Coaches are hired to be fired. December is when this prophecy plays itself out on message boards, twitter, newspapers and private jet tracking software. In the end we get an introductory press conference, perhaps a speech at midcourt of a meaningless non-conference basketball game, and hopefully a commemorative blazer. Let’s examine some of the coaching changes that happened in the last few weeks to determine winners, losers, and blazer wearers.
On the hook: The Lobos owe Locksley a cool $450,000. Davie gets a 6 year 4.5 million dollar deal.
Blazer? Yes. Brilliant red. Bonus points.
Will it work? Tough call. New Mexico is a hard place to win. Rocky Long actually had the program moving with bowl bids and some winning records but all he got was fired. Bob comes in after a near decade in the ESPN booth and will face mass defections from Locksley recruited players. Given time they might be good but that’s a big might.
Prediction: Pain. 2 Blazers
Out with the old: Turner Gil made it happen at Buffalo. Couldn’t cut it at Kansas.
In with the new: Charlie Freakin Weiss.
Blazer? Sadly no. Points deducted.
Will it work? Another tough place to win. OU, Texas and Oklahoma State aren’t going anywhere with Stoops, Mac, and T. Boone Pickens money. Right now they should focus on catching Bill Snyder and K-State. That will be a chore as Snyder’s team was 8 wins better. Weiss didn’t set the world on fire as the offensive coordinator at Florida last year. They were middle of the road in scoring and total offense. Jimmy Clausen ain’t walking through that door. Weiss was 10-25 against teams with a winning record and 4-12 against ranked opponents while coaching the Irish.
Prediction: Rock, Chalk, Jayhawks finish bottom of the Big 12.
Prediction: 2 Blazers
Out with the old: Mike Stoops
In with the new: Rich Rodriguez
On the hook: Wildcats owe Stoops 1.4 million. Rich Rod will pull in $9.55 million over 5 years.
Blazer? Blazer no, sombrero YES. Double thumbs up.
Will it work? You know it just might. Michigan pined for a “Michigan Man” and Rich Rod was not that. If ever there was a case where a coach didn’t fit the culture it was Rich Rod at Michigan. Arizona is a blank canvass. They’ve never won the Pac 8, 10, or 12 title outright and have never seen the Rose Bowl other than playing at UCLA. There are athletes there and Rich Rod can do things with athletes. Oregon and it’s Nike money will run the conference for the foreseeable future but Arizona can be competitive and win the South every now an then.
Prediction: 4 Blazers
Out with the old: Mike Sherman
In with the new: Kevin Sumlin
On the hook: Ags owe Sherman either $5.8 or $8.8 million depending on who you believe. BLAMMO! They’ll pay Sumlin $2 Million per year.
Blazer? Oh yes. Looks like something you would have found in my dad’s closet. Bonus points awarded.
Will it work? Taking a 6-6 team that played defense like 7th grade B-team to the SEC West is a scary proposition. The key will be can Sumlin hire a defensive coordinator who can protect a 20 point second half lead. The schedule will be brutal and Sumlin has a losing record against teams that are better than .500. They put up points in the Big 12 finished 6-6 and only played one SEC defense. They’ll also look up and down their schedule and not find Kansas, Iowa State, or Tech. Scary.
Prediction: More gigged than gigging. 2.5 blazers.