Social media has an uncanny way of letting us see a side of celebrities, politicians and figures of the athletic world we might otherwise miss. Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel channeled the late Tupac Shakur Sunday with his morning quote.
Only God can judge me. –Tupac Shakur #QuietTime
— Jim Tressel (@JimTressel5) August 10, 2014
Who would have guessed from his conservative coaching style and sweater vest enthusiasm Tressel is a fan of the most influential West Coast rapper of the genre’s heyday?
And if Tressel is playing Tupac’s music for inspiration, what might others around college football have on their hip hop playlists?
Steve Sarkisian: LL Cool J, “Going Back to Cali”
After five seasons as head coach of the Washington Huskies, Torrance-born Steve Sarkisian is back in his home city.
Sarkisian is going back to Cali with the intent of returning USC to the heights it reached in the 2000s, while he was there as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
LL’s song is taken from the soundtrack to the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, Less Than Zero, in which a native Angelo returns home from a semester away at college to find things are much different than when he left.
Steve Spurrier: Xzibit, “Paparazzi”
There are more celebrated diss-tracks in ’90s hip hop: Tupac’s “Hit ‘Em Up;” Dr. Dre’s “Dre Day” and the Eazy-E rebuttal; Ice Cube’s “No Vaseline.”
But Xzibit’s “Paparazzi” is much more subtle than any of the above. While the Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier might invoke any of the more straightforward, abrasive songs when addressing Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, “Paparazzi” is more befitting his slight jabs at Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
Bob Stoops: De La Soul, “All Good?”
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops has tweaked plenty of folks this offseason with his pointed comments about SEC football. The Sooners’ win over Alabama in January’s Sugar Bowl was a significant notch for Stoops and the Big 12, though not necessarily indicative of a full-fledged rivalry.
It ain’t beef, but between Stoops and the SEC it ain’t all good.
Irony worth noting with this song choice: De La Soul member Maseo’s son, Tre Mason, was star of the 2013 SEC champion Auburn Tigers.
Nick Saban: Warren G & Nate Dogg, “Nobody Does It Better”
Saban may take verbal jobs from some opponents, but his resume is unrivaled with four national championships in a decade.
The Crimson Tide are reloaded after an uncharacteristic two-game losing streak to end the 2013 season, and Nick Saban is motivated to prove that among college football coaches, nobody does it better.
Al Golden: Outkast, “So Fresh So Clean”
The fourth-year Miami Hurricanes head coach is noted for coaching in a dress shirt and tie, a more fashionable choice than the polo shirt/khaki or windbreaker/khaki combination head coaches typically favor.
But with South Florida’s humidity, Golden would probably prefer to be as cool as Freddy Jackson sipping a milkshake in a snowstorm.
Jim Mora: Snoop Dogg, “Who Am I (What’s My Name?)”
Snoop Dogg burst onto the early ’90s L.A hip hop scene with appearances on Dr. Dre tracks “Deep Cover,” “Dre Day” and “Nothin’ But A G Thang.” But the Long Beach-raised Snoop made his presence felt individually with “What’s My Name?,” the first single off his monster hit album Doggystyle.
In his first two seasons at UCLA, Mora’s made a mark on the West Coast. But the 2014 season is his, and UCLA football’s, opportunity to truly break out of USC’s shadow and establish itself as the face of the Los Angeles landscape.
Mora’s Bruins also have the endorsement of Snoop, an ardent USC fan.
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) July 16, 2014
Gus Malzahn: Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy”
It was all a dream. At one time, Gus Malzahn was an innovative and successful high school in Arkansas, far removed from the money and prestige of a championship-contending SEC program.
The offensive playbook became Malzahn’s Word Up magazine. Through it, he dreamed of revolutionize the game and started grinding toward the end.
Now, Malzahn is in his second season as Auburn head coach with an SEC championship to his name.