What constitutes a stagnant coaching situation? Circumstances aren’t bad enough to force change. They aren’t good enough where fans’ won’t perk up at the thought of change. Each situation here is unique, but the aura around each coach has clearly faded. The status quo persists because it is convenient and practical, not because it still elicits excitement.
Kirk Ferentz [Iowa] Ferentz had a great run at Iowa from 2002-04, with three-straight Top 10 finishes. Iowa has finished the season in the Top 25 twice since 2005 and had double-digit wins once. The Hawkeyes have lost to Iowa State three of the past four seasons. Ferentz will be there until his buyout is reasonable. Paying him $2.7 million per year through 2020 is still steep.
Frank Beamer [Virginia Tech] Beamer deserves the plaudits from a wonderful career. His 17-year run from 1995 through 2011 produced 13 double-digit win seasons and seven conference titles. Since then, the Hokies are 11-12 in a not very strong ACC. While Beamer has made a living with defense and special teams, the offense of late has been abysmal. VT lost 6-3 to Wake Forest…in overtime. Beamer built it. It may be time for him to step away to see it thrive again.
Bo Pelini [Nebraska] Nebraska allowed Melvin Gordon to run for 400 yards on 25 carries. One could argue that was not the Cornhuskers’ worst defensive performance of the past few years…against Wisconsin. Nebraska has lost at least four games every season under Pelini. At 8-3 in 2014, the Cornhuskers are one loss away. Stability has its benefits, but Nebraska is far away from national contention under Pelini with no apparent route to get there.
Mark Richt [Georgia] Richt finished in the Top 10 six of his first eight seasons. Since, he has had talented teams – Aaron Murray at QB, elite skill players, defenses that sent seven guys to the NFL in one year – and done little. Georgia has lost at least five or more games in three of the last five years. The Bulldogs lose big games. They lose (or nearly lose) inexplicable games, including against Florida and South Carolina this season. Year after year, the Bulldogs have just enough potential to make it hurt.
Bob Stoops [Oklahoma] Big Game Bob. Oklahoma has had success most programs would do awful things to achieve: 12 double-digit win seasons in 14 years, eight Big 12 titles, one national one. Lately, they have never lived up to the hype. The Sooners have lost at least two Big 12 games in six of the last eight seasons. One outright Big 12 title the past six years. That’s during a hard Texas ebb. For every high there has been an embarrassing low.
Les Miles [LSU] Les Miles is fun, when he’s not coaching your team. It’s hard to quibble with seven double-digit win seasons in 10 years in the SEC West. But, you look at the amount of talent LSU has sent to the NFL (at least four players in the first three rounds since 2011). Then you look at the results on the field (at least three losses in five of the past seven years). Then you wonder why well regarded offensive coordinators have gone there and failed and the program consistently fails to develop quarterbacks (Mettenberger was a JUCO product). Miles leaving for Michigan was a scary thought for LSU fans in 2007. In 2014, it may be an intriguing one.
[USA Today Sports]