This week marks the beginning of the 2012 NCAA football season. My next 14 Saturdays will feature at least a few hours parked in front of a TV watching college football. It’s a dirty secret I don’t talk about much at TDYLF- I’m a huge college football fan, and my enthusiasm for the sport has kicked into hyperdrive this year with my beloved Missouri Tigers making the jump to the SEC. Naturally, college football has been on my mind a lot in the last few weeks. And I’ve realized there are a lot of parallels between college football coaches and movie directors.
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
Spike Lee. Both are brash and outspoken, both were critically acclaimed in the 1990s, and both have had a lot of mediocrity since. In Spurrier’s defense, he has rebounded from the mediocrity.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Terrence Malick. Several hours of mind-numbingly slow material, followed by critical acclaim and success
Bo Pelini, Nebraska
Ben Affleck. The dopey look on Pelini’s face practically screams “I’m dumb enough to think Gigli is a good idea”. And yet, he has crafted a lot of success since stepping up to the big job in 2007.
Chris Petersen, Boise State
Wes Anderson. Massive independent acclaim, rarely taken seriously by those who vote for the most prestigious awards (BCS and Oscar voters)
Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Clint Eastwood. Each would win landslide victories amongst their peers if held to a “Most Likely to Tell Someone To Get The Hell Off Their Lawn” vote.
Gary Patterson, TCU
Jim Jarmusch. Just like Petersen/Anderson, except Patterson/Jarmusch have been at it longer.
Les Miles, LSU
The Coen brothers. The work is unconventional but at the end of the day, it wins awards like national championships and Oscars.
Charlie Weis, Kansas
Joel Schumacher. Few have produced as poorly with so much money (Schumacher) or talent (Weis) at their disposal.
Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
P.T. Anderson. Their work isn’t exactly similar, but Rich Rodriguez seems like the NCAA football coach most likely to create something successful that ultimately involves a lot of drugs and porn stars, a la Boogie Nights.
Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
Martin Scorsese. Scorsese put together a lot of Oscar contenders before he finally won one, but he was very good for a very long time before that. I suppose that means that in Beamer’s career, he’s somewhere around the college football team equivalent of Kundun or Gangs of New York.
Mark Richt, Georgia
Peter Weir. Four best director nominations without a win, and completely overshadowed by his peers sounds a lot like a guy with five top-10 finishes, two in the top-5, and nary a shot at a national championship.
Dabo Swinney, Clemson
The Farrelly brothers. Nobody will ever accuse them of being geniuses but they each have the good sense to surround themselves with a great supporting cast.
Bobby Petrino, Formerly Arkansas
Michael Bay. Petrino is noted for his explosive offenses, much like Bay is noted for his offensive explosions. Each are viewed by hardcore fans of their medium as unsavory characters.
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Werner Herzog. Werner Herzog once ate a shoe to prove a point. He didn’t even mind that it was filmed and made into a movie. He refuses to deal with nonsense, which was no doubt the source of his battles with Klaus Kinski. Sound like anyone you know, Sooner fans?
Chip Kelly, Oregon
Quentin Tarantino. Kelly’s balls-to-the-wall offense and west coast cool jive perfectly with Tarantino’s.