Year of the Comeback for Southern Football? The Numbers Say No
Southern University head football coach Stump Mitchell says he’s secure about his job situation, and optimistic about the Jaguars chances to compete for a SWAC football title in 2012. Unfortunately, the numbers on Southern don’t bear that out for a team that last posted a winning season in 2009 and a coach who has never had a winning record in stops at Morgan State and Southern.
4 – The 2012 schedule gives the Jags three winnable chances out of four home games this year against Mississippi Valley State, Texas Southern and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Out-of-conference contests against New Mexico and Florida A&M, combined with the usual SWAC East divisional contenders Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Jackson State, project a hard way for the Jags to travel this fall.
6 – Southern was ranked sixth in scoring offense and defense in 2011, and was dead last in rushing and run defense. The SWAC may be a passing league, but an inability to run or stop the run spells defeat for a unit that showed offensive firepower in flashes last year, and usually in comeback situations.
14 – Stump Mitchell is trending downward as a head coaching option in Baton Rouge. The school, known more for its financial struggles than its football, needs a winner. Now. With a 6-16 record in two years at SU, and 14-40 over his career, a return to the NFL as a running back coach may be in his immediate future. With a new athletic director, growing impatience from fans, and a need for the Southern brand to be resurrected this year, the pressure may too much for Mitchell and the team to overcome.