So, we patiently (or not so patiently) go through Final Four weekend looking for a coach. Believe it or not this is the best weekend of the year to be looking. For a great look at the college coaching ranks take a weekend some day to read Last Dance Behind the Scenes at the Final Four by John Feinstein, Backbay Book, 2006.
It is funny how Memphis is regarded as such as small school with a "non-BCS" type following. And yet, I noticed on Facebook last night that their Team Page has the 11th most members of any page. They always seem to rank in the Top 20 for Team Pages on ESPN, Fox and others.
I've read several comments from opposing fans saying, "So long Memphis, the ride is over." Obviously, these fans are all under the age of 25. Yes, Memphis' "run" this time consisted of about four years, but the program has been pretty strong for about fifty years. Consider that Memphis' 21 NCAA Tournaments, 3 Final Fours and 2 National Final appearances compare very favorably to Illinois (27 appearances, 5 Final Fours, no titles), Oklahoma (25 appearances, 4 Final Fours, no titles), Texas (26 appearances, 3 Final Fours, no titles), Arizona (27 appearances, 4 Final Fours, 1 Title), Marquette (26 appearances, 3 Final Fours, 1 title), Maryland (22 appearances, 2 Final Fours, 1 title), Syracuse (31 appearances, 4 Final Fours, 1 title) and Villanova (29 appearances, 4 Final Fours, 1 title).
Yes, Memphis has a major hurdle to overcome. All of the above aforementioned teams play in BCS conferences.
It will be very interesting to see if Memphis basketball can stay above the label of "mid-major". It will require a coach who can land top 100 players and keep the program relevant.
For all of the detractors and naysayers out there. Game on.