On July 17th, 2007, I did the old "Big 12 Coaches Most Likely to be Fired in 2007" article. July is a perfect time for such an article, as no one has called me on it since. However, we can better ourselves through a process of review and part of that process is accountability.
Here's the order I ranked the Big 12 coaches most likely to be fired:
- Mack Brown
- Bob Stoops
- Gene Chizik
- Ron Prince
- Mike Gundy
- Dan Hawkins
- Guy Morriss
- Mike Leach
- Bill Callahan
- Dennis Franchione
- Mark Mangino
- Gary Pinkel
Looking back you could argue that I was the worst prognosticator around. Evidence - ranking Guy Morriss at number six despite saying this about him:
The problem is that their wins will come at the expense of other programs and I don't see anyone in the Big 12 besides Iowa State who'll compete for the cellar with them.
Baylor is such a tough coaching position, I can't imagine them sticking with Morriss for a few more years just to see what he can do.
Or it could be that my influence upon the college football universe was so great that I single-handedly altered the 2007 season. I prefer the latter, of course, as having read Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" I know that what I think, do and say affects everything around me. Clearly my influence was even greater than I expected.
For the first time in an eon, the Pinkel factor wasn't while Missouri had a historically great season and won the Big 12 North. With the way some Missourans are reacting, you'd swear they'd won the Super Bowl, assumed their God-given place at the head of the class and taken over the Big 12 North to reign forever.
Kansas took an easy schedule, lost to Mizzou, twice to Oklahoma Kansas played an easy schedule, a sole loss to Missouri kept them out of the Big 12 title game and then won the Orange Bowl and finished with the best season in their school history.
If you're a Tiger or Jayhawk fan, you could argue that Pinkel and Mangino had good teams. They caught Nebraska falling apart while Colorado and Kansas State were still rebuilding and took advantage of their opportunity. You could argue that and you'd be wrong.
The fact is that both of these coaches were inspired to reach new heights by my low rankings of them. I don't see how you could draw any other conclusion.
The good news for Husker fans is that I won't be ranking either Pinkel or Mangino as the most fireable coaches in the 2008 season. Therefore, things should start to return to normal next year. Missouri and Kansas will begin their descent as Nebraska and Colorado begin to rise.
Any review process is purposeless unless it results in positive action. The action that I will take from this particular review is to be more careful with what I say about the future, for I am a dangerous man.