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They’re dropping like flies

There’s nothing I love watching more this time of year than the discrepancy between the teams that had years beyond their expectations and those that didn’t come close.

And the easiest way to tell the difference is the veritable minefield that is the college coaching profession.

Will the upcoming coaching changes make a positive difference? Most probably won’t. A number of mid-major coaches will get the call up to the big leagues, then return to the minors or get out of the profession. Some will pan out, some won’t.

But ’tis the season that jubilant fans proclaim good riddance to one and welcome the next greatest coach since sliced bread.

One needs to look no further than the SEC. For the most part, I’ve been met with a reaction of surprise that Tommy Tuberville will not walk the sidelines at Jordan-Hare next season.

To those still in shellshock, I ask why? Seriously, why?

In hindsight, I do not think his predecessor, Terry Bowden, is a great coach. But I do respect the job that he did at Auburn. Shackled with probation, the Tigers went 20-1-1 in his first two years and reached their high point with 10 wins and an SEC Western Division title in 1997.

Then he was fired midway though 1998.

So Tuberville comes in, experiences varying degrees of success following a losing season in 1999. But he only went 7-5 in 2003, and was nearly replaced by hired assassin, I mean coach for hire, Bobby Petrino.

By the way, seriously, it would be nice to make it through one offseason without hearing Petrino’s name tossed around. When he couldn’t even finish one season with the Falcons, he lost all respect from me. And surprise, surprise, after a year at Arkansas, he’s a rumored candidate for the job.

The only prediction I feel safe in making is that the Arkansas administration may want to start its search now.

But back to Tuberville. Did he step down or was he fired? Based on Bowden and Tuberville’s near-dismissal a year before lead Auburn to an undefeated season, I’m not going to draw any conclusions.

Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom “resigned” at Mississippi State. No, I don’t buy that one. Nobody — nobody — resigns after signing an extension that includes a raise of hundreds of thousands of dollars. That is especially true when said extension follows three years of embarrassingly bad football teams.

What would I endure for Croom’s $1.7 million? Well, that’s a story for a whole different column. And Phillip Fulmer joined Tuberville and Croom on the list of coaches who opted to hand over millions and just resign.

For God’s sake, does anyone get fired anymore?