Thursday, August 22, 2013

Coaches that could be in trouble this season

The college football season is fast approaching. While some teams are in clear rebuilding mode, some teams are forever rebuilding. Or there are some that have plateaued or underachieved. That normally lands a coach in hot water. I have an opinion on who might be in trouble this year if their team can't catch a lucky break.

Mike London, Virginia- London came to Charlottesville with some impressive credentials after two years at Richmond. He had a 4-8 season his first year but orchestrated an 8-5 turnaround in his second season and won ACC coach of the year, which inflated fans and administrators' expectations. After taking a step back with another 4-8 season the heat is on London's Cavaliers squad to at least make a bowl game. If not London could find himself looking for another job.

Ron English, Eastern Michigan- It doesn't help when you inherit a hopeless situation. It also doesn't help when Sports Illustrated names you as one of the five worst coaches in college football. Two years ago it looked like the Eagles were poised to turn the corner after posting a 6-6 record. After last year's 2-10 record it looks like it was more of a fluke than legit. With Northern Illinois going to a BCS bowl last year, Eastern Michigan needs some dramatic improvement for English to keep his job. That's a steep hill to climb.

Lane Kiffin, USC- This is an obvious choice and everyone knows why. After being hailed as a national championship contender last season and thought of as the team to end the SEC's championship dominance the Trojans failed miserably, finishing at 7-6. Kiffin is more bluster than sideline genius, but he did get a vote of confidence from athletic director Pat Haden. Doesn't make Kiffin secure but the Trojans better be in the Rose Bowl conversation in November and December.    

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa- Even though Ferentz has been at Iowa for 14 years, this is a what have you done for me lately business. Ferentz has twice dragged the Hawkeyes out of mediocrity and into national prominence. He's also been named Big Ten coach of the year three times.  If the Hawkeyes lose to another MAC team or two, and if they finish below .500 in conference play in what appears to be a less-than-stellar Big Ten, it might finally make fiscal sense to get Ferentz out of town. The Hawkeyes were 4-8 last season and finished with six straight losses to end the season.

June Jones, SMU- This might be a little unfair since the Mustangs still haven't fully recovered from the 'death penalty' levied by the NCAA. After his success at Hawaii I'm pretty sure the administrators at SMU were looking forward to seven win seasons and mediocrity. They want to be a BCS buster/playoff contender. I think Jones is secure at SMU but you never know.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri- This also might be unfair since Pinkel will now be judged on what he does in the SEC than for his full body of work. He made the Tigers nationally relevant and achieved a No.1 ranking at one point in 2007 when they finished at No.4. The Tigers suffered some injuries to their main playmakers last season derailed their potent offense but were just a few plays from being bowl eligible. If things don't turn around soon, he might be out as head coach of Missouri. However, no one should ever doubt the amazing job he has done at Missouri.   

Robert Griffin III fined $10,000 for wearing 'Operation Patience' t-shirt

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has ran afoul of the NFL's apparel police once again.

Griffin was fined $10,000 by the NFL for wearing unauthorized apparel during warmups prior to their Monday night preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Players are prohibited from wearing unauthorized apparel during the period on game days when they are visible to the stadium and television audiences, including pregame warmups.

Griffin III was wearing an 'Operation Patience' t-shirt made by Adidas. Nike is the league's official apparel maker which makes wearing Adidas apparel a no-no. This is the second time Griffin III has been fined $10,000 by the league for wearing Adidas apparel.

Even though it seems petty for the NFL to fine Griffin III that much for wearing Adidas gear, they can't have one of the league's young marquee players pimping other apparel other than what the league sponsors.

I also understand that Adidas sponsors Griffin III so they need him to market their apparel whenever possible.