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Coaching carousel starts up with Ravens firing Billick

The Baltimore Ravens fired head coach Brian Billick. Happy New Year, and don't let the door smack you on the way out.

I can't say I'm entirely surprised, even though the franchise gave him a four-year, $20-million contract extension before the season. The Ravens were beyond awful; never developed a consistently potent offense during Billick's tenure; and, with the exception of the New England game, played with little desire since coming off their by and absolutely no heart (but lots of complaining) after losing to New England.

Expectations were high. Most people slotted Baltimore for a first- or second-place finish with a solid shot at the playoffs. I had them finishing 10-6, tied with Pittsburgh but taking the division on tiebreakers. A last-place 5-11 finish, the way the Ravens played, was simply unacceptable.

So the Ravens move on. Word is that while the Ravens fired the whole staff, including defensive coordinator Rex Ryan who called the timeout on that fateful 4th down in the Patriots game, Ryan is a potential candidate for the new job. Someone will have to explain that one to me. "You're not good enough to be our defensive coordinator. You're fired! Want to be our head coach?"

Anyway, the coaching carousel has started.

"Tickets, please! Tickets! .. What? You don't have a ticket? .. Off you go, Mr. ...

"OK. Who else doesn't have a ticket?"

Predictions, please.