>The Changing Landscape

>Is it just me or does anyone else find it interesting that the first two coaches to play in the BCS title game have both been on the hot seat the past two seasons. Last year, it was the debacle season that led to Phil Fulmer being replaced at Tennessee and now this year, rumors are swirling about the future of Bobby Bowden at Florida State.

It’s interesting to hear some of the same criticisms leveled at Bowden that were leveled at Fulmer last year–namely that the game has passed them by and that new blood is needed. Of course, FSU has created a no-win situation of their own by giving coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher a $5 million bonus should Bowden not retire as head coach at the end of the year.

Earlier this year, as I was reading Clay Travis’ “On Rocky Top,” I got to thinking about coaches who are institutions at certain schools. Fulmer was one at UT, Bowden is one at FSU and Jo Paterno is one at Penn State. As I relived what happened to Fulmer, I began to wonder just how long the leash was at FSU and Penn State for these “legendary” coaches.

Guess we’re finding out now that the leash is only as long as losses to Miami and South Florida with another potential loss to Florida in the horizon at FSU.

I’ve noticed a lot of long-term coaches rallying for Bowden, including Mack Brown at Texas and Paterno at Penn State. Which is nice for Bobby and all, but where was this show of support last year when Fulmer was on the hot seat?

It’s interesting to hear that the argument for Bobby staying is that he’s done so much for college football and he should be allowed to step away on his own terms. But I’d argue that it’s what Bobby achieved early in his career and how he changed the landscape of college football that is what’s coming back to bite him now. He was so successful in the ’90’s that now even a good season looks like a failure and then string together a few like the last couple of years and, well, it’s not looking good.

Of course, there are other criticism like Bobby has lost touch with the team and the coaching staff being leveled. I don’t know how much or how little or if it is true because I don’t really follow FSU football that closely.

However, I am fascinated by the fact that in two years we could lose the two coaches who were on the sidelines for the BCS title game…and how the BCS itself has changed the expectations and hopes of the schools involved and ultimately will lead to two great coaches being forced out from their respective schools.

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