2012-09-27

Week Five FBS Preview - Coaching Changes ...

In 2012, there were 25 coaching changes on the Headcoach position in the off season.
25 changes!!! That's around 20% of all schools or every fifth school.

I don't know what you are thinking about this number, but I'm thinking "What the hell is going on?"

OK, maybe a statistical peak, right?

Wrong!

In 2011: 24 coaches
2010? 22 coaches
2009: 21 coaches
And 2008? 18.coaches
In the same time frame the number of new FBS teams did grow by just 5 teams, so it is not a matter of additional teams.

These are 110 Coaching-Changes in 5 years; means in average 90% of all programs did change their leader in the last 5 years.

So the numbers are high and they are increasing.

Why is that?

From my point of view of course the answer is "Success" and "Failure" and bound to that … money, because with success you get the better contracts, the better recruiting class and more money from your former students.

The "Success" of coaches coming to a program and WIN did go up, at least it looks that way.

Especially the latest National Championship winners did great early in their area.

Let's have a look at the last ten years:

2001
Miami 12â€"0 Larry Coker
First year of Coker as HC of Miami, but he was before that the OC of Miami and did basically helped to build the team. Still .... He won in his first year. After that year he had some more very good season and good season, but never a trip to the big game again.

2002
Ohio State 14â€"0 Jim Tressel
It was the second year for Tressel. He did reach the finals two times again, but didn't win it again; still, he was very successful.

2003
LSU 13â€"1 Nick Saban
USC 12â€"1 Pete Carroll
2003 was the last time the title was split.
Nick Saban was in his third year at LSU, two years later he went to the NFL, later to Alabama to win a few more, see below.
Pete Carroll was also in his third year and did win one more time a year later.

2004
USC 11â€"0 Pete Carroll
As said, this was his second trip and his second win, but this was later vacated because of the Bush-incedent.
After that season, USC did return to the final one more time, but did not win it.

2005
Texas 13â€"0 Mack Brown
Basically he did have a lot of successful seasons, but needed 8 seasons to win it all. After that, never again, but they went to the final once more.

2006
Florida 13â€"1 Urban Meyer
Meyer took over the Gators and in his second year he won it all. He won a second one two years later, see below.

2007
LSU 12â€"2 Les Miles
He became Sabans successor and did win it all for LSU in his third year. After that he did very good, and went to the final last year, but did not win again.

2008
Florida 13â€"1 Urban Meyer
That was the second title for Meyer in his fourth year. After that it went kind of down and he changed the team after a sabbatical.
We will have to wait, what he can do at Ohio State in the next few season.

2009
Alabama 14â€"0 Nick Saban
Most people know how Saban left the NFL and went to Alabama. He won here in his third year and one more in his fifth.

2010
Auburn 14â€"0 Gene Chizik
This is the most amazing story of all coaches above. He became Head Coach of Iowa State and had two bad seasons. Then Auburn called and he went there to win it all in his second year. He looked like a Hot Seat candidate at Iowa State and went to the big game two years later at Auburn.
How did that happen? Doesn’t matter, it worked out for Auburn.

2011
Alabama 12â€"1 Nick Saban
They are the reigning national champion under Saban, who won his second title with the Cromson Tide here in his fifth year.

So, as you can see, that’ what happened.
Most of these guys came in and won it within their first three seasons.

If you are an Athletic Director and do have a multi million dollar facility and an FBS team in one of the six BCS conferences, wouldn't you want to hire also THAT next hot coach, coming in and win it all in the next two to four year?
Yes you would and that happens now on the coaching market.

And as always, the bigger fishes are eating the smaller one.

Last season, there were five coaches (Hugh Freeze, Kevin Sumlin, Todd Graham, Tim Beckman, Larry Fedora), heading to big dollar Programs from mid-level or even low-level Programs to be that next hot thing.
The basically left those programs after 1-4 season.

Of course those left alone programs had to hire new coaches, and normally this are coordinators from big dollar schools, looking for the chance to make the next step.

And there were additional five more schools, which did hire former successful coaches to give the program a new boost (Rich Rodriguez, Charlie Weis, Urban Meyer, Jim Mora, Mike Leach).
All these coaches were once Head Coaches of College or NFL teams and were in some way successful, even if only for a few years.
Personally, I think some were bad acquisitions, but I don't have to pay them, so it doesn't hurt me. LOL.
Most of them were fired in their career, because they did not deliver the wins expected at some point.

This brings us to the „Failure“-part of this article.

About 15 schools did fire their Headcoach last year, because of unsuccessfulness. Some of these coaches had only 2 years to rebuild and because the results were below the expectations of the Athletic Director or the School Board, the fans or what ever, they get fired.

Regularly the coaches get 4+ years. Getting fired after 2 seasons is from my point of view a big "failure" in the Athletic Department, not by the coaches.

Turner Gill for example did everything right at Buffalo and was one of these "the next hot coaches". He went to Kansas for a rebuilding and had little success in two years. The AD of Kansas pulled the pluck and hired Charlie Weis, former Headcoach of Notre Dame and Coordinator in the NFL. Smart move? We will see. Maybe the jumb from a MAC-team to a Big 12 team was to big for Turner Gill in one step? Maybe he was not able to HIS thing at a university like Kansas? He became the new coach of Liberty, a FCS-Program.

The thing is, in two years it can happen, that you rebuild a team, but that happens only with the players selected by the former coach. That new coach had only two recruiting classes, which is not enough for a full rebuild. Yes, you can implement new systems and can bring in a new attitude, but the players you normally build your team around are the juniors and seniors and these are, after a 2 year reign as new headcoach, still from the old coaching staff selected.

That's why normally a coach gets 4+ years, since only then it is 100% his team. If he then fails ... OK, fine. That’s why it will be interesting to see how that Kansas team will do in 4-5 years. Charlie Weis came in to Notre Dame and took over the old team, did win good in his first 2 years and then crashed with HIS team. Will we see a team on the rise in 4-5 years or will the headcoach Charlie Weis finally become the coordinator Charlie Weis for good (because that’s something he can do good)?

Judging success before that fourth or fifth year ... unfair, I think.

But the athletic departments seems to get greedy and don't want to wait four years and more for success, if they see lots of programs turning around in basically no time and win it all.

The most ironic thing in those wholes sports business is, for every win, someone has to lose. Means, if there is a program going from 2-10 to 10-2 in a few seasons, there is also a program (or even more than one) going from above .500 to below .500 winning percentage, which regularly means some coaches have to go and new do come in.

So the whole system is fuelling itself with this mechanics and the only thing that changed from my point of view in the last few years is that the greed did speed up that circle a lot.

I’m expecting also at least 25 changes for next season.

Enough of this topic and lets have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 5

#8 Stanford @ Washington
For Stanford, this is the beginning of a schedule part which might become a tough one.
Lot's of question marks for the next few games and this includes the Huskies as well.
This can end in a blowout win for Stanford or a close win for Washington,
The Huskies did win only against low level teams and did lose big against LSU in the swamps of Louisiana.
But this one is at home in the state of Washington, which is a total different story.
I'm looking for a great matchup here and this could very well become an upset.
I still pick the Cardinals in a close one.
Please be aware that this game is already on THURSDAY!

#25 Baylor @ #9 West Virginia
Baylor did escape the Warhawks and do travel to the Mountaineers with a perfect record.
West Virginia has also a perfect record and for both teams this is the Big 12 opener.
Unfortunately, this is played in West Virginia and the Mountaineers are in very good shape, while Baylor is in rebuilding mode after losing RGIII last year.
So I think this will be a close one, but West Virginia will prevail.

#14 Ohio State @ #20 Michigan State
Oh boy, this could be a great one.
I'm not sure if Ohio State is already back in competitive mode but I'm sure they will give 100% and more in this one.
The Spartans did lose one against Notre Dame at home and probably don't want something like that happen again this season.
The odds are slightly in favour for Ohio State, but I do trust the Spartans to defend their endzone and stop the Buckeyes when needed.
So I go with the Spartans here.

Western Kentucky @ Arkansas State
Some of you might think: Is he nuts to bring up this Sun Bowl Conference game?
Yes I'm nuts.
The Arkansas State Red Wolves are the reigning champions of the SBC, and Western Kentucky is a serious contender.
ASU is a strong team, but did lose their HC (one of the next hot coaches, now at Ole Miss) and Western Kentucky did play very good (did beat Kentucky from the SEC and they beat Southern Miss from CUSA).
Arkansas State was basically unbeatably last year (in the SBC) but I think the Hilltoppers from WKU will win this one and will fight out the crown for the SBC with the Warhawks from Louisiana Monroe.

#12 Texas @ Oklahoma State
Since a few years, you can't dismiss the Cowboys.
They almost played in last years BCS-Championship game, if they wouldn't have lost against Iowa State after that tragic air plane crash in which some OSU-Students died.
I still believe that the game against the Cyclones would have gone different without that distraction. Still, it happened and you can’t change it.
The Cowboys had a rough game against Arizona this season and some may think they are on a down year.
That could be, very well. But I think that Cowboys coach knows better. He did turn that program around and he probably will bring Oklahoma State on the field in best conditions against this Team from Austin, Texas.
The Longhorns are looking strong after a few down years, but I think this won't be enough to overcome that Big 12 opener in Oklahoma.
Texas will lose, OSU will take the win.

Wisconsin @ 22 Nebraska
This was meant to be the clash of the Titans. These two juggernauts should have battled this out as unbeaten teams each, but both did lose already and the matchup is only half as hot as it could have been.
Still, a great matchup and I think it will be a great game.
It looks like Wisconsin has a RB-Problem with Montee Ball eventually out, but I don't think the game will be decided by a playing Montee Ball or a sitting Montee Ball.
It looks like Wisconsin has some trouble on offense in total and you can't go to Nebraska in that kind of shape.
I think the Huskers will win.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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