One thing we know going into the NCAA College Baseball World Series in Omaha starting today is that there will be a first time champion when the final out is made. Neither school has been to the finals before and it will be the first ever meetings between the two universities in baseball. And if Vanderbilt wins, it will be the first men’s national championship in over 120 years of competition. Both schools have had great years and deserve to continue playing this week and it is nice to see different schools in the Championship Round. Don’t get me wrong I would rather see my four-time champion Cal State Fullerton Titans advancing but that can’t happen all the time.
That is what my rant is about this time. Fans need to take a big spoon full of reality and get over the idea that if their team doesn’t win the title it has been a bad year. This is most prevalent in college football but it infects all aspects of college athletics. To get to the Championship Round, Vanderbilt had to go 10 innings to eliminate a college baseball power, Texas, on a two 0ut infield squibber and some at Texas aren’t sure that the coach should return next year. Are you kidding me? Let me put some Castor Oil in that spoon full of reality for you just to make it a little more unpleasant.
The University of Texas is a good example of what is wrong with college athletics, in my humble opinion. This past season head football coach Mack Brown was forced out of his job by the big money boosters who threatened to stop being so generous if changes weren’t made. And of course they were totally justified because, well because the Longhorns had a terrible season, 8 wins 5 loses. And in the last 3 seasons their overall record was 25-14. That just isn’t acceptable, now is it. Don’t get me wrong, I want to win as much as anyone and I want to win all the time. But get a grip, that isn’t a healthy attitude.
A record of 30-21 in the last four years must have seemed like a terrible dry spell because Coach Brown had set the bar so high in the previous 6 season with an overall record of 69-9. But fans can’t be happy with being on top just some of the time and when your coach has led you to such great heights has let you down by having 1, that is ONE losing season in 16 years on the job, well it is obvious he needs to go. The great fans of Texas of course had a Facebook page, Fire Mack Brown where all the knowledgeable fans could demand the dismissal of Brown because he obviously couldn’t return Texas to its rightful place at the top of college football.
Sure college football is big business and I can’t shed too many tears for Coach Brown, he will make more with a buy-out than most American’s will earn in 10 years of hard work. But you have to put that in the perspective of the sports world we live in, ESPN headlined it this way, “Mack Brown’s Buyout Only $2.75 million.” And while that is a paltry sum for many it goes to my point that things have gotten out of hand. Gregg Doyel, national columnist for CBS Sports has problems with the culture as well.
“See my point? My point is this: Texas football is out of control, an enormous dog being wagged by a tiny tail, a $100 million enterprise that funds an entire athletic department and created an entire television network and held hostage two or three BCS conferences in the past few years. Texas football is a monster, and monsters don’t move with precision. They stomp around in the forest, flattening trees until they emerge into the clearing and trip and fall and land right on top of someone’s house.”
Now the situation with Texas baseball is simple. Coach Garrido’s teams had a couple of down years and it is a good thing for the 75-year-old head man that he got his team back to Omaha this season, it may have saved his job. Then again no decision has been made by Texas’ new Director of Athletics as of yet. Garrido says he wants an extension to his contract that is now paying him a cool million a year, but Patterson is non-committal at this point.
Although I am happy for Vanderbilt, I wouldn’t have minded seeing Texas coach Augie Garrido get a chance to lead the Longhorns to another title if only to shut up the greediest element of Longhorn fandom. Garrido has 5 national championship rings, leading Cal State Fullerton to 3 of its 4 titles before heading off to the Lonestar Stae and winning 2 more titles for Texas. So is he over the hill? Has the winningest college baseball coach of all time run out of gas as one commenter said on a Texas sports blog,
“Personally, I hope that Steve Patterson asks Garrido to leave. Just like Mack Brown, I feel like he has been at Texas way too long and that UT needs to get another coach in who can “revive” the program. Yes, I am aware that they went to the CWS, but…”
Fans out of control, “Yes, I am aware that they went to the CWS, but…, get ready trufan, I’ve got some Castor Oil for you. Again not too many tears will be shed when the end comes because as intense and all-encompassing as coaching jobs are they still beat working for a living. In my college days, I was in one of Garrido’s jogging classes at Cal State Fullerton, where he would take us out on some strenuous runs up Bastenchurry Road behind the campus. Something I am proud to say I can still do, although at a slower pace, but that is the kind of work load a coach has to handle. Not a bad gig for those talented enough to get it. And no one can expect the good life to last forever but neither should coaches be put out to pasture because their teams don’t win it all, all the time.
Some fans truly need a reality check. And for the players, coaches and fans from Virginia and Vanderbilt, enjoy the next three days in Omaha to the fullest. It is an experience you will remember for the rest of your lives. Just don’t get greedy.