Plenty of names are being floated as the search for the next Florida coach begins. We have no inside information, but we are willing to shoot down candidates we don't want, both in the nice way (as presented by Ryan) and the mean way (offered by Spencer). Today's Nice No/Mean No is Mike Shanahan.
RN: Let's speak plainly: at 62, Mike Shanahan is no spring chicken. You don't have to be in your early 40s to succeed as a college coach, but the sixty-and-over set that's doing so now - Nick Saban, Les Miles, Steve Spurrier, Gary Pinkel, George O'Leary, David Cutcliffe, Bill Snyder - have all been with their respective programs for at least 7 years. Winning might not be a young man's game, but building is.
SH: Mike Shanahan is a hot-dog colored wraith dragging well-scuffed Super Bowl rings behind him as bait. He stinks of rotting sandwiches and cheap office furniture and the funk of a thousand miserable NFL office park decor schemes. After winning two Super Bowls with John Elway, Shanahan opted for Jake Plummer as a starting quarterback and made him so miserable he quit the deeply unserious, supposed-to-be-fun children's game of football altogether to play handball with his brothers in Idaho and make babies with his wife. Jake Plummer doesn't like Mike Shanahan. This is all you need to know about him, because Jake Plummer is pretty much right about everything in life.
RN: There's also the NFL thing. It's not a total disqualifier; Spurrier and Pete Carroll are certainly examples of coaches who came back to college football and did fine, and if Eagles fans ask Chip Kelly to depart (quietly and calmly, of course), he'd likely resume his reign of FBS destruction. But Shanahan hasn't been part of a college program for over thirty years, so it's hard to see how he'd be able to jump back in and be able to recruit and manage a locker room full of 20 year olds.
SH: Have you seen what the NFL does to people? To their brains, and their abilities to deal with normal humans? The list of people sufficiently insane/robotic/self-engineered to succeed at either level is tiny. Jimmy Johnson, Pete Carroll, and...and maybe Chip Kelly? (Maybe?) Do you realize what a demented person has the capability to be sucessful at two entirely different levels of maniacal devotion?
Better still, do you want to pay someone to learn how to relate to young people and recruit at the age of 62 while politely reminding them that they can't straight-up cut people, all while watching them punt from the opponent's 38 yard line? While probably eventually hiring his son at one point to try and run a modern offense? (While definitely having to hire his son at one point.) He coached at Florida once? Oh, that's cool. So did Gene Chizik, a person who has a national title ring. Do you want to explain Migos to Mike Shanahan, and why he is going to have to dance in the locker room after a win whether he likes it or not? Did you see him keep RG3 onto the field when he had one rubber band of a ligament left in his knee? Get this the fuck out of here. Get all of this the entire fuck out of here.
RN: And even if you ignore his age and lack of recent college experience, you have to confront the fact that Shanahan really hasn't done much to speak of in the last decade. After losing Gary Kubiak as his offensive coordinator, Shanahan never reached the playoffs again with the Broncos, and his Washington accomplishments amount to one winning season (with a Wild Card game loss at home) and what may wind up being the worst Draft trade in recent memory. You're not getting someone who rode off into the sunset largely on top. You're getting someone who, unfortunately, has his best professional years behind him.
SH: Mike Shanahan last coached in college during the Reagan administration, and ran a West Coast offense, the kind of attack that led [ABSOLUTELY ZERO] college football programs to greatness in the past four decades. Forty years seems like a long time to try the same thing over and over again without success, but look at Communism. It's due for a comeback, too. The SEC already has one program with a penchant for building retirement homes and filling grandchildren's trust funds for old coaches. You'd think one South Carolina is enough for the conference, but two might not be a bad idea given how much more successful they've been than Florida recently. (And just like Lou Holtz, he'd probably try to get his son looped into the job as his successor. College football has outbreaks of nepotism, while the NFL has full-on plague conditions.)
RN: Here's the college coaching tree Mike Shanahan has given us.
This certainly isn't the only measure of a coach's talent - Nick Saban's got Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp in his, for instance - but it should give you pause when the most accomplished branch is at a service academy running the triple option.
SH: You're still thinking about this seriously? Really? Can we go ahead and describe how many different terrible idea rubber bands you have wrapped up in this single terrible idea, which is the single fartbrainchild of the idea LET'S JUST HIRE AN NFL GUY THAT'LL WORK REAL GOOD BECAUSE IT'S THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL GRRRR LEAGUE. Shanahan coached under Charley Pell, thus triggering a moldy but very real alarm about any understanding of how NCAA rules work. He was an Al Davis hire once, bringing in the Lane Kiffin association card. He worked for the Redskins for years without understanding what the rest of the world knows without working a day for Dan Snyder: you will fail, and fail forever at football as long as he owns the franchise. He did that for years before figuring it out. He is either the world's greatest idealist or a fool. Either gets you eaten by your expedition mates when you get trapped in a blizzard.
RN: We've got nothing against MIke Shanahan. There are just better options for Florida, so we must politely decline.
SH: Oh hell no. No, no, no. Take that shit out of here with tongs and the dirty shovel from a zoo's ape house. Not a good zoo, either. Like, an East Asian zoo with management problems. Use that shovel, and throw it as far away from this coaching search as possible.