Live feed of the press conference is here.
This year's SEC offseason script, brought to you by the Discordian Society, appeared headed for a tranquil slide into the port of SEC Media Days, which had no storyline, nothing major or obviously controversial. Chicken fingers, Golden Flake Potato Chips, and free Dr. Pepper: that was the way it was supposed to be, and we would all gaze at our notes after Bobby Johnson spoke and realize he had said absolutely nothing after twenty minutes of answering questions
So the Discordian script did what good scripts do: they flipped said script and had the steadiest character remaining, Bobby Johnson, announce his resignation,initially reported by Nashville sports talk mainstay George Plaster and then confirmed by
God Tony Barnhart. Johnson has not taken the Urban Meyer option and is in fact resigning for good, the options for valid explanations are illness, a nebulous personal reason like burnout, or scandal. These have been presented in order of likelihood, since very sudden resignations tend to be either scandal or illness, and Bobby Johnson seems highly unlikely to embroil himself in something unsavory. Thus illness is the unfortunate guess here, and is only that: a total guess based on timing, situation, and personality.
A press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT. We'll supply a live feed when we find one.
The inevitable postmortem underway, Johnson seems like a coach whose context cheats his achievements. Johnson's record is 29-66 since his arrival in 2002, but remember that he was at Vandy, the crippled aristocrat of the SEC, and working under the triple threat of academic strictures, sub-glorious facilities, and the cutthroat competition of his fellow conference members. Johnson's teams had 17 players make it into the NFL to go with 25 All-SEC selections. More importantly, they actually competed in the SEC East, beating every team save for Florida, who they nearly upset in the Swamp in 2005. (Vandy was screwed by the unsportsmanlike penalty before it was cool to be screwed by the unsportsmanlike penalty.)
The program is in vastly superior shape than when he inherited it, but his successor will still be fighting uphill and thus will have to have certain. The interim coach might be assistant Robbie Caldwell, but tantalizing replacements abound. Let's just get the obvious one out of the way after the jump.
If you can't pry the Prince of Coaches away from his duties as offensive line coach for the Colts, you then have to consider coaches who can deal with the need for high graduation rates, an offense that levels the field, and are currently available. Prepare to have your motherfucking mind blown even if you've already thought of it, because you know it's meant to happen and happen now.
There are no other candidates, Vanderbilt. Get the deal done in time for SEC Media Days, and let's set this place on fire and dance in the ashes.