The most wonderful time of year is upon us……..COLLEGE FOOTBALL baby!
Aside from the awesomeness that is USC, there are four new coaches in the Pac-12 Conference. Four teams who will debuting not just a new coach but a new team, a new work ethic, a new collegiate football culture. Not the exact time and place these teams would have liked to be at in their athletic career, but hey! better make the best of it.
Rich Rodriguez (or RiRo as I like to call him) is at Arizona, Todd Graham at Arizona State, Mike Leach at Washington State, and of course….Jim Mora at FUCLA. Apparently these fab four our pocketing a lot more money these days than their predecessors. Big time hires means Big time money, which can only mean Big time season!
With that being said, the expectations are running purdy darn high for these Pac 12 teams. We all know SC is going to dominate the conference along with those pesky but damn good-looking Ducks, but that leaves the 10 remaining teams with the difficult challenge to fulfill those high expectations and ACTUALLY compete. That is either going to make the 2012 season a yawn for those SEC bandwagon fans on the other side of the country or an absolute BLASTY for those west coasters who want to see if these new coaches will put their money where their mouth is.
So how do these coaches deal with all these high expectations? They call it “Re-Building.” The word “re-building” just sounds safer and sounder than “conference domination” or “we are here to win!” Winning is the obvious but a new coach isn’t going to come in and expect the team to win the conference let alone every game.
Arizona State’s coach is either the most delusional about the issue or just a smart guy who knows how to win over his team:
“We’re in some big-time recruiting battles right now,” Graham said. “Kids want to go to a big-time program. I’m just being honest. If I sit here and say, ‘Well, you know, it’s just going to take time.’ I don’t think they want to hear that. And I really don’t think that’s the reality of it. It’s just not in my mindset to approach things that way. I just believe you can get what you expect. Is it going to be easy? No. Are we going to face a lot of adversity? Yes. Can we win a championship this first year? Yes we can. That’s what our mission is going to be.”
This relentless optimism can get obnoxious but can also be what is giving a football team the energy and attitude they need to make it to practice everyday and suit up for the big games. Any athletic team needs focus, discipline and dedication, ultimately relying on their coaches for that push. Will these four new coaches reach the promise land? Well, definitely not in their first season…..but let us hope for the best and encourage these coaches to make the Pac-12 the most competitive conference in college football 🙂 Just to shut up that pesky SEC conference.