Mike Lantry, 1972
According to an ESPN report here, USC (Pat Haden) is going to smash the piggy-bank to get a big-name head coach. Thought this was interesting as we collectively ponder changes.
One industry source told me this week that USC is willing to extend an offer of up to $6 million a year to get its man. Yes, that’s more than Nick Saban makes (for now).
Washington State HC Mike Leach made some amusing comments about playing at USC and the Trojan 2 deep roster:
“It’s not the loudest stadium, but there’s some magic here," said Leach. "From that standpoint, I can’t wait to play here again."
A Washington State coach saying he can’t wait to play here again? Is Haden listening? And Leach wasn’t finished.
“These are high-profile players at USC, for goodness sakes," Leach chortled. "They have their Twitter handle next to their name on their two-deep roster."
With waves of boos surrounding them from late in the first quarter until they walked off the field Saturday, the Trojans players are now feeling the brunt of the fans’ distaste for their coach. This was the worst and earliest expression of dissatisfaction by Trojan Nation in recent memory, and it was certainly the ugliest, and it was hard to blame them.
Meanwhile, "Fire Kiffin" chants at LA Coliseum...during warm ups? Kiffykins response?
"You can’t worry about that, it is what it is," Kiffin said of the boos. "I think I heard those before the game started, in warmups, I’m getting used to it."
But should his players, college kids who really aren’t the target of the boos, have to get used to it?
"We’re getting used to playing on the road," Kiffin said with an odd, tiny grin.
Now that college football season is nearly upon us, and wildly inspired by Cracked.com’s Sunday article, “The 5 Most Creative Acts of Insanity by Modern Dictators”, I couldn’t help but wonder if I could get my creative, historical snark on and write up a tome on similarly bat-shit college football coaches. After all, this a world where Bo Pellini, Les Miles and Wil Muschamp prowl the sidelines.
The amazing thing I learned in writing this diary is that a coach need not be named “GERG” to engage in motivational hilarity, and that our former Defensive Coordinator’s pep talk with a fur-covered hand puppet didn’t even make my Top 5 (though it might have been #6 since we were all left asking “What. The.F-ck?”). Neither did Rich Rodriguez’s use of YouTube and ten gallon hats and Josh Groban.
Google “insane college football coaches”, and you’ll get nearly 2.8 million hits, and not one of them will mention so much as a sock monkey (go ahead and check – I’ll wait).
#5 Brian Kelly Tries to Recreate That Scene from “Scanners”
You know the one I mean. Against a mediocre South Florida team in 2011, Notre Dame head coach, Brian Kelly, went all Bobby Knight after his team coughed up its third turn-over of the game. Now, I imagine that he was just reacting as most ND fans did at that moment, what with the Irish deep in Bulls territory and threatening to score, and all.
Still, Coach Kelly managed to put the “A” in “apoplectic”, nearly having a stroke on the sidelines that was captured and replayed by media talking heads far and wide for the next week and on opposing fan sites long after. There are MGoUsers who actually have the photo of the key moment as their avatars, and they’re probably not the only ones.
#4 Lane Kiffin Holds a Press Conference for the Recruit That Never Was
Back in World War II, the British made Mincemeat of the Nazis by staging an elaborate ruse that involved a real dead man, a fake identity, a submarine and a clown car (I’m finding the last bit difficult to confirm) in an effort to make the Germans believe the forthcoming Allied landings in Sicily were going to be anywhere but Sicily. Everyone who has ever head-faked their dog by pretend-throwing a Frisbee knows how the trick works. The Allies were delighted to find that Hitler was a lot more trusting than a retriever, who sent his army chasing a stick out near Malta while the Allies were invading Sicily.
Evidently taking a page from British history (or not, Lane Kiffin doesn’t strike me as the type to open a lot of books) the coach decided to stage a fake press conference for nine recruits to Tennessee in 2009. Unfortunately for him, that’s an NCAA violation.
But Coach Kiffin didn’t stop there.
Continuing with the “World War II” theme, the coach channeled Humphrey Bogart and the end of Casablanca by installing a fog machine to simulate a “game environment” for those same recruits, which is also an NCAA violation. No word on whether he was also thinking about adding a disco ball and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
#3 Marshall Strength Coaches Think Kevin Bacon is a Pussy
Taking the term “hot seat” into uncharted territory, not only was the Omega house initiation apparently used as a how-to guide for motivating the Thundering Herd, but Marshall’s former staff upped the ante by lighting the paddles on fire.
With their breath.
Fortunately for Matthew McConaughey, none of the players on the business end seemed to enjoy lunches of double bean burritos and egg salad sandwiches. He’s done that movie once and his agent has probably insisted that he’s not interested in filming a We Are Marshall sequel, no matter how hot he is for January Jones.
#2 Woody Hayes Forgets That Size Does Matter
Speaking of wood, this story comes to us courtesy of Urbz himself, who claims he witnessed the event. I don’t normally speak ill of the dead but I’m making an exception in this case because Ohio State.
For those of you too creeped out to watch Urban Meyer (and who isn't?), I'll give you the gist of it. Evidently, Woody had advanced to that age where he no longer had a useful purpose for Little Woody, or at least one of the two that Nature most intended. So, just like in that heart-tugging ending from Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, the old coach said “F- You!” to PETA, dug deep and pulled one out (of his pants).
After a humbling bowl loss, then-Buckeye head coach, Earle Bruce, asked Woody to come in and give a pep talk to the coaches on toughness. Immediately after berating the current staff on its lack of meddle, Hayes opened a box to reveal a snapping turtle, whipped his (apparently seldom used) baby maker out of his trousers, and demonstrated for Earle’s staff what a real man is capable of doing that they aren’t.
In case it’s not readily apparent what he did, I’ll let you use your imaginations or read the story yourselves. It hurts below my waistline to even write about it.
I feel awful for the turtle. Reptile or not, no species of plant or animal should have to do that for a Buckeye. And it got a poke in the eye for its troubles.
Thank God Bo didn’t bring every one of Woody’s lasting lesson with him to Ann Arbor.
#1 John L. Smith Tries to Get the Voices in His Head to Stop
What? You thought I wouldn’t remember this one?
In the raw vote (which I conducted solely inside my head) this episode of The Ball Coach Be Crazy Yo’ only finished second. But since this happened while he was still in the process of earning the Sparty No! Lifetime Achievement Award, and it was caught on camera by everyone, and it’s been replayed eleventy billion times, and he later went on to become some kind of Bat Shit Superhero at Arkansas, he’s earned the outright top spot in my list.
In doing the research for this story, I realized I could have written it as “Top 5 Reasons JLS is Insane”, but that would have been too easy. And it’s probably already been done.
As always, your mileage may vary.
USC WR and 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee injured his shoulder yesterday at practice. USC already lost WRs George Farmer and Steven Mitchell to torn ACLs earlier this year. Their WR depth chart is extremely limited with the scholarship sanctions, and Lee is probably the best player on the team. Going to be an interesting year for USC and Kiffin.
Here's an interesting Rivals article (link). Highlights!
- Obviously: OSU and Michigan have the best recruiters. You probably know all about Michigan's body of work, but OSU was admittedly impressive in Texas and Georgia. They secured the #1 Texan and took a 4 star running back wanted by Texas/Oregon. They also beat out 'Bama and Georgia for a 5 star Georgian linebacker.
- Also expected: Fred Jackson's recruiting prowess in Detroit is like Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, but cleaner (This is almost not an exaggeration.)
- Greg Mattison's work all over the country gets mentioned. He's credited for securing Poggi from the Crimson Temptress, but you probably knew that already.
- I think Indiana's continued recruiting successes are the most noteworthy. They pulled a couple 4 star prospects from the Hoosier State--but also a 4 star out of Georgia. Indy raiding the SEC is pretty wild.
- Jerry Montgomery didn't make the list. These things probably vary by year, and I don't think it's a strong indication of anything in particular, but it's a relevant omission for Michigan fans.
- Frosting should come in two varieties: Chuck E. Cheese-style and the kind made with cream cheese. Also, all pie crusts should be made of graham crackers.
Per Dr. Saturday, Lane Kiffin pulled the scholarship of Kylie Fitts, a four-star DE in the recruiting class of 2013 who was scheduled to enroll early last week. Evidently he gave the kid three days' notice. Classy move.
I know there has been lots of stink made about coaches withdrawing scholarships that were promised, but has anyone heard of one revoked so close to the enrollment date?