Florida State & Willie Taggart 1-1
Nebraska & Scott Frost 0-2
UCLA & Chip Kelly 0-3
Three games in (or two for Frost and Taggart) and the severest of over reactions has kicked off.
Yep, its week three and there are rumblings that coaches shouldn’t see week four. And just so we can put this whole scale over reaction in to perspective, these three Head Coaches are new in to the job. They were welcomed with open arms only a few weeks/months ago. Dare I say they were heralded. Yes folks, the honeymoon is short in College ball.
Of course its too soon. But therein lies the necessity of getting off to a good, or at the very least average start. It buys you time.
The eagle eyed amongst you will say, but isn’t a 1-1 record after two games an average start?
Well that depends. Florida State’s two games have been against Samford. Yes Samford. Wait, Who? Of the FCS. Not even the teeniest tiddlers of the biggest fish bowl. And FSU walloped them somewhat unconvincingly 36-26. Willie Taggart’s reign in Tallahassee got off to a less than illustrious start. Lines to phone-ins were jammed. Imagine what would have happened with a defeat?
But worse was to follow. Syracuse came to town and gave the Seminole’s a whoopin’. Part of Florida had a wide scale meltdown.
Now I think Syracuse are a good football team. But Florida State is a big football team. They win National Championships. They don’t get beat by Syracuse. That don’t go down well with the folks from Tallahassee. And it hasn’t. Willie is on the hot seat after two games.
Meanwhile in the North, Scott Frost (remember he of the undefeated UCF team from last year?) swept in to Lincoln like he was on a white charger. A Cornhuskers alumni who had made it big as a player and a coach was coming home. Well his first game fell victim to the weather and was a bit of a false start. The first proper game was at home to Colorado. And a good Colorado team at that. Frost’s team fell at the first hurdle losing, what was an excellent game 28-38. But that was the good news folks. Troy were up next. Yes Troy. They play in the FBS, I will concede that, so not a cupcake. But a 24-19 victory for Troy was well, a real shock to the Cornhuskers faithful who expected much more from Frost’s homecoming.
Next up for Nebraska? Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin. It ain’t getting any easier Scott. Buckle up big guy this could be a rocky ride.
And that leads us to Chip. Good ol’ Chipper Kelly who now lives and works in Pasadena, CA. One of THE nicest places one could live and work. Again, Chip arrived to a fanfare. Chip is getting paid $24m to coach college football in Los Angeles. And not even in the sketchy part of town, In the nice bit.
Chip revolutionised the College game at Oregon. He took that success and applied it to the NFL. It’s fair to say he had mixed success and dare I say it Eagles fans perhaps don’t look too fondly on his time in Philly.
So the question is – is Chip better suited to the College game? This is often the case. Jim Harbaugh says he enjoys the challenge better. Its not uncommon. If you land at the right School you can be left to build something which will last for decades. Time is something NFL coaches just don’t get.
So there you go. Chip is back where he is better appreciated. He will get time to build something. Build a dynasty.
UCLA 17: Cincinnati 28
Oklahoma 49: UCLA 21
UCLA 14: Fresno State 38
The Oklahoma game is one to forgive and forget. Oklahoma are not missing Baker Mayfield one bit. Kyler Murray is a one year star (he is going to the MLB next year) and the Sooners are catching the eye – a team to watch out for come December. So let’s give Chip a break. He also lost Josh Rosen to the NFL. So he was without his starting QB.
But losing to Cincinnati, who are decent and to Fresno State, who are less so. Well, even the laid back cats in Pasadena are getting hot under the collar.
Listen. It’s way too early to start screeching about these very talented coaches being anything like under pressure, let alone losing their jobs. That is just absurd. These guys are, in their own professions, geniuses. Willie Taggart has coached for Western Kentucky, Oregon and South Florida before getting the Florida State job. He knows what’s what. He ain’t no novice.
But its about mo-mentum. Each of these guys is under pressure. UCLA face Colorado on Saturday. The same Colorado that beat Scott Frost’s Nebraska in week one. UCLA fans are not impressed with what they have seen. This will be an interesting one to watch.
Unsurprisingly its in the hot bed of the South that fans are most agitated. Willie and the Seminoles face Northern Illinois on Saturday, an awkward opponent but not a world beater. Lose that one and the discontent gets louder.
Who would be a Head Coach. Oh and just in case you think I missed Texas. I reckon Tom Hermon saved his job on Saturday against a very unconvincing USC. Defeat to the Trojans, I think would have seen Hermon under too much pressure.
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