• phil cantor/@osgphil

So You Want to Be a Major College Football Coach, Why??



I know this is a somewhat rhetorical question--but why would anyone aspire to be a Head Football Coach at a "Power 5" University??

Yeah, sure I know--everyone thinks they are the guy to take a team to levels not seen unless you are Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma or LSU. But how many people are now actually in a position to do it?


The last "Full" weekend of College Football also is the first "Full" week of the College Football Coaching Carousel--the time of the year when the less successful schools fire their Head Coach and hope to bring in the "Next Big Thing" to make them great.


This season--we've already seen Arkansas, Rutgers and FSU fire coaches in the middle of the season and we've seen (in no particular order) Boston College, Missouri, South Florida and Ole Miss ask their leaders to step aside. There's also New Mexico and Texas San-Antonio on the list of schools on the lookout for their new Head Coach.


And it makes me wonder: How much is good enough? In the current College Football World we live in, none of these teams will ever likely be in the College Football Playoff--most aren't capable of winning their conference no matter who is in the saddle.


Heck, Florida State is trying to scrounge up enough money to pay off Willie Taggart and find a new "High Priced" coach at the same time. We're talking well, well north of $20 million to find the "Guy" who is going to bring the Seminoles back to the level they believe they should be.


Missouri---they're talking about bringing in a "Name Candidate" and investing millions in new facilities. Rutgers, the dregs of the Big 10 are going to pay Greg Schiano $4+ million a year to try and recapture the magic he briefly created in Piscataway when the Scarlet Knights were in a much less competitive conference. They're committing millions for new facilities too.


What I'm getting at is an arms race that nobody really wins. Here in the south, if you don't win in two seasons, the fans start whining online and social media which usually means you are gone. Fans are stupid.


College Football as we end this decade (the 2010's) is in a different place than it was even 5-years ago. The rich get richer, the "Big Boys" play on a different level than everyone else. Every year roughly 8-10 teams have a chance to compete for the playoff. I can tell you already who most of those teams will be in 2020.


Alabama

Auburn

Clemson

Georgia

Florida

LSU

Ohio State

Oklahoma


Sure, there might be an interloper or two--maybe a Pac 12 team but that really is it. None, NONE of the other schools have the money to compete with any of the above listed teams. Be it facilities or something else---these will for the foreseeable future be the only teams competing for titles.


There are 130 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, roughly 120 or so of whom are playing for the chance to play in an under-attended bowl game sometime late in December on ESPN. That's it. They have no hope to get farther.


Yet some continue to play the game. Some dump coaches too early, before they have a chance to implement their system and their personality on a program. In College Football it often takes 4 years before you can see the impact a coach has on recruits and getting the system of his choice in place. Until that happens, you've got a mix of the previous and current regimes and no true gauge of success. Yet coaches often don't get that long.


Unfortunately not every team is going to be in that "Elite 8" of programs who get all the best recruits, transfers and portal-ers...Not every team is going to have--or be able to beat Nick Saban at his game. These days the game is about brand, marketing and recognition. If you aren't one of those "Elite" brands, you aren't going to become one.


That's why you see coaches changing jobs, hopscotching across the country looking for a better paying gig and a program willing to spend money to try.


I guess for some, that's the end game. And if that's what you want to be, good for you. Maybe it's just me thinking this is the equivalent of beating your head against the wall hoping for something new to shake out.


But I'm not a coach, what do I know??

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