September 17

Temp rises on coaching hot seat

first_imgPhillip Fulmer, TennesseeStatus: Released this weekFulmer kept the Tennessee program at a consistently good, but rarely great, level throughout his career. Fulmer — who was named head coach in 1992 — won 150 games in 17 seasons and captured the national championship in 1998. The Volunteers have toyed with the idea of firing Fulmer for several years now, but a 10-4 mark and conference division title last season delayed the move for Tennessee’s Athletic Director Mike Hamilton. This season, however, the Vols have stumbled to a 3-6 record with only one win in the SEC, prompting Hamilton to pull the plug.To what end, though? Fulmer may not have been the top coach in the game, but his consistent winning kept Tennessee in the upper half of a football-crazy conference. Unless Tennessee has the next Nick Saban lined up, improvement from their current position remains unlikely.Hamilton’s knee-jerk reaction came too soon. Fulmer should have been given at least one more season to prove he still has what it takes.Bret Bielema, WisconsinStatus: Currently employedOn the surface, the reasons to fire Bielema appear sound. He has posted consecutively worse records each season since taking over for the legendary Barry Alvarez three years ago. He acts annoyingly chevalier after each loss and beats the “1-0” mantra to death.Most recently, Bielema cost UW a win with extremely boneheaded decisions during last Saturday’s loss to Michigan State. Clearly, Bielema is far from a perfect coach.Badger fans have grown greedy, however, and seem to think that UW should compete for the Big Ten title every year. Unfortunately, 10-win seasons have never been a consistent theme in Badger football history. In fact, now-Athletic Director Alvarez — who hand-picked Bielema as his successor –only won 10 games four times in his 16-year career.Badger fans need to cool down a bit. Bielema did win 12 games in his first season, and even though that was with Alvarez’s recruits, it was more games than Alvarez himself ever won in a single year. Bielema also has recruited playmakers David Gilreath and John Clay, so the cupboard is not bare.Wisconsin does not have the name recognition among recruits to change coaches so quickly. Bielema deserves another season and a little more patience from the fans.Tommy Bowden, ClemsonStatus: Released in mid-OctoberThis cord should have been cut three years ago. Not only was firing him the correct move, it was long overdue.Tommy Tuberville, AuburnStatus: Tenuously employedAuburn fans are crazy. Seriously. They are actually out of their minds.Tuberville delivered a perfect 13-0 season as recently as 2004, and holds a career .708 winning percentage at Auburn. Over the five previous seasons, the Tigers have averaged exactly 10 wins per year.Yet, because of a 4-5 record this season, it is a near certainty that Tuberville will lose his job. Tuberville, without a doubt, has made some mistakes this season. Trying to install the spread offense and then abandoning the attempt midway through the year made no sense. But what does a coach have to do to earn a little leeway?Furthermore, where is this fantastic coach who will magically restore the Auburn program? The SEC is an incredibly tough conference, and every program suffers through down years. Auburn can risk turning a down year into a down decade, or make the rational move and keep the proven Tuberville.Rich Rodriguez, MichiganStatus: Currently employedThe fact that Rodriguez even makes this list speaks to the desperateness of Michigan fans. The Wolverines knew exactly what they were getting when they hired Rodriguez, but the Michigan faithful disillusioned themselves into thinking an immediate turnaround was in sight.It is actually really simple. Rodriguez runs an offensive system that requires a certain type of athlete. Michigan had very few, if any of those athletes. Therefore, until Rodriguez can begin recruiting for his system, the system will not work.Every Michigan fan knew this coming into the season, yet they acted shocked when the team struggled. Michigan made a radical move when they hired the unconventional Rodriguez, and this move required time to pay dividends. Rodriguez can only help the program if he is given a few years, and firing him will only dig Michigan deeper into a hole. Two controversies dominate college football this time of year: the BCS rankings and coaches on the proverbial hot seat.With apologies to Texas Tech, Alabama and Penn State, the BCS can wait another week.The coaching carousel has been spinning steadily this year with Tommy Bowden, Tyrone Willingham and Phillip Fulmer already losing their jobs. Other coaches, such as Tommy Tuberville and Bret Bielema, have gone from hero to zero in less than two years.To be clear, this column is not condemning the quick hook that modern coaches receive. With the amount of money invested in football programs today, immediate results are required to appease the fan base, and more importantly, to keep the monetary boosters happy.The problem, though, is determining which coaches are simply suffering from an off year, and which coaches don’t have what it takes to succeed consistently at a high level. Furthermore, change doesn’t always mean improvement. Coaching college football is an extremely demanding position and truly successful head coaches are a rare breed. Despite what many fans seem to think, a coach ready to take a program to the next level is rarely waiting in the wings.With that in mind, here is a look at some coaches who have already lost their jobs or find their positions in immediate jeopardy.Important note: This is what should happen, not a prediction of what will happen.last_img read more

September 17

Debate ranges from global to domestic policy

first_imgWith only 15 days left until election day, students crowded into the Annenberg East Lobby to watch President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have a final showdown in the live presidential debate Monday night at an event hosted by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and sponsored by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.The debate, broadcasted live from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., was moderated by CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.With most polls showing the two presidential candidates in a close race for the White House, this debate was one of the last opportunities for both candidates to sway voters before they head to the voting booths in two short weeks. Following last week’s combative dialogue between the two presidential candidates, voters anxiously awaited to see if the momentum would carry to Florida.The opening question of the debate focused on the attack of the American consulate in Libya. According to  Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, America needs to have a strategic plan to combat this type of extremism.“We can’t kill our way out of this mess,” Romney said. “We’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy.”The president fired back against Romney’s allegations against his foreign policy.“I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy,” Obama said. “But every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong. You said we should have gone into Iraq, despite that fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction.”Both candidates agreed on the importance of investing in our relationships with our allies in the Middle East, namely Israel.“Everything we’re doing, we are doing with our partners in the region, including Israel.” Obama said.Though Romney agreed that the United States must unite with its allies, he highlighted the importance of emphasizing American leadership in the region.“Seeing Syria remove Assad is a very high priority for us,” Romney said. “We should be playing the leadership role there.”Romney pivoted the discussion from foreign policy to the economy, highlighting the importance of American strength at home in order to be strong overseas.“For us to be able to promote those principles of peace requires us to be strong,” Romney said. “And that requires for us to have a strong economy at home.”President Obama countered Romney’s allegation, instead highlighting America’s increased strength since he has taken office.“America remains the one indispensable nation,” Obama said. “And the world needs a strong America, and it is stronger now than when I came into office.”Obama turned the conversation to education, highlighting the importance of investing in education to strengthen America and criticizing the governor’s lack of support for increased funding.“The kinds of budget proposals that you’ve put forward, when we don’t ask either you or me to pay a dime more in terms of reducing the deficit, but instead we slash support for eduction, that’s undermining our long-term competitiveness,” Obama said.In closing, both candidates emphasized the choice voters will face in the election.“I’ve got a different vision for America. I want to build on our strengths,” Obama said.Romney recognized that the election is a choice too,  except he focused on the notion of being a leader.“We need strong leadership,” Romney said. “I’d like to be that leader, with your support.”The panel, which was co-moderated by Matt Rodriguez, the former Western States regional director for the Obama for America campaign in 2008, and Jonathan Wilcox, a former speechwriter for then-California Gov. Pete Wilson, posed questions to the audience about the debate. By a show of hands, a slight majority of the audience appeared to believe Obama won the final debate.Jared Ginsburg, a member of USC College Republicans, noted that the president’s strategy was on the offensive.“Romney was more conciliatory,” Ginsburg said. “Obama was clearly on the attack tonight.”Sydney Fishman, a member of USC College Democrats, thought there was no clear winner as there were in the two previous debates.“I personally don’t feel like there was a really clear winner in this debate like there was in the other two,” Fishman said. “I don’t see that much of a change in the polls happening.”Looking forward, the panelists agreed that the remainder of the election will continue to be a close race.“I think that Ohio is going to be a very decisive factor,” Ginsburg said. “Governor Romney certainly performed really well tonight, so I think this will remain dangerously close during the next 14 days.”last_img read more

December 26

Gary Neville explains why Jose Mourinho should not drop Romelu Lukaku

first_img“You play them through those bits of bad form and continue to give them that belief because you know full well they’re still contributing when they’re not playing well.“I think that unless a player like Lukaku is feeling so down that he feels as though a break will do him good, you do try and keep them playing.“But the top players tend to play through those dips in form.”Neville went on to suggest a reason for Lukaku’s blanks is due to a lack of creativity in midfield. gameday cracker deals boost 3 Neville believes continuing to play Lukaku is the only way he’ll get over his slump 3 Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade RANKED REVEALED “What I would say is the quality through central midfield at United isn’t good enough,” he said. “The speed of play, lack of inventiveness.“The play through midfield is predictable. When I see midfielders play it out to full-backs, that is the easy pass. Some player would always give to the full-backs. The reality is that should be the last option. The first option should be to play through the lines, to the feet of a striker or a winger.“To play to Ashley Young or Luke Shaw means effectively starting the attack again. That’s the safe option. That’s when the game stops for me.”United take on Lukaku’s former club Everton on Sunday – a game you can listen to live on talkSPORT from 4pm – and Neville called for a consistent level of performance.“Jose Mourinho must be pulling his hair out,” he said. REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland center_img Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Latest Manchester United News Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Gary Neville says Romelu Lukaku must keep playing for Manchester United despite his recent bad form.The striker has not scored in his last eight games for the club, most recently failing to find the net in United’s Champions League defeat to Juventus. 3 Neville also believes a big reason for Lukaku’s lack of goals is due to his lack of service from United’s midfield targets Solskjaer gives Pogba fitness update and calls him world’s best all-round midfielder Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho admits Lukaku is struggling with all parts of his game but Neville believes the Belgian is going through a minor slump in form.“He’s got to keep playing,” Neville said at the launch of former team-mate Ben Thornley’s book.“The longest period I had was six months after the Vasco da Gama game [at the Club World Cup in 2000] when I made the two mistakes.“I lost my confidence for the six months going into the European Championship but I kept on playing through that period and in the end I came out of it at the other side. Lukaku was dealt with relatively easily by Juve’s defence IN DEMAND “He is a manager whose career is prided on consistency. He has been that for 14 years. Now he hasn’t got a team that is consistent. Every weekend is different, Brighton, Watford away, West Ham, the second half at Chelsea.“Even within games, their form is different from one half to the next. The first half against Tottenham, incredible. Best 45 minutes of football I’ve seen at Old Trafford for five years. The next 45 minutes, desperate. Then you are back down again.”last_img read more