At the rate things are going in the SEC West the total annual payout to fired coaches is going to be higher than what Nick Saban gets every year in Tuscaloosa.
Mississippi State finally had enough of the Joe Moorhead act and fired him after athletics director John Cohen saw he couldn’t get control of the team from the end of the year to the bowl game.
“This decision goes beyond wins and losses,” Cohen said Friday after cutting Moorhead earlier in the morning. “There were other issues, and everything factors in.”
Sources close to the program said it was basically a complete lack of control over the players. There were already enough questions from some in the fan base for Moorhead.
In the most recent NFL draft, the Bulldogs had four players among the first 44 selections. Some questioned how you go 7-5 in the regular season with that kind of talent.
Backing into a win in the final game of the season against rival Ole Miss bought some time, but the questions remained and starting quarterback Garrett Shrader got into a very public fight that left him injured for the bowl game re-ignited the flames.
Moorhead, who defiantly said after the win over the Rebels that getting a win mainly because an Ole Miss player tried to mimic a dog, coached 26 games in Starkville and joins Arkansas’ Chad Morris and Willie Taggart as coaches fired after their second season.
Ten players missed eight games during the season and, according to multiple sources, that tipped the edge on team discipline.
Moorhead basically lost control of the team, despite managing to get six wins. It helped he had Arkansas on the schedule, caught Kentucky in transition and Ole Miss finding ways to lose games.
Louisiana coach Billy Napier was reportedly the main target for Cohen, but the timing may be bad for that change.
Former Auburn coach (and current SEC Network analyst) Gene Chizik is reportedly looking to get back into coaching and on the list for Cohen.
Moorhead is the now the fourth coach in the league to be fired. In addition to Morris and Ole Miss’ Matt Luke, current Arkansas defensive coordinator was let go at Missouri.