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    Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    It's hard to believe it's already been four years under CPR, but here we are. That's enough time to consider the program truly "his" so I wanted to put some (hopefully well-reasoned) thoughts together and see what people think.

    To me the most notable thing is that our baseline level of play, or the minimum/worst effort we can expect to see any given Saturday, is gradually improving. We're better able to compete against everyone on our schedule. When Rhoads came we could count being blown out by at least one or two high-powered teams a year. A trip to Norman was a sure bloodbath. This year the final scores at OSU and Texas weren't close but we were far more competitive than we might have been in past years. The lows haven't been as low.

    Likewise, the highs have been incredibly high. We all know about the upsets but we've seen some really fantastic performances too. At Texas Tech last year and at TCU this year really stick out in my mind. Not huge upsets but really solid performances against good teams. We rarely (if ever) lose to teams we should beat.

    So in short it seems like we can credibly expect more from this program every time out and that is the ultimate testament to CPR and his staff.

    That doesn't mean there's nothing to criticize. After four years it's fair to ask what it's going to take to get us to the proverbial "next level" and how we intend to get there. Rhoads himself has said our goal needs to be .500 or better in conference, so to me it seems reasonable to think we can be a program that consistently wins 7-8 games each year, with 4-5 conference wins. Maybe a great year is +2 wins and a bad year is -2.

    To get there, our offense simply has to get better. Our defense has been compromised far too much and far too often by our offense. Until the Kansas game one of my real disappointments with the Rhoads era was the failure to improve the QB situation over the past two years. Sammy Football certainly looks like he may be a solution but time will tell. It doesn't reassure me that much that as solid as he's been in two games (though yesterday was a comedown from @ KU to be sure) Rhoads and staff never game him a real chance until now. Is QB evaluation a weakness of our staff?

    I didn't think Tom Herman lived up to his billing and I've been a little disappointed with Messingham as well. I can't describe the passion with which I hate watching us run poorly called or executed read options. There have been a few games where our offense looks great on opening drives and then falls apart. Maybe it's because we're not as good when we're not scripted. Or maybe it's because we're easy to figure out. But our offense has to get more dynamic; in the Big 12 we know we're going to face offenses that can score, and we have to be able to keep up. Our defense can't do it all every time out. Perhaps with a better QB they'll feel more comfortable with letting him make plays.

    Our defense hasn't been perfect either. Obviously the loss of Knott hurt and you can't paper over that. But the last few games our opponents have been able to get just about anything they wanted through the air with plenty of cushion from our DBs.

    My biggest concern with the defense is more long term. I think there's always been a sense that we have a great old salty dog in Wally Burnham who makes our defense better than it really is. So I worry about what happens when we lose him.

    What else do we need to do to continue toward that next step?


    Last edited by Trice; 11-24-2012 at 08:55 AM.

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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    I must admit that losing Wally has been a concern for me as I began to appreciate his contribution more and more. I'd like to think that he is passing on the subtleties that make him successful and I hope that the other coaches and players are really paying attention.


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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Todd Herman, OSU undefeated O-coordinator, that the one you disappointed in? Herman didn't have the athletes to succeed. As CPR is brings in better athletes, offense will improve.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by FilthyShadow View Post
    Todd Herman, OSU undefeated O-coordinator, that the one you disappointed in? Herman didn't have the athletes to succeed. As CPR is brings in better athletes, offense will improve.
    LOL. Are they keeping career records for coordinators now? Good to know.

    And you're not refuting my point. It's year four, if this were strictly about "better athletes" we'd have improved by now.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by FilthyShadow View Post
    Todd Herman, OSU undefeated O-coordinator, that the one you disappointed in? Herman didn't have the athletes to succeed. As CPR is brings in better athletes, offense will improve.
    If you need superior athletes than your competition and Meyer telling you what to do, you are very average.

    To the OP's point, we have the right man for the job. A few key and disappointing losses may have prevented us from building as fast as we would like, but we are building. For most BCS programs, there is cyclical nature to success. Given what he has done with previous staff's players and a lack of individual difference makers, CPR will have the baseline be high enough that when we have players like Wallace, we will be very successful. We are just starting to pick up momentum. A growing fanbase, increased revenue, and more exposure will all lead to more success under CPR.


    Last edited by swarthmoreCY; 11-24-2012 at 09:22 AM.

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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Got to protect home field in conference play, our offense needs to improve quite a bit, defense needs to get a little better, and we as fans need to keep selling out Jack Trice Stadium, special teams needs to keep getting better. I think Coach Rhoads has done a good job, but there is still work to do as there always will be, but I am happy with the direction of the program just need to work on key areas. Bowling 3 out of 4 years not bad. Recruiting needs to just keep going the rate it is as we are getting better.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    I think the OP had a pretty fair assessment. Rhoads is off to a pretty good start with 3 bowls in four years, however the downside of that is that all of the bowls are coming at the end of 6-6 seasons. While I do think that ISU is improving, there is going to be a point where 6-6 seasons are going to be a disappointment. Speaking of which another positive about Rhoads' tenure is that Jack Trice is filling up, because there has been at least 50,000 fans at JTS for the last two years. I hope that fans can continue that streak going into next year, and with Iowa and Texas on the schedule for next season that might be enough to break the season tickets record.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by MLawrence View Post
    I think the OP had a pretty fair assessment. Rhoads is off to a pretty good start with 3 bowls in four years, however the downside of that is that all of the bowls are coming at the end of 6-6 seasons. While I do think that ISU is improving, there is going to be a point where 6-6 seasons are going to be a disappointment. Speaking of which another positive about Rhoads' tenure is that Jack Trice is filling up, because there has been at least 50,000 fans at JTS for the last two years. I hope that fans can continue that streak going into next year, and with Iowa and Texas on the schedule for next season that might be enough to break the season tickets record.
    Agree, but we have got to start winning more games at home during conference play another two wins at home and this season is totally different.



  9. #9
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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    On the other hand, one winning season out of four would get many coaches fired.

    One area that I am concerned about is recruiting. Something like 60% (very very roughly) of our recruits are still 2-star players. The "stars don't matter" people, just imagine how the Cincinnati game last night would have turned out if 60% of our MBB players were 2-star players. Now, I realize that it isn't realistic at this point to expect 5-star and 4-star recruits to be coming to ISU in football, but if 3-star players are the best we are going to get, then we need to make 3-star players the bulk of our commit lists.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    I think the only loss Rhoads has that was definitively a game we should have won would be Colorado in 2010. We just flat out laid an egg there. Other than that, I think he's won the games we should win and got some big upsets in there too.

    As for offense, I like our passing game plan, when we actually pass. The running game drives me nuts, though. We need some just straight up running plays. Not every run has to be a read option. Plus, it's starting to get very predictable, kinda like Mac was. I remember in his last season I accurately predicted 100 percent of the plays if they'd be a run or pass. I'm getting closer and closer to being able to do that with Mess too. And if I can do it, you can bet your *** a defensive coordinator can.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Nice assessment, OP. realizing that we were able to redshirt a good freshman class was huge for the future to me. I've been a fan for thirty plus years, and I think the program stands positioned as well as I've seen it. This schedule was also as tough as I've seen top to bottom.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Nice assessment, OP. realizing that we were able to redshirt a good freshman class was huge for the future to me. I've been a fan for thirty plus years, and I think the program stands positioned as well as I've seen it. This schedule was also as tough as I've seen top to bottom.
    Schedule strength is a factor I failed to mention. Nine conference games played on a round-robin schedule is incredibly challenging. I have to remind myself sometimes that we will always be swimming upstream given that every year we will have one of the country's toughest schedules.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    I think the only loss Rhoads has that was definitively a game we should have won would be Colorado in 2010. We just flat out laid an egg there. Other than that, I think he's won the games we should win and got some big upsets in there too.

    As for offense, I like our passing game plan, when we actually pass. The running game drives me nuts, though. We need some just straight up running plays. Not every run has to be a read option. Plus, it's starting to get very predictable, kinda like Mac was. I remember in his last season I accurately predicted 100 percent of the plays if they'd be a run or pass. I'm getting closer and closer to being able to do that with Mess too. And if I can do it, you can bet your *** a defensive coordinator can.
    I would argue that yesterday was a game we should have won, but otherwise agree.


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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugs4ISU View Post
    On the other hand, one winning season out of four would get many coaches fired.

    One area that I am concerned about is recruiting. Something like 60% (very very roughly) of our recruits are still 2-star players. The "stars don't matter" people, just imagine how the Cincinnati game last night would have turned out if 60% of our MBB players were 2-star players. .
    Hugs, you either need to get a new moniker or improve your game.



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    Re: Assessing the program's progress under Coach Rhoads

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_4_State View Post
    I would argue that yesterday was a game we should have won, but otherwise agree.
    That's why I threw in "definitively". I think you could also argue we should have beaten Tech and OSU at the time of those games, but many would be able to argue against that. No one would likely argue the Colorado loss.



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