Sorry seasons follow scandal swaps
University of Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze resigned instead of being fired Thursday for what Ole Miss called a pattern of personal misconduct.
Preseason practice is set to open in Oxford in a few weeks. The Rebels are a month and a half away from starting the season against South Alabama.
This is no time for a coaching change, but offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim position.
He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations that Ole Miss said had nothing to do with Freeze being forced out.
These types of scandal-driven offseason coaching changes have become somewhat common in college football.
History shows teams that endure unusual upheaval do not fare well.
Here are some notable offseason changes and how those seasons turned out.
■ Art Briles, Baylor. After an external investigation found the school mishandled sexual assault claims, some against football players, Baylor’s board of trustees began the process to fire Briles on May 26, 2016.
TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT Jim Grobe
RESULT The Bears opened the season ranked No. 23 and started 6-0, and then lost six consecutive games. They won their bowl game to finish 7-6.
■ Tim Beckman, Illinois. Fired on Aug. 28, 2015, after an external investigation found he mishandled player injuries.
TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT Bill Cubit
RESULT The Illini had shown some progress in the previous season under Beckman and started 4-1, but they dropped six of their final seven games to finish 5-7.
■ Jim Tressel, Ohio State. Resigned on May 30, 2011, after it was revealed he lied about NCAA violations involving players trading equipment and memorabilia for cash and tattoos.
TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT Luke Fickell
RESULT The Buckeyes went 6-6 and 3-5 in the Big Ten. The administration did not self-impose a bowl ban when it had the opportunity and the Buckeyes lost the Gator Bowl to Florida to finish with a losing record. The next year Ohio State had to serve an NCAA-handed-down postseason ban when Urban Meyer’s first team went 12-0.
■ Butch Davis (Springdale), North Carolina. Fired on July 27, 2011, amid an NCAA investigation about players receiving improper benefits and academic misconduct.
TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT Everett Withers
RESULT The Tar Heels started 5-1 before losing four of six to finish the regular season. They completed a lackluster year by losing to Missouri in the Independence Bowl and ended up 7-6.
Former Baylor coach Art Briles was one coach in recent years that lost his job shortly before the college football season started.