Memphis football is back and making national headlines. QB Riley Ferguson, a UT transfer, is national player of the week on several sports sites. WR Anthony Miller is considered a 1st round pick for the upcoming NFL draft. Coach Mike Norvell has shot up as a hot coaching candidate on the national radar. If you've been living under a rock, Memphis just beat #25 UCLA in the Liberty Bowl. 3 years in a row these Tigers have become upset assasins. Everything is going well, right?
Well.....yes and no. Let me explain.
Yes, this is great because there was a time the Memphis football program was considered the worst program in the country. Yes, it was that bad. No one wants to relive those Larry Porter years. So this turnaround is nothing short of amazing. But that's where the problem lies.....the success brings doom.
Not sure if anyone remembers the guy responsible for this turnaround. Current Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuentes. Remember he took over as an assistant from TCU and engineered the great rebuild. There were finally bowl games and a huge win over then Top 25 ranked Ole Miss. He was courted by several bigger schools and bolted to Virginia Tech before the Birmingham Bowl against Auburn. Virginia Tech is currently a ranked team.
Any of this sounding eerily familiar? It should. This years team has the potential to go undefeated and play in a New Years Day Bowl. With that success will come the doom. No on can be upset with any one getting a better job. Who doesn't want to level up? Memphis being outside the Power 5 conferences is the one if the reasons. The American is pushing for a Power 6 conference but that looks slim.
So enjoy this season Tigers fans. You deserve it, but this time next year we might have a new coach. Mike Norvell is a awesome coach and guy and that appeals to bigger programs. Maybe he will. I know the trend and stay and build here. That's wishful thinking. Some jobs you just don't turn down.
Life is for Living,