On the WWL's pregame show for tonight's Virginia Tech/Maryland game, the three amigos of college football ignorance were discussing all of the head coach firings that have occurred this year, starting with Clemson's Tommy Bowden and Tennessee's Phil Fulmer. They then moved on to discuss yesterday's firing of Ron Prince at K-State. In doing so, Mark May summed up one of college football's major problems in eight words:
"Kansas State, who do you think you are?"
Yes, Mark. God forbid K-State expect to do better than a .471 winning percentage through almost three seasons. God forbid we expect to do a little better than getting killed in the Texas Bowl once every three years. God forbid we expect to see a team that actually gets a little better each year, rather than drastically worse.
You'll note that I called May's comment an embodiment of one of college football's major problems. It evidences an elitist attitude, from a guy who went to Pitt no less, that says certain teams should be good, and certain teams should not. Don't bother trying to improve yourselves, K-State, you don't deserve to be good. Nice try, Texas Tech, but even after your landmark victory over previously No. 1 Texas, you're still behind an Alabama team whose best win on the season was over a clearly overrated Georgia team. If you're not a member of the college football vanguard, you don't deserve to even attempt to do any better than .500, nor fire a coach who has your team headed downhill at 80 mph without brakes and a cliff 500 feet in front of you.
Mark May is a waste of the nice threads provided to him by the alleged WWL. Where was his righteous indignation for Tennessee's firing of Phil Fulmer? While the former Tennessee coach is suffering through a 3-6 (1-5) season this year, his Volunteers won the SEC East last season. Fulmer won a national title in Knoxville in 1998. He owns a career 150-51 record in Knoxville, which is only a career .746 winning percentage. Now before I go off and sound like the uninformed moron that May is, I will admit that I have not closely followed the Vols situation. Maybe there is more to the Fulmer firing than I know. My point is not that Fulmer was unjustly fired, merely that by May's idiotic standards, Tennessee deserves as much, if not more, righteous outrage than K-State does.
Meanwhile, K-State under Ron Prince has accomplished nothing approaching what Fulmer did at Tennessee. In year one, Prince managed to go 7-5, then lose by more than three touchdowns to Rutgers in the Texas Bowl. Last year, the team disintegrated in an 0-4 record in November, giving up almost 50 points and more than 500 yards per game in each loss, not to mention giving up 73 points to the worst Nebraska team since 1968. This entire season has been a repeat of last November. The Cats are 4-5 (1-4) and are losing games by 19 points on average. We just lost by 31 points to a KU team that will probably go 7-5 this season. Oklahoma scored 55 points in one half on this squad. I'll note for May, although he probably already knows this, that OU has won seven national titles in its history, and those 55 points in the first half were the most points they had scored in a half in their illustrious history.
May's best argument for his position that K-State fired Ron Prince too soon is that he believes every coach should be given one full recruiting cycle to show what they can do. Fair enough, let's discuss recruiting. Our current class for 2009 is ranked 68th by Rivals. In 2008, Prince pulled in a class ranked 27th by Rivals, but there should be a humongous asterisk next to that. The class included 19 junior college recruits, and was only ranked as highly as it was because it included 32 total recruits (26 of whom factored in the star rankings). Don't forget, that massive haul of junior college players is going to cause us problems after next year, because we are going to graduate about 35 players after next season.
Of course, me saying "don't forget" before that last statement was a poor choice of words, because it's clear Mark May knows absolutely nothing about K-State. Given that he watched us play Louisville, I would think he should know how incredibly poorly we are playing this season. Remember, May announced a game in which Louisville rolled up 577 total offensive yards, 303 of which were rushing yards. Yes, that powerhouse Louisville program, 5-3 on the season with a loss to Syracuse last weekend, averaging 189 rushing yards per game and 388 total yards, put those numbers up on our defense.
Otherwise, it's clear that May has no idea what is going on at K-State. At some point in the segment, I believe Rece Davis pointed out that Mark Mangino at KU and Gary Pinkel at Missouri had much worse records through three seasons than Prince does, and they were retained, therefore it is clearly a really bad idea to get rid of a coach that is doing better than those two did. Given that I have thoroughly laid waste to both of those arguments, an informed May could have piped up and said "Aha, Rece, you may think that, but you are wrong." Alas, May clearly does not read BOTC, because he failed to call Davis on his own incredibly stupid argument.
It really is a shame that the WWL has such a monopoly on sports coverage that I am practically forced to watch it, although I'm getting my revenge right now by watching TCU/Utah on CSTV rather than Virginia Tech/Maryland on the WWL. The fact that fans pretty much have to watch their programming gives them little incentive to hire good announcers and commentators. It's also a shame that anyone would take so little pride in their work that they wouldn't bother to inform themselves about the true situation before going on air and giving an opinion that is not only wrong, but stupid to boot.
Thank God I have such wonderful sites as Burnt Orange Nation, Corn Nation, Clone Chronicles, Rock Chalk Talk, Rock M Nation, The Ralphie Report, Crimson and Cream Machine, Double T Nation, and I Am The 12th Man to visit so that I can find out what is actually going on with each school, because it's clear that the people on the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports have no interest in knowing anything about college football. Each of these sites does an unsurpassed job of covering their teams and telling me what's really going on, rather than the two-second, unresearched soundbites I get out of nitwits like May.