Larry Coker is absolutely screwed.
It's not because of his team's performance or unreasonable expectations. In fact, a close opening loss to Florida State and a second half collapse to a very good Louisville are not the signs of a program in trouble. Miami doesn't see a real team on their schedule from now until October 28th, and still has a better chance of winning the Coastal Division than Virginia Tech does. But nevertheless, Larry Coker will most likely be out of a job come January.
Why? Because folks have seized on the idea he's going to lose his job and that means speculation. Lots of speculation. And there are few thing sportswriters like to more than play athetic director. It's an easy column - you spit out a list of names, and all the Miami fans salivate. Plus the fans of the teams whose coaches you name tune in and start to worry about their programs. Next thing you know, everyone's debating your column. It's a great couple of weeks.
And in Larry Coker's case, it's a great couple of months. And they're not even shy about it:
Keep in mind, Larry Coker won't be fired before the end of the season. That's a given. So there's three and half months of this we're going to have to sit through. For a coach who's currently 54-11 at Miami. And while we can't stop it, we can at least reel in the expectations a little bit. To wit:
- Butch Davis is not coming back. Any of you readers out there feel like going back to a job you left six years ago? You know of any coaches who have returned to any job they had in the last twenty years? It's not going to happen. Butch is gone. Do not wait for the Return of Butch.
- Miami is still good. They're not good by Miami standards, but they're good by, say, mid-90s Big East standards. Which is not unlike how Miami actually in the middle of the '90s - this week was the tenth anniversay of the first of two times Miami lost to East Carolina, after all. And with this year's ACC plumbing new depths in conference futility, you can't say the Hurricanes won't be a factor. Well, maybe you can, but you'll look silly. I guarantee you the game everyone will be focused on come October 28th will be Miami-Georgia Tech, not Florida State-Maryland.
It will work out for the sportswriters, though.