Dec 2

Coaching news and thoughts

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Just like every season at this time of year, there is plenty of talk and action going around concerning the head coaching position at several key schools. This year, Notre Dame, Virginia and Florida State are at the center of the coaching talk. 

Brian Kelly to stay at Cincinnati - The Bearcat Head Coach says he is happy where he is and will not be a candidate for the Notre Dame job. He was at the top of many folks list to replace Charlie Weis. To me, this puts more pressure on the ND brass to go after Urban Meyer. I thought, personally, that Kelly was the hottest coach out there, and geographically, it would have worked out nicely.

So who will go to Notre Dame? - I have said it before and I stand by it: You will see Urban Meyer in South Bend. Here is the link: http://www.fans25.com/post.cfm?ArticleID=206 . Of course Florida is a GREAT gig, but that has a lot to do - I think - that we see this through the eyes of the mainly Southern viewership on Fans25. Meyer is from Ohio, and up there, Notre Dame is pretty huge. Yeah, Meyer said publicly he would stay at Florida. What the hell else is he going to say when he has two huge games left?! With Brian Kelly pulling his name out of the hat, I guarantee you that ND has zeroed in on Meyer, and will do what it takes to get him. Alabama set the example with Nick Saban - forking over what had to be forked over - and ND will do the same.

Ralph Freidgen to stay at Maryland - In an opposite note from Kelly at Cincinnati, the Terps of Maryland have decided to hold on to alumni and Head Coach Ralph Freidgen. Maryland started off hot under the Freidge - reaching the Orange Bowl in 2001, his very first season. But lately Maryland has been bad, and in 2009 the only good win the whole year came against Clemson (great). By hanging on to a guy that is just 66-46 and is 2-10 this year just shows how Maryland is content at being mediocre in football.

Spurrier receives one-year contract - The Gamecock head man received a one-year extension on his contract (to make it a four year deal) after defeating Clemson to see his team now 7-5 on the 2009 season. This contract will show recruits that he is committed to four seasons. Spurrier's tenure in Columbia is still a work in progress. If he retired today, it would be tough to say that he did a whole lot for Carolina football in the grand scheme of things (that hasn't been done before). However, the University believes in him, and we will see what happens in the coming seasons.

Hoo will replace Al Groh? - In Virginia, there has to be an air of relief. Not only did Al Groh have dissapointing seasons year after year after year. But he was also arrogant along the way, and many fans began to lose interest in him and UVA football. What the program needs is a young, energetic guy that can relate to the people and get a driving interest back in the Hoos. Names being mentioned are Mike London from Richmond and Al Golden from Temple, among others. Brian Kelly is a hot name, but if he just turned down Notre Dame, he probably isn't interested in UVA. Tommy Tuberville, Tommy Bowden and Phillip Fulmer are three more names being tossed around.

My thoughts on Bobby Bowden - College football sees one of its great characters fade away after this bowl game. Bobby Bowden wasn't liked by all, but he was respected and feared by all. You can say what you want about this man and the way that this retirement situation has gone down, but the fact is that from the mid 1980's until the early 2000's, FSU was as good every single year as any team in the whole country. His teams not only won, but they won big and they won in style. Basically, for 15 years the Seminoles just plain kicked the crap out of just about everybody they played. It is unbelievably ironic to me that Bowden, ultimately, was against a college football playoff. I say this because if the game had had one in place during FSU's prime run, the Noles would probably have six or eight titles compared to just two (1993 and 1999). Six times between 1986 and 1997 they finished the regular season with just one loss - many times at the hands of Miami (who consequently has five titles in the Bowden era). 

I loved hearing Bowden in interviews. He would just straight tell it like it was, but not in a mean way to make the reporter looked like they asked a dumb question - he would simply tell it like it was. For example, when asked going into halftime what his team needed to do to win, he would say things like "we gotta stop 'em from scoring more." Or after a tough loss he would say something to the effect of "their guy was just too dadgum good to slow down" or "their guys just played dadgum good football tonite." He would say it with that Southern twang, and his facial expressions were priceless.

He wasn't perfect - in fact, he was far from it. FSU was rocked by off the field stuff at times, and Bowden was known to let players slide from time to time, too. But he was one heck of an entertainer. His stubbornness in the end (not wanting to retire), fits who he is and was as a coach. He had his way, and he was going to always do things his way. His way had brought FSU football from not existing to being the most feared program in the country in its day. His way was dadgum successful, and I am not surprised one bit that he wanted to go out his way. When we get old, we will probably also be stubborn, and want things our way, just as Bobby was during all of this.

But I do not blame him. He knew his time was coming, and so he just wanted to hold on to what he loved. Everyone of us loves things. Some love people. Some love animals. Some love their God. And some love all three of the things I just mentioned. But there is one thing that cannot be argued, and that is that Bobby Bowden LOVED Florida State football, and sometimes it is just impossible to let go. I know he surely loves his family, but Seminole football was his life, too.....He was a renegade of the sport.

He was the man, like him or not.



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