Has Kliff Kingsbury Lost His Shine?
In a list compiled by Bleacher Report, both Kliff Kingsbury and Mike Leach were mentioned as college football coaches who have lost their shine.
The coaches on the list were once labeled as hot prospects to either take over prime programs or continue success where they were stationed.
Several familiar names popped up on the list, including Major Applewhite. Many thought Applewhite was the heir apparent to Mack Brown towards the end of Brown's career until Applewhite was embroiled in a scandal involving an "adult student."
Another former BIG12 quarterback and former OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was listed as having fallen from grace.
These two were not the only BIG12 coaching alums to make the list.
Making Tech fans happy, a second Longhorn made the list. Will Muschamp, after a disastrous head coaching run at the University of Florida, has been fired and demoted back to defensive coordinator at another program. Many coaches make great coordinators, but very few make great head coaches.
Another guy who fits the Muschamp bill is Lane Kiffin. Kiffin first rose to prominence as USC's offensive coordinator after Norm Chow left in 2005. It was no coincidence that it was also when USC stopped winning National titles.
Kiffin shotgunned his success at USC into three failed opportunities to be a head coach, one in the NFL. Kiffin is now preventing Alabama from winning national championships by being their offensive coordinator.
Former Texas Tech pirate Mike Leach has been swinging a very limp sword at Washington State since he left his mojo in a dark, locked closet on the campus of Texas Tech in 2009.
Leach has struggled to a 12-25 overall and 7-20 in PAC12 play versus his 84-43 overall and 47-33 conference totals with Texas Tech and the BIG12.
Even when Tech was not nationally prominent, like in 2008, Leach found a way to be a lead story on Sportscenter. In more recent days, however, he is all but forgotten.
Last but not least, another coach that has had Tech thrust into national prominence for everything but its football acumen also showed up on the list. He's also the only name I disagree with being on the list. Of course I am talking about Kliff Kingsbury.
I completely understand why he is showing up on these kinds of list after a disappointing second year, but I do not think he deserves the recognition of losing his luster. He should not have had that "luster" to begin with.
The fact of the matter is that Kingsbury (and the hype train that followed him from Aggieland) was overrated to begin with. No head coach with less experience has ever had to deal with as much hype and media hassle as Kingsbury has had to deal with since he has become the Top Dawg in Lubbock. Most of which was not even about the caliber of his Xs and Os, but more about his abs or his dancing ability.
Other coaches on this list like Muschamp and Kiffin cashed in years of coordinating efforts and bad head coaching tenures to nab better jobs, at least they had experience. The only experience Kingsbury had on his resume was from the Kevin Sumlin School of Coaching: One year of being the offensive coordinator of a school in a power five conference.
The bottom line is that Kingsbury's bubble should not have blown up like it did following an 8-5 first season that included an upset of No. 16 in the 2013 Holiday Bowl and countless pool parties that off-season.
The 4-8 season that followed should not be the needle that pops Kingsbury's proverbial bubble. Kingsbury barely has a bubble to pop. But as a pop culture icon, Kingsbury has definitely lost some shine.
The good news is Kingsbury has much less hype to live up to coming into 2015, which means maybe he'll have a chance to make his mark on the field match that of his off the field persona. The bad news is if this year is as bad as last year Kingsbury's bubble will pop before it ever gets blown up.
Listen online to 1340 The Fan for more on Kingsbury and the Red Raider football team this season on 1340 The Fan.