NCAA Football Talk
August 7, 2014
College Football will be starting up soon and I usually begin my preseason talk of the sport by thinking about coaches that are on the hot seat.
It is very obvious to me that the number one coach on the hot seat is Will Muschamp in Florida. The Gators went 4-8 last season, which included a surprising setback to FCS opponent Georgia Southern. The record was posted despite Florida having one of the nation’s top rosters in terms of recruiting rankings. Muschamp needs to show the program is headed in the right direction in order to return in 2015. In three years, Muschamp is only 22-16 and has two 3-5 records in SEC play. Another losing season or 6-6 record would likely spell the end of Muschamp’s tenure in Gainesville.
Bo Pelini might be the next big name on the hot seat. His record at Nebraska is 58-24. But he has not made many friends amongst fans during his six years in Lincoln. As has been the case for years at Nebraska, winning nine games a year is not enough. Expectations are higher and Pelini needs to find his way into the nation’s top 10.
Bo Pelini - Nebraska coach
Mike London could be in trouble at Virginia. He appeared to have the program moving in the right direction after winning 12 games in his first two years. The Cavaliers won four games in London’s debut (2010) and finished 8-5 with an appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2011. Since 2011 however, this program has been trending the wrong way. The Cavaliers are 6-18 in the last two years and went winless in ACC play in 2013.
Charlie Weis may have a short stay at Kansas. He has a 4-20 record since taking over the program two years ago. Weis and the Jayhawks have won just one Big 12 game over the past two seasons. Considering Weis went 35-27 in five years at Notre Dame, doubts exist about his ability to turn Kansas into a consistent winner. With 14 starters back, the Jayhawks should have enough returning talent to be more competitive in conference play. But if this team goes winless in the Big 12, Weis may not see a fourth season in Lawrence.
Dana Holgorson may be on the hot seat at West Virginia. His tenure started with a promising 10-3 record and a Big East championship, along with a huge Orange Bowl win over Clemson in 2011. The Mountaineers carried that momentum from the bowl win in 2012 by starting 5-0, but West Virginia finished the season 2-6 and was dominated in the Pinstripe Bowl against Syracuse. In 2013, the Mountaineers slipped to 4-8 and won just two conference games. Back to the ACC.
Paul Johnson could be old news at Georgia Tech. He has a 47-32 six year record with the Yellow Jackets. He has never finished below .500 in the ACC. But Tech rarely wins a big game and the program is starting to digress. Only once over the last four seasons has Georgia Tech finished with more than seven wins, while the program has just one bowl victory under Johnson’s watch.
Lastly, let me spend some time with Brady Hoke at Michigan. Hoke’s tenure at Michigan started on a high note, as the Wolverines finished 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl in 2011.
Brady Hoke - Michigan coach
But that’s been the peak of Hoke’s three-year run in Ann Arbor so far. Michigan is just 15-11 over the last two seasons and finished 3-5 in Big Ten play in 2013.
It Can Happen Anywhere
Proving that wrongdoing in college athletics can happen anywhere, the athletic department at the Air Force Academy will be investigated by the NCAA. A thorough investigative report published by the Colorado Springs Gazette uncovered a number of violations and unlawful activities. Documents obtained by The Gazette detail parties dating to 2010 where cadets, including a core group of top football players, smoked synthetic marijuana, drank themselves sick and may have used date-rape drugs to incapacitate women for sexual assault.
As is often the case within government, a cover up commenced. But the Gazette used the Freedom of Information act to learn about the activities of 32 cadets, including 16 football players and several other athletes. Of those 16 football players, only seven stayed at the school through graduation. Two football players were court martialed and discharged, two were dismissed and the rest reportedly were in a group of cadets that resigned or “were kicked out for unrelated conduct.” The report is thorough, and very troubling considering the complicated world where military academy’s attempt to exist with big-time college athletics.
The Rest Of The Story
We are learning more and more about the exit of LeBron James from Miami. New details are emerging daily it seems. Especially during the ten days of free agency after James opted out of his contract.
According to ESPN, Pat Riley sent several emails and text messages directly to James that weren’t returned. Wow, did James simply ignore the president of the team that took him to the Finals four years in a row? Does anyone else find this disrespectful? This tells me that James intended to leave Miami right from the start. Even though he asked Riley to fly to Las Vegas for a chat. Before James met with Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert in Miami. Right in front of Riley’s nose.
Dustin Johnson - on the ropes?
In my eyes, James disrespected Riley big time. Not a very classy move to a guy who taught James how to win championships. I still think Heat fans have reason to be grateful for James’s tenure in Miami, but some goodwill will likely be lost on how he exited Miami and how he treated Riley.
Rest Of The Story II
I had a bad feeling when I heard that PGA golf star Dustin Johnson announced last week that he was taking a leave of absence from golf to “seek professional help for personal challenges.”
Just in case you did not know it, when a player announces a leave from the game, it usually means the player was unofficially suspended from the game. It did not take me long to find out more about what is going on with Johnson, one of the top five American golfers on tour.
Golf.com reported that Johnson was suspended after testing positive for cocaine twice and marijuana once. The story also stated Johnson is known to have had a sexual indiscretion with at least one wife of a PGA Tour player.
Fox Sports went one step further by tweeting that Johnson had affairs with two wives of PGA Tour Players. One broke up the marriage. Johnson is currently engaged to Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.