November 21, 2005

This week's round table discussion

Beautiful topic posted by Kyle On Football for the roundtable:

1. Since the end of the 2004 season, there have been 23 head coaching changes in Division I-A college football. Thus far, which new coaching hire is working out the best? Which is working out the worst? Who has been the most pleasant surprise? Who has been the biggest disappointment?

To me, all discussion begins and ends at the foot of Notre Dame Stadium and Charlie Weis. For the past decade, being a Notre Dame fan has been more about reminisicing about the past than living in the present. The Golden Dome was an afterthought and the recruits were not thinking about Notre Dame. The media was living in glory being able to take their shots at the proud university and really, Notre Dame needed a few blowouts to get the administration to open their eyes and see that they were not competitive anymore. Charlie Weis' impact for the Domers came immediately after the USC game when he would not accept the moral victory. He congratulated his players for playing hard, but stopped short of being proud. Why should he? This is Notre Dame. This is THE program of college football. By contrast, everyone in the media is ready to throw bouquets at Fresno State for their performance, but I am sorry Bulldogs, you led 42-41 with over seven minutes to go and couldn't hold the lead. You play to win the game and you should be disappointed when you lose. That is the paramount intangible that Weis has brought back. I hurt after the USC game because I no longer hope Notre Dame can keep it close. They should win every game they play.

2. Which school's fans need to be more patient with their new head coach? Which school's fans need to beat the Christmas rush and get rid of their new head coach sooner rather than later? Which school's fans are happy with their new head coaching hire now but will be disappointed in him after another couple of years have passed (a la Tyrone Willingham at Notre Dame)?

I think Mississippi State fans need to be very patient with Sly Croom. Their win over Florida last year is still getting some mileage but next year the shackles of probation will finally come off and the Bulldogs will have a full recruiting class. Until then, the folks should measure success incrementally.

Bill Callahan at Nebraska needs to go, NOW. This man is destroying Nebraska football. Listen, I know a Bob Davie or Ty Willingham when I see it and Callahan is along that mold. I understand moving Nebraska towards the pass but to make them completely one-sided winging the ball all over the field wont work until they get the current players gone. Besides, what do you do in late Big 12 play at home in Lincoln, known for its 30-40 mph wind days, and you throw the ball all over the yard? A close second is Philip Fulmer at Tennessee. Fulmer sold his integrity to win the 1998 national championship it seems as the strong discipline and team leadership has eroded to the point of non-existence in Knoxville. Either Fulmer needs to suspend the group of players that left their helmets on the field, or the brass at UT needs to realize that their program is bigger than any one man.

I drank the kool aid about Ron Zook at Illinois early on, but really now I think that the Illini will come to realize a mistake in taking Zook. He will get recruits to Champaign but I dont think he is the man to make the Illini a permanent fixture in the upper half of the conference.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.