Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Three Head Coaches out Already; Several Stand on Banana Peels

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Three Head Coaches out Already; Several Stand on Banana Peels

Article excerpt

Still weeks from the end of the college football season, fidgety administrators already are nudging out coaches. Georgia Tech's Bill Lewis, Michigan State's George Perles and Iowa State's Jim Walden have been pasture-ized, and they can expect some of these others to be grazing alongside them soon:

At Oklahoma (5-4), coach Gary Gibbs has been spit on, doused in beer and, more ominously, received a vote of confidence by the OU Board of Regents. Unless Gibbs, a mere 43-21-2 at OU, can concoct an upset of top-ranked Nebraska on Nov. 25, his job appears in jeopardy.

At Kentucky (1-8), where the life of coach Bill Curry's wife was threatened, even basketball coach Rick Pitino has called Curry's recruiting "lousy." A loss to Northeast Louisiana this weekend almost certainly would be the end for Curry.

At Texas (5-4), John Mackovic was bearing the brunt of booster derision before the Longhorns were treated like a speedbag by hated Texas A&M last weekend. The 34-10 victory was so lopsided that even the Aggies complained.

"It took some of the fun out of it. You're supposed to be coming out of it wiping your forehead after a close call. We felt like it was over at the beginning the game," A&M cornerback Ray Mickens said.

The 'Horns have beaten A&M only once since 1984, and Mackovic has watched winning streaks against Texas Christian (24 games) and Rice (28 games) end in his tenure.

Making matters worse, Mackovic has been suffering from "post-concussion syndrome" since being hammered on the sideline during a loss to Colorado. "It was like I was watching the picture from the outside instead of being from the inside," said Mackovic, who is feeling better now - but soon may be watching from the outside for good.

In Baton Rouge, a Curley shuffle seems imminent at Louisiana State (2-6). Although three of coach Curley Hallman's defeats have been by a total of 10 points, unrest is apparent around the once-proud program. "I'm not a fool," defensive cordinator Phil Bennett said. "I've played and coached in enough situations to know what's going on."

At Georgia (5-4), sales are booming in "Dump Ray Gump" T-shirts and bumper stickers, and the Buck doesn't stop there: "The bottom line is you've got to be able to win the big games, and we haven't been able to do that," Buck Belue, quarterback of Georgia's 1980 national championship team, told The Florida Times-Union. "When you have empty seats in Sanford Stadium and contributions are down, that means it's time to make a change."

"Fans" threw cups at coach Ray Goff as he walked off the field after a 52-14 loss at Florida. Goff is 2-11 against Florida, Alabama and Tennessee. Athletic director Vince Dooley is staying mum on the subject.

Although Ohio State (7-3) wasn't expected to contend for the Big Ten Conference championship this season, it also wasn't expected to sustain its worst defeat since 1948. …

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