With the Seattle Seahawks' win in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 6, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll became the third coach to win a college football national title and a Super Bowl in his career, joining Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.
In an interview with Grantland, Switzer said that circumstances had a lot to do with the three coaches' national titles and had they been at schools with lesser pedigrees, they may not be the only three to have both types of titles.
"Well, all of three of us inherited a great [college] program. When Jimmy went to Miami, they had just won a national championship. He went there, had a chance to win two or three, and he won one in his short span there. So we had great programs. I inherited a great program at Oklahoma. Bud Wilkinson created a great monster here, and I had something to sell. And we did a good job of selling it, and we won greatly, and we were the best in college football for that period of time, 16 years, still today."
"Let me say this: If we had all been at a lot of other schools with lesser pedigrees and lesser tradition, I don’t think any of us would have won a national championship. You know what I mean? I don’t care how good of a coach we are. There are a lot of good coaches coaching those schools, you understand? [Coaches] that don’t have what Pete had, what I had, and what Jimmy had. So that was the first reason we were successful, all three of us. OK? We could get good players."
Both Johnson and Switzer won Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys. Carroll won his national title at USC following the 2004 season. Switzer won national titles in 1974, 1975 and 1985 while Johnson won in 1987.
And you know what? Switzer is right. The difference between coaches at the top levels can be very minute at times, and one break can make a ton of difference. If Carroll had success as coach of the New York Jets and New England Patriots, he likely wouldn't have returned to the college ranks.
Plus, Switzer's Super Bowl was pretty circumstantial too. He inherited a very good Cowboys team after Johnson departed as coach (and admitted as much in the interview). If it wasn't for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, he may never have gotten an opportunity to coach in the NFL.
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