Schiano-Gate: The Day the SEC and Tennessee Football Died
(Schiano in White/Wikipedia)
Where do I start? The Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2017 may very well go down as the day the SEC died. If not the league--certainly the moronic fanbase at the University of Tennessee.
Before explaining that statement--let me qualify it by saying I don't think Ohio State Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano was the best choice to lead the Volunteers to an SEC Title or title of anything else. But he was willing to take the job---which it appears nobody else was willing to do. (Note: I thought Wake Forest Coach Dave Clawson would be a fantastic hire if he was willing to come...until this happened)
We now will never find out after a day that somehow topped the bizarre Saturday before featuring a false Jon Gruden sighting, weather destruction and another embarrassing loss (to LSU).
Schiano-Gate started innocently enough with a rumor. After losing or non-title teams finish their seasons these days---particularly in the SEC, they begin firing coaches. Tennessee had parted ways with Coach Butch Jones a few weeks previous in the hope of finding a savior by seasons end.
We--nor anyone else knows exactly what thoughts or plans ran through the mind of Tennessee Athletic Director John Currie as he searched for what he felt would be the right guy. However, after recommendations by Schiano's current boss Urban Meyer and New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, Currie felt Schiano was his guy.
And to Schiano's credit---as a College Coach, he brought a moribund Rutgers program back to life. He finished his time there with a 68-67 record highlighted by an 11-2 season in 2006. To put that in perspective---Rutgers went 11-44 the previous four seasons under then Head Coach Terry Shea. Schiano parlayed the success into an NFL job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But like many College Coaches trying to jump to the pros--he failed in his time with the Bucs and was fired after just 2 seasons.
Somewhere along the line---Schiano's name got mentioned indirectly in testimony regarding the Jerry Sandusky mess at Penn State--where he began his coaching career in the early 1990's. Mind you nothing was proven---there was nothing actually accusing him of anything other than a claim by former Penn State QB and Assistant Coach Mike McQueary that Schiano may--or may not have seen Sandusky in action.
Mind you Tennessee is the same place previous Coach Butch Jones blamed everyone but his players for a rash of Sexual Assault Charges just a few years ago. (He who lives in glass houses has a short memory)
You can read about that HERE
Combine the Rutgers background with the Buccaneers failure and the allegations he might have known something with the Sandusky mess and "Boom", Sports Twitter had a field day.
Haynesworth is a former Volunteer and NFL Football player--his response--while damning and a statement of the inflated expectations for this hire--were relatively mild.
It got worse---much, much worse and this is before the most evil person on Sports Twitter today---Clay Travis got involved...
Travis is the epitome of everything evil about Social Media---but I give him credit for utilizing it to his advantage. He riled up the Tennessee fans. In a BIG way. So much so---that Twitter was forecasting a riot in Knoxville when word Currie was in Columbus with a "Memo of Understanding" for Schiano got out.
*Note: The Memo has not been verified--at this time. If signed by all the parties invested in the hire--Tennessee is in deep doo-doo, likely on the hook for a buyout or at the very least...a lawsuit.*
And rather than get into the rest of the frightening mob mentality that went into this---I'm going to hit on the point Travis, his fanbase and the Tennessee fans in general are overlooking.
NOBODY WANTS TO BE YOUR COACH.....
Yeah, sure there were "Candidates" out there. All of whom had OTHER Jobs. Jobs just as good as yours!!!!
And yeah, Currie may have been a bit on the "Tone Deaf" side of things--not realizing the insane expectations by everyone outside his circle. But that doesn't excuse what happened.
Do you understand what you've done now? Nobody in their right mind would take your job because apparently you all think there's a copy of Nick Saban out there DYING to come run your program.
That person doesn't exist.
We live in a world where for every Kirby Smart hire at Georgia you have a Bret Bielema or Butch Jones or Derek Dooley (2 former UT Coaches). There are NO magic coaches who will ride in on a white horse to save you.....
The fantasy world you all live in allowed you to have wet dreams about Jon Gruden coming to rescue you. Jon Gruden has NEVER been a College Football head coach and never had interest in giving up his multi-million dollar TV deal to walk into your lives despite your dogged and determined quest to convince yourselves he did.
Bobby Petrino---yeah, if you want to sell yourself to the devil--knock yourselves out. What has he ever won??
Lane Kiffin?---That worked SO well the last time he visited Knoxville. He shit all over you people on his way out the door. But apparently none of the Volunteer faithful has a memory span longer than a year.
Mike Leach---Why on God's Green Earth would a guy who wants nothing to do with unrealistic expectations walk into your hot mess??
Mike Norvell---Yeah, he would be a decent fit. Do you seriously think he'd come running now?? Sumlin---Sure, he got fucked over at Texas A&M, you guys (Tennessee)--despite what you think---aren't even on the Aggies level--you haven't been for a good 15-years. Why would he walk into your hornets nest??
If you want to know why I say you'd have to be a masochistic idiot to take a job in today's SEC---this is it. You cannot win, no matter how hard you try. If you aren't beating Alabama, Georgia or Auburn by Season 2, the insane boosters and fanbase are calling for your job. It happens EVERY year.
Congratulations Tennessee fans---you managed to run off the one person willing to take your job. Now you have to find someone else to fit your clearly delusional expectations. Yeah, sure, we know you think coaches will come running to Knoxville because Tennessee is Tennessee.....you have no idea how badly you are mistaken.....