Wednesday, October 08, 2008
College Football is littered with different national coaching awards, the Liberty Mutual, Coach of the Year is supposed to represent the coach who shows the best collection sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence. So what makes a coach have these characteristics, which is most relevant to being the coach of the year and since this award allows fan voting which is typically overlooked.
Sportsmanship is a lot of things, it's 'playing the game the right way'. It's respecting your opponent. It's teaching your players to do all of the above. But as far as what fans would decide as the coach of the year, does it register? Les Miles is the national championship defending coach and one of his players just came out and said they hope to injure Tim Tebow. Is that Sportsmanship? Certainly not. Does that mean that Les Miles is less of a coach to the average fan or more importantly the average LSU fan? My guess is no.
Integrity means playing by the rules and doing things the right way and teaching your players to do the same. But when you look around you see a lot of infractions a lot of arrests. Just look at Penn St. having their best season in decades behind classy Joe Pa. This offseason the Nittany Lions were littered with infractions and arrests. Will the voter look at that or look at the fact that Penn St. is having a surprisingly excellent season.
The coaches responsibilities are many. First they have the responsibility to give it their all and give full effort. Next they are responsible to teaching their players the game and respect. They are also responsible to encourage their players to go to class and make something out of their lives outside of the game of football. But again like the categories above, this is behind the scenes. Stuff the fan doesn't know and doesn't necessarily care about. If you're school has a 50% graduation rate but goes to a BCS game every year do you care? Do you car if Duke can crack educational jokes at your school when you beat the pants out of their football team? Probably not.
Excellence is winning football games. When you introduce Excellence into the Coach of the Year conversation you diminish the remaining characteristics from a fans prospective. Fans care about winning and little else. Winning is the solver to any problem. A Coach could do all of the other characteristics above but build a loser and they will be fired. If they are missing one or more of the other characteristics but dominate, they can win the coach of the year. Winning is key, and the winner of this award will have a great football season.
So think about the traits and try to be a little bit different when you vote here.