Chris Fowler offers blunt remarks on crazy coaching carousel, state of college football
It’s not a stretch to suggest this fall and winter has featured the most incredible coaching carousel in recent history. Maybe debatable, certainly defensible. We’ve seen coaches command unprecedented contract extensions from teams looking to stave off poachers and we’ve seen poachers hand out massive deals to pry coaches away from pretty good situations.
Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma to coach USC. Brian Kelly left Notre Dame to coach LSU. Florida fired Dan Mullen and Nebraska kept Scott Frost despite both being hired at the same time and the former having nearly 20 more wins to date than the latter. Ten-year deals are getting handed out. The first 7-figure salary for a public school coach was handed out.
“I don’t like the direction the sport’s going in that respect,” ESPN’s Chris Fowler said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show this week, pouring cold water on the sport as it reaches its postseason.
“I think it’s irreversible, basically,” he continued. “I think the fluidity is hard to stop with the transfer portal, (coaching) movement. A couple things happened … on the coaching front. (LSU’s Ed) Orgeron getting fired is a chilling thing for coaches because two years ago, he (was) walking on water at LSU. Two years later, he’s out of a job. It can happen that fast, so I think people feel like, ‘Well, if they can do that to one of your own.’
“Brian Kelly goes down to LSU knowing he’s got to win because culturally it’s a weird fit. He’s had … some awkward moments in the transition to the bayou, which is a unique, wonderful place. … (But) if you’re not from there—you don’t get the culture—you just have a shorter rope.”
The Early Signing Period is reportedly on the chopping block as college football’s power brokers try and wrap their arms around unprecedented coaching movement. The December recruiting window and the loosening of transfer restrictions have both been cited as harbingers of this kind of coaching movement. And Fowler isn’t the first to voice concerns about how things are trending.
It’ll be interesting to watch how things evolve moving forward.