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Thought: Here Come The Fired Coaches

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 29, 2012


Cirminiello Thought: Get ready for the coaching changes to come


- Fiutak: Top NFL Prospects - GET OUT NOW
- Cirminiello: Here Come The Fired Coaches
- Zemek: Lane Kiffin Needs To Prove It
- Harrison: Here Comes The BCS Disaster
- Mitchell: Florida & Notre Dame's Direction
- Doan: Barkley's Story Has The Wrong Ending 

By Richard Cirminiello  

The annual hot seat. The coaching carousel. Call the onset of the inevitable attrition in the coaching ranks absolutely anything you’d like, but please do not refer to it as the “silly season”.

The “silly” season”? Who in the name of Ron Zook decided to assign such a nonsensical term to describe the period when college head coaches are fired and subsequently replaced? The mere nature of the phrase insinuates that these critical decisions are conducted without much thought about the impact of the consequences. Nothing could be further than the truth.

No athletic director in the country wants to fire a coach. Not only does canning a coach mean that something went horribly wrong along the way, but there are also close personal relationships involved. Going in a new direction is often a last resort. But what is a man in charge supposed to do when an employee isn’t getting his job done? Wouldn’t it be the height of silliness to not chart a new course when the handsomely-paid face of a program stops meeting his objectives?

I don’t feel especially bad for those head coaches, many of whom have lucrative buyouts and are pulling down over $1 million a year, who are dismissed at the end of a failed tenure. Nor should you. I’m not bloodthirsty or heartless, just a realist and an adult who recognizes that we all get paid to achieve certain goals. Ideally, we get promoted and compensated for hard work and success. As a matter of contrast, I do feel awful for the machinist whose job goes overseas or the single parent who gets swept up in a mass lay-off.

A slew of coaches, with tenuous futures, had opportunities to improve their job security in Week 9. Many failed miserably, increasing the likelihood that they’ll be out of work in a month or so.

Tennessee put up a good fight in Columbia, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Derek Dooley from falling to an unimaginable 0-15 versus ranked teams. Jeff Tedford’s Cal team yielded 49 points to the Pac-12’s worst offense, Utah, basically ensuring that bowl eligibility will be out of reach for the Bears. Auburn didn’t bother showing up for vulnerable head coach Gene Chizik in a historically dreadful 63-21 loss to Texas A&M. Texas and Mack Brown needed to rally to stave off the upset bid of Kansas. And Skip Holtz, Jon Embree, Joker Phillips and Danny Hope sunk further into the coaching abyss with ugly losses. Order up the pick slips, because anywhere from a dozen to two dozen are going to be handed out soon.

Coaches have a job to do, a tough and complicated one, to be sure. When they succeed, there’s an embarrassment of riches and recognition at their disposal. When they fail, they get replaced, because no one in their position is hired to achieve mediocrity. Don’t be silly in the next few weeks by getting sucked into the trumped up notion that the concept of turnover on the sidelines is some sign of a world gone mad or an amateur athletics environment mired in a win-at-costs mindset. Success is rewarded, and failure precipitates change. Aren’t those core tenets of all sports at any level?

Idaho’s Robb Akey was the first head coach to be let go on Oct. 21 after winning just 20 games in five-plus seasons. His firing opened the spigot for what promises to be another active month or two away from the field, as troubled programs wisely seek out new directions for their football squads.

- Fiutak: Top NFL Prospects - GET OUT NOW
- Cirminiello: Here Come The Fired Coaches
- Zemek: Lane Kiffin Needs To Prove It
- Harrison: Here Comes The BCS Disaster
- Mitchell: Florida & Notre Dame's Direction
- Doan: Barkley's Story Has The Wrong Ending