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PUNCHOUT 64: COACHES BRACKET

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Spite, envy, dislike and burning hatred: they are the Guanine, adenine, cytosine, and thymine of the blogosphere's DNA, the building blocks of the magnificent organism we call the online community. We imagine, way back in the DARPA-funded days of Usenet, the first exchange between users looked something like this:

USER1: hello?

USER2: roger.

USER1: this is kewl.

USER2: can't you spell?

USER1: fuck you!

USER2: no--FUCK YOU!!!!!

USER!: the all caps, it's so...brutal. It's like you're yelling.

And thus, a great tradition on online combat began. In that proud, vinegary tradition, we submit the coaches bracket for the field of 64 we call PUNCHOUT 64, taking both your submissions and adding some editorial flair along the way.

Bracket: Coaches Seedings are provisional, and reader input will help dictate the movement up and down.

1. Bobby Bowden. Obvious pick here. Inspiration for Jerry Reed's character in The Waterboy, serial nepotist, writer of a letter of support for a convicted rapist, left program boosters on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars for his son, and anti-Spurrier.


Our number one seed.

2. Jim Tressel. Here because of his fashion choices and near-complete ownership of the Michigan program, whose fans' hatred of Cheatypants Sweatervest should come with a biohazard sign on it.

3. Phil Fulmer. Lumpen body. Lumpen personality. Lummoxy dullard who ratted out Alabama for recruiting violations with tactics adopted wholesale from the script of Mean Girls, including gossipy faxes to the SEC commissioner sent with "FOR YOUR EYES ONLY" written on it. Also fat, which even fat people hate. Stabbed Johnny Majors in the back for the job in the first place.

4. Gary Barnett. Did such a hack job on the Colorado program that he makes number 4 on this list without coaching a down in the past year. Did an ole while recruiters for the Buffs hired prostitutes, incurred an investigation by the DA, kept large, undeclared sums of cash reaped from summer football camps in boxes in the locker room, threw Dan Hawkins under the proverbial bus when the team struggled in '06, and whined loudly and shamelessly to Dennis Dodd that he's being "blackballed" from coaching.

Now that we think of it, we're very open to moving him up.

5. Charlie Weis. Just coaching Notre Dame, the Duke basketball of college football, gets you on the list. Being "confident" while continuing to get disemboweled in marquee games earns you egg roll bonus points. Oh, and again, he's fat, which even fat people hate.

6. Urban Meyer. While we're considering Notre Dame's considerable sway over public opinion...they fucking hate Urban Meyer for spurning him. Michigan fans hate him for having the gall to outflank Lloyd Carr in the stumping for a title game slot post-SEC championship game. SEC coaches hate him for beating him, and suspicious sideline haters point to his "Junior Saban" trend of job-hopping. Add in the haters' chorus following a national title, and Urb's a strong candidate despite the fact that he completely pwnz your ass, punk.

7. Pete Carroll. Happy looking and thin, things traditional football fans frown on as a rule. Prone to making bouncy motivational speeches full of new-agey positivism. Not so fond of program oversight, especially when it comes to monitoring potential illegal benefits to star running backs. Also happens to excel at his job, something almost every coach on this list does to the burning hate of opponents. With two national titles in the past five years, that list of haters for Pete Carroll means everyone.

8. Dennis Franchione. Alabama fans alone boost his rating here. Gimmicky, bullshitting job-hopper, according to detractors; middling and as of yet unproven in his value to the Aggie program according to his supporters, who haven't exactly embraced him at College Station. Left Alabama after writing that a dead relative had "been buried with an Alabama t-shirt," if we recall correctly. Had Reggie McNeil roll his eyes at a play-call on camera; as Aggie coach, reactively hated by every Longhorn fan.

9. Steve Spurrier. Not much explanation here--faded, but still the Ricky Bobby of college football coaches who will be the first to tell you how he wakes up in the morning and pisses excellence.

10. Rick Neuheisel. In a word: scheisty. Left Colorado in a cloud, Ran Washington into unforgiving terra firma, and seemingly petitions for every open job on the planet, including attorney general. (As every fucking article about him ever mentions, he is the holder of a law degree.) Also a pretty boy, which fans hate just as much as they hate fat people and successes.

11. Nick Saban. A bit low after his absence from the college scene, but rising with a bullet. Notorious bully capable of bravely chewing out secretaries and groundskeepers with impunity. Loathed by everyone who ever had contact with him save Jimbo Fisher and Will Muschamp. Swore up and down he wasn't taking the Alabama job, which meant he was totally taking the job.

12. Tommy Tuberville. Will leave the Ole Miss job in a pine box, right?

Remaining seedings to follow...