So what are your expectations? What is a praise worthy season in your eyes as a college football fan?
I suppose it varies for every college football fan and there is no way to project that. I do, however, think every fan, at some point, dreams it will be their team crowned champion at the end of the season…. But only ONE team and ONE coach can achieve that every year.
As of Tuesday morning, there are 14 football head coaching jobs up for grabs. Sure, programs need change every now and then, sometimes things just aren’t meshing anymore. This could be for a number of reasons and it’s never dubbed as uncommon but what constitutes the firing of a head coach? This weekend, a head coach with the highest winning percentage in school history was fired. That same coach was just five yards short of the chance at a national title four seasons ago. Sounds absurd to me. What is even more appalling to me is that we are all shocked that a coach with a more impressive resume has been granted the right to stay at his respective university. The firing of Mark Richt and near firing of Les Miles has me scratching my head. Even more, the fact that there are not more people completely perplexed by this coaching carousel is baffling. Fans of Georgia and LSU will argue they haven’t won a national title in years, which is true, but is that really what the world of college football is coming down to? You have to win a national title to keep your job? Let me break this down for you.
You can’t just win games anymore.
Richt came to Athens in 2001 and by 2002 he had broken a 20-year conference title drought for the Bulldogs. In just 4 years, Richt had 2 conference titles under his belt. In fact, in his 14 years at UGA he has taken the Dawgs to 5 SEC Championships. He’s tied with ONLY one other guy in that category and you guessed it, Nick Saban. Which brings me to my next point.
It’s a real thing and UGA has it. This disease leaves its victims wanting more. UGA has seen consistency under Mark Richt for the last 14 years, averaging 10 win seasons regularly. For the Dawgs, that just doesn’t seem to be enough.
Just a state over, in nine seasons with the Crimson Tide, Nick Saban has three BCS National Titles and three SEC Championships. It’s almost ridiculous when you think about it. Saban’s resume at Alabama alone, outweighs the resumes of most major football programs in their entire existence. Success, like what Nick Saban has built at Alabama, is what CFB fans see and it’s what they desire.
As for LSU, if Nick Saban didn’t exist, Les Miles would be king. There is no doubt in my mind about that. The only thing keeping Les from titles is, arguably, Saban. Miles will go down as a legend in Baton Rouge and with a prime 2016 recruiting class, honestly, I think LSU dodged a major mistake on Saturday. Georgia? Not so much.
The question becomes: what IS realistic?
Not what Saban has done. People see Alabama and think why not us? Well, because Nick Saban can only coach one place at a time. Dynasties don’t happen very often, if ever, and they don’t last forever. We’ve seen the gap between Saban’s Tide and the rest of CFB begin to close – soon enough, there will be a new king of college football. Will he be able to accomplish what Saban has accomplished/will accomplish at Alabama? Maybe not. What Saban has done is unprecedented and may never be matched. Programs like what Saban has built at Alabama should be considered the exception not the norm. Fans have come to expect national titles, which is fine. Shoot for the moon but don’t be disappointed when you land among the stars. Are eight win seasons going to become disappointing? If fans start criticizing these type of seasons, how will ANY coach keep their job? I would never criticize anyone for wanting their program to win a title but I will question the sanity of those who call an eight win season disappointing. I also pity the person who thinks consistantly winning games calls for the termination of any football coach. My message to the unrealistic college football fan: call Tennessee, I’m sure they’ll be glad to tell you how bad it can get.