Commentary

College coaches spark ire in fans

Originally Published: May 21, 2012
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

College football coaches are the men who can spoil eight months of anticipation in only three or four hours on an autumn Saturday.

[+] EnlargeGene Chizik
Richard Mackson/US PresswireAlabama fans have an asterisk next to Gene Chizik's championship.

They're the men who college football fans fear will derail their team's season, and they're the CEOs who have ripped opposing fans' hearts out, both when they were supposed to and when they weren't.

While players come and go, coaches are the men who provoke fear from opponents while they cast their long shadows from the opposite sidelines. This week, ESPN.com celebrates the men who've provoked, infuriated and depressed fan bases across the country -- the coaches we love to hate.

We hate them for winning and losing.

We hate them for lying and cheating.

College football fans hate the coaches who beat their favorite teams the most, and sometimes they hate their own coaches for not winning enough.

We hate when our coaches call for a draw on third-and-long, and yet we hate when they call an onside kick (but only when it fails).

Every college football fan needs somebody to root against, and there are few programs that don't have one or more adversaries:

Alabama fans hate Auburn's Gene Chizik because they think he cheated to win a national championship.

Michigan fans hate former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel because he always won -- and they know he cheated.

Pittsburgh fans hate Arizona State's Todd Graham for leaving.

Some Tennessee fans hate Derek Dooley because he won't leave.

Maryland fans hate Randy Edsall for the way his tenure started.

Florida fans hate Urban Meyer for the way his tenure ended.

[+] EnlargeGreg Robinson
Leon Halip/Getty ImagesGreg Robinson's tenures at Michigan and Syracuse didn't leave fans wanting more.

Tennessee fans hate that they have to acknowledge that Lane Kiffin can coach.

Nebraska fans hate the way Bo Pelini screams at his players.

Georgia fans hate that Mark Richt rarely raises his voice at his players.

Everybody but Alabama fans hates the way Nick Saban oversigns.

Texas fans hate that Mack Brown undersigns quarterbacks.

Minnesota fans hate Bret Bielema for running it up.

Oregon State fans hate that Mike Riley's teams forgot how to run it.

South Carolina's Steve Spurrier is hated for winning and then rubbing it in.

Les Miles is hated because he beats you when he doesn't look smart enough to win.

Arkansas fans hate the fact that a motorcycle wreck cost Bobby Petrino his job.

Ole Miss fans hate the fact that Petrino's wreck didn't happen in November.

Oklahoma State fans hate Iowa State's Paul Rhoads for spoiling their season.

New Mexico fans hate Mike Locksley for destroying their program.

SEC fans hate James Franklin for running his mouth.

SEC coaches hate James Franklin because they have to worry about Vanderbilt.

Clemson fans hate Dana Holgorsen for putting up 70.

Clemson fans hate Dabo Swinney for giving up 70.

[+] EnlargeCharlie Weis
Matt Cashore/US PresswireCharlie Weis' "schematic advantage" didn't win over a lot of fans.

Michigan fans hate Rich Rodriguez for hiring Greg Robinson.

Syracuse fans hate Greg Robinson for, well, being Greg Robinson.

Notre Dame fans hate Charlie Weis' arrogance.

Non-Notre Dame fans hate Brian Kelly's arrogance.

Wake Forest's opponents hate Jim Grobe for beating them with less.

Florida State fans hate Jimbo Fisher for losing to Wake Forest with more.

USC fans hate Steve Sarkisian for stealing their coaches.

Washington fans hate that Sarkisian hired them.

Why do we hate college football coaches?

Because for the most part, they're really good at what they do.

College football coaches -- the men we love to hate, but only when they beat us.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball