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THE BOBBY BOWDEN DECISION TREE

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Larry Coker will actually suspend people prior to big games, as he did in this past Monday's game against Florida State. Some coaches suspend at the drop of a hat: Urban Meyer, for all we can tell, suspended Marcus Thomas for glancing at him the wrong way on Saturday. (Even Thomas appears to be confused as to why he was suspended, or if he really was suspended at all.)

Some coaches, though, seem to require Scarface-level chicanery to so much as suspend a player for a game, much less a big one. Mack Brown's counted himself out of this class with the suspension of Tarell Brown for his "Irvin Special" arrest (pot, handgun, a lot of debate about who any of it belongs to,) a painful sacrifice going into the second chapter of the Longhorn's epic pairing with Ohio State. It's really a management theory debate: integrity and consistency versus performance, the kind of issues normally hashed out in business theory books you never read for college classes with names like "Saying Yes to Success," and "Bitch-slapping Your Way to the Boardroom."

In our attempt to map out classic managerial patterns across college football, we present decision-making a la Bowden. In this classic study, Bobby Bowden confronts a complex range of policy challenges and slices through the messy complexities of daily life with a simple, ingenious philosophy.