Monday, November 26, 2007

Not the way to do it

Above: Tom Osbourne's happy face.

I like Tom Osbourne kinda sorta okay. However, I don't like this:
When the Huskers were 4-4, Osborne said, he told Callahan that if the team finished 8-4, there would be no coaching change and that if he won three of the last four games "we can maybe make it work."

"If it's two out of four, it's going to be pretty tough because now you're break even, and we haven't had many break-even seasons around here," Osborne said he told Callahan. "And if we have a losing season, there isn't any way this will work. The parameters were pretty clearly spelled out."
No no no no no. No Tom!

You can promise fans you'll have an excellent and clean program which they can enjoy and be proud of. However, you do not spell out a specific number of victories, ever, no matter the situation.

First of all: it's stupid. Sport is too unpredictable.

Second: Maybe Tom hasn't noticed that Missouri is ranked #1 in the nation, with a QB almost no major school deigned to recruit. Chase Daniel was not at the center of any recruiting firestorm. Parity has come to college football.

Kansas is #6. Hawaii is #10. Boise State defeated Oklahoma in last year's Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma's 2007 national title hopes died in Lubbock last week. Appalachian State defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor. Louisiana Monroe defeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Parity is here.

Coaching is better than ever, including at the high school level. Weight training is better than ever, including at the high school level. Video is ubiquitous, including at the high school level.

Parity has arrived. This is not the era to be discussing number of victories. Realistically, a lot of victories need to happen at a school like Nebraska. But: a specific number of victories? No way.

Third: discussing number of victories takes power away from you: the athletic director. You should be the one who decides, on a case by case basis, whether the coach stays or goes. Your guideline ought to be "excellence."

You will know excellence when you see it. Your coach and your fans deserve nothing more explicit from you. In fact, they deserve less explicitness. To be more explicit is a disservice to all parties.

Tom Osbourne's handling of this was unwise.

Related: Envy, psyche blogs, sports laboratories

No comments: