Franz Beard

Author Archives: Franz Beard


Florida vs. Tennesse, Showcase For One Survival For The Other

From 1993-2001 the defining moment in the SEC season was always the Florida-Tennessee game, usually the third or fourth week of the season in September. Whoever won that game went on to win the SEC East and then turned whoever won the West into a sacrificial lamb.

There haven’t been very many defining moments in the series since then, a series dominated by Florida, which has won the last 10 games.

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Countdown To Firing Day Weekend Forecast

Here we are, just days away from October and we’ve only had one firing. Okay, technically speaking June Jones (Wink! Wink!) resigned at SMU but are you buying that story? Of course, you’re not. Just like you shouldn’t be buying the story that Will Muschamp is teetering on the verge of a firing.

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College Football Playoff Should Be Top 4 SEC West Teams

There is a simple solution for college football’s first Division I playoff. If they really want to bring the best four teams to the table to duke it out for the closest thing we’ve ever had to something that isn’t a mythical national championship, then why not invite the top four teams from the SEC West Division? Of course, they won’t do that because the folks at Oklahoma, Oregon and Florida State would suddenly go into a state of apoplexy, but you can make a strong case that the Southeastern Conference deserves two seats at the Final Four table and both of those teams should be from the SEC West.

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Will Muschamp Will Get Opportunity At Florida Ron Zook Didn’t

Barring an unforeseen disaster, Will Muschamp will be the head football coach at the University of Florida in 2015.

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Countdown to Firing Day – Nov. 28, 2013

A look at where things stand with college football coaching potential firings by guest columnist Franz Beard.


1. LANE KIFFIN, Southern Cal
3. Don Treadwell, Miami of Ohio
4. Carl Pelini, Florida Atlantic
5. Ron English, Eastern Michigan


1. NORM CHOW, Hawaii (0-11)
Why he stays: He’s the original buyout poster child. UCLA once paid him $500,000 not to coach. Since they can’t afford to fix the overflowing toilets and the leaky showers in the UH locker room, they definitely can’t afford the $1.65 million they would have to pay Norm not to coach.
Why he goes: He’s 67, loses track of time while trying to decide whether to watch “The Property Brothers” on HGTV or “Rachel vs. Guy” on the Food Channel. Over at the Hawaii football complex no one notices that he hasn’t shown up for work in a week.

2. DANA HOLGORSEN, West Virginia (4-7)
Why he stays: Did you hear the one about the hillbilly lawyer who gave a coach with the morals of a mink a contract with an $11.3 million buyout?
Why he goes: Video surfaces of the HBC dancing on a bar with a stripper wearing a champagne bucket as a hat.

3. RICH ELLERSON, Army (3-7)
Why he stays: He beats Hawaii this week and Navy next week to end the season on a two-game winning streak. Of course, donkeys could fly, too.
Why he goes: Donkeys do not fly. They fly in the Air Force, which beat Army already, and in the Navy, which will make it 18 years since the last time Army won that game.

4. CHARLEY MOLNAR, UMass (1-10)
Why he stays: The pay is crappy, the facilities are lousy, the weather sucks and there isn’t a top 1000 D1 prospect within 250 miles that you can convince to come play football at UMass, so nobody else will take the job.
Why he goes: Someone in Amherst brain farts with this incredible notion that if Georgia Southern can knock off Florida in The Swamp, why can’t UMass


1. TERRY BOWDEN, Akron (4-7)
Why he stays: Okay, so three of the wins are against teams with a combined 5-29. You gotta start somewhere, right? That’s three more wins than last year. It’s not like the expectations are out of sight in Akron.
Why he goes: Toledo hangs 50 or more on the Zips Friday night.

2. SKIP HOLTZ, Louisiana Tech (4-7)
Why he stays: He works cheap. Because USF has to pay him $500,000 a year for the next five years from his previous coaching disaster, Lousy Tech simply matches that amount and saves about $300 big ones a year.
Why he goes: Skippy is the Bizzaro Holtz, which is to say he’s actually pleasant and doesn’t remind someone of an old man whose sell-by date expired 10 years ago. On the other hand that old man who looks like he hasn’t had a good dump in 10 years can coach. Skippy can’t. Did anyone in Ruston bother to call the folks in Tampa before they hired this guy?

3. MIKE LONDON, Virginia (2-9)
Why he stays: The old boys on The Grounds are a bit perplexed. They are so smart. They are so much hipper than their Ivy League brethren who only wish they could party like a UVa grad. So how is it that they got snookered into an $8 million buyout for the HBC and another $3 million buyout for the coordinators? Why, to pay for that would mean giving up happy hour for the foreseeable future. We can’t have that, can we?
Why he goes: Those uncouth hillbillies from Blacksburg, the ones that don’t know a gentleman would never wear a striped tie with a plaid jacket, win for the 10th straight year. Oh, the shame of it all. And poor Muffy! Why she had to watch these hillbillies swill beer while tailgating behind – gasp – a pickup truck!

4. CHARLIE WEIS, Kansas (3-8)
Why he stays: The Fighting Cheeseburgers have tripled last year’s win total. Besides, they would have to dip into the basketball money to buy him out. Charlie’s lawyer is a shark!
Why he goes: To paraphrase the immortal words of Al Pacino, “Just when you think you’re out off the endangered species list they pull you back in!” How can you beat West Virginia in Morgantown one week then lose to Iowa State, 34-0, the next?

5. PAUL RHOADS, Iowa State (2-9)
Why he stays: The Lord, he do provide! When Paul Rhoads needed a win in the worst way, the Lord sent Kansas.
Why he goes: West Virginia lights up the Cyclones Saturday. Kansas beat West Virginia so there is a very low tolerance level for a loss in Ames. A close loss and they probably give him a mulligan for three bowls in six years. A blowout and all bets are off.


1. KEVIN WILSON, Indiana (4-7)
Why he stays: As long as Wilson can entertain the folks with lots of points and keep the AD from dipping into the basketball budget he’s got a job. Tis better to lose 65-42 than 9-7.
Why he goes: Lose to Pur-Don’t Saturday and he goes from the Life Support to Endangered Species List. There are no excuses for losing to Pur-Don’t.

2. DAN ENOS, Central Michigan (5-6)
Why he stays: In honor of the two-game winning streak that has Enos and the boys on the verge of bowl-eligible, the local Piggly Wiggly in Mount Pleasant is offering a buy one, get one free bologna special in the deli and it includes a free ticket to Saturday’s game with Eastern Michigan. They drew 8,000 to Kelly Shorts Stadium for the win over UMass last week but they had a bogo for pickled pig’s feet for that one.
Why he goes: Losing to Eastern Michigan would do it. Losing seasons are bad enough. Losing seasons that include losses to EMU are intolerable.

3. RON TURNER, Florida International (1-10)
Why he stays: Pete Garcia keeps reminding the faithful that Ron Turner once coached Illinois to a 10-2 record and a trip to the Sugar Bowl. Of course, he fails to inform the faithful that one lucky season was followed by a 10-36 record in the next four years.
Why he goes: Saturday opponent Florida Atlantic has won three in a row since it got rid of its coach. The light goes on in Pete Garcia’s mind, unfortunately an entire wasted season too late.

4. WILL MUSCHAMP, Florida (4-7)
Why he stays: It has been decreed by Jeremy Foley, who is determined to prove to the world that you can have a crappy football team and still win the SEC All-Sports Championship.
Why he goes: Remember the Zooker! On Friday before the Mississippi State game in 2004, Ron Zook was assured that he would be the coach in 2005. On Sunday night he was told that ain’t it funny how the time slips away and it’s 2005 already.

5. DAVE CHRISTENSEN, Wyoming (5-6)
Why he stays: He upsets Utah State in Logan Saturday to get bowl-eligible, avoiding a Monday morning massacre of the football staff. Besides, the St. Bernards they use to rescue coaches stuck in the sometimes 8-foot high snow drifts they get in Laramie are on strike for better food and conjugal privileges in the kennel.
Why he goes: Even though it’s 500 miles to the nearest high school that has two D1 prospects on its campus, some yay-hoo in the administration gets this wild hair up his butt and decides that a quality coach and quality prospects would love to spend six months of the year butt-deep in snow.

6. TIM BECKMAN, Illinois (4-7)
Why he stays: That scintillating come from behind win over Pur-Don’t got the Illini to four wins, double last year’s total. They fired the Zooker for going to and winning two bowl games in a row his last two years.
Why he goes: The president of the university doesn’t want him but the athletic director does. If Beckman is the coach next year, it’s because the AD won the coin flip.

7. MACK BROWN, Texas (7-3)
Why he stays: There’s nothing like a conference championship to shut folks up but he’s got to beat Baylor and hope Okie beats Okie State to win the Big 12. That’s a whole lot of ifs.
Why he goes: Has any coach in history won more games – 243 in 30 seasons of coaching at four schools – and won fewer conference championships? Mack has two (2005 and 2009) and he has one national title. It is possible to win 243 games and under-achieve.


Why he stays: They’re going bowling for the first time since 2000. Hello Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Just what everyone dreams of: a week in Boise in the dead of winter.
Why he goes: The university president gets frostbite in Boise and blames it on Hauck for not winning seven games and getting a bowl trip to Hawaii.

2. RANDY EDSALL, Maryland (6-5)
Why he stays: The good news is that Turtles are going to their first bowl game in four years. The bad news is that James Franklin is taking Gloria Vanderbilt to its third straight bowl. Franklin was the head coach in waiting before some idiot in administration 86’d The Fridge. Dumb move. Very dumb.
Why he goes: Someone emails the Under Armour boys this wise saying Jeremy Foley: “What must be done eventually should be done immediately.” They have the bucks to do what the university doesn’t have the bucks to do and buy out Edsall, who can’t coach a lick.

4. BO PELINI, Nebraska (8-3)
Why he stays: As long as he doesn’t do something really stupid like let Kirk Ferentz outcoach him Saturday, he will be back next year. Bo used to be a good defensive guy. They’re holding out hope in Nebraska that he hasn’t forgotten how because next year if the Huskers can stop anyone, they’ll have a chance to be big time contenders.
Why he goes: It’s Nebraska. Four losses isn’t acceptable, especially if the fourth loss is to a team coached by Kirk Ferentz.

5. KIRK FERENTZ, Iowa (7-4)
Why he stays: He can take bad talent and go 6-6 or 7-5 and good talent and go 8-4. There is something to be said about the kind of consistency that gets your fans trips to fabulous Detroit for the Urban Blight Bowl. It should also be mentioned that there are autographed pictures of his lawyers on the wall of the lawyers for Dana Holgorsen, Bret Bielema and Mike London.
Why he goes: Maybe there is someone out there who would write a check for $21 million. That’s all it would take to buy him out.

6. BRETT BIELEMA, Arkansas (3-8)
Why he stays: They filmed “Night of the Living Dead” in Arkansas. We know that because some zombie disguised as a lawyer drew up a contract for Brett Bielema with a $12.8 million buyout clause, which is a lot of money unless someone named Walton, Reynolds or Tyson decides enough is enough.
Why he goes: By Saturday they will have lost nine in a row and the same state that could understand why President Bubba said, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” launches a “Forgive Bobby Petrino for he knew not what he did” campaign and while they’re about it, buy out the contract of AD Jeff Long, the guy who’s responsible for Brett Bielma.

7. DAN MULLEN, Mississippi State (5-6)
Why he stays: He beats Ole Miss Thursday in the Scrambled Egg Bowl to take the Mississippi Cow College to its fourth straight bowl game. That’s never been done before in StarkVegas where they don’t even mind it if they are required to stay an extra week in Shreveport in the event they lose the Weedwacker Bowl.
Why he goes: Even though the school prez has illusions that StarkVegas could replace Tuscaloosa as the football capital of the south, if Mullen isn’t coaching next year it will be because he got a deal to go coach somewhere else. His resume is out there.

8. JIM GROBE, Wake Forest (4-7)
Why he stays: Duke had to score two late touchdowns to beat Wake Forest Gump Saturday. The Gumpsters will lose to Vanderbilt Saturday but there is no danger Grobe will be gone.
Why he goes: Expectations are different at Wake Forest Gump. Go to an occasional bowl, graduate players and make sure your losing records are at least respectable and you can coach a long time in Winston-Salem. When he goes, it’s when he’s ready to go.

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Countdown to Firing Day

A look at the college football coaching potential firings by guest columnist Franz Beard.


1. LANE KIFFIN, Southern Cal
3. DON TREADWELL, Miami of Ohio
4. CARL PELINI, Florida Atlantic


1. MACK BROWN, Texas (6-2)

Why he stays: New athletic director Steve Patterson has to consider replacing Brown and basketball coach Rick Barnes. He will give both of them a year to either sink or swim … Brown could win the Big 12 this year.
Why he goes: The sooner Patterson cans Brown, the sooner he can bring in his own guy … If Nick Saban wants the job, then Mack Brown is a goner … If Baylor beats Texas, the decision is made and Texas will have a new coach next year.

2. RON ENGLISH, Eastern Michigan (1-8)

Why he stays: It’s Eastern Michigan. It’s not like English forgot how to coach suddenly and the program went south. The program has been south all along. Firing him is a gigantic hassle and who wants to to be a head coach bad enough to take the Eastern Michigan job?
Why he goes: It’s not like English is going to lure good football players to a school that drew 3,257 to its last home game … The Fighting EMUs are 113th in points for and 125th in points against.

3. NORM CHOW, Hawaii (0-8)

Why he stays: Someone in Hawaii finds a virgin or two willing to be cast into the volcano to satisfy Pele, the goddess of fire, who is still pissed off that they let June Jones walk.
Why he goes: There are no virgins to be found, at least none willing to be sacrificed, and Pele lets it be known that unless there is a new coach molten lava will continue to spew out of Kilauea.

4. DANA HOLGERSON, West Virginia (4-5)

Why he stays: West Virginia wins its last three games, which actually could happen although Saturday Texas comes to town. The other two are Kansas and Iowa State and if he can’t beat them, even with a bad team, he doesn’t deserve to be coaching next year.
Why he goes:  He loses to Texas which means the best he can do is 6-6 … Athletic Director Oliver Luck didn’t get the Texas AD job and will consider a loss to Texas insult to injury … Rich Rodriguez has done enough penance in the desert and can be forgiven for ever leaving in the first place.

5. RICH ELLERSON, Army (3-6)

Why he stays: He beats Navy. A lot of sins can be forgiven when you beat Navy.
Why he goes: He lost to Air Force. If he loses to Navy, too, that’s unacceptable.

6. CHARLEY MOLNAR, UMass (1-8)

Why he stays: It’s not his fault the school decided to go Division I without a lot of preparation.
Why he goes: You really don’t think the AD and the administration are going to blame themselves for this fiasco, do you?


1. TERRY BOWDEN, Akron (3-7)

Why he stays: He’s tripled last year’s win total and almost beaten Michigan in The Big House.
Why he goes: How can you be within a play of beating Michigan in The Big House and then lose by 40 to Ohio U?

2. SKIP HOLTZ, Louisiana Tech (3-5)

Why he stays: Three of the last four games are winnable, which means Lousy Tech could be bowl-eligible.
Why he goes: The Secretariat Rules apply here. Secretariat was the greatest race horse ever but as a stud, his offspring were mostly pluggers. Skip has the pedigree but as they’ve figured out in less than a year in Ruston, Skip is a plugger. At best. 

3. MIKE LONDON, Virginia (2-7)

Why he stays: London stays because his lawyers are better than the lawyers at UVa. It will cost $8 million to buy him out and another $3 million to buy out his coordinators.
Why he goes: What must be done eventually should be done now. Another year isn’t going to turn London into a decent football coach. 

4.  CHARLIE WEIS, Kansas (2-6)

Why he stays: They are still paying off Mark Mangino and Turner Gill and nobody wants to dip into the basketball budget to pay Charlie off. Charlie’s lawyer is a shark. Just ask Notre Dame.
Why he goes: It’s not going to get much better. Maybe there is another Mark Mangino out there who can actually win at this dead end. 

5. PAUL RHOADS, Iowa State

Why he stays: The people in power at I-State realize that three bowls in four years is about as good as it will get in Ames … Fans remember those fun-filled nights in Detroit at the Motor City Bowl.
Why he goes: The people in power are brain dead enough to think that I-State can actually compete for championships. 


1. KEVIN WILSON, Indiana (3-5)

Why he stays: The Hoosiers can’t stop anybody (116th in PA) but they sure are fun to watch (10th in PF). Entertainment value trumps winning. It’s better to lose 42-39 than win 9-7.
Why he goes: Someone in power doesn’t appreciate entertainment value and thinks that if you can score this many points you ought to be able to stop the people in the different colored shirts from scoring just as many or more.


Why he stays: He needs one win in three changes to make the Rebels bowl-eligible. Firing a coach who gets you to a bowl is not good form at a place like UNLV, which hasn’t gone bowling since 2000.
Why he goes: He goes 0-3 down the stretch and the Rebels get blown out a couple of times, marking four straight years without a winning record.

3. DAN ENOS, Central Michigan (3-6)

Why he stays: The next three games are Western Michigan, UMass and Eastern Michigan. Win those three and the Chips are bowl-eligible, saving the school prez from doing the distasteful job of firing the football coach.
Why he goes: Western Michigan, UMass and Eastern Michigan are a combined 3-24. If you can’t win those three games you have no business being anybody’s head coach.

4. RON TURNER, Florida International (1-7)

Why he stays: He’s only been on the job one year.
Why he goes: Turner proves The Peter Principle. He’s been elevated to his highest level of incompetence, which means things are not going to get better at FIU. 


1. TIM BECKMAN, Illinois (3-5)

Why he stays: The Illini already have one more win than last year and with Pur-Don’t on the schedule he could easily double last year’s total.
Why he goes: Five wins in two years? They were doing better than this with the Zooker.

2.  RANDY EDSALL, Maryland (5-3)

Why he stays: The buyout is too costly for an athletic program with more red ink than Hallmark at Christmas … With one win, the Yertles are bowl-eligible.
Why he goes: He has a lower popularity rating than Obama. The folks in College Park are starting to understand why he has a career record (85-91)  below .500.

3. BO PELINI, Nebraska (6-2)

Why he stays: Nebraska could win its division and serve as the sacrificial lamb for Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Why he goes: They fired Frank Solich after a 9-3 season because fans didn’t like him. The fans like Bo Pelini even less. Hey, isn’t this guy supposed to be a defensive guru? So why can’t the Huskers stop anyone?

4. DAN MULLEN, Mississippi State (4-4)

Why he stays: AD Scott Stricklin understands just how tough a job this is and won’t fire a coach who got the Bulldogs to three straight bowl games. Mullen’s job is safe at least until next year.
Why he goes: He realizes that he’s peaked at Mississippi State and stays one step ahead of the grim reaper by taking a job up north, like maybe UConn. If he waits until next year, he’s damaged goods and won’t have many options.


Why he stays: Ferentz has smarter lawyers than U-Iowa. If they fire him they have to pay him $3 million a year NOT to coach until 2020. Like him or not – they don’t – they’re stuck with a coach good enough to get them to Shreveport every year.
Why he goes: The boosters pony up the big bucks. Metors will strike Iowa City first.

6. BRETT BIELEMA, Arkansas (3-6)

Why he stays: He’s only been on the job one year.  He will get next year although it’s not looking any more promising than the rest of 2013, which probably ends on a nine-game losing streak.
Why he goes: Boosters with bucks and last names like Walton, Reynolds or Tyson write the buyout checks.

7. JIM GROBE, Wake Forest (4-5)

Why he stays: Even though Wake Forest Gump will get hosed by FSU this weekend, Grobe is safe. Nobody expected four wins this year and there’s a chance the Deacs will go 6-6 and make it to a bowl.
Why he goes: When Grobe leaves it will be on his own terms. He’s earned that right.

8. WILL MUSCHAMP, Florida (4-4)

Why he stays: He’s a year removed from 11-2 and he’s lost two of his top three offensive tackles to season-ending injuries and a third is out indefinitely … Jeremy Foley likes him.
Why he goes:  If he digs in his heels and refuses to make some changes on his offensive staff, some of the big boosters won’t write checks.

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