"So, Coach, congratulations, and welcome to campus. Yes, we've hired you at our picturesque school to take over our storied football program. Have a seat. Nice leather chair, huh? Well, don't get too comfortable.
"Now, here's what we expect: We'd like a conference title every year. Okay, maybe not every year. But how about three out of four? That's what the guy before you did. Or sure seems that way, don't it? And if you're going to do that, why not win a national championship now and again? Okey-dokey? Great. Glad to have you on board. Don't let that durn door hit you on the way out now, ya hear?"
All right, all right, that might not be exactly what Ron Zook heard when he replaced Steve Spurrier at Florida in December 2001. But it could have been. The fact is, it's nearly impossible to seamlessly replace a legend in college football, and that's exactly what Spurrier was -- 12 seasons, all with at least nine wins, an offense he created with a catchy name, a national title, on and on and on.
So Zook was fired this week, and he cried publicly when it happened. But on this Halloween weekend, it can't be all that surprising that the ghost of a looming legend has once again frightened someone -- in this case, Athletic Director Jeremy Foley -- into making a change, chasing a standard that might not be attainable. Transitions, it turns out, make for scary times. Just take a look.
-- Barry Svrluga