As the regular season approaches its end, coaching carousel season is bearing down upon us. That means airplanes will be tracked with religious zeal, "sources" will dominate the landscape, and football writers will fire off four to five names they believe are top candidates at a school.
And, of course, 99.99999999999999999999999% of all of it will be 100% unfiltered crap. But that's certainly not any overwhelming discovery. However, just how do these writers select the names they consider to be top candidates at a school?
Through non-exhaustive research and half-assed observations, much like these writers use when gathering a list of names, I've listed what I believe to be the process used when an editor comes to them and asks for a story about who's gonna be the next head coach at a certain school.
Step 1: Who do I think would be a good choice for that school?
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Step 2: Would that school realistically hire them?
Step 3: Is that coach alive?
Step 4: Then of course that school would hire him. My candidates are BRILLIANT choices. Who would dare go against such candidates?
Step 5: Now that I've got my candidates, should I gage their interest in the job by contacting them via telephone or email?
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Step 6: OF COURSE THEY'RE INTERESTED. I wouldn't have listed them if they weren't interested. No contact necessary.
Step 7: Should I contact someone in the athletic department of the school to see if they're interested in any of these candidates?
Step 8: DON'T BE SILLY. They've already contacted them because these are such great choices I thought of. You know, I would be really good at running a coaching search. MORE PEOPLE SHOULD LISTEN TO ME. And if they don't and it all goes bad, SKEWER AWAY with the benefit of perfect hindsight.
Step 9: Start writing about the faults of the old coach and what the athletic director is looking for in a new coach. Write about things like culture changer, winner, recruiter, a MAN OF CHARACTER, and a GREAT FIT. Then rank my candidates in the order I think works best.
Step 10: Get a quote from "sources", preferably "unnamed sources." They always have the best material.
Step 11: Pepper the part about my top choice (that is of course the school's top choice) with the "unnamed sources" quote.
Step 12: Send to editor.
Step 13: Post snippets of article on Twitter.
Step 14: Defend and debate nothing. My work stopped when I hit "send."
Step 15: Find a complimentary buffet.
Step 16: Bask in the freedom of no accountability over ribs and this dry chicken. UNACCEPTABLE. Hold grudge against school or organization who provided the free food FOREVER.