Welcome to the offweek of the offseason! We’re ever so close to the start of college football 2018, but we still have a few weeks to get through. OTE will have its annual Closing Arguments and Predictions for each team soon, but we still have to make it through this week first. How are we going to survive? By shooting our own shots out of a cannon, and by co-opting ideas from something we saw on Twitter.
Jim Harbaugh. PJ Fleck. Scott Frost. All three of these guys had a bunch of hype following them into their shiny new B1G jobs—two the result of on-field success, the other the result of running his mouth all the time. Harbaugh is still hanging on to a little bit of that hype, Fleck is still Lavar Ball-ing in his second year, and Frost needs to at least win the West to live up to his fans’ lofty expectations.
So, OTE Commentariat, which of these three will come closest to living up to the hype this year?
So, OTE Writers and Commentariat, four years from now, these three coaches will have very different trajectories. I Timecop’d myself to late July 2022, the world is still being, and one of these guys has been Fired, one has voluntarily Moved on to a different (most likely, better) job, and one has been Kept in his current job. (Yep, “has been kept” is just a terrible way to put this. I obviously mean “one is still in his current job because his school retained him to continue head coaching,” but that doesn’t start with a K so I made the change.)
Four years from now, one of Jim Harbaugh, PJ Fleck, and Scott Frost will have been fired, one will have moved on, and one will have been kept. Which is which?
AndrewK: Harbz will be at a different job, Fleck fired, Frost still there. This is mostly a function of where I think each coach is in his job’s life cycle. In another 4 years, Harbaugh would be entering year 8. Whether he’s won anything by then or not, I think even Michigan will be tired of him by then, and vice versa. Frost is either a lifer or a guy who gets as much leash as possible before being fired, so we won’t get to the end of either of those ropes in 4 years. That leaves Peej, and though I like his chances to succeed, someone’s got to go according to the call of the question.
G: Harbz still there - he’s going to go for awhile longer, pending breakdown, because he loves Mich and he’s the dream hire for the Wolverines, even if he can’t win big titles. Fleck gone - Hype can’t match the lack of gopher wins and he will take a coordinator job somewhere else. Frost, fired, because Nebraska is mediocre and the fan base believes that actually 10-15 wins is only acceptable.
WSR: Harbz will have been fired, and Fleck and Frost will both still be at their jobs because a) Notre Dame isn’t going to put an oar in the arms of Touchdown Jesus and b) well shucks, Nebraska can’t fire one of their own (AGAIN. Sorry Frank) and it’s not his fault that the players aren’t good enough for the team to be better than Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, and wisconsin in the West. This is an impossible question, and I refuse to play along. I’m just going to reprogram the simulation to save everyone from the freighter without my ship and crew being destroyed.
MNW: Harbz will move on--peaking at 2nd place won’t be good enough (spoiler: It’ll be to Michigan State, worst of all), and a couple more 3rd-place finishes doom him...sensing this, he will grab a parachute and hop back to...the NFL, I guess. That means Fleck’s getting fired in 2022 and Frost will be ensconced in Lincoln, albeit ust because Nebraska is hanging on, hanging on, hanging on in the hope that suddenly he’ll catch lightning in a bottle and go 12-0 again.
DR: Harbaugh will be fired/step aside. I anticipate some sort of psychotic break (after a close call goes against him in the game for the Little Brown Jug) in the next couple of years. It will open up a long overdue debate about mental health in DI athletics. After two or three seasons with seven or eight wins, PJ will take a job at another program. His dream scenario involves following the trail from Dinkytown to Northern Indiana. Who doesn’t love Muncie? Frost will stay. Why would he leave? His floor seems to be set at demigod status.
LPW: Harbaugh will be fired. I get it, Michigan AD Warde Manuel wants Harbaugh to retire at Michigan, but honestly, who here sees Harbaugh breaking out of his rut? He currently reminds me of Marc Richt’s tenure at Georgia, someone who is consistently good, partially outstanding but not good enough to be considered excellent. Harbaugh has not beaten OSU or won the division title, and honestly, I don’t see that happen. To quote one of his bumbling predecessors, “THIS IS MICHIGAN FERGODSAKES”, and Manuel’s boss or one of the donors forces Harbaugh out after the comparisons of Jim Harbaugh being the Mike Riley of the East become unbearable.
I see PJ Fleck coaching the Chicago Bears, if Matt Nagy doesn’t work out. Fleck, like me, grew up in the Chicago suburbs listening to the Superbowl shuffle (which was recorded down the street from the bar where I’m writing this article), watching the Bears struggle through innumerable shitty qb’s and coaches (with some flashes of brilliance, however brief, LOOKING AT YOU LOVIE SMITH). Fleck will get himself a good QB, one that is not an apathetic, cigarette smoking, mopey interception machine and will do well with the Bears.
Scott Frost will still be at Nebraska. He’ll be giving Pat Fitzgerald, Brian Ferentz, and Paul Chryst spirited challenges in the west, and will probably take the Children of the Corn to Pasadena and possibly to the playoffs
James W Snyder: Fleck has to be gone. Either he wins and moves on or loses and is fired. Because I believe in his ability to motivate, I am going to say he has a couple of good seasons at Minnesota, moves to the NFL, then flames out because the rah rah crap doesn’t work quite as well there. He’ll move back to a college that is either desperate for success, like South Carolina with Spurrier, or trying to reclaim past glory. That is when his career will get really interesting.
Frost is canned, because he’ll win 9 games each of the next 3 years, then will lose a QB to injury, along with half his defense, win 8 games, have a tie, and be fired.
Harbaugh is Michigan’s coach for life, because he’ll rally an improbable win against Ohio State every half a decade, and have a random 11 win season here and there, just enough to keep his job.
MC Clappy: I will take Scott Frost to stay, as he is a solid coach in Year 1 at his alma mater. After that is tricky, as Fleck is much more likely to bolt but also more likely to suck a whole bunch and get canned. Minnesota isn’t a destination job by any stretch, but who knows if Harbaugh really wants to coach at Michigan/in college the rest of the way? Ultimately if things go south I think Fleck is savvy enough to bail before Minnesota would be willing to fire him, and Michigan does have crazy expectations, so my final answer is Fleck will bail, Frost will stay, Harbaugh will be fired, Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the revolver.
BRT: I agree with MC that Frost stays. He has more time than that before a potential firing, and I don’t see him bolting that fast. The other two could be argued either way, but give me Fleck fired and Harbaugh getting out of town on his own. There’s almost no chance Harbaugh is ever as successful as his fanbase expects (which is more of a reflection on the fanbase than on Harbaugh, IMO, and yes, I know, Nebraska too) and he may decide he can have a nice life with fewer headaches elsewhere. Fleck’s firing may not be related to on-field performance, though I would not mind if it was (sorry WhiteSpeedReciever).
MFK 1: Who’s getting fired?
This poll is closed