Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bye Bye in Boise

By Jared Trexler

The unknown, unwanted, unappreciated usually set the table at their farewell dinner for one. The parade is a lonely stroll down Main Street to the sight of banners that read, "Good Bye.....and Good Riddance."

Despite their lack of following, these people typically make sure their sendoffs happen in noticeable, popular places. The steps of the White House, the goal line at the Super Bowl, after winning their 6th NBA championship.

But Boise?

It's only fitting that University of Miami head football coach Larry Coker will coach his last game on the last day of December (not on or after January 1 like the big boys) in Boise, Idaho of all places.

Did I mention, on a blue field?

Coker's wild ride that began with such domination -- some had the word dynasty on the tip of their tongues -- will end in destruction.

The castle has already collapsed. Bricks loosened with each loss as much as each off-field and on-field incident. A player was killed off the field, Coker's program was tarnished on it after an embarrassing skirmish on November 7 against Florida International.

Now -- with all due respect -- a coaching tenure at one of the most powerful football programs in the country will end against Nevada.

Instead of sipping mixed drinks on the Florida beaches -- where I'll be in Tampa for the Outback Bowl -- the Hurricanes will need to pack heavy.

The average high in Boise this time of year is 35. The low is 22. The Hurricanes have already dropped much lower than that this season.

No superlatives are needed when Miami finishes 6-6, needing a victory over Boston College just to become bowl eligible.

"I've heard very good things about the MPC Computers Bowl, and I know Boise is an outstanding and vibrant city. We look forward to representing the University of Miami well," said Coker.

He heard about the bowl from a list of schools that include Cincinnati, Utah State, Southern Mississippi, Idaho, UTEP, Louisiana Tech, Iowa State, Tulsa and Fresno State.

The hits just keep on coming, except for Coker, who has a 59-15 record with a national championship during his six-year tenure.

Taking everything else out of the mix, the plummet of the Hurricanes' football program under Coker can be described in a simple sentence.

It began with Ken Dorsey, Willis McGahee, Andre Johnson, Ed Reed, Kellen Winslow, Sean Taylor and some guy named Shockey.

It will end among the Smurfs.
**Photo courtesy of the Palm Beach Post***

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