TAMPA — Dirk Koetter isn't going to return as coach of the Bucs next season.
That's not official. No announcement has been made. No press conference is scheduled. It's not an absolute fact. Not yet.
And this isn't a call for his job.
It's a prediction. A prediction based on what we're witnessing. A prediction based on history. We've all seen this movie before and we know exactly how it ends....
The music has just about stopped. Just about every college football program in the country has a coach now.
But it was the craziest coaching musical chairs ever. Think of all the major programs that will have new coaches next season, including Florida, FSU, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Tennessee and UCLA.
So since we're just about done with all the changes, here's a quick look at the winners and losers of the coaching offseason....
It's what they're known for. It's their identity. It's who they are.
0-26 is the Bucs.
Just check NFL Films.
The legendary film makers who chronicle every step of the National Football League have given us the iconic moments of each NFL franchise.
The Dallas Cowboys? There's that shot of dignified coach Tom Landry in a silhouette, wearing his fedora, giving the Cowboys a classy, stately, noble reputation....
GREEN BAY, Wisc. - On a day like this, the instinct is to pull out the verbal knives and carve the Bucs to pieces.
Same old Bucs. Bunch of good-for-nothings. Here we are again. Another lousy season to throw on the pile.
On a day like today, everyone wants to fire the coach, bench the quarterback and tear up their season tickets....
GREEN BAY, Wisc. — Welcome to the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field. Well, except it wasn't frozen. The Bucs caught a break Sunday. It wasn't one of those classic sub-zero or snowy December games in Green Bay. In fact, it was downright comfortable with temperatures in the 40s for the whole game. But it still turned out to be a field of horrors for the Bucs. ...
It's called the butterfly effect. It means that small causes can have large effects. A butterfly flaps its wings once and causes an ever so slight wind shift, which then goes on to affect the weather all over the world.
In Tampa Bay, we have something similar: the Rodgers effect. It stems from the time the Bucs almost drafted quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Next up for the Bucs: Green Bay today. And on the sideline, Rodgers will be nursing an injured shoulder, hoping to return soon in a last-ditch effort to get the Packers into the playoffs. ...
Say it ain't so. I'm talking about both.
It's still hard to believe that Jimbo Fisher will pack up his whistle, playbook and resume with a national championship and Heisman Trophy winner and head off to Texas A&M. We always thought Jimbo would be at Florida State forever, just like Coach Bowden. If Jimbo ever did leave, it would be for LSU or Alabama. Maybe the NFL. Not Texas A&M....
Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the crazy carousel of coaching changes in college football.
Say it ain't so
In the craziest season of coaching changes in the history of college football, could FSU do the craziest thing of all and let Jimbo Fisher get away to Texas A&M? If I had an opening right now and could pick any coach in the country, Fisher would be no lower than fourth on my list. And I've got news for you. The top three on that list — Alabama's Nick Saban, Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Clemson's Dabo Swinney — aren't leaving their current posts for the FSU job. Jimbo is about as good as Florida State can do....
ATLANTA — One by one, Bucs players made their way down the tunnel to the locker room, limping — figuratively and literally —- after a 34-20 loss to the Falcons on Sunday.
Eyes down. Some heads shaking. All mouths closed.
"Another road loss. Another division loss. Another loss period," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "It isn't what we really expected."...
ATLANTA — This might be the nicest stadium in the NFL. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium — not to be confused with the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans — is as swanky as it gets. The coolest feature is the circular scoreboard that seems to hang from the sky.
But as pretty as this stadium is, it was a house of horrors for the Bucs on Sunday, especially the defense. That fancy scoreboard showed replay after replay of Falcons receiver Julio Jones torching the Bucs. That was the worst part of a day that didn't go well for Tampa Bay. With that in mind, Times columnist Tom Jones hands out his grades from the Falcons' 34-20 victory....
11/25/17 Lightning Strikes
Times beat writer Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones break down the team at the quarter pole of its season. Who is the Lightning MVP? Biggest surprise? Does it need to add another piece? Smith also answers your questions on if Tampa Bay will re-sign Vladislav Namestnikov, consider trading Tyler Johnson, look for upgrades on 'D' and more. Listen below:
ORLANDO — It has been a heck of a season. It really has.
And Friday was a heck of a game. It really was. It was as good as any game in the nation this season.
USF has lots to be proud of. A 9-2 regular season. A knock-down, drag-out, dogfight against undefeated UCF on Friday in Orlando in a nationally-televised, day-after-Thanksgiving, better-than-the-hype classic that people will be talking about forever....
Happy Turkey Day!
Today is a day of tradition.
The Macy's parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.
And our annual "Turkey of the Year.''
It's a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist Patrick Reusse.
And now we celebrate the 10th anniversary of doing it here.
The premise is simple. Are you a louse? A clown? Did you behave like a knucklehead this year? Did you do something dumb? Did you do something to embarrass yourself or someone else? Did you step in a pile of cow patties?...
These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.
The Gators need themselves a football coach.
They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.
Uh, right? (nervous laugh)
Well, we'll soon find out. Maybe this isn't such the give-my-right-arm-for job we all think it is. Maybe the brand has been scuffed up and dented so badly by previous coaches Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain that the Gators simply can't have their pick of the litter anymore....
MIAMI GARDENS — A dark cloud is hanging over this football team.
It's a heaviness. A dread. A dread for what might have happened in the past and what might happen in the future.
And that makes it hard for fans to truly enjoy what happened Sunday.
The Bucs won a football game. They beat the Dolphins, 30-20. That's two victories in a row. That's kind of a big deal....