Tag Archives: Ralph Friedgen

The 2010 Dubsy Awards

Now that 2010 is in the books, it is time to recognize some truly great achievements in the world of sport that may otherwise go unnoticed. With that, I give you the 2010 Dubsy Awards.

The Mickey Klutts Award for Unfortunate Naming

Winner: Gregor Fucka


I don’t care if he’s almost 40 years old, an NBA team needs to bring Fucka to North America. Fucka is a 7’1″ center/forward who most recently played with Fortitudo Bologna in the Italian League.  But this isn’t about talent, this is about all the great nicknames and headlines that a name like Fucka would bring. You  know you would be lining up for you “Mean Mutha Fucka” T-shirt.

The Bobby KnightAward for Achievements in Dramatic Public Meltdowns

Winner: Lou Piniella

This award may have been the closest vote amongst the staff here at Dubsism, but in the end Cubs manager Lou Pinella prevailed for his tirade about White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone. In all honesty, Lou won over several qualified nominees because Lou not only raised the bar by calling out a fellow player who moved onto another facet of the game, he did so by producing another Pinella gem of a meltdown. Sure, he wasn’t chucking second base into the outfield  or kicking dirt on an umpire, but it was classic Lou as only Lou can do.

The Bevo and Ralphie Award for Mascot Buffoonery

Winner: Alphie the Wolf

What would make a perfect mascot for a team named the Aces? Well, if you are in Reno, the answer is a Grimace rip-off and a low-rent wolf borrowed from the local university who is headed for a workmen’s compensation claim.

The Budd Dwyer Award for Excellence in Career Suicide

Winner: Dan Hawkins


What do you call a coach who racked up a record of 19-39 over five seasons, never won more than six games in a season, never won a bowl game, and asked for a raise?  A) Not likely to keep his job, and B) not likely to get another job.

Kyle Ringo of the The BOULDER (CO) DAILY CAMERA reports that Hawkins, who is under contract until 2012 and has gone 16-33 in his career at CU – 3-9 last season – recently confirmed on the record that he had requested a contract extension.

In a meeting of head coaches in the Colorado athletic department earlier this summer, a senior staff member asked the Buffs` head football coach if there was one thing the department could do to help his program succeed this season, what would it be? Multiple sources in the room that day told the Camera Hawkins responded by saying the school could give him a contract extension.

Nearly as stunning as his tone deaf request was Hawkins confirming the conversation on the record.  Hawkins confirmed the story after practice Wednesday. When asked why he chose to answer the question the way he did, he said, “Just the continuity, stability.”

When Ringo cited the fact that Hawkins still had three years left on his contract, Hawkins said, “To some degree. But you`re talking to recruits and guys on your team and all that kind of stuff.” Ringo reported that in response to the request, Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn indicated, “he hasn’t had any discussions with Hawkins about an extension and there are no plans for such a discussion.”

Bohn quote: “Speculation about coach`s tenure is always a delicate issue.Our process involving approval from the chancellor followed by approval from the Board of Regents is well documented, and I have great confidence and respect for our long-term contracts. We support Dan and we will evaluate him and the football program at the end of the season just as we do with all of our coaches.”

Dan Hawkins

That response is almost worthy of an award of its own for pure diplomacy, considering it was widely reported last year that Hawkins went over Bohn’s head to the school chancellor and board of regents to save his job after a 3-9 2009 season. But the last straw had to be after not having won a road game in nearly three years, the Buffaloes blew a 45-17 lead in only 12 minutes against the uber-crappy Kansas Jayhawks.

The Ed Hochuli Award for the Best Call

Winner: The guy holding the sign


Honorable Mention: Houston Astros field reporter Amy What’s-Her-Name for nicknaming this guy “Bo the Bailer.” Honestly, we’ve been big fans of Amy’s ever since she was accosted on live television by Jim Deshaies’ dad. We just wish we could remember her name.

The Jason Sehorn Award for Being Completely Overrated

Co-Winners: Tim Tebow and LeBron James

These two guys are really two sides of the same coin; that coin being having never accomplished anything at the professional level. Tim Tebow became the the most sold  jersey before he ever took an NFL snap, and the only thing LeBron has ever done to this point is make the Cleveland Cavaliers not suck for a few brief years.  Even now, Tebow is a rookie quarterback on a lousy team that isn’t likely to not be lousy anytime soon, and LeBron is a star, but in a dying league.  Yet they both draw a monstrously inordinate amount of attention.

The Clinton-Nixon Award for Cover-Up Futility

Winner: Mike Garrett

Let’s face it…As the USC athletic director, Garrett’s attempt to make us all think Rome wasn’t burning was about as successful as the original attempt, minus the violin.  It became very apparent early on that the whole Reggie Bush – OJ Mayo thing was going to become a monstrous problem. It is one thing to slip a kid some cash or even a car, but when you are buying houses for parents, that’s a bit harder to maintain the “discreet” factor at a level that won’t have the NCAA parachuting into your parking lot. The “smoking gun moment” came when head coach Pete Carroll skulked out of town Irsay-like in the middle of the night for the Seattle Seahawks’ job despite the fact he had already failed twice as an NFL coach.

The Charles O. Finley Award for Achievements in Cheap

Winner: The Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates made nearly $29.4 million in 2007 and 2008, according to team financial documents, years that were part of a streak of futility that has now reached 18 consecutive losing seasons. The team’s ownership also paid its partners $20.4 million in 2008. The documents offer a rare peek inside a team that made money by getting slightly less than half its income (about $70 million) from MLB sources — including revenue sharing, network TV, major league merchandise sales and MLB’s website. The team also held down costs, keeping player salaries near the bottom of the National League, shedding pricier talent and hoping that untested prospects would blossom. By 2010, the Pirates had baseball’s lowest opening-day payroll;  $34.9 million or just $2 million more than in 1992, the club’s last winning season. It’s no coincidence the Pirates run of consecutive losing seasons is now the worst in the history of major American pro sports teams.

The Joe Kapp Award for Being Run Out of Town

Winner: Ralph Friedgen

Fear not...the "Friedge" will be back.

Named in honor of the former NFL quarterback who was made the highest-paid player in the league by the then-Boston Patriots in 1970, only to be literally locked out of training camp the following season. This is an honor bestowed upon someone who gets the “bum’s rush” despite success. This year’s winner took a 2-10 Maryland club to a 9-4 mark, including a convincing bowl win over East Carolina. For his trouble, he was both named ACC Coach of the Year and fired.

The Bobby Layne Award for Best Performance While Drunk

Winner: Pat McAfee

The obligatory mughshot, courtesy Indianapolis PD.

Despite the fact they barely got under the wire  into the playoffs, this has not been a good year for the Indianapolis Colts.  First, there was the choke job in the Super Bowl by franchise quarterback “Fetushead” Manning. Then there has been the rash of injuries that reduced the Colts to the Ponies. But nothing tops having the Indianapolis police fish your drunken punter out of a canal.

McAfee seemed to be taking advantage of the Colts’ bye week by getting good and hammered, then taking a refreshing dip in an Indianapolis city canal.  He had difficulty explaining to police why he was completely wet and half-naked as he stood in a popular neighborhood primarily known for its nightlife; other than “I am drunk.” The cops said that McAfee’s blood-alcohol content level was 0.15, when McAfee was taken into custody around 5 a.m.  It seems McAfee was so bombed when police arrived, McAfee reportedly told them that he was waiting for a friend to come get him, but then told the officers that he was planning on taking a taxi home, and on story number three said he was walking home. That was when Indianapolis police decided the decision shouldn’t be left up to McAfee, so they arrested him.  It also seems McAfee was so drunk that they had to help him stand up and take the the breathalyzer test; police became aware of the situation when they recieved a 911 call from a frantic woman, who said that a shirtless man approached her car. The woman apparently thought that McAfee was trying to get in her car, so she ran a red light and dropped a dime on McAfee.

The Artis Gilmore Award for Achievements in Hair Boldness

Winner: Troy Polamalu

This is a category that is never, ever short of qualified nominees, but the clear choice has to be Troy Polamalu, if for no other reason he has broken a barrier by introducing us to hair insurance.

The Kyle Orton Award for Achievements in Partying

Winner: Tim Lincecum

A major part of winning this award is building a solid reputation as a party animal. Lots of people get busted for possession of a little weed; and Dock Ellis broke the “pitching while wasted” barrier. But when you are on the cover of Sports Illustrated blasting champagne, you were picked because everybody knows you can party. Let’s be honest, that SI cover just ain’t working with Joe Paterno on it.

The Vinko Bogotaj Award For Epic Failure

Winner: Dee Dee Jernigan

Again, this is a category literally dripping with outstanding and well-deserving contenders. But to take home an award as prestigious as a Dubsy, you must set yourself apart in your category.  Honestly, there really can’t be another winner than Xavier’s Dee Dee Jernigan.  There is almost nothing more fundamental in basketball than a lay-up, and there can’t be anymore of a monumental failure than Jernigan’s bricking 2 undefended lay-ups in less than 12 seconds to cost her team a trip to the Womens’ Final Four.

The Gene Mauch Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Bud Grant

This award is given annually to somebody who has been around forever, but never won anything. This year, we finally got around to the legendary Minnesota Vikings head coach, who was notorious for banning heaters at outdoor games in Minnesota and forbidding players to have contact with their wives the night before a game. He’s the only guy in both the Canadian and American football Halls of Fame, but he’s also 0-4 in Super Bowls, which is why he so richly deserves this award.

Coaches’ Death Watch: The Universal Football Edition

Since we last visited this topic, there have been many changes. Tim Brewster at Minnesota did indeed bite the dust with the rare mid-season canning; while some have gotten closer to being next, while others have likely saved their skins. But just for fun, since some of the coaches who are clearly under fire are NFL guys, we’ve have decided for the first time to include them in the Death Watch.

Those Who Have Likely Saved Themselves:

Ron Zook, Illinois Fighting Illini

The Illini are a lock to go to a bowl game at this point, since they only need one win to be eligible and have cupcakes like Minnesota and Fresno State still on the schedule. Besides, how many teams do you know that score 65 points and lose?

Ralph Friedgen, Maryland Terrapins

Don’t look now, but the Terrapins who were 2-10 last season are already bowl-eligible with a shot at winning the Atlantic Division of the ACC. Plus, when the athletic department can’t afford to buy you out, and you are retiring after next year anyway…

Still Can Save Themselves, But…

Rich Rodriguez, Michigan

He either has to win a bowl game or beat Ohio State. Period.  Because nobody is going to get more than three years to win in Ann Arbor. Jesus himself would be staying way from lumber stores in Michigan right about now…

Dennis Erickson, Arizona State

Erickson is a Hall of Fame caliber coach, so nobody at Arizona State wants to look as if they are giving him the bum’s rush. But he clearly hasn’t lived up to what the Sun Devil nation wanted. His National Championship experience was supposed to be reflected on the field. It wasn’t. His NFL experience was supposed to be reflected in recruiting. It hasn’t.

Erickson either needs to get to a bowl game or beat the hated rival; in this case winning the ” The Duel in the Desert” looks like a tall order as Arizona is ranked and looks like they have a legitimate NFL quarterback leading them.

Bob Toledo, Tulane

Lets’ face it, short of Washington State, this team might have the lowest expectations on this list. The Green Wave has gone a swampy 9-27 in the last three years. All Toledo has to do is not finish last  in Conference USA again.

So Incredibly Fired It Isn’t Funny

Dan Hawkins, Colorado

The Dan Hawkins Death Spasm: Coming Soon to a D-II school near you.

I don’t know how many “final nails” I’ve pounded into this guy’s coffin; add “letting the sorry-ass Kansas Jayhawks hang up 35 unanswered points in the 4th quarter” to the list. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets “Brewster-ed” and spends Sunday morning cleaning out his office.

Paul Wulff, Washington State

Wulff’s problem isn’t the fact that his Cougars are 1-8, its that they haven’t been closer than two scores in any of them.  He couldn’t even  beat SMU, and four losses of 20 or more points means it is time for Wulff to wave bye-bye.

Mike Locksley, New Mexico

This absolute joke of a D-I program is sinking to historic depths. This is the program Purdue fans look at to feel better about themselves. It is no longer a question of if he Lobos will lose; it’s just a matter of how much. An 0-12 season seems like a lock at this point. Things are so bad in Albuquerque the Lobo faithful have constructed a list of excuses worthy of Minnesota Viking fans; the refs are out to get us, we’re too young, blah, blah, blah. Locksley can’t assemble talent on the coaching staff or on the field, which is why neither the players or the athletic director have any respect for him. Combine that with the fact that Locksley has had some off-the-field issues which seem like they are just another note on the jack-in-the-box from springing back into the headlines, and his departure must be a foregone conclusion.

Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings


What can you say here that hasn’t already been said? The latest example of Childress’ fading grasp on the controls came in the form of yet another player altercation.  According to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Brad Childress got into an argument with Percy Harvin during Friday’s practice. The report states that Childress questioned Harvin’s effort this season, creating an even darker cloud around the team. The relationship between Childress and Harvin is already shaky, so it isn’t surprising they would have a blow-out, not to mention Harvin was “livid” over the release of Randy Moss.

Besides, when word gets out the owner wanted you gone, its time to piss on the campfire.  It’s funny this whole Moss thing started over a caterer, because Childress is the kind of guy who burns dinner, serves it anyway, and then bullies you into telling him it is delicious. He was a shitty offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, which helps to explain why a Childress offense with the greatest running back to hit this league in 25 years still can’t run the fucking ball. The guy is just an incomprehensible choad. He needs to go back to coaching high school kids where his “look at what a tough guy I am” bullshit still works.

Wade Phillips, Dallas Cowboys

Phillips is the anti-Childress; he is both an exceptional defensive coordinator and by all accounts one of the genuinely nicest guys in the league. But like Childress, he really has no business being a head coach. This isn’t an indictment of Phillips, rather just an observation that he simply doesn’t have the skill set to be a head coach. He now is clearly in over his head with the complete collapse of the Cowboys; he even admitted this in last week’s post-game presser when he said “If I knew what to do, I’d be doing it.”

And much like Childress, his job is safe through the end of the season for one big reason. Firing a coach means hiring a new one, and nobody wants to hand somebody a new job knowing there’s a lock-out coming next season. Don’t kid yourself, there’s going to be a work stoppage, and it is likely going to be a long one. Who better to play care-taker to a do-nothing job than a guy who isn’t in your future plans anyway?

Welcome to the Hot Seat Club

Danny Hope, Purdue

The honeymoon has got to be over in West Lafayette.  Everybody in Boiler Nation now has to admit that Danny Hope isn’t the savior they thought he was. Boiler fans heard a lot of stuff about what a great recruiter he was, and how he was going to take Purdue to the promised land of the upper division of the Big Ten. While he has upped the talent pool a bit by getting more kids from Florida and less of the home-grown stiffs like Jason “AARP” Werner, he simply is not a very good game-day coach. He makes some of the most bizarre decisions and can’t even make the simplest in-game adjustments. A Hope game plan better work from the jump, because there is no ability to tweak it.  A great case in point comes from Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin. All you have to do is follow the Tweets of the local beat writer who covers Boilermaker football.  See if you can spot when Wisconsin made an adjustment Hope couldn’t handle…

  • #Purdue only had 64 yards in the first half at Illinois last week. #Boilermakers have 93 yards right now.
  • Could we see a repeat of last year’s Ohio State game? #purdue #boilermakers
  • Two things Wisconsin has done well this season: No sacks and no turnovers. Today, 2 sacks, 1 turnover. #purdue #boilermakers
  • Wisconsin has now scored 10 points off #Purdue turnovers. #boilermakers
  • #Purdue only 13 yards in 2nd half. Badgers third drive starts at their own 49 after starting at Purdue 18 and Purdue 49.

You would think Purdue fans would be so used to this they would see it coming, but they never do.

Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals

Let’s be honest, it is time somebody got held accountable for this team’ s complete underperforming. They’ve run through all the other excuses short of calling out Carson Palmer.  Besides, it is easier  to fire a coach than to come to terms with the fact the problem is cultural and systemic and may take years to fix.

Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers

See the entry above for Marvin Lewis and replace the words “Carson Palmer” with “All the holdouts.” Also, add a sentence that says something to the effect of “only Norv Turner can have a quarterback on a pace to have 5,000 passing yards and still lose.”

Nine Things We’ve Learned About College Football at the Halfway Point

1) Georgia isn’t as bad as they look.

Well, they’ve only beaten Tennessee and Roast Beef State Louisiana-Lafayette, and they aren’t going to a bowl game, but the calls for Mark Richt’s head are premature. I understand how losing to a sorry-ass Colorado team can give one cause to wonder, but settle down, Dawg fans. I understand you are in a “wait until next year” scenario, but Richt has won a lot of games for you and he isn’t done yet.  Now, if they lose at home to Idaho State, all bets are off.

2) Penn State is as bad as they look.

Yesterday catastrophe against Illinois confirm the suspicions that it may be a long season in State College.  This wasn’t just the effects of having a freshman quarterback; this was full-on, nuclear-powered, suck-assery not seen since the Zack Mills era. This team has all the talent to make big plays, if only they knew how to make big plays. Much like the aforementioned Georgia Bulldogs, this is a temporary condition. Unlike Georgia, the Nittany Lions may eke three more wins out of the schedule to become bowl-eligible, but don’t surprised if it doesn’t happen.

3) Defense now Optional in the The Big 12:

The scores tell the story.

  • Nebraska 48, Kansas State 13
  • Oklahoma State 54, Louisiana-Lafayette 28
  • Texas Tech, 45, Baylor 38
  • Arkansas 24, Texas A&M 17
  • Utah 68, Iowa State 27
  • Missouri 26, Colorado 0

Other than the anomalies of the putrid Colorado offense and Texas A&M playing a good SEC team, this is a conference in which one is smart to bet the over.

4) Michigan has now been sufficiently exposed.

 

You can't have 4 without Coach 4-Head

 

Forget whatever Denard Robinson does, or how much Kirk Herbstreit wants to blow him. As we’ve said before, he is the entire Wolverine offense and once you contain him, that team simply isn’t that good. It seems that a quarterback who can use his legs to create plays also can use his arm to throw three interceptions. But Michigan’s real weakness is defense. For the second week in a row, this unit gave up huge yardage; the anemic Indiana offense threw for nearly 500 yards, and Michigan State rolled up 536 total offensive yards. If this continues, well, see points #5 and #9.

5) Jim Harbaugh is having a very successful audition to replace Coach 4-Head.

Harbaugh’s resume: He turned Stanford into a Top Ten program, he’s beaten Southern California in consecutive years, his long NFL career gives him massive recruiting credibility and he’s a Michigan alum. The only question left is how much cash does it take to get him to head for Ann Arbor?

6) BYU will fail miserably as an independent.

Conference or not, making such a move when there is an aura of instability in the locker room can only spell disaster.  The irony is that in Bronco Mendenhall’s tenure at BYU has been all about steady success and a calm presence from its leadership. Those days are over as Mendenhall seems to be hitting the “panic button, ” announcing his most severe move yet during his tenure by firing defensive coordinator Jaime Hill. Mendenhall is going back to calling plays, and otherwise wants to have a greater hand in molding a struggling team that is off to the program’s worst start since 1973.

“I need to recapture the heart and soul of this team, and I am trying to position myself in a place where I can be most effective doing that,” he said. It seems an odd move, in part because BYU is about to face one of the country’s more efficient offenses in when the Cougars travel to TCU on Oct. 16.  Mendenhall said that merely demoting Hill wasn’t a possibility as there were philosophical differences that were too tough to ignore, or compromise.

“As a leader, there are pivotal times where there become, you can call them feelings, instincts, promptings, whatever you would like,” Mendenhall said. “And that’s exactly what I felt, and I chose to act on it immediately. I don’t expect it to be popular with anyone, other than I think I did the right thing for myself and our program, and it certainly was not easy, and it doesn’t mean I don’t care for coach Hill and his family, because I do.”

Translated, Hill didn’t jump when Mendenhall said “jump,” so he got the gate. Generally, failure follows such power struggles, and failure generally doesn’t help those looking to strike out on their own.

7) Florida can whip up on handicapped guys, and that’s about it.

This is only going to help the Gators if South Carolina replaces Stephen Garcia with Stephen Hawking.

8 ) South Carolina is for real

No matter what happens on the rest of their schedule, this weekend’s defeat of top-ranked Alabama is the signature win Steve Spurrier has been waiting for in Columbia. Sure, I thought it was winning in Knoxville a few years back, but that just proved to be the beginning of the end of the Fulmer regime on Rocky Top.  With the win over Alabama, and Florida’s loss to LSU, the Gamecocks find themselves as the front runners in the SEC East.

Barring any unforeseen catastrophes, the ‘Cocks-Gators clash November 13th in  Gainesville will have a trip to the SEC Championship Game riding on it. How will Gators fans feel watching the Ol’ Ball Coach help spell the end of Florida’s ownership of the SEC East?

9) The 2010 Coaches Death Watch:

 

Ralph Friedgen, pictured here as a small dog, survives...for now.

 

It is a certainty that some coaches will lose their jobs after this season. It is just a matter of picking which ones. In order to do that, we have ranked some likely candidates in order of the probability they will not return for next season.

Ralph Friedgen, Maryland: Metaphysical Certitude

It is a certainty that Maryland doesn’t want him back; they’ve already named his successor. The problem is they didn’t check the athletic department’s bank balance before they shot off their mouths; he has a $1.75 million salary, and there is some question as to whether the University of Maryland can afford to buy out his remaining contract. As fishy as that sounds, if all goes according to contract, Friedgen will retire in 2011 and James Franklin will become the new head coach.

Mike Locksley, New Mexico: Missing an Inside Straight Draw

This is a guy who should get fired just for being tied to two other guys on this list. Locksley was a running backs coach at Maryland under Ralph Friedgen, and he’s coached with Ron Zook at both Florida and Illinois. But he’s got reasons to get fired all his own. He’s had off-the-field distractions ranging from an altercation with an assistant to sexual harrassment charges from a secretary. On the field, he has improved the Lobos’ talent, but an 0-5 start another season lacking in much competitiveness could make it difficult for the brass to stand by him past Year 2.

Saves His Job If: His players turn his system into a winner by showing some promising signs or a big win over a team like BYU or TCU. He also has to keep his name out of the news from a ll the off-field stuff.

Gets Fired Because: The Lobos go 1-11 (or worse) again and he doesn’t stay out of trouble.

Tim Brewster, Minnesota: Spilling Coffee on Your White Shirt Just Before an Important Meeting

Brewster has his fans, but also as many detractors. He also has a booster base that built a new stadium, and they want their first Rose Bowl nearly a half-century. He took over a program that was destroyed by Glen Mason, and the rebuilding is going slower than most would prefer. That may not be realistic, but that’s the situation Brewster find himself in.

Saves His Job If: Somehow, he has to squeeze no worse than a 4-8 record out of a young and troublesome defense and an offense returning nine starters.

Gets Fired Because: Short of a big win in the rest of the conference schedule, the loss to South Dakota may have sealed his fate.

Paul Wulff, Washington State: Getting a Giant, Disfiguring Pimple Before a Big Date (or if you are over 40, suddenly discovering the importance of Viagra)

This poor guy took the job because he wanted to be a head coach, and this was the open job. But he can’t escape a 3-22 record.

Saves His Job If: He finds a way to come up with a conference win, double “saves his ass” points if it is against season-ending rival Washington. After losing the opener at Oklahoma State, the Cougars rebound with wins over Montana State and at SMU. At 2-1, Washington State will have some confidence as USC comes to town. If the Cougars can pull an upset at UCLA and against Arizona at home, a 4-8 season may be the best.

Gets Fired Because: He couldn’t meet even the minimal expectations in Pullman. Even in a short time, too many embarrassing losses have piled up during the Wulff era.

Dan Hawkins. Colorado: Toast Landing on the Floor Jelly-Side Down

How Hawkins survived after last season is a head-scratcher. It seems the “Friedgen Rule” might be in effect; Colorado can’t afford to gas him. Hawkins is 16-33 in four years in Boulder, and if there is another sub-par year in Boulder, they may have a telethon to raise money for the buy-out.

Saves His Job If: This team is made up of Hawkins’ players and they have all played a great deal over the past two or three seasons. If one can gamble one experience meaning anything, Colorado bets on catching a few breaks and reaches a bowl game.

Gets Fired Because: His bets don’t come in and Colorado decides it can’t have any more 52-7 losses at California heading into its first season as a member of the Pac-10.

Rich Rodriguez, Michigan: A Torrential Downpour When You’ve Left Your Sun Roof Open

I’m not sure we really need to belabor the point here…Rodriguez was expected to restore Michigan football glory, and it hasn’t happened in three years. Meanwhile, as previously mentioned Michigan alum is just upping the offer coming from his alma mater.

Saves His Job If: He has to either win a bowl game or beat Ohio State. Period.

Gets Fired Because:  Because nobody is going to get more than three years to win in Ann Arbor.  Jesus himself would be staying way from lumber stores in Michigan right about now…

Bob Toledo, Tulane: Having Your Drive-Thru Order Get Messed Up

Being that everybody took pity on New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Tulane got a piece of that pity pie. But after five years, the bakery may be closing.

Saves His Job If:  Lets’ face it, short of Washington State, this team might have the lowest expectations on this list. The Green Wave has gone a swampy 9-27 in the last three years. All Toledo has to do is not finish last  in Conference USA again.

Gets Fired Because: He finishes last in Conference USA again.

Dennis Erickson, Arizona State: Getting Sunburned Even Though You Wore Sunscreen

Some coaches earn respect in this game to the point where there is a reluctance to fire them. Of course, it is a sliding scale. At one end is a guy like Ralph Friedgen, a guy who has not only effectively been fired, but he’s been fired like Milton from “Office Space.” They took his stapler, moved him into Sub-Basement B, but for some reason he still gets a paycheck. On the other end of that scale is Joe Paterno; statues are one thing, but when they put the coaches’ name on the library, they would have to find the Lindbergh baby in buried in his back yard, and even then they might only suspend him.

Erickson is a Hall of Fame caliber coach, so nobody at Arizona State wants to look as if they are giving him the bum’s rush. But he clearly hasn’t lived up to what the Sun Devil nation wanted. His National Championship experience was supposed to be reflected on the field. It wasn’t. His NFL experience was supposed to be reflected in recruiting. It hasn’t.

Saves His Job If: See Rich Rodriguez. Erickson either needs to get to a bowl game or beat the hated rival; in this case winning the ” The Duel in the Desert” looks like a tall order as Arizona is ranked an looks like they have a legitimate NFL quarterback leading them offensively.

Gets Fired Because: Right now, they are 3-3 with their only conference coming this past weekend on the road at Washington. That means they need to find three more conference wins out of this schedule:

Oct. 23 – @California
Oct. 30 – Washington State
Nov. 6 – @USC
Nov. 13 – Stanford
Nov. 26 – UCLA
Dec. 2 – @Arizona

The Sun Devils can forget about winning any of those road games. That also means they can’t count on the “beat the rival” card. Realistically, only the home date with Washington State is one they can feel confident about, nad UCLA is an honest “Maybe,” but other than that , the odds of picking up that third win look pretty slim.

Ron Zook, Illinois: Anybody who is a non-hot chick talking their way out of a speeding ticket

Many Chief Illiniwek lovers were hoping Ron Zook’s days in Champaign were over last year. However, it seems that getting the Illini into a Rose Bowl in 2007 was enough to get him another year. Besides, I think this weekend’s dismantling of Penn State in Happy Valley (for their Homecoming, no less) effectively saved his job. If he can get the Illini to beat in-state rival Northwestern in November, there’s no way he gets the gate.

Saves His Job If: He likely already has with the win at Penn State. This team has an outside shot a t a bowl game, with Big Eleven Ten puddles Indiana, Purdue, and Minnesota left on the schedule.

Gets Fired Because: The team completely collapses from here. If they fail to win another game and look ugly doing it, even the Penn State win won’t save him. But that isn’t likely to happen.

Lane Kiffin, USC: Data Insufficient, But There Is Cause For Concern

Honestly, I didn’t have Kiffin on this list until late Saturday night. I’m not sure how the loss to Stanford plays into the situation at Southern California, but it can’t help. The Trojan offense looks just fine; sophomore QB Matt Barkley has been solid, if unnoticed because of the Trojans’ fall from grace. However, he has completed 113 of 174 passes for 1,517 yards, 15 touchdowns, 4 interceptions. For whoever understands how this works, his passing efficiency mark of 162.03 is 14th best in the country.  Even in Saturday’s loss to Stanford, Barkley was 28-for-45 and a career-high 390 yards.

But the Trojan defense has borne the brunt of the blame. The Stanford loss only underscored the fact the USC defense can’t get many stops, especially the crucial, late-in-close-games kind. The Trojans rank 100th in the nation in total defense, allowing 428.67 yards per game.

Here’s where this gets dicey. Since Pat Haden arrived as the new Trojan athletic director, it has become clear that Kiffin simply isn’t “his guy.” Kiffin has no real head-coaching credibility, and in the wake of the scandals that have brought down the Trojan program, Kiffin is seen as an embodiment of those days.

Saves His Job If: Being in his first year as the USC head coach, he has to maximize his “new guy” status. His big problem is all the time he spent under Pete Carroll as an assistant at USC. Plus, if the boosters chalk it all up to a “probation” year and aren’t in the mood for a pound of flesh, Kiffin lives to die another day.

Gets Fired Because: Haden judges him on the sins of the past and other off-the-field criteria. On the field, that defense needs to stiffen now, otherwise their may be at least four foreseeable losses in the upcoming schedule:

Oct 16:    California
Oct 30:    Oregon
Nov 6:   Arizona St.
Nov 13:    @Arizona
Nov 20:    @Oregon St.
Nov 27:    Notre Dame
Dec 4    @UCLA

Plus, losing to Notre Dame and/or UCLA certainly won’t help.

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