Jim Harbaugh is off to the NFL to coach the Los Angeles Chargers (still don’t like that by the way, will always be San Diego to me), and the college football coaching carousel spins on.
Sherrone Moore has been named as Harbaugh’s replacement, which funny enough made this particular carousel fairly tame. There’s always the chance that a big school would pull a big fish from another school, causing that second school to look at porching a coach from another school, and so on.
I suppose that’s simply the way of things; long gone are the Paterno-era coaching staffs, where each coach would happily stay in place for a decade-plus, for better or for worse. Though, Brian Ferentz is still out there, so maybe Kirk is the last holdover from that era.
Now, either you do a good job, and move up the proverbial ladder at another school, or you do a not-so-good job, and you get the axe. 2 to 3 years is all you get to make it or break it, it seems, though admittedly many coaches spend the large portion of their careers making smaller, incremental steps up the ladder until breaking onto the national stage.
But still, Power 5 (4?) football is mostly unforgiving, and if you’re still at the same school 5 years from now, it’s likely because you did an “okay” job - not good enough to be considered for the next rung, not bad enough to be fired.
This is why I’m largely in favor of a more-or-less unrestricted transfer portal. Coaches, despite what they may tell players, school administrators, fans, or even their coaching staffs, are by-and-large not going to be loyal to whoever their current employer is. If a better offer comes along, they gone.
Why, then, shouldn’t players be granted the same opportunity? It admittedly makes it difficult as coaching staffs must now fend off other schools from trying to lure committed players away, and they must continually “recruit” them to stay at the same school. But if I had a headhunter calling me up with a better job offer, why wouldn’t I at least listen?
And so it goes. Coaches move, and other coaching changes swirl in their wake. Players transfer in, players transfer out. And we’re here, us fans, the ones fully invested in the school, simply hoping that somehow, some way, they can put together enough competitive pieces at all levels to compete for a mythical national championship.
Seems kind of bleak at times, doesn’t it?