The Coaching Arms Race

Discussion in 'Vols Football' started by Tenacious D, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    The single strongest and most frequently shared trait shared by the most consistently successful teams, in any sport, or at any level, is the quality of their coaching. I believe it so true as to be self-evident.

    And the SEC is a uniquely poignant and extreme example of this theory, given the disparity between our unprecedented success in football, and absolute ineptitude in basketball.

    It's the same schools. The same fan bases. The same budgets. It's the same recruiting bases.

    Is is football generally more popular in the SEC, than basketball? Absolutely. But is the preferential fandom of each sport enough to explain the completely opposite ends of the increasingly wider chasm between our football success and basketball futility? I don't think so, and in fact, don't think it's even possible to use this as an excuse to fully explain the difference away. i'll even go a step further, and say that the overwhelming majority of SEC fans have an allegiance to the entire sports program of their member institutions, and don't just put on a different hat, or simply stop caring, simply because it's basketball.

    The majority of SEC fans don't care about basketball because it's a god-awful product, and they have no reason to care about it.

    And that apathy lowers the bar of not just interest, but expectation. And so AD's place less emphasis on it, and don't feel anything near the white-hot heat assigned to football, and the absolute demand for success, and competing at the highest level, for championships. And so, they approach the courting, paying and hiring of basketball coaches in that same vein of little to no expectations, and lo and behold, it almost always turns out to be exactly what they end up with. And so, they continue to suck, and fans care less and less and less, and the vicious cycle not only perpetuates itself, but gets worse and worse and worse.

    Want to "fix" SEC basketball, and almost immediately? Start hiring the kind of basketball coaches as you do in football - or, hell, even something modestly comparable. Because right now, we aren't, and the results of that decision speaks for itself.

    On the football side, the movement of assistant coaches, and the significant upgrades that teams are making to their assistant coaching ranks is only beginning to truly show itself - we're just seeing the very first uptick in what is about to be a very long, lasting and critically important trend - where the quality of coaching begins to extend well beyond the HC's, alone, and down to assistants, as well. Some notably recent examples include:

    LSU hires Cam Cameron, a former NFL HC, as offensive coordinator.
    Saban hires Kiffin as OC.
    Auburn hires Muschamp as DC.
    aTm hires Chavis away from LSU.
    Florida just hires Randy Shannon as LB coach.
    Bama has Kevin Steele as a LB coach.

    Simply, teams are beginning to see how upgrading the quality of assistant coaches can have a significant impact on their overall success, or failure, and some - the smart ones - are acting accordingly.

    Quite frankly, this should scare Tennessee fans to death, but curiously, seems to have thus far gone largely unnoticed or flat-out ignored.

    So, here is another way of thinking about it:

    If you think that the disparity of high-quality coaching between Butch Jones and Nick Saban is significant, worrisome, and maybe even insurmountable (barring the anomaly and miraculous) - imagine what happens to that gap when you then throw the disparity between Lane Kiffin and Mike Bajakian, or that which exists between Jones/Malhzan and Muschamp/Jancek.

    If Tennessee is already behind when our HC versus other HC's who we must be expected to compete with - and regularly beat - proves difficult, then the disparity between these newly buffeted staffs, and our own, will almost certainly make it insurmountable.

    Simply, if you think that our current coaching deficiency is glaringly bad, now, wait until you see what's about to happen over the next several years. Being a bad HC will eventually get you fired. Being a bad HC who is also too stubborn / loyal to inadequate assistant coaches, can also greatly expedite that process, and leave a freshly devastated program on its wake.

    The valley of SEC basketball is plunging lower and lower, while the mountain of SEC football is only growing larger. To stand still in either, is to lose precious ground.
    zero-sum likes this.
  2. wildnkrazykat

    wildnkrazykat Well-Known Member

    Well said.
  3. utvol0427

    utvol0427 Chieftain

    Summary: If you want to win, hire high quality coaching staffs.
  4. NYY

    NYY Super Moderator

    you get what you pay for when it comes to a head coach. It's about as simple as that. The investment side of having a Saban or a Harbaugh can't be discounted.

    And you hit the nail on the head with quality assistants widening the gap. Our BSIA can barely compete with Carson Newman.
  5. bigpapavol

    bigpapavol Chieftain

    We're France.
  6. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    I took a long way to say that, primarily. But it's much more than that, too. It's not simply "good coaches produce good results"....everyone can admit that. The rub" is in trying to help Tennessee fans to realize that it's just as true, but in the opposite direction - that hiring a bad coach will result in bad results.

    It's about getting Tennessee fans to wake up and simply recognize the very real world, all around them. And that no amount of hope, wishing, optimism or blind faith will change, or even alter, that reality. Those things can make it more comfortable. Pleasant surprises can certainly occur, and people can be upset here and there. Progress can be made to shorten the gaps, if only at times, and in certain areas. But these are all mirages, anomalies, and paper-thin-facades.

    A better coach will beat a lesser coach, consistently and badly, given enough time. That truth is no more escapable than gravity, itself.

    While I know that it's unlikely that I'll convince most Tennessee fans to hear, much less to heed and/or admit the inherent and fatally-flawed premise that Butch Jones is going to consistently compete with Nick Saban, or even the second-tier (third?) coaches beneath him - that's not even my biggest fear, really.

    My biggest fear, by far, is that I have fallen in love with and devoted myself to a program that simply sees itself as being second-tier, has no serious desire to change that, and that most of my fellow fans not only agree with such utter nonsense, but do so almost instinctively. I most fear that I'm in a vastly outnumbered minority, and that it's simply my reality, and not likely to change - not because it can't, mind you, but because no one wants or believes that it should change.

    Basically, my biggest fear is that Lane Kiffin was right, when he said "Tennessee is not serious about winning."

    And if that's true, then it's a horrible reality.
  7. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    Another thought:

    If I'm an SEC AD, why in the hell is it in my personal best interest to ignite the passion of a slumbering fanbase, for basketball?

    Seriously, think about that.

    What's in it for me?

    I might get a bump in pay, some more security, but it's not like that extra money is going into my pocket. And further, the same amount of SEC TV money is going into my budget, no matter if my basketball team finishes 25-5 or 5-25.

    And when you consider that AD's are made / broken when it comes time to hire a football coach - igniting any passion for basketball only heaps one more expectation onto my plate, and could put another bullet into the revolver of my own job security.

    Wouldn't this be in the back of your mind, somewhere, as an AD?

    And if so, who's going to demand that they do differently? The university President? The BoT? They don't want any more hassle with Athletics than they now have - because they already feel that it's far too much.

    And like in everything, it is the fan who is solely capable of leading the charge for change - and who will share the lion's share of the suffering, if they fail to do so.
  8. BroccoliVol

    BroccoliVol Member

    There aren't enough fans with the requisite intelligence to make any sort of change whatsoever. If our coaching staff is as deficient as you say we'll just lose until he gets fired.
  9. InVolNerable

    InVolNerable Fark Master Flex

    We're paying for Ruth's Chris but we're getting Golden Coral.
  10. NYY

    NYY Super Moderator

    And there's ebola in the chocolate fountain.
  11. warhammer

    warhammer Chieftain

    I might pull a Cheek before I'd eat something dipped in one of those nasty things.
  12. NYY

    NYY Super Moderator

    I would collect my mucus for 6 months and eat it, before touching that.
  13. BroccoliVol

    BroccoliVol Member

    Ebola chocolate fountain or regular chocolate fountain?
  14. syndicate

    syndicate Well-Known Member

    There's a difference?
  15. BroccoliVol

    BroccoliVol Member

    The difference is the presence of Ebola virus
  16. warhammer

    warhammer Chieftain

    I wouldn't know.
  17. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    You may be right.

    Here's another thing that I've been thinking of late - we are in an entirely new age of collegiate sports. While some (like myself) believe that it's the dawning of a new and golden age, still many others see it as the apocalypse. But we can all agree that it's changing, rapidly and on fundamental levels.

    As more and more money continues to pour into these programs, the only thing that's going to increase at a faster rate, is the level of of attention and scrutiny that comes with it. I think that this is going to shine a very bright light, into some previously dark and hidden corners of the collegiate athletic world. Most people - especially the baby boomers, who've long ago accepted the wizard-behind-the-curtain element of it all - are going to be equal parts shocked and dismayed at what may be found, and not only those things from the distant past, but which are happening right now, today, as you read these words.

    I don't think that most fans are ready for that, to be honest. And most athletic departments and universities are damned-sure neither ready nor willing to allow it, as is evidenced by their increasingly and farther-reaching efforts to control any and all aspects of the message. And despite that they are simply doubling-down on their cozy and too often controlling relationship with the local sports media members (or as is happening more frequently, simply hiring the media away, and bringing them in-house) as a means to insulate themselves, the reality is that they can't. What's worse, they're already beginning to realize this fact, and know that they really have no answer to it. The world is far (FAR) too connected, now, social media is too strong, communication is too immediate the lights are too bright, to avoid it, anymore. And these changes continue to occur, the modern fan's persistent appetite for constant and immediate information only becomes more and more voracious, AD's are going to quickly discover that they have a shockingly lesser chance of controlling information, going forward, than what they now enjoy, and the remnants which they cling to with greater desperation.

    What do I think we're about to wake up and realize? Who knows. I don't think that we're going to find dead bodies (literally, that is) or anything that rises to that level of seriousness.

    I think the biggest thing that's going to come to light is this: that by and large, most of the people who are calling the shots - coaches, AD's, and University officials are just not that damned bright. Dumb, even. "Dumb" meaning, below even average intelligence. And that a great many are both dumb and ignorant (ignorant meaning "unknowing"). Or, that they are so short-sighted to the point of blindness, rendering the entire generations-long idea of there being this carefully crafted and over-arching plan, fully mute, and it will be finally put to a suitable rest.

    I think thay we'll find the same thing with a great many boosters, too. But as whole, while they won't be quite as dumb (most were smart enough to become rich enough to matter), I think that it's eventually going to come out that a great many - more than most would guess - are little more than selfish, petty, narcissistic dipshits and douchebags, who primarily care and are most greatly motivated by how well the HC kisses their ass, and fawns over their fake royalty, than anything that the coach does on game day, or on the scoreboard.

    I look forward to that day, whenever it may come. But that it is coming, is absolutely certain, IMO.
  18. **TDCVOL**

    **TDCVOL** Contributor

    When did Lane Kiffin say that Tennessee wasn't serious about winning ? And what was he referring to ? We gave him everything he wanted.
  19. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    Think it might have had to do with compliance office.
  20. Beechervol

    Beechervol Super Moderator

    If he said post his time here he would have a solid point.

Share This Page