On Tuesday we wrote that college football coaches win national titles in chunks at the beginning, middle, or end of their careers, but not across eras. Coaches that win multiple titles win them within a ten year window, outside of which they may have league success, but not win it all.
This historical chunking trend has big-time implications for today’s college game. It shows us that it is just as reasonable for programs to stick with a coach for the long-haul as it is to cycle through new coaches every few seasons. One explanation offered regarding modern college football coaching careers is that fan bases demand winning faster from new hires than ever before. Commentators seem fixated on what they think is a new era of intense “win now” culture in sports. The reality is that college football coaches have dealt with impatient fan bases for many decades. Ohio State's Woody Hayes was famously being run out of town before the 1968 season, just seven years removed from his THIRD national title. “Win now” has always been a part of college coaching at the highest level.