I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win! Wait, we lost? Oh..
That very chant is the one which was being bellowed by politicians and students alike right up until the tragic events that befell our heroic soccer team yesterday (#Howard2016). What you might not know about it is that our very own resident football mastermind Paul Johnson is (technically) the person behind the chant; it originated at Navy during his days with the Midshipmen. How does this make Johnson responsible? Because the chant would never have come into existence if CPJ hadn't overhauled and revived the Navy program with a new offensive philosophy that evened the playing field so well -- the Midshipmen were coming off a stretch of three wins in three years in which there was nothing to chant about whatsoever. Add a very catchy (albeit somewhat annoying) chant to Paul Johnson's résumé that already includes 154 wins and a fantastic sense of humor!
Yesterday marked Louisville's first day as an official member of the ACC. The Cardinals, who joined us via the now-imploded Big East and then the AAC, will make what is a top-heavy Atlantic Division even more crowded, replacing the silly turtles from College Park and joining Clemson and Florida State atop the standings. In honor of the ACC's newest member, the AJC put together a list of 11 Tech-related things to know about the Cardinals, some of which are exciting and some disappointing. Among the disappointing notes is that Tech and Louisville won't meet at Bobby Dodd Stadium until 2023. That's just too long; who knows what college football will even look like in 2023? (The correct answer to this question is eight straight Tech championships, by the way.) I'm really excited to see Lousiville come play in McCamish Pavilion, however. That game is in the near future and should be very exciting to watch.
Speaking of conference realignment, ESPN claims that there is flat out no secret to a successful conference change; if there was one, it would be a reasonable time to acclimate. There has been evidence that teams simply need time to change and adjust to new aspects of a bigger conference in just about every instance of a college changing memberships. Look at their example of Utah's move up to a powe-five conference. The Utes finished 8-5 in their first Pac-12 season but began to struggle immediately after until they started getting up to par as far as recruiting goes. They even had to update all of their facilities to meet the bare minimum Pac-12 standard set by powerhouses like USC and Oregon, and the same would go for any other school moving to a power conference. In my humble and often wrong opinion, any school could adjust to being in any power conference over time. No, I don't mean that Elon would be taking home SEC pennants a decade after joining the SEC, but I do think that a team like Tulane with a big fanbase and prime campus location could more than hold their own in, say, the ACC if they had enough time; facilities would improve and recruiting would flourish.
Last year's Duke team proved one thing more than anything else: the Devils have one of the best coaches in the ACC by far. David Cutcliffe may be a great coach, but how great is he in terms of salary per win? Well, one of the best in the nation actually. Duke paid coach Cutcliffe just $179,226 per win last season, best in the ACC and fifth best nationally. Where did Paul Johnson fall of this list? About where you'd expect. CPJ landed in about the middle of the pack out of the ACC coaches whose salaries are public (dang private schools, messing up everyone's data with your confidential crap) at $359,357 per win in 2013. Encouraging? Uh, not really. You ideally want to be towards the bottom of that list with David C and the Devils; it means that you are either a. having great success with a high salary (which is fine) or b. having moderate success with a low salary (which is not terrible but not great).
Daily Debate: Would any team in a low-tier DI conference (Tulane, MTSU, ECU, WKU, etc.) be able to thrive in a power conference if they were given enough time to do so? What factors would inhibit their ability to do so? What would assist them?
Have a great Wednesday!