Take yesterday's news of the firing of Stan Brock at Army as the latest--and most stunning--sign that coaches have better win in a hurry.
Brock had two years at West Point to put the Black Knights' house in order. Six wins in two years, coupled with bad losses to arch rival Navy, does suck. But this is Army. It's not like Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard are walking through that door.
Brock may be the most glaring example, but consider the chatter that Texas A&M boosters wanted Mike Sherman out after his first season. Or that Kansas State bounced Ron Prince in the middle of his second year. Or the talk that Rich Rod wasn't the right man at Michigan. Or Sly Croom's resignation one year after winning SEC coach of the year honors.
Then, there's the case of ex-Auburn head man Tommy Tuberville, whose bad judgment in picking offensive coordinators apparently broke the camel's back. It's not like Auburn's influential boosters didn't put the heat to Tuberville at the first sign of slippage, though. Anyway, the deep-pocketed Tiger faithful finally rid themselves of Tuberville for the low, low price of $5 million.
The flip side: now you have to hire a new coach. Shouldn't be too tough, though--after all, this is Auburn, right? Well, Mike Leach is out. Same goes for Will Muschamp. No chance on long-time crush Bobby Petrino. Who's Auburn looking at now? Todd Graham, Gene Chizik, Brady Hoke.
Be careful what you wish for. A bird in the hand. The devil you know. Yada, yada. Sounds like the Auburn athletic department consulted with Dick Cheney on planning an exit strategy: fire first; hire later.
Auburn's not alone, though. Doesn't sound like anyone outside of Manhattan actually thinks Bill Snyder is the guy to lead the Wildcats back to the heights he once took them to. Don't even get Homerism started on Dabo Swinney at Clemson.
Have these schools learned nothing from Notre Dame? Four years ago, the Irish jettisoned Tyrone Willingham after three years, assuming Utah head coach Urban Meyer would jump at the chance to return to South Bend. After Meyer spurned ND for Florida, the Irish tried to lure pipe dreams like Jon Gruden to campus. Next, ND went through a string of humiliatingly unsuccessful attempts to bring in up-and-comers like Dan Hawkins, head coach of Boise State at the time.
That left the Irish with Charlie Weis. How has that worked out?
At least the Irish seem to have learned their lesson. Without a realistic chance of signing an attractive candidate this offseason, not to mention a hesitancy to eat a monster contract buyout, ND decided to retain Weis for at least one more year. It may not sound exciting, but consider the alternative.
UPDATE: Chizik is Auburn's choice. That's the same guy with a 5-19 record as a head coach at Iowa State. Exciting times on the Plains.