College Football Coach Departures: Gene Chizik, Frank Spaziani, Jon Embree, Tom O'Brien and Danny Hope

With programs putting on airs after the new television deals, a number of college football coaches saw pink slips yesterday. While Todd Graham consults his family tree, here are a few thoughts.

Gene Chizik [Auburn] The roller coaster has reached its terminus. Gene Chizik gave Auburn its best ever season and possibly its worst ever season within three years. The 2012 Tigers won just two games in regulation, against New Mexico State and Alabama A&M. With Chizik’s job on the line, the team could not manage a single point against rivals Georgia and Alabama. Auburn fans will remember him fondly, but prefer someone else coach their football team.

Frank Spaziani [Boston College] Bitchin’ mustache but the writing was on the wall. Spaz took over a team that played in consecutive ACC Championship Games. He had a worse record each of his four seasons, culminating in 2012’s 2-10 nadir. The Eagles have ranked outside the Top 100 in yards per play offense the last three years. Losing and boredom does not raise morale.

Jon Embree [Colorado] A coach deserves at least three years. That maxim, though, is the only argument for keeping Jon Embree employed. He was a risky hire, for a program already drowning after a decade of scandals and incompetence. The risk did not pay off and only exacerbated the problem. Colorado finished 1-11 with eight losses by 25 or more points. This was the worst team in school history and among the worst in FBS this year. It made Buffs fans pine for the halcyon days of Dan Hawkins. Colorado has landed zero of 15 Rivals four and five-star recruits from in state since 2010. The real question, perhaps, is why AD Mike Bohn, who hired both Hawkins and Embree, will receive a third chance.

Tom O’Brien [N.C. State] TOB critics have valid points. His teams were inconsistent. His 1-14 record in road divisional play was atrocious. He should have gotten more out of having Russell Wilson on campus for three years. That said, this is N.C. State, not some budding super power. This program has not won a conference title since 1979. It has one double-digit win season in program history when it went 11-3 under Chuck Amato. Is averaging around eight wins per season and scoring the odd upset really so terrible? Is finishing 7-5 “disappointing” or, for a team few if any had projected in the Top 25, “what was expected?”

Danny Hope [Purdue] This was coming. Purdue is not a great program, but has been a good one in recent years. Joe Tiller won seven games in a regular season nine of 12 years. Danny Hope failed to do it once. In his fourth year with what looked like a stocked team, progress was expected. The team instead imploded, starting the Big Ten season 0-5. Money isn’t everything, but when you are a Big Ten team paying roughly the same for a head football coach as East Carolina that is a problem.

[Photo via Presswire]

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