The critique of college football coaches (really, all football coaches) has become worse in recent years. Alabama fans have apparently become even more unreasonable given Nick Saban’s historic success. But if you look more closely, are they really different from any other group of fans.
Listening to a sport talk radio show after a college or NFL loses can be highly entertaining. The entire program is falling apart, the head coach needs to go, the backup QB is better than the starter, both coordinators are atrocious and the recruiting has dropped off.
It seems that the Twitter age has made fans even more unreasonable and has given them an easy and widely distributed platform to voice their anger/frustration/knowledge.
The intensity of every game and the importance in the standings has made each week a do-or-die mentality for the fans. Patience is not an option. Contentment with mediocre results is not an option. Lose a game and the “Coach must go” tweets start, regardless of how well the team has done in the past. You might expect to see that in schools that are struggling to breakthrough to the next level and feel that they just lost their opportunity due to a “bad” or “disappointing” loss.
The quick trigger finger has not served many organizations well. Look at how frequently Nebraska has changed coaches since it ran off Bo Pelini wih a winning record. 9-3 was not good enough. You would think that winning 5 Nationals Championships would buy you a little bit of leeway, but as soon as Alabama lost a tight home game to LSU, the calls for his replacement started. Sentiments like “too old”, “the game has passed him by” or “he is not interested” littered the Twitterverse.
Be careful what you wish you Bama fans. You might not remember the lean years (i.e. Pre-Saban) where the Tide were little more than an afterthought to college football’s elite. Historically, the most successful programs have had a lot of stability at the top. Once you starting changing, it takes a new coach 2 to 3 years to truly get everything the way that they want it. Most schools don’t have that patience.