Wildest Week in College Football History?
Upsets, Injuries, Suspensions, Firings, and a Resignation.
Less than a week ago, the narratives in college football were that Chip Kelly was going to be next head coach at Texas, both USC’s had head coaches, and SEC stars were healthy and eligible.
Four days just changed the landscape.
Charlie Strong saved his job, Steve Sarkisian went from employed to suspended to fired, the Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier stepped down, Will Grier got suspended from undefeated Florida, and Georgia stud running Nick Chubb blew his knee out.
The Texas Longhorns were mired in a 1-4 start, and with undefeated
Oklahoma rolling in, the natives were becoming restless in Austin. After a dominating 24-17 upset over the Sooners, the Longhorns players showed exactly what they thought of Strong, hoisting him over their heads as if they had just won a title. The Red River Rivalry win was a momentum changer for the UT program, and I doubt many, if any, in Austin want Charlie gone now. Granted, 2-4 isn’t sitting well with the money people in Burnt Orange and a bowl game is still a long shot, but this win will be remembered for years as when the ‘Horns turned things around.
Steve Spurrier deserved better. Considering all the Head Ball Coach has given to college football, going out with a whimper in the middle of another disastrous Gamecoks season is not how it his career should have ended. Some coaches hang on a tad too long (Bowden, Paterno, Beamer, Ferentz) mainly living off reputation, Spurrier lost his drive and stepped down as head coach of South Carolina on Monday. Had Spurrier stated he was leaving at the end of the 2015 season, it would have shocked no one. To leave on a Monday in October does not do him justice.
A Heisman Trophy winner who returned home to lead the Florida Gators to a National Title in 1996, Spurrier was a true icon in the world of coaching. Winning record a coach in the USFL, winning record at Duke (of all places), the HBC returned to Gainesville for 12 seasons before moving to the NFL. I can’t hold the Redskins experiment against him. No one can win in DC.
When he took the South Carolina job, it seemed like ANY SEC job would have been ok, but taking the Gamecocks to nine bowl games in ten seasons is a show of his prowess.
I hope people realize what Spurrier meant to the game, truly one of a kind, but another one that held on too long.
Sunday the reports trickling out about a drunk Steve Sarkisian in team meetings, on the sidelines during games, and after games on the team plane flooded social media and before we knew it a new coaching controversy was on our hands. Less than 24 hours later Athletic Director Pat Haden (who should lose his job as well) announced that Sarkisian would no longer lead the Men of Troy.
With Notre Dame awaiting this weekend, the firing assures that USC will have its 4th different head coach facing the Irish in four years. Lane Kiffin lost to #1 ND 22-13 in 2012, Ed Orgeron (who took over for a fired Kiffin midseason) lost 14-10 in 2013, Sarkisian beat the Irish 49-14 last year, and now interim head coach Clay Helton will face Notre Dame in his first game.
Georgia sophomore running back Nick Chubb destroyed his left knee on his first carry of the game against Tennessee. Chubb becomes the latest in a long line of great college running backs to suffer gruesome knee injuries, some come back (Willis McGahee) some don’t (Marcus Lattimore). Hopefully for Chubbs’ sake he can successfully rehab the injury and return to the field to help Georgia in 2016. Lord knows UGA can’t lose in more heartbreaking fashion this year.
Usually if you are the starting quarterback of an undefeated team, you excel at making good decisions. Will Grier is not. Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain stated on Monday that his freshman signal caller tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance found in an over-the-counter supplement. The positive test carries a one year suspension, meaning Grier will miss the rest of 2015, plus the first six games of next season.
If you are an athlete who so much as visits the state of Florida on spring break, a roadtrip, or a family trip to Disney World, DON’T TAKE ANY SUPPLEMENTS. Better yet, don’t go to the state of Florida.
Outside of that, it was a pretty calm and normal college football weekend.