cow of the Florida class, Meyer quickly changed his mind, at least to the media and the recruits. 

He said after going to one practice, he realized that he would instead take a leave of absence, and it has been reported that he has told several prized recruits that he plans to resume the head coaching role in August.

If Meyer does what many expect, he will not be the head coach at Florida next season.  But in the high-stakes game of college recruiting, the Florida Gators could not afford to take a big hit, just weeks before signing day, so Meyer’s resignation was downplayed to an indefinite leave.

Whether health, family or any other issues do not allow Meyer to roam the sidelines in time for the fall, 20-25 young men will be playing for a coach that they did not commit to, and they will be punished, should any of them choose to transfer. 

Unless the NCAA changes or at least, modifies their current rules on transfer rights of student-athletes, coaches and universities will continue to have every right to fire coaches, leave for greener pastures and in some cases, even lie or mislead 17-18 year old kids

Why should the NCAA hold 17-22 year olds to a higher standard than the coaches and administrations that are designed to support them?  In the meantime, the recruits who have committed to schools in transition, like Florida and Tennessee, now have three weeks to make a decision that will have a direct effect on the next 4-5 years of their lives. 

Better get it right, kids….the NCAA is watching.