Fire up the SEC coaching carousel

Published 7:39 am Monday, October 30, 2017

Jim McElwain’s departure at Florida was the first chip to fall.

More ousters of SEC football coaches are expected soon. Consider that Butch Jones at Tennessee, Bret Bielema at Arkansas and Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M are on shaky ground.

Combined with Ole Miss’ search for a head football coach, that’s at least five schools that will hire and reshape the league’s coaching ranks.

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We see two red flags with this drama.

First, the NCAA has a new early signing period for recruits this year. From December 20-22 2017 schools can ink players, meaning that the coaching carousel is starting sooner so programs can get coaches into place in time.

We think this early signing period could have a turbulent impact on big-time NCAA programs.

Second, we see that many programs including Florida have committed to outrageous buyout contracts for their coaches. We understand why SEC coaches are highly paid. We don’t understand why schools from LSU to Florida and Arkansas let agents like Jimmy Sexton of Memphis have such an upper-hand regarding buyout clauses.

A $12 million buyout as the new norm? That’s a problem.

There are valuable lessons to be learned. But for the moment, the coaching carousel is running with a month left in this current season.