Southern Mississippi Has a Long Road Ahead

By Kris Hughes

With the firing of head coach Ellis Johnson, the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles made a move that was inevitable given their terrible season after several successful campaigns. The irony of the firing was what the USM administration had to do to get it done.

According to a few sources, USM decided to give up a home contest against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in return for $2.1 million: the money needed to buyout Johnson’s contract and allow the two parties to part ways. It’s a sad state of affairs when there isn’t enough money available in your budget to complete a buyout that was negotiated less than a year earlier.

Call me crazy, but perhaps there should have been some forethought here. It’s not only a failure of budgeting but apparently a terrible administrative decision to bring on a coach that was in way over his head.

Whoever is willing to interview for the Southern Miss job will certainly be aware of the monumental task that stands in front of them. Taking a team that struggled as much as the Eagles did this fall and bring them back to the level a highly passionate fan base expects will certainly be no easy task.

Given this, it’s my bet USM lands a mid-tier offensive or defensive coordinator looking to advance and take on their first head coaching gig or a head coach from a successful mid major that understands a lack of patience among a fan base that is used to winning.

While we’re at it, why not reach out to a certain former USM star whose last name starts with Favre. Yes, that one. He doesn’t have any coaching pedigree, per se, but he would certainly bring some buzz. In the situation the Eagles are in, any buzz is good buzz.

The road ahead to respectability certainly won’t be an easy one. Might as well make it entertaining along the way.

Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.

Kris is the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.

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