Ah….. ESS-EEE-SEE politics. It can’t get any better than this my friends. Brian VanGorder originally takes a job under Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, only to leave for Atlanta (the place he just left for Columbia) about 4 weeks after accepting the job. BTW, does anyone else want to pronounce it like goiter? Maybe we could redefine that word to mean “weak mustache”, but I digress….
Naturally, this leaves Spurrier in need of a new Defensive Coordinator. Coordinator searches can be costly in the amount of time it takes to find the right fit for your program. But, we’re talking about the Ole Ball Coach here, who likes things to move efficiently and effectively. It’s less than two weeks to National Signing Day, which means Spurrier probably wanted a new DC quickly.
Spurrier found his new DC in a matter of hours as Ellis Johnson (Arkansas) agreed to take the job left vacant by VanGorder. What makes this truly unique is that Johnson had accepted the Arkansas job close to the same time BVG accepted the job at South Carolina. Johnson appears to be the SEC journeyman of assistant coaches now, after having multiple jobs within the conference (including Alabama).
Why am I giving you such a detailed assessment of this “Days of Our Lives” type ordeal? Because I’m sure someone, somewhere will label these guys as “Sabanesque”, or something to that effect. It happened when Bobby Petrino left for Arkansas, and it will probably happen with these two men to a lesser extent. I won’t go into how I think it’s wrong to always bring up Saban just because Dan LeBatard had an inferiority complex and connections at ESPN. But I would like to say I think it is interesting how people in this conference are starting to lose the ability to take some false moral high ground now that their schools are going after coaches who didn’t even last a year at their previous jobs.
Of course now, they’ll still focus on the $32 million contract, but that doesn’t bug me. If Alabama wants to pay Saban that much money, then he’s worth that much money. As the old line of thought goes, “My skills are worth as much as you’re willing to pay me for them”. Have a great weekend.