I was having a conversation with my Dad the other day about the world of college football, and we got to talking about how Urban Meyer is the new head coach of Ohio State, and how he'll benefit from being at such a major school, with such a recruiting hotbed, and having knowledge of the state of Florida (and possibly Georgia) for recruiting. It was then that it began to occur to me that there may be only one way to unseat the SEC from their reign of terror.
Monday I saw a tweet (don't judge) advertising an article spotlighting a very highly rated linebacker recruit who had committed to Alabama. The tweet basically read: "Top-rated linebacker commits, and you know where without even reading." It's true, most anyone who read that would immediately think of Nick
Satan Saban and the Crimson Tide, because with 2 National Titles in 3 years, they're clearly the most dominating and impressive program in the country now. Add in the recruiting dominance (more often than not, if Alabama wants you, they're going to have you) and they start looking like my Dynasty team on NCAA Football '12 for Xbox 360 -- a team that establishes on-field excellence, recruiting dominance, and is never rebuilding so much as reloading. How can they be stopped? There's really only one way, and because I'm a sneaky bastard, you're going to have to wait til after the jump to see how.
The only way he's leaving is to give the NFL another try. Think about it: it's the one challenge he hasn't conquered yet. He's had top-ranked recruiting classes, won 3 national titles (between LSU and Alabama) , etc. The only thing he's yet to do is succeed in the NFL. You may remember he had a short, unsuccessful tenure with the Dolphins after leaving LSU. I think that an NFL team could have money to pay for him but also offer him the challenge that he's yet to conquer, therefore being the most likely route of his departure from the SEC.
How about the other coaches? Well....
Les Miles, LSU -- Dude played under Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan in the 1970's. If there's any job that he would leave his current one for, it's that one. He's been a candidate in the past, but it's going to take some failure on the part of Brady Hoke for that spot to open up.
Gene Chizik, Auburn -- Dude won a national title for the War Damn Tigers but followed it up with a 7-5 regular season before a Chik-Fil-A bowl whoopin' of Virginia. He needs more success than that to stay head coach at Auburn, but even if he's more successful, he has roots at both Florida and Clemson that could lure him away.
Bobby Petrino John L. Smith, Arkansas -- Wait about 7 months and then we'll know whether Smith is still the full-time head coach there.
Mark Richt, georgie -- In my honest, completely unbiased college football fan opinion, I think it's only a matter of time before Richt is out in Athens. The amount of talent that they pull in is really not far from that of Alabama, and the inconsistent success they've had there, to me, is a reflection of very poor coaching. Last year most georgie fans would tell you that we were the best team they beat, which is less than impressive considering I will readily admit that they're at a solid talent advantage. All it will take to unseat Mark Richt will be one or two "down" recruiting years, a couple losses to Tech, and a few 2nd- and 3rd-place finishes in the division before he will be out of Athens.
Will Muschamp, Florida -- Muschamp is really not going to have much wiggle room at Florida. He's struggled to bring them success already, and I can't imagine him making good enough excuses for that for the Florida fan base to put up with it for more than 2-3 more years without seeing improvement.
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina -- At this point the only thing that will get Spurrier out of the Palmetto State is an offer to be AD at his alma mater (Florida), or possibly a giant scandal involving some of his frat-boy-esque antics.
Derek Dooley, Tennessee -- Honestly, there's no guarantee that he'll make it to the end of this sentence before he's ousted at Tennessee, so he's not a major domino in this whole process.
Joker Phillips, Kentucky -- See Dooley, Derek.
Anyways, I think the moral of the story is that a lot of this deals with Saban, Miles, Spurrier, and Richt. Those are probably the most highly regarded coaches in the conference, and it's the coaches that are driving the conference's success right now. That success won't end until they start moving elsewhere or some major NCAA catastrophe strikes 2-3 of the programs, at least in my opinion.
What say you? How do we bring the SEC back to Earth? Do they just need to get beat a couple times at the end of bowl season? Is it really in the coaches? Ready, set, go.