Coaching carousel creates top jobs


Former UF coach Ron Zook was let go by Illinois. (The Associated Press)

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 1:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 1:42 p.m.

After watching what has happened in college football, we all should be happy to have jobs.

The game has almost become a reality show.

Rick Neuheisel, pack your knives and go.

Dennis Erickson, you’re fired.

Ron Zook, no more dancing for you.

Turner Gill, you’ve been voted off the island.

Such is the world of big-time college football. Gill only got two years at Kansas. Same for Larry Porter at Memphis.




Coaches like to say they get hired to be fired. But considering the amount of money they make, nobody is going to feel sorry for them.

But I do laugh at Illinois for acting like they are surprised that the football program rode a roller-coaster for seven years. You hire the Zooker, you’re not going to get steady.

The coaching carousel is upon us. Some of the openings are really good jobs. Some are not.

I’d rank them like this:

1. Penn State; 2. North Carolina; 3. Texas A&M; 4. Arizona State; 5. UCLA; 6. Ole Miss; 7. Kansas; 8. Illinois; 9. Alabama-Birmingham; 10. Memphis; 11. The rest.

Ohio State was, of course, the best job available, but I heard the Buckeyes filled that job.

Dr. Football is still employed after a 7-3 record last week that put the year’s mark at 87-43. One week to go. Until bowl season.

Georgia vs. LSU: Bulldog linebacker Jarvis Jones said this week he thinks Georgia’s defense is as good as if not better than LSU’s. I respectfully disagree. LSU is second in total defense to Georgia’s fifth, but the Tigers have faced much better offenses. LSU, 24-10.

UCLA at Oregon: Has a coach ever been fired the week of a conference championship game? That’s just weird. Will the Bruins play hard for Neuheisel in his final game? Why start now? Oregon, 54-14.

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech: Everyone kept waiting for the Tigers to wilt. It’s good to know there are some universal truths in college football. Tech, 23-13.

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin: The first-ever Big Ten-ish championship game should be entertaining. Especially because it’s being played indoors. Wisconsin, 35-31.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: Sooners are hard to figure. Okie State makes a final bid to play for it all. Oklahoma State, 35-28.

UConn at Cincinnati: I’d love to see the ratings for this game in Louisville, which goes to the Orange Bowl if the Bearcats lose. Sorry, Charlie. Cincy, 27-21.

Texas at Baylor: A big reason not to turn my Heisman Trophy ballot in until Sunday. Robert Griffin III is certainly in the mix. Baylor, 38-28.

Southern Miss at Houston: I’d like to believe Larry Fedora can pull the upset and perhaps Houston is distracted by Kevin Sumlin speculation. I think not. Houston, 42-38.

Syracuse at Pittsburgh: OK, I’m running out of big games to pick. Pitt, 17-14.

Northern Illinois-Ohio: OK, I’ve run out. Northern Illinois, 24-27.

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