December 4, 2019

Here at our underground bunker complex outside the suburbs of Bamberg, SC, the crack staff of the LLC, Inc, have been putting our heads together and hashing out each and every coaching situation on the football landscape to come up with the most accurate, timely, and up to date reporting on the college football head coaching landscape. Here are the hot takes for this week.

(***NOTE*** We here at the LLC, Inc headquarters have come to the realization that this weekly feature has been lethal to head coaches featured. Gone are Willie Taggart, Chad Morris, and Greg Odom, all of whom having been noted here. We take this disturbing news seriously and will only list serious candidates for Hot-Seat-O-Meter consideration)
Jim Harbaugh of Michigan – It was supposed to be Michigan’s year. Lot’s of starters returning, Ohio State at the Big House. This was the year Harbaugh’s Wolverines were going to settle the score with the big rivals until it wasn’t. The double overtime win against Army early in the season should have been reason for concern.  Losses to Wisconsin and Penn State once again showed that Michigan probably wasn’t going to be a consequential player in the B1G. The crushing loss against Ohio State cemented that outlook. And, Michigan will not win the Big 10 as long as Justin Fields is roaming the field in Columbus
CFB Wizard Hot Seat-O-Meter Rating: 85-90 (Harbaugh’s situation is a bit perplexing. His status of being a former player will make it hard to fire him unless he totally implodes. But he wins 8 to 10 games a year. In this day in age, is that enough to get you fired? Or is going 0-5 against your biggest rival enough? )
Tom Herman of Texas – Interesting times out in Austin. Longhorn fans were understandably uncomfortable when Texas Tech jumped out to an early lead. The ‘Horns won the game 49-24, but was it enough to assuage the feelings of the UT faithful after a less than fulfilling season? Winning cures a lot of ills, but a win to bring your record to 7-5 is not the kind of thing that will bring blissful harmony to the streets of Austin. The Win/Loss record and the talent gap caused by in state rivals (A&M, Baylor) AND out of state schools (Ohio State) are reasons for concern. AND, it was recently reported that more high school coaches in the state of Texas trust Matt Ruhle and Jimbo Fisher more than Tom Herman. That’s a cultural issue. Because, well, he ain’t from down there.
CFB Wizard Hot Seat-O-Meter Rating: 75-80 (The heat is down to a bit this week because, wins make people happy… for now. Be that as it may be. Longhorn fans are restless)
Manny Diaz of Miami – Another week and another loss…. To Duke. To a 5 win Duke. But, at least it wasn’t at home. I’m sure things are uncomfortable in Coral Gables right now. In fact, I heard they were thinking about changing the name of the stadium from the “Hard Rock” to the “Hard Times and Desperate Measures” Stadium. But, you got an experienced Head Coach. I mean he had at least 17 days of head coaching experience at Temple before he was lured away and hired at Miami. But, there’s this saving grace. Daddy Diaz was the Mayor of Miami for 8 or 9 years. I’m sure that connection would come in handy if you were wanting to do some sewer upgrades during the offseason.
CFB Wizard Hot Seat-O-Meter Rating: 88-93 (It’s getting hot, but it’s only year one of the Diaz Reign. Did Richt leave the program in a less than desirable place? Who knows. He won’t go anywhere until sometime in 2020)
Honorable Mention: Gus Malzahn of Auburn – Malzahn is like a cat with 9 lives. Just when you think he’s about to have the plug pulled he pulls out some kind unlikely trick to save himself yet again. This time it was the Iron Bowl win over arch-rival Bama. Look for Auburn to once again do something crazy like give him another contract extension and then complain bitterly once again next year after losses to Georgia, LSU, Florida, and (maybe) Bama.
Ole Miss: Matt Luke was let go from Ole Miss and, while we never mentioned him on the CFB Wizard Hot Seat-O-Meter, he wasn’t far from our minds. My question is this. Was Luke set up to fail? He took over for Hugh Freeze. Hugh Freeze left that program on probation. Not only were they banned from post season play and the loss of scholarships, but football players were allowed to transfer penalty free to other schools and be granted immediate eligibility. Shea Patterson was among those that left. Ole Miss is not a juggernaut in the SEC so the results of a debilitating probation, no matter who the coach is, would be profound. It looks to us that Luke was simply a placeholder to get Ole Miss through the probationary period so that they could attract a “quality” coach.

Arkansas: Reports abound of Razorback admins travelling to Boca Raton, Florida to meet up with Lane Kiffin. But, here we need to look at the history of Arkansas coaching selections. If any team in the country has had a more up down (mostly down) history of coaching hires in the last half century, it’s Arkansas. It’s a story of decent hires, who were mostly run off, peppered with a goodly mix of flops. After Frank Broyles left in ’76, he was followed by Lou Holtz…. Who was fired. Ken Hatfield came next, and while he was successful… he resigned. 90-97 saw Jack Crowe, Joe Kines, and Danny Ford come through Fayetteville with minimal results until Houston Nutt showed up and won there for 9 or 10 years until he resigned… because of fan discontent although he had the 2nd best won-loss record in school history behind Frank Broyles. Petrino came in 2008 and won… until he left in disgrace. And it’s been downhill ever since. Arkansas needs to get this right or they’re going to be relegated to the also ran column, once again, for seasons to come
Vanderbilt (Rumors): Here’s the bottom line. Vandy has not had a highly successful head coach since the 1930’s under Dan McGugin. Yeah, look that up, folks. Yes, you had some good teams under James Franklin but he left after only 3 years and two 9-4 seasons. I would hate to see Derrick Mason go at Vandy. He’s put his heart and soul into this program for 6 years. That’s 6 years of gruesome, hard work and toil. And do you know why it’s gruesome, hard work and toil? Because you’re always pushing the rock up the hill. Vandy needs to decide what it wants to do. Be competitive and win some games or stick with the stringent academic standards it has. There’s nothing wrong with either course, but you can’t do both. All you have to do is look south about a hundred miles to Atlanta, Ga. That’s exactly why Ga Tech dropped out of the SEC years ago and went independent. They realized they couldn’t compete and win in the Southeastern Conference and maintain their stringent academic standards. So, go ahead and fire a loyal coach who obviously loves Vandy. It won’t get better.

Missouri: When Barry Odom took over for Gary Pinkel in 2016, he was walking into a pretty unique set of circumstances. The after effects of protests were still being dealt with by Mizzou and its football team. Recruiting was down, the university’s enrollment plummeted, and it had a huge image problem with prospective students and athletes.

Pinkel himself was responsible for some the unrest on the football team as he actively supported players in their lunacy. This cost the team in recruiting and it showed later when Odom took over and tried to overcome these obstacles. When you compare Odom to Pinkel, Odom actually has a better record than his predecessor over their first 4 years: Pinkel – 22-25; Odom 25-25.

Many people will say that Missouri is no longer going to settle for mediocrity. We don’t see how they’re going to break out of that mold as the best they’ve ever done over the last 100 years is win 15 conference titles. That includes a 60 year stretch from ’46 to 2006 which saw them win only 2 – under Dan Devine. In Pinkel’s 15 years, the best he ever finished was #5 in the country and with 5 conference titles between the Big 12 and SEC. Missouri is a stepping stone school. Odom was an attractive fall guy in a misguided attempt to try to repair an image that has been suffering for a few years.

Speaking of mediocrity; Missouri has hired none other than Jim (Overall record 52-32, 22 and 12 at Florida) McElwain to be the New head Coach of the Tigers. We are speechless


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