The Saturday Sitdown

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Half-jokingly suggested a couple of weeks ago, that deposed Florida State Head Coach Willie Taggert should send about a million dollars of his $18 million buyout to former South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers, as he was a major reason for building Taggert’s resume to the point that both Oregon and Florida State hired him in back-to-back years.

After all, Taggert’s career coaching record would be 37-55 without the 19-7 mark Flowers produced for him in his final two seasons with the Bulls. But the Taggert situation got me to thinking: What other once-in-a-generation type quarterbacks have made the records of coaches look better than they really are? Charlie Strong, Taggert’s replacement, is a solid 21 games over .500 in his coaching career at Louisville, Texas and USF, but take away three years of NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and one year with Flowers (which accounted for 36 of Strong’s wins), and Charlie is a less-than pedestrian 38-44. Scott Frost gained an incredible reputation for “schooling” Marcus Mariota, parlaying that into his first head coach job. But in four seasons as D-1 coach, he’s 9-15 without the services of Mackenzie Milton. And even though Jimbo Fisher is an impressive 99-32 in 10 seasons, you have to wonder whether Texas A&M would have poached him had Jameis Winston had not gone 25-1 in his two seasons for Fisher and the Noles….

My buddy says that some people are like Slinkys – not really good for anything but sometimes it would be fun to push them down a flight of steps….   

Speaking of schools looking for new head coaches, I agree whole-heartedly with the assessment of 740’s Marc Daniels. On his radio show on Wednesday, Daniels pointed out that the top non-power 5 coaches like Mike Norvell are now making between $2-4 million per year.  Daniels said that given salaries like that, and a chance to win 10 or 11 games every year, are Power 5 openings like Old Miss or Arkansas really “better” coaching jobs, knowing even if you do a great job, you are probably playing for fourth place in the SEC West? Daniels also pointed out how fans of big-name schools are usually delusional thinking that a Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops or James Franklin are going to quit their current gigs, just because you think they would be a good fit for your school.  Daniels concluded that when the big names aren’t available, and if a few guys like Norvell and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell decide to stay put, teams like Florida State may have to settle for a guy like Appalachian State’s Eliah Drinkwitz.

Christmas Parenting Tip:  Wrap a bunch of empty boxes and every time your child misbehaves throw one into the fireplace….

With Florida State’s win over No.  17 Tennessee last week, it marked the 18th time in his career that FSU Head Coach Leonard Hamilton has led an unranked team to a win over a ranked team – the most in NCAA history.  Long considered by many as a good recruiter, but an average X’s and O’s guy, Hamilton rarely receives the credit he deserves as a great coach. Playing in the tough ACC, Hamilton has posted 11, 20-win seasons at FSU. In his last three seasons, Hamilton’s teams have gone 78-29 (.729 winning percentage) and have made two deep runs into the NCAA tournament – including an Elite 8 and Sweet 16 appearance in the last two seasons. You do not win that many games just because you can recruit…

Didn’t mean to let Florida State dominate the column today, but the way the school has handled their head football coaching search is a textbook lesson on what “NOT TO DO.” By publicly acknowledging that they have had conversations with Bob Stoops and James Franklin, they have set up a scenario where whoever they hire is going to be viewed as a third or fourth choice. Of course they will release a statement that Coach “So and So” was our top target all along,” but no one is going to believe it.  Let others speculate on who you might be talking to, but everyone on the committee – including the president and AD – should have kept quiet during the process… 

One thing I have learned over 50 years of watching college football, is that everything is cyclical, and it’s impossible to keep a dynasty going forever. Alabama is one of the most storied programs in history, and certainly built on that tradition under Nick Saban. But the fact remains that even the Crimson Tide has had periods in history, where they quite frankly were rather pedestrian. From 1997-2004, Alabama was 50-46. The point here is that in good times, the fans begin to feel entitled and believe competing for a national championship every year is a birthright. But for a variety of reasons staying a top 10-program every year is simply not sustainable. Not saying Alabama is going anywhere soon, but the fact remains they played two top 20 opponents this year and lost both games. Just like Nebraska in the 1970s, Miami in the 1980s, Florida State in the 1990s and USC in the 2000s, their time as a continuous top 10 team will eventually come to an end…

That Pelaton exercise bike commercial is weird on so many levels.  First the guy’s hot wife weighs like 115 pounds and has a young child to watch after, and he feels the need to give her an exercise bike?  Second, why does she look so scared and apprehensive for that “first ride”?  She looks like the machine may drop her over a cliff if she doesn’t operate it properly. Then she takes selfies of herself riding the bike for a whole year and makes a memory video of it?  Finally she gushes, “I can’t believe how much it has changed me”…err you went from a 115-pound woman to a 112 pounds and still look exactly the same…

Y’all have a great week!