Brian: Another day, another coach on the proverbial college football coaching hot seat is out. According to the Tennessee Rivals site volquest.com, Derek Dooley will be fired as the head coach at Tennessee after this season. In case you were wondering, Dooley and Spaziani sit atop nearly everyone's college football hot seat rankings.
Dooley is in his third year with the Volunteer football program. He is 15-20 in three seasons at Tennessee with a 4-18 mark against SEC teams. This season, Tennessee owns a 4-6 record overall and is winless (0-6) in the SEC East. The Volunteers managed to blow a two TD lead against Missouri before falling to the Tigers 51-48 in overtime.
Prior to his stint at Tennessee, Dooley was the head coach at Louisiana Tech where he finished 17-20 overall and 12-12 in the WAC. Overall he is 32-40 and 16-30 in conference play.
Here's how Dooley's record at Tennessee compares to Spaziani's at BC:
Overall: Dooley 15-20, Spaziani 22-27
Conference: Dooley 4-18, Spaziani 13-17
Bowl Games: Dooley 0-1, Spaziani 0-2 (as non-interim HC)
Losing Seasons: Dooley 2-of-2, Spaziani 2-of-4
Both coaches are five games under .500 at their current stops. Spaz has the (much) better conference record and has two more winning seasons, but has lost more bowl games. Spaz's track record is arguably just as bad as Dooley's, but Spaz has been given an extra year at BC.
Two questions: 1) Are you surprised that Dooley got canned before Spaz? 2) Does the fact that Bates has yet to fire Spaz raise any red flags for you? Does Bates already have the next coach lined up? Has he been told not to fire Spaz until the end of the season or, the unthinkable, was he hired and told explicitly that he has to retain Spaz for the 2013 season? Your thoughts?
Jeff: No, I am not surprised that Dooley is out before Spaz because quite honestly Tennessee has a higher standard for their football program than BC does, and they do have that higher standard rightfully so. I was content with Boston College not firing Spaz in the middle of or at the end of his third season. I would not have disagreed with the decision had they made it last year but at least a significant portion of me felt he deserved to have see what the current junior class could do with one more year of experience.
First, had Spaz been a coach at Tennessee, his record would be worse because he'd be playing SEC teams eight games a season and he would have been fired in or after his third season. The standard for football is just higher there than it is at Boston College. The Volunteers football program is used to being a factor in the SEC Championship and being in the National Championship discussion. And, oh yeah, their stadium seats 100,000+.
Unfortunately, I do not think that Bates has the next coach lined up. And if he does, I am even more disappointed he has not made a move yet because the new coach should be given the maximum amount of time to find assistants and recruit for next season. I am more fearful that Bates accepted the job with a provision that he not make a move with Spaz prior to the end of the season even though that is not in the best interest of the program.
There are lots of things you can point to as to why #FireSpaz deserves to have been axed on Sunday and today at the latest. Those reasons include managing of timeouts, inability to look engaged in the game when shown on TV on the sidelines, managing of personnel, etc.
But now that Spaz has been given a fourth season there is only one reason he will be fired and should be only one reason he will be fired. The team is 2-8. He should have been fired within 24 hours of the team's seventh loss. He knew he needed to make a bowl game to keep his job after this season. Why has a decision not been made yet? Because we played Notre Dame this week? OK, fine. Then why is there not a press conference today announcing that Doug Martin will be interim head coach for the rest of the season and #FireSpaz has been dismissed? Or announce that he is resigning at the end of the season.
This is not solely about #FireSpaz though. Even the new coaches this season do not have safe futures. We are getting worse and worse, season by season and this year we have even failed to show significant improvement in the second half of the season. Our schedule is much easier but we're only going to end up with one win in the first six games and one win in the second six games. No one coach or group of players on the field has performed to what they need to in order for Boston College to be competitive in the ACC.
Players don't get fired - coaches do.