Time to Pull the Plug

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by Tyler Hobbs

In no other aspect of life is it more publicized than when a person gets fired than in sports. Unfortunately, that comes with the territory in the coaching profession. Two of my favorite teams just went through a coaching change, the Lakers, 5 games into the season, and my beloved Kentucky Wildcats, who had the misfortune of having to fire an alumnus of the program. It may not feel right, but that’s how it is. Through this article, we will discuss the teams that should undergo the difficult task of firing their head coach. Again, it sucks I know, but it is just how it is done thanks to the worldwide leader in sports.

First is Rick Barnes, head coach of Texas. I know, he made a final four, but that was 9 years ago. Since then, the furthest that he has gotten is the Elite Eight, twice. Though this would be satisfactory for a normal program, but when you analyze the talent that he has recruited, he has underachieved far more than people realize. When you point out the fact that he has had players like Kevin Durant, D.J. Augustin, Lamarcus Aldridge, T.J. Ford and countless other future NBA players, has what he done really been that great? He is 17-12 in the NCAA Tournament at Texas, and has never won a post-season conference championship. I understand that Texas is a “football school” but that doesn’t mean they should be celebrating mediocrity in Rick Barnes like they do, because honestly they deserve so much better.

Next is Andy Reid. This is somewhat hypocritical for me to say because the Eagles have made a living out of beating my Cowboys year in and year out, but they have also underperformed greatly, especially since their self-entitled “Dream Team” nickname came about. Even going back to the Donovan McNabb era, the Eagles made only one Super Bowl (and lost) and Andy Reid has been able to hold onto his job because of his success early on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what you did for the program in the past, you have to continue it on a yearly basis. In recent years, Reid hasn’t been able to coach the “Dream Team” up to its enormous potential. I think that it is time for them to part ways, and I believe they will at years end.

Next is Lane Kiffin. Expectations were sky high at USC this year when the Trojans were ranked #1 in the preseason, led by heisman favorite Matt Barkley. Fresh off of probation, the Trojans had high hopes for a national championship run, but a putrid defense and injuries kept the Trojans from reaching their goals for the season. Lane Kiffin is 25-12 while at the reins for the Trojans, including a 7-5 record this year. Kiffin has yet to prove to be successful while at USC, and their passionate fanbase shouldn’t and probably won’t stand for it much longer. USC was looking frantically for a coach to return them to national prominence after the Reggie Bush scandal, and it appears they should have kept looking. Not to mention he is a huge prick, but let’s try not to hold that against him.

Finally, Mike D’Antoni. Just kidding, can we give the guy a chance, at least until Steve Nash gets back? Please? No? Well, alright then.

Of course, there are others that are fairly obvious, such as Rex Ryan. I just thought I would introduce a few more names that may be controversial and a little less talked about in the national spotlight. Again, I will repeat for emphasis, it sucks that a guy getting fired is so highly publicized and called upon by the fanbases and sports geeks like myself, but it is just part of the game.

 

Tyler Hobbs can be reached on Twitter @TylerHobbs5

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