Tommy Tuberville is no longer the head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats football program. As a site that is dedicated to covering the Bearcats, we at Down the Drive have been all over the story, but we’ve yet to really let loose our own reactions. Here’s each staff members take on the news.
Over the last few weeks, I have been reading David Halberstam's The Coldest Winter, his magnificent history of the Korean War. General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of American forces on the Korean Peninsula, became ever more disengaged from the realities of the conflict as results on the battlefield failed to meet his expectations. One of the great heroes of the Pacific during World War II, MacArthur had, by the time of the Korean War, created a self-imposed prison at his headquarters in Tokyo that was buoyed by his own self-mythologizing and the accolades that were continually bestowed upon him by his subordinates and by friendly beachheads in the American press. I think this roughly corresponds to the last two years of Coach Tuberville's tenure at Cincinnati. I hope we get Neal Brown. MacArthur is to Tuberville as Neal Brown is to Matthew Ridgway.
The news of Tommy Tuberville stepping down as head coach is not very surprising to me. To be honest, I thought that Tuberville would have been gone at the end of last season or sometime in the middle of this season due to the lack of interest the team has shown on the field at times and how he has handled poor performances. I see coach Tubs leaving as a chance for UC to reinvent its culture of football.
I would like to see the Bearcats go after a young and inspired coach. When we selected Tuberville for the job, we wanted to bring a proven, veteran coach to get some attention to UC’s program and it sort of backfired as it seemed that Tuberville wasn’t very interested in winning or improving the team. I hope that UC searches for a young coach, ready to prove himself and ready to stick around UC for more than a couple seasons.
Not too surprised about the move, some coaches are on a short leash to begin with for a variety of reasons. If you combine that with some of the worst records in recent memory the move makes sense. With that being said, I don't believe that Tuberville is a bad coach, there have been some fantastic coaches who were shown the door. I am however excited to see who they bring in and the immediate impact they can make.
J. Scott Sewell
The team obviously regressed since Tuberville's arrival and a lot of that has to do with recruiting. Scout.com currently ranks Cincinnati's 2017 recruiting class at 81st out of just 128 schools. That puts the Bearcats behind places like Texas-San Antonio, Nevada, Northern Illinois, and Western Kentucky. That has to be totally unacceptable if the Bearcats hope to be competitive on a national scale.
Making matters worse is that their recruiting classes were only ranked 54th and 66th over the prior two years. This means whoever replaces Tuberville will have to be an especially good X's and O's coach that's able to take two-star talent and create four-star production. Otherwise it could be a rough couple years for the football team as new recruits slowly develop into productive players on the field.
Its nothing against Tuberville himself. He’s been a fine coach before and by all accounts he is a great guy who cares about UC and many other worthy causes. However, as any Bearcat fan that watched a few games this season can tell you, the football part of the job really dipped this season. With any bad year, all the blame cannot be placed on one guy, and there was undoubtedly mistakes made by people other than Tuberville, but as the man leading the show, he’s the first to walk to the chopping block. It doesn’t help that the program has been going in reverse in recruiting the last four years or that much of Tuberville’s early success (back-to-back 9-4 seasons in his firs two years) was built on what remained from the Butch Jones’ era.
Now, bring us P.J. Fleck. Please and thank you.