What happened to the first family of football?
These are not good times for the Bowdens. Bobby doesn't have a quarterback, which is bad for Jeff, which brings us to Tommy. The Clemson coach is another 7-5 season away from going from the sideline to the hot seat -- again.
In summary, the sheen has dulled a bit in the Bowden family trophy room. After another summer of discontent Bobby is without his starting quarterback (Wyatt Sexton, Lyme disease) and cornerback Antonio Cromartie (torn ACL).
It is stated every year, but Bobby keeps getting older while his players stay the same age. Meanwhile, Florida State is no longer an automatic double-digit-win franchise. And the program hasn't had a serviceable quarterback since Chris Weinke won the 2000 Heisman. The pressure will really be on offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden if he can't cobble together winning plays from youngsters Drew Weatherford and/or Xavier Lee.
Tommy hasn't done anything particularly wrong in the offseason, but his program is a distant second on the hype meter in South Carolina (despite beating the Gamecocks five of the last six). Steve Spurrier roared into town, signed an excellent recruiting class and made noise about competing for the SEC title in three years. That implies dominance of Clemson.
Last we saw of Tommy and the Tigers, they were embarrassing themselves in that awful fight against the Gamecocks. T. Bowden couldn't afford the misconduct that cost him a bowl game. At least Lou Holtz was old enough to take the hint and retire. Spurrier's future seems to be limitless. Tommy Bowden, nine years younger than the 60-year Ol' Ball Coach, could use some hype of his own, as well as a division title in the ACC Atlantic.
Is Larry Coker really on the hot seat?
That's hardly a fair question for a coach with a 44-6 career record and a national championship to his credit. But his losses have increased each of his four seasons from zero (national championship in 2001) to one, two, to three last year.
Miami fans are expecting dominance of the new ACC and, by association, more national championships. Another nine-win season could conceivably bring some heat down on the likeable Coker, who did a masterful job of rounding up a recruiting class for the ages when Butch Davis left on short notice four years ago.
Nowhere else is the loss of four players in the first three rounds of the draft (one first-rounder, one second-rounder, two third-rounders) considered a plus. But that is the Hurricanes' lightest draft hit in 10 years. From 2001-04, Miami lost 19 first-round picks.
Miami has lost seven of its last 10 against Virginia Tech (including last year's ACC showdown at the Orange Bowl). The 'Canes almost seemed disinterested in a home loss to Clemson last year.
Miami is spinning it that first-year starter Kyle Wright is following a glorious legacy of first-year quarterbacks who won national championships. For now, Coker just hopes Wright doesn't become another Brock Berlin
The defense is loaded. Cornerback/receiver/returner Devin Hester is an All-American. Eric Winston might be the best left tackle in the game. You don't know the receivers, but you will. Miami never runs out of those.