I wanted to write a piece defending Cohen. I really did. This past Sunday night I was drafting up a piece that was intended to argue to keep him for another few years. I even made a Chicken Little reference with the title for it. But right now, as I'm writing this, we are losing by 10 runs to Ole Miss. We are on our way to losing the Governor's Cup for the first time in 3 years.
Just two years ago, MSU made a magical run to the College World Series. A dominant bullpen, a great offense, some pretty great beards, and a fun music video led them to Omaha. They made their way through some of the best teams and ball clubs in the nation on their way to play UCLA in the Championship Series. Ultimately they fell short, but I remember that our fan base was ecstatic at the performance and hopeful for the future.
Unfortunately, the years that have followed have not been as fun. Last year wasn't terrible, but the team struggled more than expected. This year, unfortunately, has been hard to watch. The 13-0 start to the season was a lot of fun, but what has happened since hasn't been quite as enjoyable. The team might miss out on a trip to the SEC tournament and it looks like they'll need a miracle to get to a regional.
But it hasn't been solely our struggles that makes this season hurt for me. It's what UCLA is doing right now. The Bruins dropped off the face of the earth last season and limped their way to a 25-30-1 record after their national title in 2013. But they've completely bounced back this year and they're currently at an astonishing 31-9 record and sitting at the top of the NCAA Division 1 RPI rankings. Let that sit with you for a minute. They're currently in a position to make a run to Omaha and should be considered one of the favorites to contend for the championship. The team that beat us in 2 quick games in Omaha is competitive and is playing at an elite level and we should be doing the same.
This year isn't done for us just yet. There's that slim chance that we sweep LSU and Ole Miss, make our way to Hoover, and play into position for a place in a regional. But that's a very slim chance. I feel sick to my stomach, personally, when it comes to discussing firing a coach, but it is something that is a popular topic right now. I think we should give Cohen one more year (unless we get that aforementioned miracle. If we make it to Omaha this year, pay that man millions and build a statue or something). This season isn't over yet, and Cohen is considered to be a great coach and a pretty good guy. Even if we lose every game for the remainder of this season, let's give him one more chance to prove himself. UCLA has shown that it is possible to have a bad year and then completely bounce back into national title contention.
But I don't want to see MSU baseball become equivalent to Georgia football. I don't want to see our relationship with Cohen become similar to that of Mark Richt and UGA. I don't want to see us always being a few games short of being great. So, give the man one more year. He's a good coach and is well regarded by most fans. This isn't simply a call to run Cohen out of town, I hope he is able to succeed and be here for many years to come. I want nothing but success for him and for the team. But if we struggle next year, I hope we aren't afraid to start looking for our next head coach.