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THE FOUR MILLION DOLLAR MEN - WEEK 6

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A RETURN TO THE WEST

The firing of Les Miles so early in the season was something of a pressure release valve on the SEC West. Once he was out of the equation, nobody could say “well, shit, our idiot coach lost to Les, and LSU doesn’t even want him anymore.” It makes me wonder if this whole endeavor is even worth doing going forward.

Ok, yeah, we can stick around for one more week at least.

NICK SABAN

Why Saban shouldn’t get fired: There are a lot of positive things to say about this Alabama team. Though they don’t throw it a ton, when they do they avoid turnovers and can pick up big gains. They get solid production from the punt return team, and the Tide are 6 of 7 on field goals inside 40 yards. Sure, they give up more long pass plays than you’d like (though that was true last year), but this is a very well rounded team that does almost everything well.

But because this is Alabama Football, here’s the part that matters: in every game they’ve played this year, Bama’s run for at least 100 yards more than their opponent.

Why Saban should get fired: WHY THE HELL AIN’T IT 200 WITH ALL THEM FIVE STAR CROOTS

Firing chances (between 0 and 1): 0.0

GUS MALZAHN

Why Gus shouldn’t get fired: Only losing to Clemson and Texas A&M looks increasingly defensible by the week. If you’ve beaten everyone you’re supposed to beat, it kinda feels like you get to keep your job for another year.

Why Gus should get fired: Take away the Auburn loss from the four teams Malzahn has beaten so far, and they’ve got a combined record of 7-9. In each of their last two games, Auburn threw 18 passes and ran the ball at least 56 times. That suggests that Gus Malzahn hasn’t found an answer at quarterback so much as he stopped asking the question altogether.

Firing chances: 0.3

BRET BIELEMA

Why Bret shouldn’t get fired: Same deal as Auburn, only replace Clemson with Alabama.

Why Bret should get fired: It’s time to play Arkansas vs. Mystery Team again!

YARDS PER CARRY ALLOWED - Arkansas 5.69, Mystery Team 5.56

3RD DOWN RATE ALLOWED - Arkansas 48%, Mystery Team 47.4%

PUNTS FORCED PER GAME - Arkansas 4.5, Mystery Team 4.5

OPPONENT FIRST DOWNS VIA PENALTY - Arkansas 3, Mystery Team 19


I included that last one so you can know that while Mystery Team will keep a drive alive by committing a stupid foul, Arkansas does it just by having a shitty defense. Oh, right, you should probably meet the defensive coordinator for Mystery Team.

Firing chances: 0.3

KEVIN SUMLIN

Why Sumlin shouldn’t get fired: A&M’s 6-0 for the first time since 1994, and today I learned that there was a time when one of the NCAA’s punishments was to keep you off of television all season. I’m trying to imagine the reaction if we did that to, say, Ohio State in 2012.

Why Sumlin should get fired: Yeah, I have nothing to offer here. Gonna just keep imagining Buckeye fans raging and hurling cable boxes at Mark Emmert.

Firing chances: 0.0

DAN MULLEN

Why Mullen shouldn’t get fired: Ok, I’ll go ahead and preface this one by admitting it’s kind of bullshit, but in every discussion of where Tom Herman or Willie Taggart or Jeff Brohm or P.J. Fleck could go next, I haven’t seen Mississippi State mentioned a single time. Nor have I heard Dan Mullen even murmured as a candidate for any possibly vacant jobs. Maybe that’s because these two are perfect for one another; Mullen isn’t a good enough coach to merit a “better” job, and Mississippi State isn’t a good enough program to merit a “better” coach.

Please send all your hate mail to mbianchi@tribune.com.

Why Mullen should get fired: Beating Auburn wasn’t necessarily a requirement, but, damn, the Bulldogs didn’t even hang around. Three minutes into the second quarter, they were already down 21-0. You responded with a three and out, a second three and out, a drive that gained one first down (hooray) before punting, and a fumble recovered for an Auburn touchdown. If one of our central premises is that somebody’s gonna make a bunch of money to finish 7th in the West, that somebody is increasingly looking like Dan Mullen.

Firing chances: 0.5

HUGH FREEZE

Why Freeze shouldn’t get fired: Ole Miss didn’t play last week, so there’s no new on-field related reason to push for Freeze’s removal.

Why Freeze should get fired: How spiritual can the man be if Gabriel Angel can’t get playing time? I don’t trust those fake religious types.

Firing chances: 0.2

TOTAL NUMBER OF SEC WEST COACHES DUE TO BE FIRED: Including LSU’s vacancy, we’re down to 2.1, a new low for the year. If you’re an SEC West coach, this means you can probably go ahead and buy that vacation home. Don’t even worry about the adjustable rate mortgage!