Posted 09/21/2007 at 01:41 AM
When Dennis Franchione elected to punt with his team down 24-0 at Miami midway through the third quarter and facing a fourth down in UM territory, he was basically saying 'uncle' and expressing a loser mentality to his team. There was plenty of time left and it was still a three-possession game.
Even worse, with Texas A&M trailing 31-3 in the fourth quarter and facing a third-and-goal situation at the one-yard line, Franchione signaled for his team to call a timeout with 8:21 left. He showed no sense of urgency whatsoever and had the look of defeat written all over his body language.
Nobody on the field was calling for the timeout, yet Franchione didn't signal for it again until there was 8:15 left. Again, no urgency at all with the ESPN cameras glued to his every move.
Finally, the Aggies got the timeout with 8:09 remaining. Now I'm not trying to imply that A&M was on the verge of a comeback at that point, but shouldn't the head coach be displaying more of a competitive fire? Doesn't Franchione make millions of dollars per year? Shouldn't he covet that 12 seconds just in case his team recovers an onside kick?
If I'm an Aggie fan like my brother in-law, I'm absolutely irate and want a new coach as soon as possible. And that could soon be the reality. Franchione might've saved his job with a late-season win at Texas last year, but there's little room for error this time around.
If Thursday's performance was any indicator of how things will go for the rest of the year, Franchione's days in College Station are almost numbered.
And you know Alabama fans are loving every minute of it.
When Franchione took the 'Bama job amid an NCAA investigation before the 2001 campaign, he urged players to "stay on the boat" rather than transfer since the Crimson Tide was banned from the postseason in '02 and '03.
Despite that mantra, it was Franchione that jumped ship, bolting Tuscaloosa for Texas A&M.
No goodbyes. No team meeting. Coach Fran was gone in the blink of an eye.
Of course, that led to the Mike Price debacle and some of the darkest days in Alabama football history.
Yet here we are in 2007 and as it turns out, the Tide was and is just fine without Franchione. He's on the cusp of taking a pink slip, while 'Bama is unbeaten and loading up on recruits as Nick Saban is quickly becoming the state's most popular figure since that guy named Bear.
Isn't it funny how things work out sometimes?