Southern Miss fans disappointed in season
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 00:10
If you are a Southern Miss football fan, you are more than likely upset, mad, worried and panicked, and you have a right to be. Your football team is 0-6, including 0-2 in conference play. After looking at my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed the past couple Saturdays, I have noticed a few trends developing, and I would like to bring these to light because many are uneducated and obnoxious.
People will blame whoever is easiest to blame.
Following the loss to Nebraska, head coach Ellis Johnson took the blame for not playing freshman quarterback Anthony Alford more. Following the loss to ECU at home, people blamed Johnson for not pulling Alford sooner and playing either of the other two quarterbacks. After the disappointing loss to Louisville, offensive coordinator Steve Buckley took the blame for calling a trick play on fourth down that killed the team’s final drive. After the loss to UCF, people began to blame defensive coordinator Tommy West for not being able to stop the Knights’ running game in the final stretch of the game.
While the coaches are partially to blame, you can’t force the horse to drink water. While a bad play call happens in a game, the coaches have no control over how the players play. If a defensive lineman cannot get pressure on the quarterback or a linebacker cannot fill a gap against the run bad things happen, and those are out of the coach’s control.
Southern Miss should be able to beat a national championship team this year.
Among my favorite things to read every week is how people “understand we are in a rebuilding year.” I disagree with the vast majority of them. While this team certainly should not be 0-6, I do not think that the team would be any better than 2-4 (wins against ECU and UCF) if anyone else was coaching the Golden Eagles. According to many comments I observe, Southern Miss would be over .500 right now if Fedora was still here. False. Accordinag to those statements, Ricky Lloyd would be the go-to quarterback, and the Eagles have not managed to do much on offense with him running the show. Also, Fedora’s defense would be struggling as much as this year’s team is.
Few understand how collegiate athletics work.
You do not fire a head coach after one year, let alone midway through his first year, simply based on his win-loss record. Not only is it premature to judge a coach based on his first 6 games as a head coach, especially when he inherits a program like that of Southern Miss, it is not in the school’s best financial interest to buy out the coach’s contract. This is not Texas, who can afford the $3.5 million it would cost to buy out Mack Brown’s contract. Southern Miss has an athletic department debt of over one million dollars. It would cost over $2 million to buy out Ellis Johnson’s contract today, which the department does not have. It does not make sense, whether fans like it or not.