Morning Coffee

There are good sports stories, and then there are good sports stories. Please, if you will, when you conclude reading this post, click through to EDSBS, follow the story to the NYT, and read this one. I promise you, it's worth it. What a wonderful, amazing, story.

The tireless PWD gives us an outstanding post on college football's longest tenured coaches without a BCS appearance. Topping the list? Houston Nutt, who's rumored to be in the mix for the Dallas Cowboy vacancy. (Note, also, the presence of Gary Pinkel on the list, whose contract Missouri extended this season. Anyone else think the man appears totally overwhelmed more often than not?)

The big question lurking beneath the surface of this post, but which has been a driving - if relatively underanalyzed - force in this offseason is what, exactly, meets a reasonable standard for judging the success of a coach. It's a serious question, and it extends well beyond college football. Frequent BON commenter Red Blooded, who writes SBN's Washington Redskins blog, dove into the topic today, expressing disdain for the (at least in his view) media-driven whirlwind that fuels these coaching carousels. (As an aside, if you're looking for the NFL blogger equivalent to Kyle or SMQ, start with Hogs Haven. It's a blogger's blog: crisp, engaging writing, with keen analysis.)

As fans, this is a question we ought spend some time thiniking through. As pertains to the Longhorns, the most drastic critics in the lot were calling for Mack Brown's head prior to his national championship. If (and, the odds say, when) Texas goes another three, four, five years without making a BCS Title Game, those "What Have You Done For Me Lately" folks will start chirping for change once again. I'll save full commentary on all this for a post of its own, but I urge you to read all of the aforementioned posts, and browse the archives of SMQ, who's been on top of the various ins and outs of the coaching musical chairs. After some of the ridiculousness we've seen in this offseason - pro and college - I'm convinced it's a serious, important question.

The Super Bowl is set, and I'm left wondering if we're all missing something here. The Colts are favored by a touchdown. The "Manning Curse Is Buried" storyline is dominating the early coverage. Hell, the media is all but writing the postgame story of Super Bowl XVI: Colts win!

Aren't we missing something, though? Isn't this exactly the same thing we heard prior to the BCS Title Game? Wasn't Ohio State prematurely crowned in similar fashion?

The similarities are striking, that's for sure.

Perhaps even more importantly, there's a bigger unifying theme in play here: the Florida Gators.

Before you smirk at me, hear me out. Florida won the NCAA basketball tournament in April. They won the BCS Title Game two weeks ago. And, now, the Chicago Bears face a near-identical situation the Florida Gators found themselves in just before their title bout: touchdown underdogs to a team with an inferior defense whose success is entirely dependent on elite play from their quarterback. On the opposite sideline, meanwhile, Rex Grossman, a Florida Gator alumnus, is the Bears signal caller! Seriously, if Chicago wins and Rex is a hero, we'll have no choice but to accept that Kanu and Doug are right: the ominpresent Gators are our overlords.

Kyle's out on the forefront of yet another one: Look out for Corn Nation. Much as SMQ erupted on to the blog scene in 2005-06, here comes Corn Nation. Jon's latest coup: first rate college baseball coverage, with an early look at the Big 12 baseball squads. The bar for covering Big 12 sports is being raised, which is a good thing. BON reports on college baseball to come soon. In the meantime, get warmed up with the aforementioned link, or the great series of articles at Rock Chalk Talk.

Ian might be back. Maybe. It's hard to tell if he's just tickling the balls or if he's gonna re-dedicate himself to Sexy Results!  Hopefully, the latter. His commentary and writing are unparalleled. Ian also thinks I'm a fool for going to law school. Hey: I'm just following the leader.

I'm happy to report that SBN college hoops bloggers have officially begun an SBN Top 25, hosted over at A Sea Of Blue We didn't get our ballot in on time this week, but will next week, no doubt. Of more pressing concern to Longhorn hoops fans right now is the upcoming battle in Lincoln, which AW rightly notes is as close to a "must win" as you're likely to see at this point in the season. I've been itching to write a Texas Basketball Report since the loss to Villanova, but have forced myself to wait for the conclusion of the road trip. Regardless, Texas desperately needs a road win on Wednesday. I know we're not all hoops junkies here, but do what you can to pull for the 'Horns on Wednesday evening. A loss would be devastating.

--PB--

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