My premise is simple: throw open every major college coaching job in our blessed land. Where would the coaches and cognoscenti sprint to build their empire?
Tradition is nice and not to be underestimated, but facilities and access to fertile recruiting grounds are better. Fan passion is important, but if you're in ruralia, capturing televisions is the name of the game. And never ever underestimate the value of a football friendly administration.
I'd Cut Off Multiple Fingers To Coach Here (8):
I don't think anyone is going to debate these choices too passionately, though Georgia and LSU had been moderate underachievers before finding their groove over the last decade. They are elite jobs now - no question.
I'd Cut Off A Pinky And Let You Wedgie Me To Coach Here (2):
How these two limp into bottom of the Top 10 is a source of wonderment, and I feel strange writing them there, but remember my premise of where do you want to coach football TODAY? Alabama meddling alums are a pain in the ass and the average 18 year old kid could give two shits about Bear Bryant. Yeah, Alabama is a name brand. So was Braniff. Miami is still the U, but a bad hire, facility lag, and poor fan supports continues to erode their greatness. Let me coach there and my pack of thugs and molesters would light shit up again in short order. Until my serial killer fullback brings the whole mess down with a shoddy body disposal in the Everglades. You have to weigh down the torso, folks. Get out deep. Use airboats.
I Would Cut Off A Non-Weight Bearing Toe To Coach Here (8):
Tennesse is a just miss from the Top 10 - it's certainly a very desirable job with great support and facilities. Their lack of in-state talent is a significant issue though. As for Auburn, despite their recent dominance over Alabama, the heart of the non-affiliated recruit within a half-day's drive rests with the Tide. Auburn still has to rely on mercenaries. Florida St and Penn St are in similar straits with respect to sustainability - the primary difference is that Florida St sits in a recruiting Eden. Notre Dame is a paper tiger, but their recent easing of academic requirements is having a beneficial impact on that program. Whether their Fat Jersey Fuck of a coach can actually teach college players remains to be seen.
I Would Cut Off Your Finger To Coach Here:
(in no order) Arizona State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, UCLA, Wisconsin, BYU, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Colorado, Cal, Washington, The Itasca Wampus Cats
If you can rescue these programs, you will become a living God to their fan base and ESPN. Or, at the very least, set yourself up nicely for a failed NFL shot. Beware the inertia that has set these programs in flypaper.
1. Notre Dame. Do I even have to justify this?
2. UCLA. USC has a good chance of imploding, you have good tradition of athletes, intermittent gridiron success, a solid brand name, and a good recruiting environment easily overwhelms their faggy color schemes, but those advantages can't compete with an administration that detests Saturdays. UCLA underperforms because it has made a conscious choice to do so.
3. Texas A&M. You're the clear #2 university in a state that spits out blue chip athletes like Katy Morgan in a scene from Gridiron Gangbang, you have a determined fan base paired with strong administrative support, and a whole assortment of eligibility-affirming veal management programs for your inner-city Dallas recruits. Remind me again why it is that you're kind of shitty?
4. Alabama. This program scraped into my Top 10 elite programs - how could I call them underachievers? Because, not so long ago, they would have been in the Top 5.
5. Carlisle Indian College. Oh, what. Jim Thorpe graduates and now you can't compete?
These are the jobs where the raging inferno of fan and administration expectation blazes hot and high, but no one outside these schools sees more than a flicker on the national landscape. Don't tell them that though. Beware coaches: these folks are perpetually dissatisfied and imagine themselves to be a dozen slots above where they actually are. Rather than confront their delusion, these schools prefer to assign blame: to their head coach, to a hapless bespectacled school president, to ESPN, to the SLORC junta in Burma. Though seemingly good places to be (read $$$), many of these programs are an inviting beach behind a steel rake of hidden underwater coral. Guide thy career sloop wisely...
1. Arkansas. Forrest Gump said it best: Elite is as stupid believes.
2. Louisville. The ultimate urban commuter school gleefully accepts the guys that Miami deems too thuggish. To converse with one of their fans about their place in the college football landscape is to hear a bum with pissed pants ranting in full-on dementia.
3. Clemson. It's amazing what a bullshit national championship will do to inflate expectations for decades thereafter. This isn't a bad gig. You just need to understand that Clemp-suhn fans view their cute Jenna Fischer program like it was Carol Alt in her prime.
4. Ole Miss. In a place where 960 SATs meet 960K trust funds, the floppy-haired boys from Memphis are legitimately perplexed as to their current standing in the college football world. Some of it may be attributable to the fact that qualifying a Mississippi prep athlete is roughly comparable to getting an Al Queda lieutenant to read The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants aloud in mosque.
5. Alabama. Yeah, I said it. Classic dissonance here. I don't hate Bama either. Right now this is the 4th best job in the SEC. Bama Fan believes it's hands down the best in the nation. Is it possible that an obnoxious air of entitlement can actually physically weigh down a football program? I don't quite understand the physics of it, but...yeah. It can. It adds .2 seconds to DJ Hall's 40 time. That's why Teh Major! left an Alabama gig as a Offensive Coordinator to collect kicking tees and wash jockstraps at Texas.
As always, I'm interested in your thoughts.