Last week I wrote about winners and losers and whether it was too early for knee jerk reactions. Putting aside the Antonio Brown soap opera that unfurled Saturday night, Twitter was alight with frantic over reaction as to what was happening in the College football world.
As we move in to week three, coaching stocks are rising and falling as Athletic Director’s, Boards of Trustees, Media and Pundits start to form opinions as to how seasons are going to turn out. So let’s see who’s stock is rising and who’s is plummeting.
Let’s start with those risers……
Mack Brown at University of North Carolina
Last week Mack Brown was dancing post the Tar Heel’s win over South Carolina. I’m not sure a week’s rest is enough for the 68 year old, but his bones were twitching again after UNC’s impressive 28-25 win over Miami. The Tar Heels have now taken SEC and ACC scalps in successive games. Next up is Wake Forest which should on paper be an easier game for North Carolina. Let’s see if Mac is still dancing next week. While Mack remains a legend in the College game, his stock rose significantly this week.
Clay Helton at USC
After losing quarterback JT Daniels to a season ending knee injury last week, I really feared for the Trojan’s. Statistically speaking they have the third hardest schedule and very few, including the College Chaps gave the Trojans a chance against Stanford this weekend. But I confess to a soft spot for the Trojans and I was delighted for Clay Helton that not only did his team get a great result against a strong Stanford side, but that the Trojans soundly beat the Cardinals in a 45-20 clash at the Coliseum. It is also likely that the injury has unsurfaced an unlikely hero in back up back up QB , Kaydon Slovis who had a very impressive debut in College football.
Ed Orgeron at LSU
My @collegechaps colleague @byalexchinery has already covered the details of Coach O’s LSU victory over Texas in a separate article (link below), but all anyone who’s anyone is talking about just now is the new look offence in which Joe Burrow is looking like a superstar. LSU are looking very strong at this stage and to go to Austin and win is a BIG statement of intent.
Mel Tucker at Colorado
Coach Tucker came from Georgia with a big reputation but I am sure many were unconvinced with what he could do with the Buffs in his first season. Well a win over your two closest rivals (Colorado State and Nebraska) in the first two games of the season should get you off to a good start with the Buffs fan base. And that is what Tucker has done. Saturday’s come back win against a Cornhusker’s team that many think can do well this year, was especially impressive.
Who’s stock is falling….
It seems a little like deja vu with this bunch.
Willie Taggart at Florida State University
It was around this time last year that I wrote an article about it being too early in the season for Head Coaches to fall on their swords. And top of that list was Willie Taggart. But at that time he was in week two of his first year in charge. So cut him some slack. But last week’s miserable defeat to Boise at home heaped the pressure back on to Taggart.
What better way to bounce back from that with a resounding win over FCS cupcakes, Louisiana Monroe! Well being 24-7 up at the half, certainly helps. But then the Seminoles inexplicably imploded with LA Monroe scoring 37 points in the second half. Yes folks, you read that right 37 points. Thankfully (only if you are a Seminole fan), LA Monroe missed an extra point in overtime to give Florida State a much needed victory. But it will do nothing to help appease Taggart’s critics. Willie’s stock price hasn’t got far to fall but its now pretty much rock bottom.
Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee
Likewise JP was a first year Head Coach this time last year. But we all know Tennessee is a huge job with a fan base with wholly unrealistic expectations. A 29-26 defeat to BYU at Neyland on the back of the truly shocking defeat by Georgia State last week, also at home in Knoxville, is likely to have the Vols fans at breaking point. While Willie Taggart has apathy to contend with at Tallahassee it might also be his short term saviour. There is zero apathy at Tennessee and the fan base will let their feelings be known this week coming.
Jim Harbaugh at Michigan
Jim Harbaugh is a Michigan man. Jim Harbaugh is mercurial. Jim Harbaugh does things his own way. Jim Harbaugh needs to win a Big Ten title. On the back of Saturday’s lacklustre display against a pretty decent Army team, this is likely to be another year of frustration for Wolverine’s fans. In fact if it wasnt for a missed field goal with the last kick of regular time, we would be talking about an Army victory. Next up for Big Blue is Wisconsin in Madison, which will be an entirely different game and atmosphere. I assume Harbaugh persists with Shea Patterson at QB, but it seems time to let Dylan McCaffrey have his chance.
Chip Kelly at UCLA
Kelly is being paid a kings ransom to coach in Los Angeles and UCLA were pretty poor last year. But Kelly got the benefit of doubt. However defeats to Cincinnati and then unbelievably San Diego State on Saturday must have Kelly’s seat too warm to sit on. Next up is Oklahoma where a win seems improbable. Can Chip keep his job if he starts 0-3? I’m not so sure. This high profile hire is looking disastrous right now.
Manny Diaz at Miami
Most people include myself think that Manny Diaz moving back to Miami was a great move. I thought that Miami were actually the better team against Florida in that week zero game, despite losing. But a second defeat, now to Mack Brown’s rejuvenated but lets face it unfancied Tar Heels is definitely a set back. But as I have said above Diaz is a year one coach and he gets time to sort this out. But an inauspicious start for the Hurricanes where expectations are high