This is the first time in the history of sports, nay, human history, that rumors about head coach hirings have swirled and made the rounds.
Oh no wait, I meant to say that stuff happens ALL THE TIME IN EVERY COACHING SEARCH AND PRETTY MUCH EVERY SPORTS-RELATED JOB OPENING SINCE ANYONE EVER CARED ENOUGH TO WRITE ABOUT OR TALK ABOUT SPORTS.
God damn the blogs of 1895. They ruined it for all of us.
Anyway, the reason I started the Sexy-O-Meter was because it seems as though the rumors, sources and hype on each coaching candidate changes almost daily. Today's favorite for the job is tomorrow's has-been and tomorrow's nobody is next week's frontrunner. Sometimes the info is credible and sometimes it's not. It's been that way since the dawn of man and all you can really do is discuss what's out there and try not to get too attached to any information until it's set in stone.
So I get the gist of Donnie Webb's post today about coaching rumors and the false alarms that can be set off. Just this week we saw a very erroneous report from a blogger that said Chris Peterson was leaving Boise State to take the Mississippi State job. The claim turned out to be wrong and much credibility was lost by it's announcer.
Of couse, for every blog that wrongly-announces something like this, there's about 20 journalists who do the same thing, and that's worse because they're "trusted" so much more than bloggers. Webb rightfully points out that journalists for the NFL Network have been wrong all over the place about the SU coaching search and also mentions Kirk Herbstriet's infamous Les Miles-to-Michigan kerfuffle.
Point is, shit happens. Sources lie. Rumors spread. It's tough to know what's true, what's BS and what's somewhere in the middle and the best you can do is trust your gut and not make any proclamations unless you're damn sure about it.
So of course, the Lloyd Carr incident is name-checked:
An Orange-flavored blog reported that former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was spotted on the Syracuse campus in late September. Fed by talk radio, the story set off what amounted to brief hysteria because of angst over the Robinson era. Gross denounced the report as reckless. No one ever confirmed that Carr paid the town a visit.
Just in case you needed reminding, this was Orange44's post that Lloyd Carr was seen at SU. One source, whom Orange44 did not stand behind other than to relay what he had been told, said Gross and Carr were seen together on campus. It should be noted, this news had already been all over the message boards already so it wasn't like Orange44 was starting anything. Just relaying what was, at the very least, a crazy coincidence. Turned out, Carr and Gross never met and Carr was not in Syracuse for any official business.
For the record, multiple people have since come forward to say that Carr was indeed in Syracuse, NY but was there to pay a visit to a player's family, not to visit with SU officials about the job. Was it irresponsible then for people to mention his sighting? If Tommy Tuberville was seen at a Wegmans in Syracuse today, wouldn't that be worth noting? Even if it turned out that he wasn't in town to interview for the job, it would certainly seem noteworthy that a highly-respect college football coach just happened to be in Syracuse when the coaching position was available, or in Carr's case, soon-to-be available. Is it the responsibiltiy of the writer not to mention this news because of assumptions about how readers will interpret it?
It's one thing for a blog, journalist or message boarder to shout "Turner Gill will be announced as the next coach tonight at 7pm" as gospel. It's another thing to say "I've heard that Turner Gill was seen on campus, no word yet on why but we'll see if we can confirm it." It's not the responsibility of the writer to babysit the reader and decide for them how they'll interpret the information. It's the responsiblity of the writer to share information in an honest way, plain and simple. If you're a journalist, you have an extra set of rules. And if you're a blogger, while you don't have rules per se, I would hope you have a code of ethics that you follow, especially if people trust you in some capacity.
Readers are smart, they know when someone's lying or isn't sure. They know when to believe something and when they shouldn't. They've been through this process many times before and seen the twists and turns that come with it. I would hope that no one takes a random article about how Doug Marrone is qualified for the job and extrapolates "Doug Marrone will be hired today!" from that. If they do, that's their problem.
Seriously though, Doug Marrone will be hired today.
Kidding. For now. On to the Sexy-O-Meter...
1. Skip Holtz (HC - East Carolina) - Papa Lou says SU and Skip are "on different schedules" and no offers have been made. Not promising. (1)
2. Doug Marrone (OC, New Orleans Saints) - Marrone not only interviewed a second time, but he flew from New Orleans to Syracuse on Sunday to make sure he did it before Gross met with Holtz last night. Dude is motivated. (2)
3. Al Golden (HC, Temple) - Penn State's Tom Bradley would be fine with this. (3)
4. Turner Gill (HC - Buffalo) - I'd drop him but there's no one below who deserves to be above. The sexiness seems to be wearing off. (4)
5. Kevin Rogers (QB Coach, Minnesota Vikings) (5)
6. Steve Addazio (Asst., Florida) - Furiously scribbling... (6)
7. Paul Alexander (Asst. HC, Cincinnati Bengals) (7)
8. Randy Edsall (HC, UConn) (8)
9. Mark Whipple (Asst., Philadelphia Eagles) (9)
10. Tommy Tuberville (Unemployed) (10)