The calendar hasn’t even reached October and the firing season in college football already has begun.
LSU fired Les Miles after a loss to Auburn dropped the Tigers to 2-2. The timing caught some people by surprise but context offers clarity.
The school came close to firing Miles late last season reportedly at the urging of a group of powerful boosters. Miles survived that episode but he began this season on thin ice.
The 2-2 start coupled with an anemic offense caused LSU to make a move now. For all their talent, the Tigers are ranked 110th nationally in scoring offense.
LSU officials probably decided to fire Miles now to avoid a potential scenario in which his team gets on a roll, which would force the school to stick by him.
The early firing gives the school plenty of time to woo potential candidates behind the scenes. Two names that assuredly will receive plenty of attention: Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher (former LSU offensive coordinator) and Houston coach Tom Herman.
The coaching carousel in college football never seems to stop, or even slow down. The FBS level welcomed 28 new coaches this season.
According to the website FootballScoop.com, there were 94 coaching changes from the end of the 2012 season to the start of this season.
Miles and Florida International’s Ron Turner already have been fired with more undoubtedly to follow.
Speaking of coaching changes, former Gophers defensive coordinator Greg Hudson is getting another shot in that capacity at Notre Dame, his alma mater.
Hudson replaced Brian VanGorder, who was fired by Coach Brian Kelly after a stunning loss to Duke at home on Saturday.
The Fighting Irish are 101st in scoring defense and 103rd in total defense.
They had to make a move.
Hudson served as the Gopher defensive coordinator under Glen Mason. He held that same post at East Carolina and mostly recently Purdue.
Hudson was fired by Purdue after last season and was working as a defensive analyst for Kelly before being promoted.
Don’t see this too often: Clemson is a home underdog.
That illustrates the magnitude of Saturday’s marquee showdown with Louisville at Death Valley.
This game has everything -- Two Top-5 teams, Heisman Trophy candidates at quarterback (Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson), potential implications on the College Football Playoff.
The key matchup will be Louisville’s offense vs. Clemson’s defense.
Louisville leads the nation in scoring at 63.5 points per game. I double-checked. That’s not a misprint.
Clemson allows only 11.0 points per game, fifth nationally.
Here’s a video of Clemson’s stadium entrance to get you in the mood.
Chris Petersen is fast-tracking the Washington Huskies back to relevance. Some league observers picked the Huskies to win the Pac-12 North division after finishing 7-6 last season, Peterson’s second in charge.
Washington is 4-0 this season and ranked No. 10 nationally, but the schedule so far has been relatively soft – Rutgers, Idaho, Portland State and Arizona.
The real test comes Friday night when the Huskies host No. 7 Stanford. The Huskies have a chance to prove that they’re ready to return to national prominence with a win.
As I covered the Gophers-Colorado State game Saturday, my phone and twitter feed blew up from people who were watching my beloved Tennessee Vols host Florida. The responses started like this …
What’s wrong with your Vols? Good thing you’re not watching this. Please tell me you didn’t record this game.
To this …
OMG! Can you believe this? Congratulations!
Down 21-0, the Vols responded with one of the most dominating second-half performances you’ll see to win 38-28 and stop an 11-game losing streak to their rivals.
Yes, I sang Rocky Top a few times that night. My living room might have sounded like this.
The biggest surprise in college football might be Wisconsin. The Badgers began the season unranked, with questions at quarterback, a new defensive coordinator and a hellacious schedule.
The Badgers shot up to No. 8 in the polls this week after pounding Michigan State on the road 30-6, a win even more impressive than their season-opening victory over LSU at Lambeau Field.
The Badgers allow only 11.8 points per game under new coordinator Justin Wilcox. They’re seventh nationally in scoring defense, a formula that will win a lot of games.
That defense will be put to the test Saturday at Michigan, which is averaging 52.0 points per game, fourth highest nationally.
What has happened to once-mighty USC and Oregon?
The Trojans fell to 1-3 after a loss to Utah. The Ducks are 2-2 after losing at home to Colorado.
Those programs don’t strike fear in opponents like they did a few years ago.
“I’ve never been in a train wreck, but that’s probably what it would feel like,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said after the loss.