Just a note to the folks at MrSEC, I am new to most boards, but I have to tell you the comments on this one are top shelf. None of the usual BS I have been reading on some Tennessee message boards (and BTWi am a die-hard Vol Fan living in West Georgia). I have found a home to get my SEC news! Thanks!
Instant, mass communication has changed everything. Absolutely everything. Our world is now filled with people who have shorter attention spans, less patience, and an overall greater sense of entitlement. We are so focused on our own immediate gratification that anything requiring more than one or two clicks on a laptop or smartphone is just too darn much work.
That kind of thinking makes every decision appear to be bigger than it actually is. There is no tomorrow, only now. Right now. As in this very frickin’ instant now.
Which is probably why I continue to read stories stating that:
* Arkansas has to hire the right coach now or else the Razorbacks will spend eternity as second-class SEC citizens.
* Kentucky has to hire the right coach now or else its football program is doomed forever.
* Tennessee has to hire the right coach now or else it will be stumble through irrelevance for decades.
* Auburn must fire Gene Chizik and hire the right coach now or else the football program may never recover.
Bull on all four. It may feel that way to a fan. It may make for a nice column for a writer. But it’s bull.
College football is cyclical. In the mid-to-late 1990s, no one would have dreamed that Steve Spurrier and Phillip Fulmer wouldn’t finish their careers at Florida and Tennessee, respectively, awash in success and glory. Things changed.
Nick Saban is the current king of the college football world. But let him lose to Auburn on Saturday (unlikely) or Georgia in the SEC Championship Game (not as unlikely) and suddenly people in the Yellowhammer State will start questioning him… just as the governor of Alabama questioned Bama’s play-selection toward the end of the Tide’s loss to Texas A&M two weeks ago.
Teams go up, teams go down. Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Texas. Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida State. Alabama, LSU, Tennessee.
There’s not a single team in the SEC that a) must make a move right now or b) must make the right hire now or face certain annihilation.
Need proof? Let’s take a look at Alabama since the Crimson Tide is thriving at the moment. Bama had six different men lead its football program between 2000 and 2007.
Let that sink in for a bit.
Mike DuBose led the Tide from 1997 through 2000. Then Dennis Franchione did so in 2001 and 2002. Then came Mike Price who never even coached a game before blowing up in scandal. Mike Shula stepped in from 2003 through 2006. Joe Kines served as an interim coach at the end of Shula’s tenure for one game. And then finally, mercifully for Tide fans, Saban arrived in 2007.
That’s six coaches over the course of eight seasons. During that span there was a 3-8 season in 2000, a 4-9 record in 2003, and a 6-6 mark in 2004. Throw in various NCAA sanctions and some vacated wins and — if the naysayers had been correct — Alabama would have been done forever, destined to toil in mediocrity until judgement day.
But then… Saban.
Since 2008, Alabama has gone 58-7 overall, collected two BCS titles and currently controls its own destiny in its race for title #3 in a five-season span.
DuBose wasn’t a “gotta get it right hire.” Franchione wasn’t an “or else” hire. Ditto Price and Shula.
Look, I get it that everyone wants to win and win now. Fine. You should. But the idea that one more bad hire or one more bad season will finish off your favorite program? Please. This isn’t English soccer where teams are relegated down a division if they don’t finish high enough up on the standings table.
Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee are going to have make some important decisions over the next few weeks. There’s no debating that.
But if any or all of them make what turn out to be bad moves this time around, it won’t prevent some Saban type from popping up three or four years down the road. No one wants to wait for that, of course. But to suggest stadiums will be shuttered and programs banished to the gridiron wilderness due to a single bad hire in 2012 is ridiculous. It makes of for good copy and plenty of pageviews, to be sure. But it’s ridiculous.
Just go ask an Alabama fan who was distraught and panicky upon the hiring of DuBose, Franchione, Price or Shula. Then came Saban.