It is officially silly season. There are rumors here and rumors there, and they are about just about every coach in the country. Saban to Cal*, Dabo to Appalachian State*, and Charlie Strong to Michigan*, you really hear it all. (*probably reported by The Athletic)
First and foremost, do not believe everything you read on the internet. Well, except this. Believe this.
Look, we have already heard about rumors of Mike Norvell to Florida State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Arkansas. You will continue to hear other rumors with guys like Sonny Dykes, Billy Napier, and Lane Kiffin. And for every rumor you hear, you probably shouldn’t believe it. Right now, they are talking about Deion Sanders coaching the Florida State Seminoles. Like I said, it is silly season y’all.
The silliest part about it is, a lot of those talented Group of 5 coaches, in the next couple of seasons, will leave their respective school. And it really makes no sense. Look at Chad Morris for example. He had a program getting ready to roll, in a good conference, with a good fan base. He had the support of the AD, a 32,00 capacity stadium, and was located in a good city. Now he is, considered by most, the worst coach ever in the SEC as he is now out of a job.
BREAKING: After just 22 games, Chad Morris has been fried as the head coach of the Arkansas football program. pic.twitter.com/bWgCC4mgjB— Clara Goodwin (@5NEWSClara) November 10, 2019
Now look at Willie Taggart, who turned around two schools completely, and built a wonderful team at USF. He lived in Tampa, played at Raymond James Stadium, and had the complete support of the program. He leaves for Oregon, struggles, somehow got the Florida State job, and is fired in less than two seasons.
Mike Norvell said it best, “The grass isn’t always greener.” And hopefully he means it.
Mike Norvell has the city entranced with this football team. College GameDay made its way to Memphis, TN. The team has been one of the top teams in college football under his leadership. He has the Liberty Bowl, which when sold-out holds 59,000 people. He has a city that loves their Tigers, and an AD and President who do, too. You have the ability to continue to grow what you have built. This is not NCAA 14. You shouldn’t just go win and dash for a new job. Look at the work that Gary Patterson, Ken Niumatalolo, Rick Stockstill, Kyle Whittingham, and Rocky Long have put in. Gary Patterson and Kyle Whittingham both helped get their teams to make the jump to a Power 6 Conference, while Niumatalolo, Stockstill, and Long have all sustained success at their respective programs for at least 8+ years.
College Football can’t grow if every time a coach wins at a lesser program they jump to a bigger school that is struggling. It just maintains the control of the main schools. With schools like UCF, Cincinnati, Boise State, Appalachian State, and Toledo having great season after great season, you can expect Florida State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and USC to come calling on them. But what if those coaches said, “No, screw you! You are nothing but a big, fat, stinky, ugly bully!”?
Imagine what Scott Frost, Willie Taggart, and Geoff Collins could have been doing this year with their AAC programs. They were a combined 31-6 in their final years at their schools. Since then, they are 19-31 and Taggart has been fired.
Mike Norvell has built the Memphis Tigers’ program up, sustained success, and he has another great team coming back next year. Keep the P6 movement rolling. You are in a great city, like most AAC teams are. You are better than both of the SEC schools in your state. You have nice uniforms, a good stadium full of incredible fans, and lower expectations.
If you have a down season, you won’t get fired, You have already done the building and now you just maintain. All these coaches can go down as the greatest coaches in the history of their respective program. Do not make the Group of 5 schools your stepping stone, make them serious contenders. A destination.
So all you big bully P5 schools, go find someone else. Really, just go look somewhere else. Go get some coordinators from Clemson or Alabama or something. We are building something special, so leave us to enjoy our Underdog Dynasty.