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In Through The Out Door

Swindle and I had enormous fun on EDSBS LIVE this year with the annual chaos and silliness that surrounds the coaching carousel in college football, but I must say I'm always a little bit sad when that last hire is made, the fun wheel comes grinding to a halt, and the beginning of the offseason really starts to sink in.

But I was thinking: why does the fun have to stop? Why not take the fun all the way to its logical conclusion:

The 2008 Coaching Hires: Handicapping Who Will Be Fired First

Get out your actuarial tables, scandal sensors, and unacceptable loss forecasters, 'cause it's time to figure out which of our newly-hired coaches is most likely to get shitcanned first.

Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech - 50:1 You know the only thing hard about Paul Johnson's new job? Christmas, and the agonizing decision of to whom he owes a bigger fruit basket: Chan Gailey or the rest of the ACC. Can one objectively say who set the bar lowest?

Bo Pelini, Nebraska - 30:1 A favorite in the field to have a nice, long stay at his new home. The man is following Bill Callahan, for Christ's sake - a coach who was so inept at so traditionally strong a program that Mark Mangino and Gary Pinkel stopped, stared, and thought to themselves, "Holy shit. We can do this."

Bobby Petrino, Arkansas - 20:1 Following the Nutt Job, he should be more secure than Fort Knox, but let's not forget this is a man who's kicked two teams in the balls on his way out the door. He's slick like Mitt Romney, which means we really can't rule out anything. Especially because he's headed to Arkansas, where scandals breed like bunnies. Great value bet here.

Rich Rodriguez, Michigan - 10:1 On the one hand, he's the coach at Michigan. It's a pinnacle job and they'll keep him as long as he's doing well, which he should. On the other hand, he's the coach at Michigan, which means the intolerance for sleaziness is fiftyfold what it would be at a school like, say, West Virginia. Or Ohio State. So we've gotta hedge here: if he's a man of good character, he'll be there forever and win many many many games. If there are skeletons in his closet, he'll be cut at the knees faster than you can say Sweatervest.

Regrets skimming the fine print...

Mike Sherman, Texas A&M - 6:1 We're talking Aggies, so we've got a special set of questions that need answers: Is he fascist? Would he sacrifice his daughter's life for a collie? How adept is he at fending off pirate attacks? To what extent would he prefer the world be more like it was in the 1880s than it is today? Would he buy a nice bottle of Boone's to get a farm animal into bed? And would he know that Orange Hurricane would be the flavor to do it?

Houston Nutt, Ole Miss - 3:1 Buyer's remorse? We'll see. We do know the good people of Oxford are dropping by Nutt Job's new home three times a week to help try to mold him into an acceptable member of society a la Michael Oher, but can you really teach an old dog new tricks? Hillary Clinton advises, "Not old dogs from Arkansas."

Bill Stewart, West Virginia - 2:1 West Virginia was practically forced to make the classic "We'll Prove How Much We Won't Miss You By Hiring Your Old Assistant And Also We're Suing You" move. Though the sentiment is understandable, the WPHMWWMYBHYOAAAWSY move rarely leads to a lasting relationship. Let's face it: we've all been there. The girlfriend dumps us for a hotter, richer guy so we thump our chest, down that liter of moonshine, file a lawsuit, and then immediately go to bed with the ex-girlfriend's sluttiest friend. Before long, though, we get over it, slink away to our physician, and triple check for STDs. (You best win and win big soon, Mr. Stewart.)

Rick Neuheisel, UCLA - 1:25 In real life, Vegas would never allow this man's name to even be on the books, so sure is his impending combustion. After all, if this were a movie, the pitch would go something like this:

Plot outline: Born again coach Supremely sketchy egomaniac with hubris that would shame Bill Bennett is hired to try to outshine and outglitz the indomitable crosstown rival coach.

Setting: Hollywood.

Dramatic Build: After federal agents use a Ryan Seacrest team gang bang videotape to coerce cooperation from the team's quarterback, authorities are able to undercover an interstate heroin trafficking ring involving the team's coach and eager recruits who want to earn a spot on the squad.

Climactic Final Scene: Troubled coach flees campus in explosive-packed Lotus with authorities hot in high speed pursuit. Unable to evacuate the targeted rival campus, Special Deputy Agent Peter Carroll is forced to make a daring move to stop the reckless coach from carbombing the rival university into oblivion.

Sequel: An imprisoned coach bribes wardens into transferring top inmate athletes to his prison so he can win the Penitentiary Cup.