Looking for a premier job? Perhaps you should make a stop in the great city of Cincinnati – and no, it is not because they are putting something magical in their Chili. The Cincinnati Bearcats are college football’s stepping stone.
In 2004, Mike Dantonio took control, putting the wheels in motion for football success and three years later, he was the proud holder of a Big 10 coaching job at Michigan State. Upon his departure, Brian Kelley took control in late 2006, then moved onto one of college football’s top coaching jobs in Notre Dame four years later after taking Cincinnati to two BCS Bowl games. Now his successor Butch Jones is out the door after 3 years to take charge of the Tennessee Volunteers of the Southeastern Conference.
With that track record, Saturday’s developments start to make a little more sense. After 14 years in the SEC Tommy Tuberville was shown the door at Auburn, and then scrambled to find a job two years later at Texas Tech. The feeling is he was never comfortable there, always keeping his eyes on other openings.
He watched this offseason as four SEC teams posted coaching vacancies, and sat patiently as his phone failed to ring-even after all of his success in the conference. He saw the writing on the wall as the temperature turned up on his seat after three mediocre seasons at Texas Tech, including a 7-5, fifth place finish after this season.
For Tuberville, now was the time to go, and what better place to land than college football’s stepping stone.