Should John Cohen’s job status be on the line if Mississippi State does not make a Regional? Yes, it’s a legitimate question.
Division 1 baseball released their Regional projections this week, and to no one’s surprise MSU was not listed. With a current RPI of 118, the Bulldogs aren’t even within shouting distance of the bubble. As Justin mentioned yesterday, the Texas A&M series this weekend could be this team’s last gasp so they better win it.
So with that said – that MSU is more than likely not going to make a Regional this year – is John Cohen on the hot seat? If State doesn’t make a Regional, should he be fired?
Without thinking about it too deeply, I’m sure 90% of State fans would immediately say no. After all, he’s just two years removed from playing for a national championship.
It’s hard to argue with that. Clearly he knows how to navigate the postseason – he won a Regional in 2011 as a 3 seed then nearly beat a highly-favored Florida team to advance to Omaha, in addition to his 2013 accomplishments.
But is it acceptable at Mississippi State to not make a Regional? In year seven, with back-to-back top top 10 recruiting classes after going to the College World Series – has Cohen earned enough in the past to justify him keeping his job?
Sometimes MSU baseball fans have skewed expectations of the team, however, having one of the best college baseball coaches in the country is something that should be expected.
John Cohen currently makes the second highest salary in the SEC behind Paul Mainieri of LSU. At the top of the richest and most successful baseball conference in the country is pretty good.
MSU has plans to build the absolute best stadium in the country, making recruiting that much easier as it will attract the top players and coaches from across the baseball landscape.
But it doesn’t really matter if you can’t turn talented recruits into wins on the field.
The Cohen era has been a lot like Polk II:
|SEC Win %
|SEC Tourney Champs
|Hosting a Regional
|College World Series
I’m not saying John Cohen is a bad coach. Sure, I don’t agree with all his unique traits, but there’s no denying he’s a quality coach. The question is where are we headed with this program? Is 2015 just a blip on the radar or are we destined for just an above average program in Starkville like it’s been the last 15 years.
After the 2013 run, many thought Cohen would bring MSU baseball back to the level of success in the 1980s and 1990s that featured SEC championships and trips to Omaha. Now you have to wonder what the future holds.
Mississippi State hasn’t won a SEC regular season championship since 1989 – that’s 26 years. It’s been that long since the program has been truly dominant (well, 1990 was a superb year). Runs like 2007 and 2013 seem to be more about hot streaks than a powerhouse program.
I honestly don’t know what my opinion on the topic is. Most of the time I’ll get a topic for an article, do the research to form my opinion and I’ll have it by the end of the post. But I don’t know on this one. It’s a tough call. On one hand I think it’s unacceptable to not make a Regional at MSU. On the other hand I believe John Cohen is a quality coach, and he’s gotten State further than we’ve ever been – on the brink of a national title.