1 - On a scale of 1-10, how entertaining has this year's coaching carousel been? Houston Nutt says screw you to Arkansas and immediately jumps to a division rival. Michigan is turned down by its top 10 choices (9 of which were Les Miles). Arkansas comes out of nowhere to hire Bobby "Diengenuous Drifter" Petrino...who will stay there for 2 years before jumping to some other division rival. Actually, I guess this is a subquestion: who will Michigan end up hiring?
2 - If Michigan (or some other upper-echelon school) were offer Gary Pinkel or Mark Mangino a job in the next year or two, would they take it?
3 - Mizzou just signed on for football games/series against McNeese State, Western Illinois, and Toledo. Granted, Toledo might or might not be good by the mid-2010's (the balance of power in the MAC shifts 180 degrees a year, so there's no telling who will be good then), but still...no heavyweight matchups (other than Illinois) for the next decade. I'm sure this isn't the schedule people want, but after the "thought process" (if you can call it that) that the Orange Bowl used for deciding its participants this year, can we really complain about this? Is this how we should be scheduling at this point?
4 - So...getting into basketball yet? And if not...when? If you are getting into it...feel free to share some thoughts with the slackers among us to say why we should be paying attention.
5 - TITLE GAME PREDICTIONS, BABY: Appalachian State vs Delaware, NW Missouri State vs Valdosta, Mount Union vs UW-Whitewater.
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: 1 - I still believe Michigan will end up with Les Miles....even if it is a cut-out of him on the sideline next year "acting" as their coach. To answer the question honestly, I believe they end up with someone who is not even being named out there anywhere by anyone....and will thus likely start the carousel all over again. And Petrino is a punk for what he did to Atlanta, regardless of what Atlanta in effect to him with the whole Vick thing.
2 - I honestly believe Mangino might take, or at least would be more apt to take it than Pinkel. I believe Pinkel has no desire to leave Mizzou at this point and will likely not coach again after he departs here. I think Mangino might take a job, though I do not know his family background (certainly plays a part) and I am not at all accusing him of being Petrino-esqe or anything. Just a....wait for it.....gut feeling.
3 - I cannot really complain about it because I go to Mizzou games for so much more than the opponent. In all truth, the opponent is not the most or 2nd most important thing about a football weekend to me. And...those who complained about our home schedules in the past got somewhat turned around by the thought process being proved to not matter nearly at all, so I think those screaming about this will be fewer. I loved the Ole Miss road game, and other cool road trips are fine with me (depending on what comes of the Illinois series and the location of subsequent Kansas games), but in the end, 3 home games are just that to me...three home games in September with hopefully great weather, great food and plenty of friends and drinks.
4 - I saw the last 9 minutes of the Purdue/Mizzou game from Minnesota this past weekend. I am still not terribly impressed by anything I am seeing, but the more I read, the more I learn about injuries and other things. So, we have a throw-away game this weekend that no one will be attending and then the Mizzou/Ill game I believe which I will attend (and I guess there is probably another game in there somewhere). Win the (likely 2) throw-away games and the Ill game and we will be at 9-3, and I suppose I would be fine with that. I am just a little worried about this team in close games given their lack of discipline shown in the Ark and Cal games, but everyone keeps telling me the Big XII is not good, so I will base my hopes on that I suppose for now.
5 - Always go Mount Union...and I have some very weak ties to NW Mo St (that and they have the same helmets as my high school team), so I will go with them. And....we have been saying it all year...but Appalachian State is HOT HOT HOT!
: 1 - About a 5, but then, I don't think coaching carousel's can get much above a 7. Nutt leaving was pretty hilarious, the Michigan situation was humorous for a while but now it's just old. I feel like Will Ferrell in Zoolander on the Petrino thing. "Has everyone gone mad? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" To me, he made the jump, thought he could do it, found out that he was a horrible head coach for an NFL team, that the fans were way too critical, and probably took it as a sign that he shouldn't be doing this when his star quarterback got sent to pound me in the ass prison. I admire him for being able to say, "Wow. I suck at this job. You're honestly better off without me. I think I'll go back to what I'm good at, in a job where I get to compete for a national title if I can win (based purely on schedule and as opposed to Louisville) and make a ton of money. Thanks, though!" I admit phoning in the resignation was shitty, but I don't know what there was to say. What, he was supposed to go to the locker room to meet with the men that had been publicly critical of him and have some heart to heart moment? They didn't want him, he didn't want them, it didn't work, so he left. I also don't understand why everyone says he's bolting again, soon. Its' not like he has a longterm history of this. It was one job that didn't work out. And there was no buyout! I really don't see the big deal here.
2 - I think Pinkel understands what he's got here. He plays in a medium-strength conference with a reasonable, middle of the ground schedule. He's got financial security. He's got job security after this season for at least another three years and a great recruiting base built. I think it would be tempting, but I don't see him wanting that kind of scrutiny. He's become too laid back. Mangino wouldn't leave because it's physically impossible for him to go that for. The real reason the Orange Bowl selected Kansas? Because the only way Mangino was getting to a bowl was if FedexFreight shipped him there.
3 - I'm thrilled with our schedule, and I'll tell you why. We're middle of the road. Illinois is in a great place for years to come, they're going to usurp Wisconsin in the 3 spot in the Big 10. So we have one strong team on the schedule. Then cupcakes, to pad the stats, then the Big 12 to get us to the dance. It manages to keep us from a horrible SoS, without exposing us to that one championship hope ending loss. It means that every year, we have a shot at the title if we can play well in our conference. That's genius. It's in between Kansas/Ohio State and Florida. And that's right where we should be.
4 - I'm starting to dip my toes in. You should, because it's a long wait to next football season, because this has historically been a basketball school with a great tradition that NEEDS revival, and because Kansas looks about as uneven as it can get so far. Throw in the fact that even with our record, we're where we want to be. Still green, but starting to gel. This team has the athletic and coaching personnel to make some noise, and most of all, because we're not Texas. The lack of focus on the basketball team down here makes me want to vomit.
5 - Uhh...Delaware! Because, much like the rest of the season, it's totally unexpected! NW Missouri State! Mount Union all the way!
: 1 - I would give the overall carousel about a 7, however, I would rated Arkansas' coaching searching at a solid 15. Seriously, did anyone not see this coming? We saw it with the basketball coaching position... how could the footbal coach search be any different. Now granted, they seem to have hit a home run with hiring Petrino. But, yes, he'll probably be there all of three or four years. Meanwhile, Michigan... who the hell knows? The reality is, there are hardly any "hot" names left that have not turned the Wolverines down. My guess is, which ever unit, offense or defense performs best in the Capitol One Bowl, that coordinator will be promoted to head coach.
2 - Much as it pains me to say this, Kansas is, and probably will be for a while, a stepping stone job. If a Michigan, Ohio State, or Notre Dame were to contact Mangino in two or three years, I would say he would take the job. I don't have a good feel on how much Mangino thinks like Bill Snyder on sticking with something you start, but I think he would be foolish to not make the move if an upper-echlon program came calling. I think Pinkel would have a much tougher decision. Granted Missouri is not an upper-echlon program, but it is a step up from Kansas at the moment.
3 - Despite being a beneficiary of such scheduling this year, I don't like the pussification of a football season. Look, no one at KU thought this schedule was going to end up with an Orange Bowl bid. At best, I'm sure they were hoping for the Holiday or the Alamo Bowl. But, they're not complaining now. However, I certainly hope that the schedule is toughened up over the next couple of seasons... for example, there is a road game against South Florida next season. Bill Snyder was the master of these schedules, but I hope Mark Mangino works to bring some high profile competition to Memorial Stadium over the next couple of years.
4 - This is a tough week to get into basketball, what with pratically everyone off during finals week. I've been watching KU games, when I remember they're on, but I'm not quite ready to sit down and watch a bunch of random games until probably after the new year.
5 - Appalachian State, NW Missouri, and Mount Union (the one football team that doesn't look bad in purple)
: 1 - I'd say maybe a 5 at best for me. I just don't really care all that much until it actually hits close to home. The A&M job filled up so fast and so uneventfully that it didn't make a splash of any kind, the Nebraska hire was one that had been rumored for some time and seems to make sense even if it's not really that great of a hire (though the Nebraska fans predicting 12-2 next year based just on Pelini's hire is awesome). I don't know, I guess I'm just waiting for it all to end before I really have any kind of reaction. I have no idea who Michigan will end up hiring, but I do know it will not be Gary Pinkel.
2 - In my mind, there is a 0% chance Gary Pinkel goes anywhere before 2008. He's way, way too attached to Chase Daniel (among others) to leave before their college careers are over. After 2008, it's certainly possible but I still say not very likely. I think 2008 is going to be a very similar season to 2007 for Mizzou, because our schedule actually gets easier for the most part so we're probably looking at being the favorite for the North again and having a real shot at the Big XII (especially with the Championship Game at Arrowhead in 2008). Chase will be a front-runner for the Heisman all season, Missouri should be Top 10 all season, and as long as we don't beat ourselves I think we're in a BCS Bowl next year. So if that's the case, I'm just not sure Pinkel is going to be interested in trying to establish himself at another school after obviously establishing himself at Missouri. If an upper-echelon school comes calling, it won't be simply because Gary Pinkel is the next great thing in coaching but it will be because they've either just had to fire their coach because he wasn't performing well or maybe they lose their coach to the NFL. It means he's either going into a situation where the fans won't be as patient as they were at Mizzou (yes, I just hinted that Mizzou fans were patient with Pinkel, and it made me giggle) or it means he's going into a situation where he has to follow a great coach who had great success which means he has a LOT to live up to. Why would he do that to himself if he's enjoying parallel success at Mizzou, which is in one of the best football conferences in the country and he'll have started to be spoken of as possibly the best coach of all time at Mizzou? I know it's going to take a lot to supplant Devine, but if Pinkel starts winning 10 games every year for the next decade then that's what the reality will be. In summary, I guess I just can't see Pinkel leaving while he's still enjoying success here. If he has a couple of 7 or 8 win seasons in a row sometime soon (or worse) and a big school was still calling, then maybe. But he's not exactly young at this point, so I just don't see Pinkel leaving Mizzou for another job unless it's not his decision.
As for Mangino, it depends on what he wants I guess. He's going to be 2nd fiddle to Bill Self as long as he's at kansas, and that's just a fact. Is he ok with that? If so, and he can maybe continue putting 10+ win seasons together then again why would he leave? He could quickly become kansas' greatest football coach ever if he stayed and had a run of success. But does he want more than that? Because he's 10 years away, minimum, of being the primary sport at that school. And he'd probably have to win a National Title (without Bill Self doing the same) before he started really taking attention away from basketball at kansas. Would he have that same problem at a school like Michigan? I think he would not. But it all depends on if that is important to him. It was important to Kelvin Sampson, who had a lot of success at Oklahoma in basketball but it didn't matter because Bob Stoops and the football program was what everyone paid attention to. Sampson and Mangino have a lot in common, just ask the NCAA infractions people.
3 - I think this is how we can expect Mizzou to schedule until there's a reason not to. It's not the best solution, because it's not the most entertaining to the fans, but I really don't care. I go to Mizzou games to see Mizzou. The chance for me to enjoy the game more if we're beating Ole Miss over SEMO is obvious, but I'm still there to see Mizzou. And after the season we just had (and the controversy that followed) I can't see why ANY Mizzou fan would want to do anything but support the Tigers no matter who we're playing. It's just what big-time programs should expect from its fans. Alabama had 92138 people at a November game against an awful Louisiana-Monroe (and of course, they lost). Missouri isn't Alabama as far as football tradition goes, and it will be awhile before we are, but if they can get over 92000 people there late in the year for that game then why shouldn't we be getting 60000 at home for every single game and seeing 65000 for the conference games? But people are going to complain, because one upon a time we played Notre Dame and Cal in the same season, or USC and Arizona State in the same season. Well, the landscape of college football is different now. You know what else is different? Our Missouri Tigers. They're really freaking good. You should be excited to see Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin play, even if it's a scrimmage.
4 - I watched the whole game on Saturday against Purdue, and for about 30 minutes of the game I was very entertained. That 10 minutes though when we disappeared and let Purdue erase a 10 point deficit to build their own 10 point lead was maddening. That kind of stuff better stop, because we're not going to play that many teams consisting of mostly freshman that will allow us to get back in it and run off 24-4 to end the game. But, this was the first complete game I've watched this year so I can't talk about what or why anyone should be watching. Basketball's time is coming, but it's not here yet.
5 - App State will win, but I'm pulling for Delaware because they're the Blue Hens and because of Sonny Riccio. NW Missouri State will win, and I'm most definitely cheering for them since 4 of my closest friends in the world all graduated from there. GO BEARCATS! And uh, go Mount Union? Who the hell are those last 2 teams?
: 1 - I’ll give it a 7. You need some sort of full-fledged scandal to get much higher. I just saw some meaningless, but mildly interesting, factoid on ESPN. Since 1970, two first-year NFL coaches have left their jobs before the season’s end. One was Lou Holtz. One was Bobby Petrino. Both were 3-10 when they left. Both left for Arkansas.
2 - I get the feeling that Pinkel is pretty content, and if he can maintain this year’s success for a few more, he has a chance to sneak into the photo with Faurot and Devine. If he’s going to jump, his age (55) dictates that he does it now, and I don’t think he will. As for Mangino, I don’t know. I would think it would have to be more tempting for him, because with the (smallish) size of their stadium and the smaller recruiting base, his task is tougher than Pinkel’s. There are trade-offs, though. It’s easier to succeed in Ann Arbor, but the pressure increases exponentially.
3 - You can outthink the schedule. I’m not sure the Orange Bowl rewarded Kansas for its schedule as much as it penalized Mizzou for losing in the title game. I’d rather have one tougher test in the non-con. It makes for more excitement in September, and it better prepares a team for conference play. And as Oklahoma proved, the surest way to the BCS is still through the conference. After that, you leave it in the hands of parade organizers.
4 - Sure, I’m into it. Why wouldn’t you be into it? You’ve all been into it in the past. The game’s the same. Still says "Mizzou" on the jerseys. The team plays an entertaining style. Sure, they’ve been erratic, but they’ve been competitive in every game, and they have wins over teams from the Big 10 and the ACC. If they had made just one more play against either Michigan State (on a semi-neutral floor) or Arkansas (at Fayetteville) they’d be sitting at 7-2, and the feeling around them would be entirely different. People would be excited by that. Beat Illinois and Mississippi State and they’re poised to take a leap as a program. These next three weeks could be really big.
5 - I won’t pretend to have a clue, but I’ll root for the Bearcats.
: 1 - This year has to be at least a nine, especially with so many schools playing the "But, but, but, we're Michigan/Arkansas!" card. And is it just me, or is any one else wondering why SO many great coaches are going to the SEC? Sure, I'd love to be a conference with that credibility and those fan bases, but doesn't it seem like a murderous conference to win in with ridiculous expectations? Why not go to, say, a Big-10 school where you can build a perennial champion in no time and only deal with the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin? Hell, a good coach could probably build a program from scratch and win an ACC title in 5 years or less.
2 - I really don't know and I really don't want to fathom the idea. Again, it's been stated multiple times that Pinkel views Mizzou as a destination job, but does this destination have enough money to keep him where he is? I don't know if Alden and Co. can compete with the dollars the big boys throw out. I really think that if Kansas levels out over the next few years (7-5, 6-6, 8-4, etc), then if a bigger offer comes along for Mangino, he would likely leave - and I certainly hope he does. Say what you will about his weight and about the cupcakes he schedules, but the dude can coach and get the most out of talent.
3 - Are you kidding - I've been clamoring for McNeese State, Western Illinois, and Toledo for years! Imagine the sellouts at Faurot and the raucous gameday atmosphere! Quite frankly, I'm a proponent of playing cellar dwellers of BCS conferences rather than FCS schools. I'd much rather see Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, NC State, Duke, Minnesota, Syracuse, etc. and take a chance rather than expose my team to injury against the likes of McNeese State. My personal desire for non-conference would be Illinois (in STL), BCS school (home/home), MAC school, Sun Belt school.
4 - Man, where I come from, there are two seasons: Football season and the off-season. And considering football season isn't over yet...
5 - Appalachian State 30, Delaware 17; NW Missouri State 20, Valdosta, 14; Mount Union 2, UW-Whitewater 0
: As a native Arkansan, I can tell you that there's no perception of "But we're Arkansas!" They honestly consider themselves to suck a little bit, because, well, they know they've sucked a little bit. There's a lot of pride, but there's no sense of entitlement like with Michigan. When DMac became DMac, one of the big questions everyone asked was "How in the hell did we get this guy?"
The SEC means that you are automatically in line for a BCS bowl with 1 loss, maybe 2. And the schedule is murderous, but you're also in prime position for recruiting, right next to Texas, the money is ridiculous beyond all reason, and the prestige is so much higher.
: 1 - The only carousel I can remember enjoying more is the one set off by Roy "I don't give a shit about North Carolina" Williams back in 'aught-three'. That was fantastic simply because it set of 913 dominoes...and I began the next season not knowing who was coaching about half of the major college teams. This one's been great, though. It's had everything--really really short searches (Ole Miss, ATM), really really long ones (Michigan...seriously, guys, is Les Miles really that much better than anybody else you could hire? I don't think so), out-of-left-field hires (Petrino)...it's been entertaining, that's for damn sure.
2 - Unless we rip off a series of 10-win seasons, I don't think anybody will be throwing money at Pinkel that Alden can't match. I think he'd consider leaving if the money were just astoundingly better somewhere else, but I don't think that would come about. I think Mangino would be more likely to say yes to another school, but no matter how wrong this is, I don't see him getting too many big-time offers simply because of life expectancy. That sounds awful, but I think it's true.
3 - While the random Ole Miss home game is fun, I'll take a Mizzou win over any other outcome. The Big 12 is the second-best conference in the country, and most years (2008 being the exception...and therefore 2012 and 2016 too), we'll have a couple big-time home opponents to spice things up. That's fine with me. As for "overthinking" things here...I don't think KU was rewarded for their schedule, but they obviously weren't punished for it, and it made clear that overall record ("they only had one loss") is more important than strength of schedule. I don't think announcing these new home games was a response to that by any means (I'm sure this had been in the works for quite a while), but I'm sure not going to complain about it at this point. And if we win big again in 2008, I think fans will start showing up for these crap games...
4 - I'm not as into b-ball as I should be for one simple reason: football hangover. It has nothing to do with Mizzou's current team. I've watched every game this year aside from the two ESPNU games in KC (stupid mediacom), and I will continue to do so. Come to think of it, thanks to getting an invite into Atchison's Fantasy College Hoops league, I'm probably keeping up with stats and players on a broader scale than I normally am at this time of the season (at least, the teams on which I have players--Memphis, North Carolina, Fresno State, St. Bonnie, Syracuse, Washington, Indiana, Gonzaga, Florida, Clemson, NC State, and Utah...wow, I cannot tell you how impressed I am that I was able to list those off without peeking).
5 - I realize App St is beatable (they lost 2 in the regular season), but they looked really good last Friday night, plus any residual Sonny Riccio love has probably worn off at this point for me. So...App St 41, Delaware 30. Uhh, NW MO 34, Valdosta, uhh, 17. And this is the year Whitewater finally takes down Union. So I say. UWW 22, Mount Union 21.
: By the way, what is the deal with Arkansas media? Not only did they report awhile back that Tuberville to Arkansas was a done deal, I remember back in March seeing that same outlet reporting that Billy Gillespie had agreed to be the next basketball coach at Arkansas.
As for the SEC vs. other conference coaching debate, I want to pose this question:
If you personally are a coach, would you rather be at a lesser prestigious school and build a program and become a legend at that school, or would you rather step in and try to take the challenge of being "next in line" at a traditional powerhouse? I don't mean this in any pointed way - there seem to be two extremely different philosophies on this (see Schiano at Rutgers and Snyder at K-State vs. Saban at Alabama).
: It's less the media than it is the screwed up AD office over there (under new management, finally, after prying it from Broyle's cold, near-dead fingers). They whiffed on multiple hires. The media's also looking for a scoop, but it's hard to type with webbed fingers and toes and communication isn't great since there's still a lot of rotary phones.
I think it's a situation by situation debate. Michigan is coming into a downslide, and it's going to be hard for them to launch right back into national contention. It will never be hard to get kids to come to SEC schools. There's too much talent in-state and the lure of playing on national television so often is tempting. Plus the girls are way, way hotter (all due respect to the Golden Girls). I'd rather take a program in the Big 10, because it's easy, guaranteed success. But then, unless you're OSU, one loss isn't good enough to get you into the national championship.
: Oh I would LOVE to be seen as a program's savior, a la Schiano. Really, I cannot really fathom the difference between making $1.5 million a year and $4 million a year--either you're making enough or you aren't. Legacy would be important to me, I think, and it would take me a lot to leave a school once I was finding success there. And because of that, I just couldn't be happier with the set of coaches we have right now (Pinkel in particular)--they seem happy with building something at Mizzou instead of treating the school like a stepping stone.
And because I said that, Pinkel will be announced as the new Michigan coach tomorrow morning.
: And when that happens, I will break you over my knee like a frozen twig.
But I totally agree with you. Personally, I'd want to be known for doing something nobody else had done or rescuing something someone else had killed instead of being "another coach" at a big school. I'd want to be what Bill Snyder was at KSU as opposed to what Nick Saban will be at Alabama. There's a reason it took Pinkel so long to leave Toledo. He's all about integrity and commitment. In fact, it's probably his most endearing quality.
: That's yet another reason I'm so excited about where Missouri's program is headed. Pinkel can stay, keep developing players for the system, winning 9-11 (12?!) games a year, and really become a Missouri institution. A tradition, a legend. And I think that's amazing.
Conversely, though, you have to look at the ridiculous fanbase pressure as well. Pinkel's expectations are much, much lower than anyone in the SEC. Houston Nutt was the second winningest all time coach at Arkansas, with 3 division titles, and he was hated and canned. And Arkansas isn't half as nuts as Auburn, Florida, LSU, Tenn, or Georgia.
: Meanwhile, I just found this from an article about the Michigan coaching search:
Former Minnesota coach Glen Mason currently is not coaching, but he said Tuesday he would like a shot at Michigan. Mason has not yet been contacted by Michigan officials.
"Needless to say, I'd be interested," Mason said. "I would have a great interest."
I love the deadpan "Mason has not yet been contacted" line. That's awesome.
Glen, I too would be interested in the job if Michigan contacted me. And I think our chances are about equal.
: Speaking of Arkansas... Razorback fans are insane, complete zealots and have a radically over-inflated value of self-worth. Remember we were hearing "But we're Arkansas!" during the basketball search as well. And, I think the Little Rock/Fayetteville media has a lot to do with that. There was one nut of a columnist, who's name escapes me at the moment, who was declaring a top five candidate list including Bill Self and Billy Gillespie and Mike Anderson. Is that the writing of a reasonable human being? (He asks on a blog written by and catering to MU fans.)
: Actual conversations with two diehard Razorback friends last night, after the Petrino hire broke.
: You got Petrino!
: ... No, we didn't.
: No, it's all over ESPN! He's stepping down from the Falcons!
: Look, it sounds great. But there's no way a coach like that comes to Arkansas. No way. We're not big enough. Everyone around here knows that.
: But, it's been confirmed by the AP...
: Yeah, well, so had the Grobe hire. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch my DVR of the LSU game until my eyes fall out and drink myself to sleep.
: You hired Petrino!
: Wait, who's us?
: Oh, very funny. Kick a man while he's down. You suck.
: Yeah, this pretty much sums it up.
: I certainly think there's an interesting dichotomy between 'influential' Arkansas fans (the ones who thought they were pushing the buttons last year with Malzahn, the cell phone scandal, etc.) who think they can get Bill Self or Tommy Tuberville or whoever, and the everyday 'we're not big enough' fans...but I guess we probably already knew that, being that the Hogs play home games in Little Rock every year so the greyhairs won't have to travel as far.
: Hey, I'm just impressed they knew what cell phones are. Although, to be fair, Tubberville wasn't out of the question. He's been pretty unhappy with the insane expectations of the Auburn fans, and probably peeled back from the Arkansas job because, well, they're even more insane.
: Tuberville certainly finds himself mentioned in a lot of rumors...I don't figure he minds, either because a) Auburn fans really are crazy, and he knows he should have a backup plan ready at all times, and b) he can play off the craziness of other fans ( i.e. Arkansas, A&M) to make sure Auburn always keeps the size of his contract in about the 95th percentile.