CBS just posted their take on how secure major college football coaches are in their jobs:
While their assessments are interesting if speculative, what I did find fascinating were the accompanying statistics.
What I found most disturbing about the list is that coaches entering their fourth season at their schools are at the median for length of tenure. This means that as I type this note, more than half of the coaches in the upper echelons of NCAA football have only coached their schools for three seasons or less. There are 22 coaches who will be on the sidelines for the first time at their current school later this summer. That's out of 121 schools.
So one sixth of the schools changed coaches for whatever reason after the 2009 season. That's a pretty high turnover ratio, especially for contracted jobs where, with certainty, in most of these situations either the coach or the school did not honor their end of a contract, at least in the aspect of the term of the contract. If you still had any belief, and I don't expect you did, about the sham of "amateur athletics", this should shake those beliefs to the core. Only the small schools now have any semblance of displaying a relaxed atmosphere about giving it the 'ole college try'. The bigger schools are officially frying pans for coaches, staff, and to some extent the "student athletes". In my opinion, the biggest shame in the college football fishbowl this year is Florida State, who forced out a coach that deserved to stay at that school as long as he desired if they had losing seasons every year from now until that date. There never was a real tradition of winning at FSU before Bowden arrived, and now they're too good for him. Pshaw. Texas Tech makes that list too. Hurrying a very successful coach out the back door the very day before his bonus is due is just too transparent. And if it wasn't for that reason, and they are guilty not of greed but stupidity in their timing, it doesn't get the TT "front office" off the hook from where I stand.
On the other side, only 18 coaches are entering at least their 10th season with a school. Only eleven have, as I type, completed their 10th season with a school. Let me tell you, its hard to build (or maintain the illusion) of tradition or loyalty at a school when you can't stick with a coach for at least several years.
Of course, not all of this is on the schools. It has become increasingly trendy over the last few decades for successful coaches to jump programs. At times I suspect they do it as much from the fear that they can't maintain what they just accomplished than they think they are making a step up. Now, there is no question that I was spoiled growing up a Bama fan. Bear Bryant had many lucrative offers to leave Bama, but stayed the course and became a legend because he did. Granted that Bama was the Bear's 4th school before he settled down, but settle down for good he did. He gets a pass for two of the moves. At Kentucky, he wasn't satisfied with playing second fiddle to basketball, and from Texas A&M he was "called home".
Will we ever again see coaches with the longevity in a job of Bryant, Paterno, or Bowden? I would like to think so, but I think the odds are long. Frank Beamer at Va. Tech is the closest there is at 24 years on the job. Congratulations to both him and Va. Tech for staying the course. The longest current tenures at what I consider the "Destination jobs" for coaches is Brown at Texax (12 years) and Stoops at Oklahoma (11 years). Don't expect Lane Kiffin to hold the USC reins until there is more shuffle in his walking than his jobs.
The sad thing is that most of the time when your average old football program fires a coach, they don't really improve with the next guy. Its all a ploy to sell tickets, just like the pros do. Except there is no difference. The only difference between major college football as a business and pro football as a business that that the players don't get paid (that they let us know about except by accident LOL).