Tommy Tuberville “resigning” at Auburn was a foregone conclusion, ever since a previous regime tried to stage a coup d’etat with Bobby Petrino several years back (the president and AD lost their jobs when it got out), Tuberville’s job status has been in limbo no matter how well he does or not (of course, it does not help in the football-mad SEC that Auburn perenially underachieved after 2003, particularly on the offensive end — and Tubs went through enough offensive coordinators to prove it.) No one resigns and still gets a $6 million buyout, though. It likely went like this:
“We want to go in a new direction.”
“I don’t really want or need to be here right now.”
Mutual parting, as far as I can read into newspaper copy. And really, a paper is actually saying Petrino is a candidate to replace Tubs?
Sly Croom is another matter. Believing he actually resigned isn’t that far-fetched. Mississippi State is far better off than it was five years ago as a program, but now everyone thinks they’ve got a shot with parity approaching in college football — and Houston Nutt doing bang-up things with Ed Orgeron’s recruits in Oxford didn’t help matters. (A 45-0 shellacking in the Egg Bowl by Ole Miss will adjust a lot of perspectives.) It’s never ceased to amuse me how coaches can have epic FAILs on the side of hte ball they coached or coordinated — in Croom’s case, his offense never approached mediocre, but this is not entirely his fault (still not excusing retaining Woody McCorvey as OC, though.)
State’s problem even after its slide back is that it’s still fucking Starkville. I have a friend who’s an alum there — and he related how little there was to do sometimes; bored out of his gourd. (I chalk part of this up to his being a California native; that’s some serious culture shock for surfer boys.) In a more realistic slant, Nutt is in Oxford with a much nicer campus and battling for recruits in a state with low population, which doesn’t make for great prospects as far as “protecting the home turf” in recruiting goes. One can take your most talented players and stash ’em on defense to build that up, but when it comes to drawing top skill guys….well.
It’s likely the reported $10 million buyout attached that keeps Charlie Weis employed in South Bend, as AD Jack Swarbrick has promised him one more year, in a mess he inherited. Essentially, Notre Dame could get someone better if it could afford the buyout, but no one thinks there is any particular advantage to going to Notre Dame now that most other football factory D-IA schools can’t offer. Even the NBC contract doesn’t look so hot in the wake of ESPN shelling out for anything and everything college football.
South Bend is eventaully going to figure out that the money train for operating its football team independent of conference is going to bring in less money down the line than joining either the Big East or Big Televen. (Smart money says Big Televen somewhere along the road, which would also get the Irish hoops squads, which are usually in the good end, out of the insanely crowded Big East.)
But the arrogance involved in inking Weis after a near-win against USC (you can tell it’s not going to work out if a loss, no matter how close, spurs on a silly and financially reckless contract extension) is palpable. So, now ND must sit and wait it out until Weis’ buyout is manageable. A fitting end, really, because although Ty Willingham sucks, he still deserved to finish out his contract.
As for Dabo Swinney going from overly enthusiastic interim coach to head guy at Clemson, there’s an easy way to look at it: who better are you going to be able to pick up right now? Will Muschamp is staying at Texas; Mike Leach has better choices than Clemson. Besides, take that 4-2, pro-rate it for a full season, knock off a loss, and you’re at 9-3, which, depending on whom you lose to, could be good enough to get to the ACC championship. Baby steps, Tigers, baby steps. You may not have Cullen Harper, but the chance of keeping C.J. Spiller for a senior season (which he said keeping Swinney would do) still gives you a good shake in a mediocre conference.