|Hood: Tigers battling distractions while preparing for LSU|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 1:29 PM||
Each season, the NFL playoffs start and many of the playoff teams’ coordinators become hot commodities for the teams that missed the playoffs and have since cast off their head coach.
However, one thing you hear during many NFL broadcasts is that Team A – which has fired its head coach - will wait to talk to Team B’s offensive or defensive coordinator until after Team B is out of the playoffs, citing no written rule but a long-standing “gentleman’s agreement” that the poaching team won’t distract from Team B’s playoff run.
Unfortunately – especially for Clemson right now – there is no such agreement in college football. Many universities have swept out the previous coaching staff and are on the prowl for a new one. In many cases, the previous staff lost their jobs because of a lack of wins, and with no bowl game to look forward to, the administrations and fans enter the “silly season” of hiring and firing and tracking and interviewing potential candidates.
Unlike the NFL, however, which holds its draft in April each year, schools can’t wait until after the bowl season to begin their search – recruiting is the lifeblood of every college program, and the sooner a coach and a staff can be put in place, the sooner they can hit the recruiting trail and begin to put the pieces in place for National Signing Day.
In the meantime – much like what goes on in the NFL – the staffs that are being raided for potential coaches are the ones that have been successful, and they are still preparing for bowl games and wrapping up their own all-important recruiting cycle.
Case in point is head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile, whose Clemson Tigers are coming off a 10-2 season and face the challenge of playing No. 7 LSU in just under three weeks in the Georgia Dome. The coaches have split their time this week recruiting and putting in the game plan and – interviewing for coaching vacancies.
It started with secondary coach Charlie HarbisonCharlie Harbison
View Full Profile leaving for Auburn and leaving Clemson without not only one of its best recruiters, but the leader of a group that has struggled all season. Then came word that offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
View Full Profile – who had interviewed at N.C. State earlier – was a serious candidate at Texas Tech, and the rumors that have been swirling around Morris since the end of the regular season two weeks ago picked up steam.
Recruits are wondering and wandering, taking visits and many fans are left wondering whether or not they will be without their offensive coordinator against LSU. It’s all part of the business of college football, and there is no whining or complaining. In the lexicon of today, it is what it is.
Meanwhile, down in Baton Rouge, all is quiet. An LSU team that was already favored to win the bowl game is practicing and putting in game plans and recruiting like their entire staff will be in place at the turn of the New Year.
In Clemson, the players are wondering which coach will leave next, coordinators are polishing their resume for the next interview session, recruits are pondering visits to other schools. Not exactly the best environment for a team not only wanting to win a BCS-style bowl game, but needing to knock off one of the big boys from the SEC in order to gain back some national respect.
There are also many wondering if the bowl game will be the last for a couple of Clemson’s players, who are thinking about leaving early for the NFL. Will they hitch their wagon to their offensive coordinator, and leave if he leaves? Will they want to come back for another season, having to learn a new offense?
Without that “gentleman’s agreement” – and with schools hiring the likes of Bobby Petrino and Tommy Tuberville recently, we know there is a lack of gentlemen in college football – things are crazy in Clemson right now.
Meanwhile, down on the bayou.....all is quiet.
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