Generally, football coaches do an A-plus job of keeping their gripes with one another out of the public eye.
They happen, but the profession as a whole tends to project itself as something of a fraternity, so reporters and microphones are almost never around when skirmishes between coaches play out. That's what made Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury's scathing remarks about Arkansas coach Bret Bielema such popcorn-worthy theater Saturday after the Red Raiders' 35-24 win over the Razorbacks.
Kingsbury accused Bielema of trashing the spread offense, which Texas Tech employs, at a Texas high-school coaches' convention over the summer. He then reveled in Bielema getting "his ass kicked," and predicted Texas A&M would do the same this week.
As one of college football's most outspoken coaches, it wasn't in Bielema's DNA to leave it alone.
"I'm happy he got to vent, and hopefully he feels a lot better. As a coach that's been in it for 10 years, I know better than to worry about somebody that's been around for a couple there, around .500," Bielema said, per CoachingSearch.com. "... 'C'mon, brother. Don't be so sensitive. We're talking about football here. We're not talking about you in particular and what you believe in.' It is what it is."
Kingsbury's comments were as pointed as one coach ever gets with another:
Kingsbury, for his part, didn't return to the scene of the mudslinging on Monday.
"I've moved on from that," he said. "We've got our big game this week against TCU, so I really don't even want to revisit it."
Bielema, however, won't; it's not his way. The next good opportunity he has to take a shot at Texas Tech, you can bet he'll be aiming low. Nevermind that the Arkansas coach's job has to be in jeopardy after losing back-to-back games to non-conference opponents, which only underscores his 2-14 SEC record after two-plus years in the program.
For Bielema to say Kingsbury shouldn't be so sensitive doesn't ring very genuine. He was speaking in Kingsbury's home state, to a large group of coaches who are Texas Tech's conduit to the in-state players Kingsbury must recruit and sign in order to be successful.
It's not a bit surprising that Kingsbury took it personally.
It's only surprising that he took it public.