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    Exclamation McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    McCarney still coaching, but not for long…
    CycloneFanatic.com
    Jeremy Lind

    IMPORTANT: In order to comment to this topic, you MUST read the entire discussion below because I don’t want this to be a flame thread against me or the staff. The article below was hard for me to write but I felt compelled to based on the discussions I’ve had with numerous ISU boosters as well as some of the best players to ever wear the cardinal and gold.

    Questions:

    - When, and in what situation, do you start to look for any possible changes that can be made to try and turn things around?
    - When, and at what point, do you start to re-evaluate your long-term commitment to a coaching staff that has done a great job but doesn’t appear to have anything left to give?

    Preface:

    I want to first start by saying those two questions are made to solicit debate, I am in no way encouraging a change in the coaching staff at this point in the season. I believe very firmly that a coaching change should never be made mid-year but I also want to solicit discussion regarding why people favor either keeping or getting rid of the current coaching staff at the end of the season, or next year.

    A lot of talk over the past couple of years on ISU and sports message boards has centered on this topic and I thought a loss (ok, it’s a W but barely) to D-AA rival UNI was the perfect opportunity to bring this question up for debate. We may be 3-2 right now but we’re only a couple of plays away from 0-5.

    I have had numerous ISU standouts of the past decade contact me about how things are going and to discuss the future of ISU FB. Let me tell you that some of Mac’s most prized players as well as some of the FB programs biggest donors are not likely to back the current staff at the end of the season as Mac looks for some reassurance that he’ll be back next season.

    I have spoken to some very high level boosters that will not be content with Mac any longer and will be pressing Pollard hard for changes if they are going to continue to donate big sums of money to the program. Not a single donor that I talked to would be willing to maintain their current level of giving, let alone increase their donations to fund the new renovations, if Mac is to be the head coach next season. This is a very sad turn of events for a program that seems to be ready in every way to be taken to the next level with the right leadership. Every one of us needs to continue to support this program in any way possible or things will get very bad very quickly.

    Discussion:

    While a lot of praise can and should be said about the current coaching staff at ISU, there is a point in time where any true fan needs to open themselves up for debating whether or not things are really going to improve any further with the way things currently are. When can the majority of fans decide that time is?

    I think after 12 years it’s probably time to start raising the bar and asking questions. After all, dozens of programs out there can say they’ve been rebuilt and they sure as heck aren’t content with what they’ve rebuilt to. Time can’t stand still and neither can a program in a major conference that some say will be exploding with rebuilt programs in the next 3-5 years.

    Let’s take a quick look at some other programs in the Big XII that are rebuilding, and most in a much shorter time-span than 12 years, and will soon be passing ISU by as we continue to debate how great Mac has done building us from nothing to a consistent 7 or 8 game winner. After looking at the list below, you need to quickly realize that the longer a program is stagnant with growth, the smaller the chances they’ll ever be able to get to the next level.

    Colorado – A program that has been through every type of mud imaginable, they have a lot of potential with their current and future prospects. They may not be pretty so far this year but I guarantee you they’ll be reaching a bowl game in 3 years and getting 8 or 9 wins in 4-5 years. Mark my words, this program is getting some major funding right now, they’ve reached the bottom and will be digging themselves out fast. The staff has the right ideas and once they get some experience, the wins will follow. The donors are already lining up to help get things going and it’s only a matter of time and effort.

    Missouri – This is a program that has had some serious potential but never seems to see it through. This year Missouri is 5-0, albeit against a weak schedule, but they too are building to be a major force in the conference. Given the right schedules and a few key recruits, Missouri will be joining Colorado as a program sailing past ISU in the not so distant future. Everything seems to finally be falling into place to make Missouri the program it was always capable of being.

    Kansas State – What can I say, they’re used to success and they won’t be content until they get back to that level. They might not be much right now but they have an obvious advantage for in-state recruits and will soon be signing some major national recruits to help the process along. Little Manhattan won’t be happy until they too are a part of the Big XII’s upper echelons again. Given the time, they will once again be the Purple Menace that we all hate fiercely.

    Texas A&M – We all know the coaching job here is one that will never be even remotely secure. A&M has as high of expectations as anybody in the league and they have every intention of beating some of the bigger in-state rivals at their own game. Watch for A&M to get some big upsets in the next couple of years and then gain some major recognition. They’ll be up and down for the next year or two but they have some great talent lining up fast. A lot of money is flowing in and a lot of recruits are starting to take notice. The same can be said for Baylor, whom you may remember embarrassed us at home last year.

    Nebraska – What can I say, we all love to hate them. They are easily our biggest rival in football next to Iowa and they are already in the Top 25 again. They might be consistently the most over-rated program in history but they sure look to be a very strong program once again. Watch for Nebraska to get back to the Top 10 by the end of the 08-09 season, if not next season. We may all hate them, but they have their act together now.

    Now, you can say that ISU might be ten times the program it was in the early nineties, but at what point do you say that we just aren’t content with always being the ‘other team’ in the state and the ‘almost did it’ team? Looking at the list above, you quickly realize that Iowa State in its current form won’t be able to get those 7 or 8 wins for much longer if the same problems and issues always come to light, year after year after year.

    Some coaches are great for rebuilding and some are great for winning conference championships, and very rarely will those two types of coaches be one in the same. Dan McCarney should win medals for what he’s done at ISU, but he should also be on a very tight leash for not getting any further than the same thing year after year. The man is a great guy and a terrific coach, he just isn’t the coach that is going to get us to that next level where we can actually call this the Cyclone State and not look like dumb ***** after almost getting beat by the number three program in the state.

    Conclusion:

    I look at coaches and programs and try to give a rating based on what they started with, what they’ve done for the past couple of years, and I look the hardest at if the most was achieved in the majority of the situations.

    Here are my grades based on what Mac and crew have done since taking over and what I think they deserve for going forward…

    Rebuilding - “A++”
    I would have to say Mac and staff have done an incredible job rallying the fans and players to get the program off of the punch lines of comedians’ jokes and into the Big XII’s upper half. Mac should have buildings and parks named after him in Ames for what he’s done rebuilding the program.

    Expectations vs. Results - “C+”
    ISU has been the underdog for years and made the most of it time after time. However, when looking at what ISU has had the past couple of years, you have to say the results are too often less then the expectations. With two missed opportunities with a clear advantage at the Big XII Championship Game and so many sloppy second halves for losses earn the staff a C+. They can play great for the toughest opponents and barely lose, but they also play badly against the weakest opponents and lose big, even at home.

    Achievements vs. Potential – “F”
    This is different than expectations because I value potential as what ISU could have done to prove everybody else wrong and/or get respect. ISU has never been able to get over the hump and win that big game when it mattered, they’ve never been able to take it to the next level even with a better crew almost every year. This grade would represent what the staff has done to prepare the players and to just make things happen.

    When I look at the way the staff can’t seem to get the players to respond when they need to (i.e. the UNI game the players should have been more pumped up than ever and rolled to a huge victory) and their lack of willingness to change how they approach things, I have to say they just aren’t going to get things done at that next level.

    I am probably the most honest and open-minded person when it comes to ISU athletics. I love the programs and players as if they were my closest relatives, but I also have to hold them accountable to what their potential is. While I will support the program with every available penny and always show up at the games, I still have to ask that my coin is getting some increased value in return. Mac is like an investment that you know will never change and will never go bankrupt, but it also won’t get you more than a steady and never-changing level of interest. That’s just not good enough going forward with increasing prices and increasing competition.

    Closing:

    You can argue that you don’t agree with some of my reasons or thoughts, but you can’t argue with these facts…
    - ISU has its best offense in history and should be putting up 30+ ppg but yet isn’t able to score at all in the second half of so many games, simply because the staff is incredibly predictable and resistant to change.
    - ISU has never dominated a game because of the staff’s obsessively cautious approach that always comes back to bite us in the end. Too often this approach costs us the ballgame in the end.
    - ISU football in its current form is built to rebuild, but they are no longer rebuilding, they are growing. Growing and developing programs have different needs and different objectives.
    - Dan McCarney talks up his program in every media event but always follows it up with an excuse. He even says he can’t figure out why the offense can’t score but then refuses to admit that play-calling could be part of the problem. This after years of criticism for the play calling ability of the staff under Mac.
    - With ticket prices soon to rise substantially and donation requirements soon to follow, how many life-long fans will continue to pump more money into the program while not getting any increased level of play or success? Many fans don’t have the patience and dedication to put into a coach for more than 12 years without getting anything new for the past 6 or 7 years.
    - After talking to almost a dozen prior players that love coach Mac, and dozens of donors that have stuck with him thus far, all are saying it’s time for change. You can’t keep asking for more and more money if you aren’t willing to give back a better product in return.

    I love ISU, I love coach Mac, but I also love winning and feeling proud of saying this is a Cyclone State. Can we really say it’s a Cyclone State when we get beat by the ‘other in-state rival’ and almost lose to the D-AA in-state team?

    I’m not going to continue to praise Mac just because I have a pro-ISU website. I try my hardest to make everybody within ISU feel proud and happy to read my site but I also have to be true to the facts and that could end up making Mac or Pollard mad at me in the end. So be it when it comes to a program that I love as if it were my son. I’m not going to be like some other writers that have to be careful not to get their credentials pulled, I’m independent and honest. Enough is enough, let’s raise the bar and get to that next level for crying out loud.

    It’s not just this season that the critics can point to, but rather the long-standing lack of improvement with the program and coaching staff. While coaches aren’t responsible for everything and obviously aren’t the ones on the field, they ultimately get the $1.1million to be responsible in the long-run. I ask this, could you be mediocre for 6 or 7 years at your job and still get raises and extensions? I know I sure as heck can’t and I’m not asking 50,000 people to come stand in the cold and snow to watch me do my job, let alone ask them for more and more money year after year for that same mediocre product.

    I’ll say it again, I love Mac, I love Pollard, I love ISU, but I also love winning. I may make some people mad by not fully supporting our coach for his mediocrity after 12 years, but I think it’s in the best interest of the fans and the program if we move past mediocrity and get into that championship game already. I’ll continue to support Mac this year as he’s our coach, but I sure as heck expect some changes come spring or I know a lot of big-time donors and players that won’t be so dedicated.

    Let’s Pack the Jack and hope for the best. Despite our personal opinions, we still need to support the guys that suit up and the program, as it’s obviously going through some rough times. I know internally there’s some turmoil and they need all the support we can give them right now.


    A program isn't built on one player and it doesn't succeed because of one player, thus a program won't fail if it doesn't get that one player.

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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    Reality Check time. I have been a huge D-Mac apologist, but I too, am ready for a change. I very much appreciate what he has done, but do not believe he and the current staff can get us where we need to go.

    As we near the half way point. Our talented offense is 9th in the league yards and scoring. Our all Big 12 wide receiver is 18th in the league in receptions and 14th in yardage. Good coaching finds away to defeat the schemes that opposing coaches employ to take away your biggest threat. Our running game is also 9th in the Big 12. Only one QB in the Big 12 has been sacked more than Brett Meyer.

    We are 10th in rushing defense. Dead last in past efficiency defense. Dead last in total defense. Dead last in scoring defense. We are next to last in turnover margin. Next to last in tackles for a loss. We have some very talented and gifted defenders who are getting beat on fundamentals.

    We are not a very good team right now. We are a triple OT dropped 2pt conversion, game winning pass caught just out of bounds, and a wide right field goal from an outstanding kicker away from 0-5. We are lucky to be 3-2. We are closer to 1-4 than 4-1.

    Sorry Dan, I have defended you for a decade, but it is time to move on.



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    Good post. Agreed. Time to move on following this season.



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    I work with, have worked with, and am related too alot of doners and not a SINGLE want of them want McCarney gone...NOT A SINGLE ONE! How many of you thought we would be better then 3-2 at this point in the season? I for one did not. Yes we have won 3 very close games, but the fact that we found a way to win THREE close games is pretty good. Agian, WE WON THOSE THREE GAMES FOR ****** SAKES! Yes, I would rather of not been in that situation in those 3 games, but we still found a way to wint and that is all that matters. Saying you are upset with our coaching staff just because we are not blowing other teams out of the water like other D-1 teams do is STUPID. Our goal this year was to win the Big 12 North, and we have only played ONE game in conference so far this year, and NOBODY in America thought we would win that game. Our goal is to make it to the Big 12 championship game, and I will not sit here and say McCarney needs to go unless that goal is not met. We have 7 games left on our schedule that will help us reach that goal, and we should be focusing on those games and our season goal, and quit sitting here and dwelling on games WE WON and how we need to fire our coaches. this negative talk is not going to help us get to the Big 12 Championship game, and is only causing a distraction from that goal.

    Iowa State does not have much money, and would not be abe to bring in a big name coach to take over this program. If they did fire McCarney, they would have to bring in a coach that they would be taking a risk with, meaning somebody that has not had alot of D1 success. When Ferentz came to Iowa, he was not a big name and iowa took a risk by hiring him, a risk that in their case payed off.

    At this point in the season I am not sticking up for McCarney, but I think this talk is just STUPID and is causing way to many distractions, especially when we have not even really started our conference schedule yet. Lets wait until the season is over and see where we stand before we start this talk. This game on Saturday is so big in so many ways; national exposure, primetime TV, possible Big 12 north. Champs. Lets try to create some positive light on the game that will help our team get fired up, and do away with this fire McCarney crap that will in no way help our team get fired up!



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    So when looking for a replacement where do we turn? Dare I say we go the route of the basketball program and offer the coach who nearly took us down last night with half the talent???


    In 1984, I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.

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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    Chuck...As always I will be there and I will leave hoarse from yelling for our clones. I never boo our team or yell at the coaches. However, I have reached a point that even if we beat NU on Saturday, my viewpoint doesn't change. It is time for Dan to go. I have been very vocal in his defense and am thankful we had him. It is time. We have been very patient. It is not a reaction to 3-2 start. It is a reaction to how we have played. It does not surprise me we are 3-2. It is very frustrating to me witness the poor play and coaching. It is time. Time to begin this conversation. Time for a change. You now have talked to one will be contributing to the capital campaign, who has defended Dan, who now believes it is time for a change. Me.



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    What if we win the Big 12 North? What if we go into this strech of conference games and only lose 1 or 2 games? Will you still be calling for him...I HIGHLY doubt it.
    So lets wait and see what happens with this strech of games. If we go and lose 4 of of the next 7, I will be right next to you holding that campaign sign, but until that point, this talk is unnessecary!



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    I have a very hard time justifying the calling for D-Mac's job or that of his assistants mid-season. You just never do that unless the team is in shambles. We're far from shambles.

    How 'bout we let this staff and team finish the season before calling for change? If we're not seeing improvement...I too will start wondering if Pollard needs to shake things up.

    But, the season is far from over. Not to mention, we have the record (3-2) that most thought we would.



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    I have a very hard time justifying the calling for D-Mac's job or that of his assistants mid-season. You just never do that unless the team is in shambles. We're far from shambles.

    How 'bout we let this staff and team finish the season before calling for change? If we're not seeing improvement...I too will start wondering if Pollard needs to shake things up.

    But, the season is far from over. Not to mention, we have the record (3-2) that most thought we would.
    That sums up what I am trying to say...So far Nebraska and Mizzou are the front runners in the North, and we play both them at home. Our goal is to wint the Big 12 North, and it is a very very reachable goal, starting on Saturday. This game is going to be huge, probabley another record breaking crowd will get to see it, and more then likley at least 50% of the nation will be watching it on PRIMETIME! Lets focus our attention on next weeks game, try to get our fans and team fired up, and save the fire Mac talk until the situation arises that we possibly dont meet our goal!



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    I know a number of "big-time" donors as well, and none of them want Dan fired. Quite frankly, Jeremy, you lose credibility when you say this stuff. This has nothing to do with my personal opinion about Dan or this team, because I do have concerns. But you act like you are THE source for the inner-workings of the program, and when you say stuff like this, it just confirms to me that you aren't.



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    IF we are too go with a coaching change, I want the new coach to be one that has won the big games before. Maybe someone like Gary Barnett. I think this would be an attractive job to a lot of potential new coaches. I want JP to reach for the sky when looking for a new coach and not go searching through the dumpster.



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    Chuck, you make good points, you really do, but I'm with Jeremy and the others on this one; I want changes after this season. What changes? I don't know, maybe it means fire Mac, maybe it doesn't, maybe it means forcing him to come up with a whole new philosophy, frankly I don't know. But I DO know that for me personally, I reached the breaking point yesterday, and I'll be very upset if there are not changes at the end of the season.

    Everyone who says "a win is a win" is right... but it is NOT the most important fact.

    With all that said, I could see us beating Nebraska next week. But I'm going to walk into that game with 75% less excitement than I should. That's one of the ways I know I reached my breaking point. We're 3-2, have the biggest game of the season next week, still have a great shot to win the north, and yet I'm absolutely ill with ISU football. Absolutely ill.



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    The donors want Mac fired thing is absolute crap. No big donor wants Mac fired. And Mac wont be fired.


    "My staff humps it all the time for our customers. It's time our customers realize that instead of complain about it."

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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    What if we win out this season?



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    Re: McCarney still coaching, but not for long…

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    I have a very hard time justifying the calling for D-Mac's job or that of his assistants mid-season. You just never do that unless the team is in shambles. We're far from shambles.

    How 'bout we let this staff and team finish the season before calling for change? If we're not seeing improvement...I too will start wondering if Pollard needs to shake things up.

    But, the season is far from over. Not to mention, we have the record (3-2) that most thought we would.
    Well, we aren't that far from shambles. We're pretty close to being 0-5. BUT, you guys are right in saying that we have won the games we were expected to win and lost those we were expected to lose as well. That is the only glimmer of hope left that most people see with our current staff.

    Had we lost last night, I would say that most people here would have jumped aboard to fire Mac at the end of the season, no matter what. You can't expect to win the Big12 North by losing to a D-1AA team. No excuses!

    BUT, we did win, and there is always the chance that we could run the table and get a 2007 bowl game. But based upon what we have seen thus far, it is very unlikely, and more likely that we will finish 7-5 or 6-6. Now, if we do win the Big 12 North, of course Mac stays, no matter how it gets done. But if we don't win it (especially if we beat Nebraska and Nebraska goes on to lose another game, yet still wins), or have some embarrassing losses (almost last night), he and his staff goes, end of story.

    BUT, no one can say that he goes right now, because he has the rest of the season to prove us all wrong and that he can get it done. We are 3-2 and no matter how ugly it looks, it could be worse, and we have yet to see our team go on a run like we have seen the past few years, and I expect we will see it this year yet as well. Will it be enough to keep McCarney? Time will tell.



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  • Football
  • Iowa State vs. North Dakota State
  • August 30, 2014
  • 06:00 PM