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Posts Tagged ‘Kendrick Hardy’

No. 65: Southern Mississippi

Here’s the trade: you can have the most successful year in program history, but as a result must hire a brand-new coaching staff for the following season. How many programs are making this swap? More than you’d think. It’s easier to pick those who wouldn’t make this trade, and it’s a short yet distinguished list – Alabama and Virginia Tech, and not many more. Southern Mississippi knew when it hired Larry Fedora that it was entering into a sort of pact: Hattiesburg was a stepping-stone for Fedora, but the Golden Eagles were fine with him leaving for greener pastures if certain thresholds were passed before he walked out the front door. Perhaps Southern Mississippi is willing to make that trade once, but I don’t think they want to make it twice. Hence the program’s decision to hire former South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, a coaching lifer hungry at a shot with an F.B.S. program after a pair of short-lived head coaching stints at Gardner-Webb and The Citadel.

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    No. 58: Southern Mississippi

    Southern Miss scored 478 points last season, a new school record. The Golden Eagles have now set a new high for points scored in each of Larry Fedora’s three years in Hattiesburg; his team scored 398 points in 2008 and 428 in 2009. But there’s more: Southern Miss has actually increased its scoring total in each of the last 10 years, a period that dates back to heyday of Jeff Bower’s longstanding tenure with the program. It begins back in 2002, when the Golden Eagles scored 282 points, up from 278 in 2001; then it was 293, 309, 355, 356, 361, 398, 428, 478. This is good. Then again, Southern Miss continues to win seven games more often than not, which has the locals a bit restless.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.