Purdue and Indiana play football in West Lafayette on Saturday, and I am sure that a lot of those programs’ fans will be rooting against their own team.
Because a loss might induce one of the school’s administrations to fire the head coach.
Purdue’s Danny Hope and Indiana’s Kevin Wilson have struggled at best to move their programs into the top of a conference where the traditional powers seldom relinquish their positions. We have seen time after time that there is no loyalty in college football to either coaches or players, so the thought of either Hope or Wilson being dismissed is not far-fetched.
If such a move does take place — and I am not advocating such a move but I do understand the possibility exists — I offer either program a new direction.
Wow, you might say, wasn’t that guy just fired by Cal.
Indeed, Tedford was fired by a gutless administration that forgot what the pre-Tedford days were like in Berkeley.
For those unfamiliar with Tedford and Cal, consider that the Golden Bears didn’t have a winning season since 1993 when Tedford took over in 2002. They had a seven-game losing streak in the Big Game against Stanford. They hadn’t beaten Washington in 19 years.
Cal was 1-10 in 2001, getting its only win on the final day of the season against an even worse Rutgers squad. That game, by the way, was played at the end of the season due to the terrorist attack on 9-11 that postponed the following Saturday’s events.
Dr. Seuss put it best. Cal “stink, stank, stunk.”
In the following seasons, Tedford put together an 82-57 record, went 5-3 in bowl games and should have had a Rose Bowl berth in 2004 when Cal got cheated by a corrupt system which moved Texas ahead of the Bears into the ratings on the final day even though Cal had beaten bowl-bound Southern Miss by 10 on the road.
Cal also was bowl eligible in Tedford’s first season, but the program was on NCAA probation and ineligible.
We do operate in a “what have you done for me lately” mode, so it’s easy to make a case to fire Tedford. Cal went 3-9 this season, 7-6 in 2011 and 5-7 in 2010.
From the outside, it looks as if Tedford was simply losing it. Look a little closer and you would see that Cal was building a new stadium and last year it was playing its home games on the road. Tedford had a lot to handle outside the day-to-day operation of the team.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers, who played under Tedford at Cal, said it was “a terrible, terrible decision,” on his radio show and I tend to agree. Rogers also called the decision to fire Tedford “disrespectful.”
The disrespectful part might have had something to do with the fact that Tedford could have been the head coach of the Chicago Bears or Atlanta Falcons but he instead chose to remain at Cal in a job he loved. He forgot the golden rule in college football ... there is no loyalty.
Cal abandoned Tedford at the first sign of trouble.
The good news for some program is that one of the nation’s top head coaches now is available. Will that program be right here in Indiana? You never know.
What is certain is that if Purdue or Indiana does go shopping for a new head coach, Tedford should be an interview. He has proven that he can take a floundering program and immediately turn it into a contender in a BCS conference.
After watching the 2012 seasons of Indiana and Purdue, that sounds pretty good to me.