Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 3, 2013

All in the Game: Lots of good jobs available

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — First, it was in the college ranks, and now the professional football game is filled with openings for qualified coaches. In my opinion, the one who should have been fired managed to keep his job and that would be Rex Ryan of the New York Jets.

I'll admit that I am a little biased because I am a Tim Tebow fan. Granted, he probably wouldn't have been able to get the Jets to the playoffs, but with the performance of Mark Sanchez, he should have at least been given a chance. Instead, Ryan looked for every reason in the book not to use the totally, non-prototype quarterback who only has a knack for winning.

Tebow is one of the few in the professional ranks who totally understands the big picture and more power to him for that.

Coaching at any level seems to be predicated by the "what have you done for me lately" rule.

All those coaches are only temporarily out of work anyway so I won't worry too awfully long about them. They may have to absorb a cut in pay but they will probably stay above the national average in annual income.

Yes, I'm very proud of the Commodores and their nine win season that was punctuated by a very good outing against the NC State Wolfpack. They didn't play perfectly, but were solid in all aspects of the game. I may not have this much to brag about for some time to come, but I am excited at this point. We just won't be able to fly under anyone's radar any more.

Both Georgia and South Carolina seemed to be on the precipice of bowl losses, but managed to get things together just in time. I have never seen a call as obviously bad as the first down call in favor of Michigan against the "old ball coach." Even the TV commentators couldn't believe it. It all worked out as it should have, though, as Jedeveon Clowney's punishing hit and subsequent fumble recovery on the ensuing play, straightened things out.

The close call that Georgia had against Nebraska has me wondering if the Crimson Tide can beat Notre Dame as badly as I am hoping for. Speaking of Nebraska, is it not hard to like  Coach Bo Pellini? What a scowl he keeps on his face.

Apparently Mississippi State and LSU have been overrated all year; however, Northwestern is a solid team that defeated Vanderbilt earlier in the season. I've always liked Les Miles as a coach, but his play calling in the last couple of Bengals' games has me wondering.

On the basketball side of things, neither Frank Gale or I have much to brag about. The Volunteers and the Commodores both have trouble putting points on the board, and it's hard to win when you can only manage 40-50 points. Hopefully, it will get better for both.

I wish a great year filled with good things for all, and I will be anxiously awaiting next gridiron year, as Coach Franklin and Vandy seek a 10-win season.

I know it's not original, but "let a smile be your umbrella."

Go Panthers! Go Jets! Go USA!

(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)