in town for free camps
Today's "snow armageddon" in the southeast got me to thinking . . .
For those of you that live in the south, y'all know what kind of reaction there is to a predicted snow storm. For those in the north, a snow storm is an everyday occurrence and you probably laugh hysterically at the reaction of southerners. (Yes, all of the bread and toilet paper in the local Target here was gone by early evening yesterday in preparation for the 4-8 inches of snow predicted).
On my enjoyable drive into work this morning, with the roads to myself, I started comparing the physical and emotional reactions of people to approaching wintry weather compared to the reaction to coaching changes across the country. As the analysis evolved, it became pretty entertaining and I wanted to share in case you are entertained as well. What I've tried to do is match the reactions to snow storms based on geographic location to the reactions of a fan base to a coaching change at a particular school. Here's some categories I've created - please feel free to add more that you believe are pertinent, especially for schools/locations that are less extreme examples that the ones I chose:
Snow in Georgia = Coaching Change at Michigan: I think this fits. Those of you in Georgia (Atlanta, in particular) that deal with approaching snow storms know how drastically people freak out when even a hint of snow is forecasted. I think this is how the coaching change/search has gone with Michigan fans:
Everyone that freaked out about a change are analogous to southerners living in Georgia that are not used to the snow. Those that did not want a coaching change were aware that a change could occur but were emotionally unprepared and started freaking out when it became a foregone conclusion (equivalent to southerners flocking to the grocery store to get milk and bread).
Everyone that welcomed the change are analogous to northerners living in Georgia that feel comfortable in anticipation of a snow storm. Those that welcomed the coaching change believed it would be "all good" and did not worry. However, once the change came they quickly realized that they were not prepared for the fallout and became extremely nervous and began expressing their reservations. For example, Atlanteans (?) realized that getting to work from the suburbs was almost an impossible exercise, just as the coaching change at Michigan has frustrated many to the point of trying to remove themselves emotionally.
[You could probably substitute several schools here including, but not limited to, Florida(?) and USC(?)]
Snow in Michigan = Coaching Change at Eastern Michigan: You could substitute a number of schools here but I thought Eastern was the most fun. Everyone that lives in or has driven regularly in Michigan knows that snow in that state is a regular occurrence and almost all but disregarded. (As an aside, I can remember being in school up there in 1993, probably the worst winter I've experienced, and classes went on as usual. I remember walking to the Frieze Building in a -60 degree wind-chill for my 8am calculus class. And I also remember commuting to work on roads covered in ice with people driving at least the speed limit, seemingly oblivious to the ice.)
I imagine this to be the same for die-hard fans of Eastern Michigan football (are there any???). They basically expect a coaching change every 2-3 years as part of the game. Just as players graduate and new players must be recruited, so do coaches at schools like Eastern.
[Other analogous schools = Minnesota(?), Washington(?)]
Snow in Florida = Coaching Change at Penn State: This one is the most enjoyable to discuss . . . Everyone in Florida knows that it could, one day, snow there. Every Penn State fan understands that, some day, Joe Paterno will retire, be fired, or pass away on the job. Nevertheless, each year that goes by where neither happens leaves Florida residents less prepared just as it leaves Penn State fans unprepared for a change. In particular, every year, Penn State's coveted assistants get wooed by other schools (e.g. Bradley) and Penn State fans freak out that their coach-in-waiting is going to be gone. When the time actually comes, if ever, its going to be very entertaining to watch.
Snow in Canada = Coaching Change at Notre Dame: Per jHackney. Self-explanatory.
It occurred to me that a delay in announcing the firing of RR and the ongoing coaching search has forced the team to wait in limbo while enrolled at the university. Given the fact that they would be required to sit out a year, this would help influence players to stay, no? IIRC (thanks Google! I is right!), Mallett and others were out immediately after the bowl game. Had RR been fired before the bowl game, we might have seen emotional reactions leading to exits rather than the current "wait and see" going on for the coaching hire.
Just a thought. An argument could be made that RABBLE RABBLE WE'D HAVE A #5 RECRUIT CLASS IF WE'D DONE IT EARLIER or, misguidedly, that such a delay led to Harbaugh not taking the job (funny how people said the delay meant JH was obviously coming, now the same people say the delay prevented UM from getting JH). However, I do think there's something to the fact that this entire roster is spending another semester with each other while the diehards (aka ones staying no matter what) get extra time to convince them to stick it out, etc.
Goudis, no matter who the coach is, is looking at being the starting Kicker at UM in 2011 as a true freshman. And as a kicker, I'm 99% sure the offensive scheme is irrelevant and the it's not like he is upset that our special teams' coach(es) were let go! So, chalk it up to a possible/probable defection just based on uncertainty (and not coaching changes, scheme, or fear of depth chart).
They also have D. Crawford listed as a soft verbal, however, I think we all know he is on the open market with UM on his "top 5."
Now that Kelvin Grady's twitter prediction of a weekend announcement has passed, and we hear from Angelique that Brandon and Miles are meeting Tuesday (why not Wednesday Dave? Not like time is a issue is it?) I would like to return to recruiting and ask the question posed in the headline, particularly to those that follow recruiting more closely than I do.
So today is the 10th, and signing day is 2/2. Let's say something surprising happens and we hire someone tomorrow night and announce it Wednesday. So a new coach officially begins on the 12th. A a staff has to be assembled, even if some come with him. That takes a few days. Realistically the staff isn't in place until the weekend. So even on my accelerated schedule for a new hire, the staff doesn't really recruit until the 15th or so. That gives them roughly two weeks to 1-familiarize themselves with the committed recruits through film and persuade them to stay, and 2- try to fill the class (approx. 8 spots open) with new recruits--a harder job since Frost/Hart/Lyons have all committed elsewhere during this transition. Is it even possible to do this in a 2 week timetable?
On tonite's episode of Top Coach we'll be going to Ann Arbor, MI. As usual your host for the evening is Ms. Erin Andrews. Our head judge is Mr. Lee Corso. Joining us tonite as a guest judge is Mr. David Brandon, Athletic Director at the University of Michigan.
As you are aware, coaches Fitzgerald, Peterson, and Harbaugh have already decided the ratings for this show were too low and umm left. But the show must go on.
So, contestants, for your quickfire challenge tonite each of you will attempt to lead your team to victory. However, there's a twist - there will be only two minutes left on the clock. Yes, it's the dreaded two minute drill challenge. Each team will begin down 8 points and with only a single time out remaining.
Coaches, your challenge begins…. Now!
Coach Patterson is off to a strong start. He's already gotten his team to the 30 yd line. Will they get a TD here or stall out?
Coach Miles looked to be stuck at his own 40, but took his TO to think it over. They came back and aired it out on 4th and 3. Now they have a first down at the 12. Man that guy sure has guts Erin! Wait, did he just eat some grass? I love a coach that eats grass!
Looks like Coach Hoke is methodically working his way down the field. He's at the 50 and his RBs are dutifully cranking out 3-5yd at a time. That's some smashmouth football there Erin. Gotta wonder if he'll have enough time though.
Coach Gruden is steaming on the sidelines. His guys just took a holding call and they're now 3rd and 15 at their own 35. Would ya look at that - I love a coach with energy like that.
OK Lee, calm down.
Oh! And Coach Miles has his TD. They line up for the 2 pt conversion and… wow, nice bootleg option and the QB sneaks over for the conversion.
Coach Hoke looks like he's stalled out at the 20. With 1:02 on the clock he's taken his TO and has one last shot to get this in the endzone. Man I love his style of in your face smashmouth football!
OK Lee, we get it. Smashmouth. Good.
And with 1:08 left Coach Patterson has gotten the TD and the 2 pt conversion. He's tied it up. Really good looking ball being played by his guys. You know these small school guys have really been comin on strong lately. I love the moxie!
Coach Gruden is really workin over the refs. Meanwhile, his team is now at the 30 and threatening to score. Boy I would not wanna be those refs right now. Look at that glare. He's gonna pop a vessel at this rate. I love that intensity!
Checking back to Coach Patterson and it looks like he's gonna play for OT. He kicks it long. Oh no! the return man get's pile driven at the 30 and fumbles! What a stroke of luck for Coach P. You know Erin, that's good coaching right there. His guys went for the kill and got it.
Really Lee, just chill.
Meanwhile, Coach Miles has lined his guys up for the kick. The kick is away, but what's this? He actually had the kicker send it high but short. He's got his true freshman track star/WR sprinting underneath the ball. He goes up and comes down with the kick. What a ballsy call. The other team was definitely not expecting that kick. Wow! Where's my mascot helmet? Cuz that was just great!
Erin, why does Coach Miles keep looking at you like that? Do you know him or something? That weird smirk he keeps shootin this way is a little bit odd...
Shut up Lee.
OK. Coach Hoke is back from his TO and has them lined up. The QB drops back and… Oh! Caught at the 15! It's gonna be close. They're gonna have to measure. Oh no! Inches short. Looks like that's it for Coach Hoke in this challenge. The other team takes a knee and that's it. Tough break there. I love the way his kids played for him Erin. That guy sure can coach.
With 39 ticks on the clock, Coach Gruden's boys are now at the 15. Here they go. Nice little play action and he lobs it into the corner…. Touchdown! They line up for 2 and… it's good! They kick it off it looks like this one's going to OT as the other side takes a knee. Erin, why do they keep chanting Chuckie? What does that mean? I'm confused.
Coach Patterson has his boys lined up for a game-winning 40 yarded. The kick is up, and through. The win is his.
Let's see how Coach Miles is doing.
His boys have been working the sidelines to get into FG range. The clock now reads 23 seconds and they're at the 25. Nice little pass over the middle to get to the 14 yd line. But the clock is ticking. They get up to the line and spike it. 9 seconds left. Coach Miles calls the play… he has them run it to the middle of the field to give the kicker a better angle. Wait, what?!?! A running play? Now he's desperately trying to call a TO but doesn't have any left. Confusion on the sidelines. And that's it. In position to win it, but cursed by poor clock management. Erin I... well I just don't know what to say.
Well Coach Patterson clearly won this challenge. Still, great efforts by each of our contestants. There's no longer immunity, but in recognition of your win Coach, you've been granted a two year contract extension. And in the elimination challenge you'll be given home-field advantage.
Hey Erin, why is Coach Miles still smilin at you even though he lost?
Shut up Lee.
As you know there can be only one Top Coach. The winner will get a brand new Head Coaching contract worth $3M+/yr with the University of Michigan. For your elimination challenge we will be heading to the Big House. There you'll be performing a set of tasks vital to being a Top Coach. Afterwards we'll review your results at judge's chalkboard and one of you will be named Top Coach. Good Luck.
After the break we'll see how our contestants do in their elimination challenge.
Mr. Brandon, you haven't said a word yet. Anything you'd like to add?
Well... ummm... no.
OK then. More after the break!
Get in on Top Coach mania. Text your vote for the winner to 6462564 (your carrier's standard message and data rates may apply.)