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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Coach of The Year

As the college season winds down, it seems like a good time to reflect on the performances of some of the men that orchestrate the programs around the country.

Time to talk about the coach of they year.

Certainly, ND fans would like to nominate Charlie Weis. After a tough start to the season, Weis' team gelled. Unfortunately, it was just a bit too late. But no one can argue that for the final two weeks of their season the Irish didn't look like a team that - if this were a 20 game season - was a threat to win 5 games. While college quiz bowl victories against Duke and Stanford would have been more satisfying; certainly, gridiron wins will give delusional leprechauns the opportunity to fortify false off season hopes for a big '08 campaign. And will be the basis for a #24 preseason ranking for the sons of Molly Maguire (edit).

Out in the former Big Eight, two traditional doormats rose to the apex of the flat lands conference.

Kansas and Missouri capitalized on the consistent mediocrity from top to bottom in the league. Also, weaker than expected Oklahoma and Texas teams opened the door for the 'Hawks and Tigers to continue to keep this long April Fools Joke running.

Mark Mangino and Gary Pinkel certainly deserve consideration in any COY debate.

And down in the SEC, Urban Meyer has used his system to win 9 games with a young team and get his marginally talented QB Heisman consideration. Any coach that can reload his system the way Meyer has, certainly should be a factor in COY talk.

But, quite clearly, the man who has done the most coaching and pushed a boulder completely up the hill of respectability is the man in Starkville, MS.

Sylvester Croom took over a program still reeling from the Jackie Sherrill years of 'son of a bootlegger' style recruitment and booster support, and turned it into an up and coming SEC power.

Hampered by the torched reputation of the program and the effects of probation, Croom arrived undeterred in the Old South's Magnolia state to the same sort of hospitable welcome that Sheriff Bart received upon his arrival to Rock Ridge in 'Blazing Saddles'.

Faced with the task of sorting through marginal in state talent and the tough sell job it would take to bring out of state athletes back into the 19th century, Croom was left with no option but to mold the bodies already present into football players.

His effort led MSU to a 7-5 record, with victories over such ranked programs as Auburn, Kentucky and Alabama. Certainly, the victory over Alabama was pleasurable. Croom, being a 'Bama man and never even being considered for the huge paycheck that was directed at miserable first season failure Nick Saban.

The Bulldogs finished .500 in the murderers' row SEC line-up that was originally intended to be the death warrant of the SEC's first Negro head coach.

Certainly, the future in Starkville looks bright. The victory over the Colonel Saunders' mascoted Ole Miss team led to the dismissal of rival in-state coach Ed Orgeron. Ole Miss brought in Ozark refugee Houston Nutt. All this should play out well for Croom, as Nutt can be counted on to turn Mississippi high school coaches against the the Rebels' program.

While 7-5 might not be the sort of record that legendary coaches accumulate; doing it in reconstructionist Mississippi as the first Negro head Coach in the Deep South Conference can not be overlooked as an amazing achievement.

'Sly' Croom, your COY.


wrecking_ball said...

May the cow bells ring across the land, sir.

Brendan said...

i completely agree about croom. although, i am a student at the university of illinois, so i must also bring up ron zook. i'm not sure if you watch the illini, but they are a hell of a team that will be a total force the next few seasons. that said, croom as COY, zook as runner-up.

oh, was the sons of molly maghee comment necessary? i'm irish and it just seems like an unwarranted jab at irish people. plus, notre dame was founded by french priests, so i guess technically they would be sons of some french name.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"unwarranted jab at irish people."

Sir, there is no such thing.

Dave the Wave said...

"notre dame was founded by french priests"

holy shit.

stinky drunk frogs naming themselves after drunk redbearded potato eaters.

i hate ND even more now.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"so i must also bring up ron zook. i'm not sure if you watch the illini"

Sir, if you read our archives,you will see we have had high praise for the Zooks and phenom QB Juice Williams.

And we will feel bad for him when Illinois fires him and someone else steps in and gets a title.

Dave the Wave said...

"stinky drunk frogs"

pedaphile frogs.

stinky pedaphile frogs.

sorry about the confusion.

WindRider95 said...

"...or the sons of Molly Maghee."

When making disparaging comments about the Irish, do try to be accurate.

You refer, of course, to the 'Sons of Molly Maguire.'

McGee would be 'Fibber McGee and Molly.'

No doubt Croom will receive many COY votes, as will the Kansas and Hawaii coaches...should Hawaii run the table.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

""Hawaii coaches...should Hawaii run the table."

Sir, oh no! Absolutely not!

Hawai'i runs a system.

No votes for Brennan = no votes for Jones!!!!

And sorry we let you down with our disparagement of the Irish.

But thank you for showing us how to do it proper like.

WindRider95 said...

Should Hawai'i defeat Washington - a distinct possibility as the game will be played in Honolulu - June Jones will certainly receive votes purely as a consequence of being the only undefeated Division I school.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"Should Hawai'i defeat Washington - a distinct possibility as the game will be played in Honolulu - June Jones will certainly receive votes purely as a consequence of being the only undefeated Division I school."

Sir, but it's a SYSTEM! He takes random QB's off the street and they magically throw for 500 yards.

WindRider95 said...


Say it out loud.

Go ahead...I'll wait.

Undefeated makes a statement that can't be ignored, even if Kimo The Wonder Dog is back there reading zone blitzes and throwing for 500+ yards.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"Undefeated makes a statement that can't be ignored, even if Kimo The Wonder Dog is back there reading zone blitzes and throwing for 500+ yards."

Sir, and the wonder dog would only prove that it's all the system!! That it takes no talent to QB it, and less talent to coach it.

If Brennan isn't worthy of Heisman consideration because he plays in a 'system' and UH's sched is weak...then Junes isn't worthy either! He coached the same schedule and used the same system!!!!!!!

WindRider95 said...

Ah, there's the rub!

The UH schedule was weak until they beat Nevada at Nevada, defeated once beaten (and last year's darling) Boise State (loved their Statue of Liberty play against OU!), and now have Washington for their season finale. The defeat of Boise State was significant and elevated them within the BCS rankings. A victory over Washington would do more of the same.

As for Jones, he does receive 'plus points' for the system as he implemented and refined it to fit available talent.

And Kimo The Wonder Dog is not without considerable skills.

Lil John's Pimp Cup said...

UH schedule is STILL weak even with your list of "powerhouses" added.

Arguing against the SYSTEM means you just don't get it...

go get it, Kimo..

RICHARD said...

Croom all the way.
Zook was fired immediately after losing to Croom 4 years ago. Coincidence? I think not. Losing to MSU, coached by Croom, was the final straw. Seeing his team outcoached and beaten by a black man with much less talented players in the deep south, UF AD Foley had to pull the trigger. The fire Ron Zook pressure from the Bull Gators reached critical mass that Saturday. And for that I am forever indebted to Mr. Croom.

Here's hoping MSU never loses to Nick Satan and get's his sorry ass fired too. Actually, I would like to see him get Satan's job, the money, the facilities and the spotlight.

Anarchist Accountant said...

Croom has no business in the coach of the year debate...leave that to the coach and team that spanked his behind for the second year in a row...Rich Rodriguez and West Virginia...