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    What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    So its been at least a year since I posted here, had to get a new screen name cause my old one wouldn't work. I used to be just JCloned. I use to write quite a few articles here and on my blog, but got tired of the negativity on a lot of sites and went dark for awhile. Anyway, what prompts my at least temporary return is a desire to shed some light on the events of the last few weeks.

    Here is what I know, what I have heard from normally reliable folks, and what I believe based on the first two.

    Chizik realized midstream this year that his original vision for how to build ISU was not going to work. Coming in Chizik envisioned a balanced, but run first offense that made few mistakes and kept the defense off the field. Scoring would be moderate, defense would stout. He would be able to win initially with fewer blue chip athletes by being exceptionally fundamentally sound football team that took care of the ball, could run and grind down the clock. If you go back even 3 years its easy to make a case that this would work. What changed is the explosion of superpowered offenses in the Big 12 and around the nation. Even a defense like OU or UT was consistently giving up more points than ISU's offense could realistically expect to post on a weekly basis. That is if the big guys have to score 30 plus with their athletes on defense how could he expect the offense he grew up with and envisioned for ISU to be sufficient.

    His solution was to have to create an aggressive high scoring offense by bringing in some of the best and brightest and that required a couple of staff changes. First, new coordinator. As much as he liked and still likes RMac, he knew he wasn't the guy to make this transition he needed someone who had done it before. Second new QB coach. Peterson is a good guy by all accounts but his experience is coaching QB in more conventional offense and in the new offense it truly all begins with the QB so Peterson must go. Again need right experience.

    Chizik had a list of people he wanted to bring to Ames and on that list was the Tulsa coordinator who just joined Chizik at Auburn. During this process however Auburn came a calling and starting over in Ames, as he envisioned the transition he was about to take and his roots in the South made the move too hard to refuse. In Auburn he will do what he was going to try to do in Ames, just that it isn't a mid course change like it would have been here.

    Defensively with his background as a Defensive coach he couldn't handle the poor execution on defense and while much weaker personnel than many will admit played a big part in our defensive struggles, he had to make the change with Bolt. There was not going to be a big transformation like on offense, but he thought he needed new leadership to get it done.

    So why does all this matter. First, as much as the whole Chizik thing frustrates me, I believe he was right about what had to be done. I don't think ISU can do it this era by staying with the offensive philosophy of the McCarney era nor the Chizik era (or fleeting moment). ISU has to be able to score points in bunches or it won't matter that we can run the ball and lead nation in takeaway/givaway ratio. It was a different time in the Big 12 with DMac and that is why I pray PR doesn't bring in Loney, his mindset will not win enough games in this era of college football.

    Second, it will be interesting to see how things go on offense in Auburn because 80/20 that is the offense and offensive coaches we would have seen in Ames this fall.

    Third, the most important hire that PR will make is the offensive coordinator. There are a lot of good guys out there like Fitch, Loney etc. that will keep ISU on the outside looking in and be the downfall of PR. Key question is, does PR realize yet what our transition coach from DMAc to PR learned the hard way? If so look for a hire from Houston, Rice or upcoming position coach from like offenses in BCS conferences. You can ignore almost all the other hires he makes, who and what philosophy does he hire on offense - that will likely determine the outcome of the PR era.


    Last edited by JCloned2; 12-29-2008 at 04:34 PM.

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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Seems like some logical deductions. But if Chiz couldn't bring in athletes for a good defense how was he going to bring them in for a high scoring offense?



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by Ames View Post
    Seems like some logical deductions. But if Chiz couldn't bring in athletes for a good defense how was he going to bring them in for a high scoring offense?
    That would be my concern as well. How likely is it that we can get the athletes for a high powered offense? I guess it depends on your goal. If you are really trying to win the Big XII championship, that's probably required. If you're trying to win the Big XII North, probably not so much.

    Also, welcome back JCloned. I remember reading your stuff last year. Glad you're back.



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Alot of people feel the comfort with the Loney type names. We need somone that can come in and try to improve our team and gameplan....not try and replicate the Mac days.

    Great post JCloned



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Thing about these "systems" is that they are not as dependent on having the best of the best athletes. Yeah they need to be good, but not out of range for most schools and much of talent ISU already has. (need more speed and athleticism at receivers for example, but that is doable) Olineman on campus could handle it, Arnaud & Tiller likely could be successful etc.

    As for the defense, it isn't that he couldn't recruit them, remember most are still prior regimes players and if anything we saw the most impressive recruiting on defense with Chizik, but it is much harder to cover up a weak spot on defense than on offense.

    On offense you get to choose how to play and can play to your strengths while on defense you have offenses targeting you weakest links. I think defense would have been fine in another year or so, just takes time to get 11 (more like 22) Big 12 (top half) ready defenders



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    The most frustrating part of losing chizik was the unknown of the new OC/DC. I don't think many will disagree that Chizik was a pretty sub-par HC but had he brought in some great OC/DC's we might of been in really good shape.



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Chiz was more than likely looking at trying to get Malzahn to come to ISU before the Auburn thing ever occurred.



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossCyed View Post
    Chiz was more than likely looking at trying to get Malzahn to come to ISU before the Auburn thing ever occurred.
    It was more than "looking at trying" It was past that stage...not a commitment by either side, but from what I know was looking positive.



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Outstanding points, and I can certainly see where you're coming from on all accounts.

    I think ISU CAN win without a high powered offense, but it's not going to be easy to do it.

    I think bowl season will tell a lot if the reality of the Big XII is that the Os are really that great, or if the Big XII defenses are really that weak, or if it's somewhere in between.

    The Big XII loses a lot of talent on offenses in the next year or two. There are an insane number of great QBs (at least at the college level) in the Big XII this year. When those guys start going away, maybe the D isn't stressed quite so badly, and the O doesn't have to win games on it's own.

    Just as quickly as the Offenses rose in the Big XII, they can fall.

    That being said, I'm also in agreement that our current reality puts us in a position where our offense needs to put points on the board when it can. I don't think it really needs to be a WHOLE lot better than last year, it just needs to execute properly. Receivers need to catch balls that hit them in the hands. We need to convert in the red zone. We need to stop beating ourselves with penalties. We need to get plays in. We need to do a much better job at run blocking. We need to do a little better job at pass protection. We need our young receivers to get a little better at blocking downfield. We just need some tweaking on O, IMO, to be just as high-powered as anybody in the North, and maybe as good as anybody in the Big XII over the next few years.


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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by JCloned2 View Post
    It was more than "looking at trying" It was past that stage...not a commitment by either side, but from what I know was looking positive.
    That just makes Chizik's leaving worse. It would have been interesting to see how our offense would have done next year in that case.



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    jcloned

    I agree. One guy I would also consider is Bryan Harsin from Boise State. I don't know if he would come to ISU, but I'm guessing we could offer him a raise.



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by jumbopackage View Post

    The Big XII loses a lot of talent on offenses in the next year or two. There are an insane number of great QBs (at least at the college level) in the Big XII this year. When those guys start going away, maybe the D isn't stressed quite so badly, and the O doesn't have to win games on it's own.

    Just as quickly as the Offenses rose in the Big XII, they can fall.

    .
    Agree to a point, it isn't just about the current crop of Big 12 QB's, they clearly help make a coach able to execute the offensive philosophy, but they are just part of what is taking place in college football. Offenses are ahead of defenses and likely to remain so for next several years as defenses figure out how to slow down the newer offensive approaches with college athletes. Don't judge too much based on bowls however, as one weakness I see for some of our Big 12 teams is there offenses rely on precision and if offenses can get a little rusty with the long breaks the bowl schedule creates.



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by mt85 View Post
    jcloned

    I agree. One guy I would also consider is Bryan Harsin from Boise State. I don't know if he would come to ISU, but I'm guessing we could offer him a raise.
    I would be a little nervous with him, mainly because I don't know enough of whats going on there right now truth be told. When Peterson moved up to Head Coach from Offensive Coordinator following the prior coach going to Colorado, many said Peterson was really the brains behind their offense and suggested Colorado might struggle. I don't know enough about Bryan to know if he has similar capacity and view point as Peterson to know if he would be good, but he is from a good "tree"



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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    Quote Originally Posted by JCloned2 View Post
    Agree to a point, it isn't just about the current crop of Big 12 QB's, they clearly help make a coach able to execute the offensive philosophy, but they are just part of what is taking place in college football. Offenses are ahead of defenses and likely to remain so for next several years as defenses figure out how to slow down the newer offensive approaches with college athletes. Don't judge too much based on bowls however, as one weakness I see for some of our Big 12 teams is there offenses rely on precision and if offenses can get a little rusty with the long breaks the bowl schedule creates.
    Is it college football overall, though, or just the Big XII? I haven't seen anything all that amazing offensively out of the SEC, or the Big X, or the Pac-10, or the ACC or the Big East. Sure some of the mid-majors have been doing very well (notably Utah, Boise State, TCU, Tulsa), but there hasn't been anything THAT dynamic out there aside from, say, Florida, and that's hardly a fair comparison, since they have a ton of athletes anyway.

    Who are the offensive powerhouses in the Big XII this year? Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech - sound familiar?

    The Os are still, I think, ahead of the Ds, but is it the players in the system, or is it the system itself?

    Michigan looked awful this year, as an example, and they certainly don't hurt for talent or recruting.

    I guess I'm not solidly in the "Offenses are way ahead of the Defenses and it's going to be that way for a while" camp just yet. There simply isn't enough data out there to make that call JUST yet, IMO.


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    Re: What was to be and the New Offensive Coordinator

    I could be it!! I'm smart!!



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