Football is ……
Written by Rich LaMonica on 01/11/2024
It is a couple days after the confetti fell in Houston. The prognosticators are already going in deep on the 2024 college football season. The useless pre-season rankings are already coming out Georgia is the betting favorite to win it all right now. Wow the powers that be in the world of gambling are on it in this sport.
Going into the championship game there were a couple story lines. One had to do with the often injured but strong quarterback of the Washington Huskies, Michael Penix Jr. That young man can throw the ball, there is no argument there. We were able to watch him multiple times over the season and see his calmness under pressure and delivering in both games against Oregon and their career college QB Bo Nix. Penix Jr., had a history at Indiana of season ending injuries until he followed former coaches to the Huskies and had a great two-year run. He showed his physical toughness in the championship game after it was obvious, he was hurt. He kept leading his team and wincing in pain, a testament to his mental and physical toughness.
The second story line, well isn’t that simple. For the Wolverines of Michigan, they had been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons most of the year. The first three games of the year the school self-imposed a suspension of the head coach Jim Harbaugh for recruiting violations and then again at the end of the year for illegal scouting of opposing teams’ allegations. These were the headlines and fueled the Wolverine team. Don’t get wrapped around the suspensions and how great of a team they must be to win without a head coach. He coached all week, developed the game plan and just was not present on game day.
Congratulations to the players of the Wolverines and the fans who were rabid by the end of the year.
We now move into the crazy season.
Again, just a couple days in and the godfather of college coaching has announced his retirement. Nick Saban announced his retirement. He has been doing this for a long time and at the young age of 72 he is hanging up his whistle. His overall record is amazing at 292-71-1 in college and 15 -17 in the League. He has 7 national championships 11 SEC championships with 12 SEC west championships to go with that and 1 MAC title.
Love him or hate him, his body of work is hard to argue. He had five stops as a head coach. The writer is not a Crimson Tide Fan, he is however, a football fan. Watching him build a dynasty in Bama. He has over 40 coaches in his tree that have become head coaches either in college or the NFL. Kirby Smart of course at Georgia has won two national championships after leaving Bama.
Who do you think is going to take the reigns?
A new line completely?
Either way whoever takes that seat will face scrutiny from the first second they are on campus until they build the team to where Nick had it. That shadow is going to be huge and hard to get out of. Tommy Rees his Offensive Coordinator this past season will probably interview for it but is not the answer. Head Coach at Western Michigan, Lance Taylor may be an outside candidate as he is one of the last to take a HC position from the tree. We will be on the lookout.
Just before his retirement announcement another coaching Icon was moved from his HC position in the NFL. Man, the ripples are getting big. Pete Carrol is now an advisor for the Seattle Seahawks. He is also 72 and holds a 170-120 -1 record as a head coach in the NFL 181-131-1 if you count post season. He is a member of the NFL all Decade Team for the 2010s and a Super Bowl Champion in the NFL. In college he was 83-19 with a National Championship and 7 times as the Pac 10 champion.
Two legends out of their seats on the same day, this is crazy. Rumors are flying around and have been for the last few weeks about Harbaugh going to the NFL. The Seahawks might be positioning themselves to make this happen with moving on from coach Carrol. There are multiple teams that will be contacting him, and Michigan will also try to keep him. This is going to be a fun few days or even weeks ahead to see how the dust settles.
Where do you see both these positions heading in the near future? Only time will tell.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Heroes Media Group