It could happen—
It’s not inconceivable that jobs at USC, Nebraska and Texas could all be open at the end of the season. Lane Kiffin is getting hammered in Los Angeles, where the Trojans lost at home to Washington State and are just 9-7 over their last 16 games. Bo Pelini can’t seem to get out of the way of himself in Lincoln and Mack Brown…well, Texas hasn’t started 1-2 in 15 years.
The only time they really get fired up in Texas is when they’re bad. Fans are generally matter of fact about the Longhorns success and they set their watches to it. But when you suddenly can’t tell time—that’s when things become uncomfortable, even for Mack Brown. Texas still started the season with the most wins of any program in Big 12 history, but since they last played for the National Championship in 2009 the ‘Horns trail OU, Oklahoma State K-State and Baylor in wins.
It’s gone from a torrid love affair in Lincoln to a bit of a love-hate relationship with fans and Pelini, who found himself fumbling over an apology for an expletive laced tirade against the fans and media two years ago. Like any coach who’s hard-edged, the act grows a little tiresome when the team isn’t winning at the level a fan base expects. What’s really interesting to me is that the Big Red Nation couldn’t get rid of Frank Solich fast enough after averaging a 10-2 record for six years, while Pelini has lost four games in each of his five seasons at Nebraska. I guess it’s the difference between Solich following Dr. Tom Osborne while Pelini replaced Bill Callahan.
Yost rolls the dice---
Ned Yost hasn’t done much to foster confidence in his club’s fan base, especially as it relates to pitching. But he came up big with rookie Yordano Ventura shining in his Major league debut. The Royals top pitching prospect went 5 and 2/3 innings and allowed one run in a game that was key to their playoff race, unfortunately his bullpen squandered a lead over Cleveland in a game that they really needed. Still, between Ventura and Danny Duffy, the expected loss of Ervin Santana to free agency suddenly doesn’t look so daunting.
A rock and a hard place---
The Washington Redskins are off to a 0-2 start, as head coach Mike Shanahan struggles with how to use Robert Griffin III. Coming off a knee injury, he’s limiting RGIII in the running game, which kind of emasculates his effectiveness. Griffin is more like RG1-1/2 when he doesn’t have the green light to tuck and run, as opposing defenses don’t have to shadow him as much and can put more against him in the passing game. I know the ‘Skins are trying to protect that surgically repaired knee, but they’re compromising their chances to win.