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    Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    This guy is exactly what ISU needs. Read this from the San Diego paper. If you have any concerns about his ability to put together a staff or recruit, just read this.

    What's next for Harbaugh and Toreros?

    By Bill Center
    STAFF WRITER

    November 11, 2006

    During the 50th anniversary season of USD football, the Toreros are facing a question nearly as old as the program itself:

    Where do they go from here?

    At 9-0, USD is off to its best start. Going into tonight's sold-out final home game of the season against Dayton, the Toreros, who are riding a 17-game winning streak, rank 15th in the nation in Division I-AA and hope to land a berth in the I-AA playoffs.

    And USD is ranked the No. 1 ?midmajor? in the land. Which raises the question: What's a midmajor? No. 2 is Monmouth. No. 3 is Drake. Not exactly the household definition of ?major? powers.

    Clearly, USD has again become what was once defined as a ?small college? power. Just as clearly, head coach Jim Harbaugh's Toreros are overachieving at that level.

    USD is a nonscholarship program operating out of one of the priciest private universities in the West.

    Should the Toreros receive a playoff berth, they likely would be the only team in the 16-team tournament not supported by scholarships. Most of their rivals will be handing out the maximum allotment of 63.

    The Toreros are a Cinderella story ? with punch.

    Junior quarterback Josh Johnson is said to be a major-college talent with pro potential. But Johnson isn't the only talented player on the team.

    The Toreros' heights and weights might not be up to major-college standards, but the drive of such players as defensive end Eric Bakhtiari, center Jordan Paopao, running back JT Rogan and linebacker Kyson Hawkins certainly is.

    Plus, Harbaugh has put together a coaching staff worthy of a much bigger power. Defensive coordinator Dave Adolph, for example, has 21 years' experience in the NFL.

    ?It's no fluke,? Harbaugh says when asked about the Toreros' success. ?We've worked hard.

    ?Our coaches have done a great job finding and teaching players. And our players have accepted the challenges we've put before them. Only one or two players from every high school across the land get scholarships.

    ?But there are a lot more players on those teams who can play the game. Those are our players. That's our success. I won't be the coach who says that guy won't fit our system because of size and speed. Give me character and toughness.?

    And give USD players who will perform for nothing.

    Even most nonscholarship programs find ways to support student-athletes through need-based scholarships ? which is the model for the Pioneer Football League, of which USD is a member. But USD's guidelines are more restrictive than most.

    ?We search for ways to support our players,? Harbaugh acknowledged. ?We've become pretty good at finding different forms of financial aid from hometown scholarships to Cal-grants to need-based aid to summer jobs.?

    Local businesses have come to USD's aid. During the offseason, USD football players can be found working everything from construction to security at Mission Valley hotels to building pallets at local beverage distributorships.

    ?To play at USD, you really want to be here,? said Harbaugh. ?Some would see that as a disadvantage. You find a way. We recruit to our strengths . . . smart kids who like contact and work.?

    Last season, 39 USD players carried at least a 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) during the fall semester. Ten Toreros made the Pioneer League's All-Academic team. The 21 starters on this year's team who played last year had an average GPA of 3.15. And football players last year took home three of the four academic awards presented annually by the athletic department.

    ?Needless to say, we're proud of our football program both on and off the field,? said USD Athletic Director Ky Snyder. ?There's a tremendous reward just being around what's going on. There's a passion. It's fun. The campus is excited. This is a peer group that's succeeding.?

    Yet, Snyder knows the Toreros continue to face an uphill haul ? again raising the question of where the Toreros go from here.

    Is the program sustainable at its present level without a future scholarship commitment? Certainly, Harbaugh would like to see more financial support for his players.

    ?I'd love to see some scholarships,? he said. ?I'm not talking the full 63. Even if we had some to spread among our players, it would make a difference. We have a unique spot here. Players want to come.?

    And what happens if Harbaugh leaves? With a 27-5 record nearing the end of his third season, it's only a matter of time before the former NFL quarterback starts drawing offers from bigger programs.

    ?When I took this job, there was a vision, a plan,? said Harbaugh. ?I didn't know where all the speed bumps were. A lot of people didn't even know we had football. Now we've got games on radio and TV. We're looking to get a band. Ticket sales have improved. Our success has us on the move.?

    But the sky is not the limit.

    Don't look for USD to start giving out scholarships or bolting the far-flung PFL for something more regional and competitive such as the Division I-AA Great West Conference.

    ?We are starting to schedule stronger to test ourselves,? said Snyder. ?And we want to win on a regular basis. But we are a good philosophical fit with other members of the Pioneer League. Any upgrades we make will come inside parameters that we know work for our institution.?

    For example, any savings USD would gain from eliminating its four or five cross-country trips each season as a member of the PFL would fund fewer than a third of the scholarships needed to compete in the Great West ? which includes schools such as South Dakota, Southern Utah and Montana.

    ?The questions about our options are difficult,? Snyder acknowledged.

    And they are not new to USD. The champions of the Pioneer League were once themselves the Pioneers. Fifty years ago, USD, then called the Pioneers, had high hopes for its fledgling football program.

    USD's first football game in 1956 was also the first game played by the Air Force Academy. A year later, coach Bob McCutcheon arrived at Alcala Park aiming to turn USD into ?the Notre Dame of the West.?

    Don't laugh.

    USD quickly became a small-school power under McCutcheon. The 1957-58 teams went 14-5. Quarterback Vern Valdez played in the NFL. Running back Bobby Keyes played in the AFL. Three other players went to pro training camps.

    The Pioneers were superior to pre-Don Coryell San Diego State. The Aztecs in fact, rejected an offer to play USD.

    After the 1958 season, however, USD downgraded its plans after a review of budget overruns. Three seasons later, the university dropped football.

    Four seasons after USD returned as a club program in 1969, head coach Andy Vinci came up with a novel idea to fund football, using annuities and lodging players in local hotels. Vinci departed after two seasons.

    But USD continued on as a small-college program until the early 1990s, when the NCAA ruled that universities competing in Division I in basketball also had to be Division I in football if they had a program.

    USD faced the choice of dropping football or upgrading. It selected the middle road of competing in the nonscholarship, I-AA PFL.

    ?There is a reason we're where we are,? said Snyder.

    The pond is small. But the fishing is still satisfying.


    URBCLONE

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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Toreros Do Not Receive Bid to Playoffs
    USD Will Now Focus on UC Davis and Gridiron Classic


    Nov. 19, 2006 (San Diego, CA) - The USD Toreros gathered as a team this morning to watch the NCAA Football Championship Selection Show on ESPNews, but didn't get their name announced as one of eight at-large teams selected. San Diego will now hit the practice field today and get ready for Saturday's contest at UC Davis, followed by the Gridiron Classic on December 2nd against Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. "We have tremendous respect for these playoffs, and this format is the best way to crown a national champion," said head coach Jim Harbaugh. "The way our players played this season is the reason we were in this position. There are 16 deserving teams and our team played well enough to receive strong consideration. I believe they felt our presence and we will continue to knock on the door of the playoffs, and do what we do best - compete, compete, compete. Our focus now is on UC Davis."

    11/11/06vs. Dayton San Diego, Calif.W, 56-14
    11/25/06at UC DavisDavis, Calif.1:00 p.m. PT
    12/02/06Gridiron ClassicWest Long Brach, NJTBA


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by URBCLONE View Post
    And USD is ranked the No. 1 ?midmajor? in the land. Which raises the question: What's a midmajor? No. 2 is Monmouth. No. 3 is Drake. Not exactly the household definition of ?major? powers.
    If we're getting a coach from a division where Drake is in the Top 5, why don't we just get their coach? He has Iowa ties, and has success at a level in college football, which seems to be the two major criteria for a lot of the posters here.



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by dccyclone25 View Post
    If we're getting a coach from a division where Drake is in the Top 5, why don't we just get their coach? He has Iowa ties, and has success at a level in college football, which seems to be the two major criteria for a lot of the posters here.
    Presumably we're interested in Jim Harbaugh because of his potential, not just because of his record at USD. Jim Harbaugh is a household name in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, California, Indiana and many other states. His name and NFL career give him access to recruits and coaches. Rob Ash doesn't have those contacts. And USD beat Drake 37-0 this year for what that's worth.



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by LutherBlue View Post
    Presumably we're interested in Jim Harbaugh because of his potential, not just because of his record at USD. Jim Harbaugh is a household name in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, California, Indiana and many other states. His name and NFL career give him access to recruits and coaches. Rob Ash doesn't have those contacts. And USD beat Drake 37-0 this year for what that's worth.
    Luther eh? Did you go there?



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by dccyclone25 View Post
    Luther eh? Did you go there?
    No, but it's a great school from what I know of it.

    Luther Blue played WR for Iowa State in the Earle Bruce years (late '70s) when we beat Nebraska 2 years in a row. Wore #89 if I remember right and played on the Wayne Stanley/Dexter Green/Boskey/Stensrud teams. Hooked on with the Lions for a year or two. Loved that guy.



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by LutherBlue View Post
    No, but it's a great school from what I know of it.

    Luther Blue played WR for Iowa State in the Earle Bruce years (late '70s) when we beat Nebraska 2 years in a row. Wore #89 if I remember right and played on the Wayne Stanley/Dexter Green/Boskey/Stensrud teams. Hooked on with the Lions for a year or two. Loved that guy.
    Hahaha, oh ok. Just wondering.



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by dccyclone25 View Post
    If we're getting a coach from a division where Drake is in the Top 5, why don't we just get their coach? He has Iowa ties, and has success at a level in college football, which seems to be the two major criteria for a lot of the posters here.
    I posted this earlier today, but based on scholarship grants the Pioneer league is a notch above Division III which grants zero scholarships, but below Division II which grants 35 full ride scholarships.



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by mt85 View Post
    I posted this earlier today, but based on scholarship grants the Pioneer league is a notch above Division III which grants zero scholarships, but below Division II which grants 35 full ride scholarships.
    Yeah, I saw that post. So scholarship-wise, we'd be hiring a Division 2.5 coach. I am making a lot of sarcastic posts, but I think we really need to realize that we need someone with actual experience at being a coach at the level we compete at, AT LEAST.



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    WIthout ripping me, just please explain how this article proves that he has any qualifications that prove he can coach in a BCS conference. Yes, he knew guys that have coached plenty of years in the NFL and wanted to stay coaching down in a warm weather climate. Does this mean that he could bring in NFL caliber assistant coaches to Ames Iowa? Doubt it! Sure he has enthusiasm, but so did Mac. Who wants to take a gamble this big with our football program that desparately NEEDS success soon???


    ďAlso, I met a lot of Iowa State fans and I donít want to leave any of that behind.Ē - DARIUS DARKS on Staying a CLONE!!!


    Matt (00 Alumn)
    Waukee, Iowa

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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by CY ST8T View Post
    WIthout ripping me, just please explain how this article proves that he has any qualifications that prove he can coach in a BCS conference. Yes, he knew guys that have coached plenty of years in the NFL and wanted to stay coaching down in a warm weather climate. Does this mean that he could bring in NFL caliber assistant coaches to Ames Iowa? Doubt it! Sure he has enthusiasm, but so did Mac. Who wants to take a gamble this big with our football program that desparately NEEDS success soon???
    If the rumors are true, our top two candidates are Harbaugh and Norvell. We are taking a chance either way. Norvell has ZERO head coaching experience. He brings zero in terms of interest or excitement in his first. Jim Harbaugh played for Bo and for Mike Ditka. Harbaugh grew up in a coaching family. His dad has said that he knew Harbaugh would be a coach from the time he was a little kid. The article shows that he can recruit players that at least had some interest from high major programs to a D-1AA non-scholarship school. He was able to convince Adolf to join him because of his NFL contacts. Also, did you realize that he has proposed a game between USD and SDSU and that SDSU does not want to take him up on it? The San Diego press says SDSU does not want to play that game because they know they would lose.


    URBCLONE

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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by URBCLONE View Post
    His dad has said that he knew Harbaugh would be a coach from the time he was a little kid.



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by URBCLONE View Post
    If the rumors are true, our top two candidates are Harbaugh and Norvell. We are taking a chance either way. Norvell has ZERO head coaching experience. He brings zero in terms of interest or excitement in his first. Jim Harbaugh played for Bo and for Mike Ditka. Harbaugh grew up in a coaching family. His dad has said that he knew Harbaugh would be a coach from the time he was a little kid. The article shows that he can recruit players that at least had some interest from high major programs to a D-1AA non-scholarship school. He was able to convince Adolf to join him because of his NFL contacts. Also, did you realize that he has proposed a game between USD and SDSU and that SDSU does not want to take him up on it? The San Diego press says SDSU does not want to play that game because they know they would lose.
    I would be excited for Norvell! But if Jim Harbaughs dad said that someday he would be a good coach, then how can we not hire Harbaugh!



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by CY ST8T View Post
    WIthout ripping me, just please explain how this article proves that he has any qualifications that prove he can coach in a BCS conference. Yes, he knew guys that have coached plenty of years in the NFL and wanted to stay coaching down in a warm weather climate. Does this mean that he could bring in NFL caliber assistant coaches to Ames Iowa? Doubt it! Sure he has enthusiasm, but so did Mac. Who wants to take a gamble this big with our football program that desparately NEEDS success soon???
    I want to gamble, because he is the only guy on the list who will be able to recruit top players to Iowa State. He is a very smart, ultra-motivated coach who wants to come here and be successful. He has the contacts to assemble a great coaching staff. He has experience as an assistant in the NFL and a head coach at div I-AA. His team is ranked 14th in Div 1AA without scholarships . . . his team is not equivalent to Div 2.5 or whatever is listed elsewhere. Go read the article posted last week about his philosophy on coaching, it is a great read.

    Those who don't want to "gamble" on Harbaugh seem to want a "sure shot" at continued mediocrity. The other candidates are all great coaches, but they do not have the ability to overcome ISU's disadvantages. Harbaugh does. Not to mention he would probably be the cheapest of the bunch, leaving more room for assistant salaries.



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    Re: Nervous about Harbaugh - Not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericlambi View Post
    I want to gamble, because he is the only guy on the list who will be able to recruit top players to Iowa State.
    How does that make any sense? He's the only coach NOT currently at a D-1A football program. How would none of the other guys be able recruit top players to ISU, but he can?

    Again, I point out that top players coming out of high school aren't going to know who Jim Harbaugh is, unless they google his name. And his coaching credentials may be shining, but they are very short. I don't really see how a coach with very little coaching experience at a team with a relatively bare football history would be able to really draw those top recruits. Maybe I'm being naive...



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