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The neck tattoo: once a skinborne resignation letter to society and its standards, now a mere waypoint passed during the transition from adolescent to aging adolescent. It may seem strange to think that, in one auspicious moment sometime in the near and ever-closing future, the neck tattoo will be just another thing we ignore when hiring coaches. It'll be like lying to your boss about your mistress who you dumped off the back of a motorcycle, or that time you interviewed for a job behind your old boss's back, or even that time you quit a job midseason without any real explanation. (There's an example that is not Bobby Petrino somewhere out there, and as soon as we find it we'll let you know.)

Someone who currently has one will be a head coach one day. It's just a matter of figuring out where.

Current odds:

Fresno State: 3/1

People forget that everyone in the Western United States has at least one tattoo, and that no spot in the great American West accounts for more of those tattoos than Fres-tucky. Lane Kiffin is covered in a full body suit of Aryan Nation tattoos, despite Kiffin not even knowing what the Aryan Nation is. P.S. This could make him more popular among some Alabama fans anyway. (Don't tell them it was merely the payoff on a very ill-advised midnight dare with Ed Orgeron at the 2005 Orange Bowl. NEVER trust a Miami tat parlor.)

Arkansas 4/1

Bret Bielema is currently your head coach. Maybe those odds should be lower. Much, much, lower, in fact, because this could happen on any night of the week. Might have already happened. Let's take Arkansas off the board as a precaution right now. Bret Bielema has a neck tattoo of an anthropomorphic dick flying the Concorde. He got it last night. That's what we are saying here.

Louisville 6/1

Just hired Bobby Petrino for the second time, and then decided to pay Todd Grantham a million dollars no one else wanted to pay him to do anything, much less coach defense. Hiring a coach with a neck tattoo seems like their definition of low risk at this point.

UAB 8/1

Only because UAB might have to just let some random person come in and coach their football team, and random people wandering around downtown might just have neck tattoos. Random Neck Tattoo Person will go 2-10, just like everyone else they actually pay to do the job, and as a bonus will participate in UAB medical trials for a little extra scratch on the side.

South Carolina 10/1

Likely two ways: because Steve Spurrier wants to show how young he is and gets an "OBC" right across the Adam's Apple like J.R. Smith's New York logo, or because the administration follows up a decade of solid management by hiring "Skeet," an unemployed cousin of the AD with a lazy eye and a record you might call criminal, if you were into such narrow and unfair labels.

UNLV 11/1

Technically, getting stabbed in the leg with a fountain pen by a coked out of his mind Criss Angel counts. Unless they have to amputate.

Utah State 15/1

A good supply of Samoans up the odds for the Aggies. AND OH MY, THIS:

If one staff member gets neck ink, they're all getting it.

Michigan State 17/1

Four words: Mark Dantonio, player's coach.

Rich Homie Quan knows someone who can get him some quality work in gangster gothic.

BYU 30/1

Note: tattoo must be religious in nature. "Jesus throwing down a murderous jam on Shawn Bradley," for instance.

Arkansas State 50/1

Temporary tattoos do not qualify.

Nebraska 800/1

That image on Bo Pelini's back of a divorced dad popping a wheelie on a rental moped in Tobago? Birthmark.

Virginia 2000/1

(The Coach Anointing ceremony begins.)

"Coach, you have sworn that your body, like your mind and credit record, come to Virginia unblemished. But we are not satisfied with mere words. DISROBE AND SWEAR TO THIS CHAMBERPOT ONCE USED BY THOMAS JEFFERSON THAT YOU WILL LOSE TO VIRGINIA TECH WITH HONOR."


Larry Blakeney's had a neck tat since Khe Sanh.