Not gonna lie… got a pretty mellow vibe for this week’s updates.
This looked (similar) to Jim Tressel’s best teams. Instead of forcing the issue–faking a field goal, trying an onside, or simply heaving the ball downfield hoping something might break the stasis–Meyer’s 2012 team did what a Jim Tressel team would have in punting, taking field goals where it could get it, and then daring Michigan to do something with the ball. That something was the same rollout pattern Michigan had tried all game long, and that something ended up being the game-clinching Interception.
This was all far more entertaining than it sounds. You could hear Gardner getting hit up in the second deck where we were. If you have opiates, please bring them to the Michigan football offices. They are in need of them.
Ohio State’s band SLAUGHTERED Michigan’s band. If this were a football game, it would have been Florida State/Savannah State. I remember the Ohio State band nailing a straight line across eight yards of formation, and the Michigan band doing a half-assed boogaloo before farting away quietly for the remainder of their show. The Best Damn Band in the land is an affront to college marching bands in the sense that they appear to work hard, have discipline, and wear clean uniforms while playing a mean version of Stravinsky’s Firebird.
That is a compliment, because all of those things are usually good, and it makes other college marching bands look bad in comparison when you’re all good at things. Well-done.
If you weren’t in Columbus on Saturday and missed the performance, here you go:
Commentary- Coaching Searches
Sunday was the end of the road for a number of coaches’ current tenures, with Colorado/NC State/Auburn/Boston College joining Kentucky/Tennessee/Arkansas in looking for new head coaches in the coming months. On Tuesday, Southern Miss was added to their list, after coach Ellis was canned following one season where he went 0-12. We’re starting to hear the wheels turning on the next phases of the great shuffle- Sonny Dykes interviewing at NC State? Purdue interested in Coach Warinner? Arkansas throwing a truckload of money at Les Miles? And now we know that Mark Stoops has officially left FSU for Kentucky- a job that many people thought was a “dead end”, given the conference competition, the institutional focus on basketball, and the regional dominance by Ohio State and Tennessee.
Also on Tuesday, though, there were a couple of folks who made some observations about the process and wondered if there might be something deeper involved as well. First, Seth Wickersham referred to a Sports Illustrated report that said that many minority coaches don’t get second chances once fired; he refers to Tyrone Willingham, although Rich Rodriguez also comes to mind. Later, former Colorado coach Bill McCartney wonders if the transition in Boulder might also have racial factors at play-
I believe black men have less opportunity, shorter time if you will. It’s just like, Dan Hawkins got five full years. Why not give Jon Embree five years? You signed him to a five-year contract. Men of color have a more difficult road to tread. It didn’t happen to me. Why should it happen to a black man?
It’s an interesting question that was raised by many during the Charlie Weis tenure in South Bend- He was given a contract extension and lots of grace after similar or worse on field results than his African American predecessor (the aforementioned Willingham). The fact that Weis only had success with Willingham’s athletes added to the confusion and concern that perhaps the coaches’ race and backgrounds might also be at play.
This is a difficult, and sensitive topic, and one that we’ve talked about a little in previous discussions. Given the large amount of student athletes who are minorities, does it make sense that so few Division 1 coaches are as well? Just looking at the major conferences, the numbers are pretty interesting:
So, the questions- Should it matter? The NFL has adopted the “Rooney Rule” to ensure access and opportunity for candidates who might otherwise not get considered given the traditional process that only saw the usual suspects get looks- recognizable names with “experience”, people who had “connections” and “relationships” with the folks who are making decisions. In other words, more of the same. The results have been solid- the Bears/Colts Super Bowl was the first to have two African American head coaches on opposite sidelines; the Steelers have also won a title with a young coach who might not have been given an interview without the rule.
As we hear the names of the same people as currently have or had coaching gigs rotate across the rumor mill for openings at the Division 1 level, it does make me wonder if at some point the NCAA (or its member institutions) might create a similar set of guidelines. At this point, only Louisville’s Charlie Strong is tied to any of these opportunities; although that shifts him from one major conference to another. Given that many universities have policies and practices to ensure equal opportunities for candidates, it seems possible that this might also apply to the people who might lead the teams that are often the public faces of the institutions.
I’d love to hear other perspectives- Should the ethnicity of a coach matter, given the makeup of a program and its participants? If so, how should this be addressed? Again, a controversial and complicated topic, but one that might be interesting to be mindful of as the names swirl and the faces change programs.
Across The NCAA
I hate shopping, particularly with tons of people… but this is something I could get behind: