Coaching or reputation?

Discussion in 'Football' started by Cyrocks, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Cyrocks

    Cyrocks Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2009
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    A little while ago, I posted if ISU had bad athletes or poor coaching.

    In another thread, I was debating with another ISU fan concerning whether ISU was right in letting McCarney go, whether ISU can get to the next level and maintain it consistently, and the reason why some programs can maintain a certain level is because they get all the best recruits.

    I personally believe ISU can get to a higher level and maintain it on a consistent basis. I don't necessarly believe you have to get all the best recruits in order to do so.

    Sure, Iowa State is not getting the "blue chip" recruits like the USC's and the Texas' of the world, but I think a good coach can bring enough good athletes in and make them believe in the system to have a solid program.

    I refuse to let people -- whether they be Hawk fans, Panther fans, Nebraska fans or whoever -- tell me that ISU fans should be happy going 4-8 or 5-7 most years with an occasional 6-6, 7-5 years thrown in and be ecstatic going 8-4 or 9-3 every 10 or 15 years.

    In other words, I should be happy if ISU gets to be an average football team and content with playing on the blue turf field in Boise for bowl games all the time? I don't think so.
     
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  2. DaddyMac

    DaddyMac Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
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    Define "higher level"?

    In fb, I think it's entirely possible for ISU to be a consistent winning record program. I don't see what that isn't unachievable.

    Now do I think ISU will regularly compete at the level of 9-10-11 win seasons? No I don't. Only a scant few programs can - and those are traditional programs at that.

    ISU and Ames will ALWAYS have a disadvantage in recruiting. Few will deny that. But having a solid program will draw players. Perhaps not a ton - not enough to be nationally competitive on anything resembling a continual basis. But enough to keep ISU in the mix and when the stars align, we could have a "special" season.

    Right now, I'd like to see CPR establish some consistent winning seasons, even at the 6-7 win mark. AND avoid the ultra-low marks of 1 and 2 wins. I'm not looking for conference crowns or major bowls - yet. We need steps.

    To answer your title question - I think ISU's biggest obstacle is reputation. We're a known loser in FB. But I think players look at coach as much as anything and coaches make programs. So it is possible for ISU's coaching to change that rep.
     
  3. Al_4_State

    Al_4_State Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2006
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    I agree. I think coaching is absolutely gigantic at the college level. A good coach can make a weak program a power. If Urban Meyer had stayed at Utah, they wouldn't be in the Mountain West right now (i know they've maintained success, but still).
     
  4. Cyrocks

    Cyrocks Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2009
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    I don't disagree with any of your points.

    I understand ISU needs to take baby steps. Take next season, for example. I want ISU to win every game, but I know a 5-7 or 6-6 record is a bit more realistic. Then you are absolutely right, work from that base and avoid the 3-9, 2-10, 1-11 seasons.

    To answer your question, I would love to see the ISU football program consistently win 7-9 games a year.
     
  5. djcubby

    djcubby Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2006
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    Two words...Hayden Fry.

    Without him, I don't see the EIU football team being any different than ISU. There was about a 20 year span where EIU didn't do much in football at all, until raisin face arrived. He is the one who turned the team around and they have been "successful" ever since. He was able to recruit TX very well and bring some pretty good recruits to IA.

    I believe that if Johnny Majors would have stayed at ISU, the same thing could have happened here.

    Danny Mac was almost there, but being so close and not winning the North title really killed any momentum that we had.
     
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  6. isunorth

    isunorth Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2009
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    I agree with the posts below.

    I think the immediate goal is to build a solid base where were are competing every year, hovering above .500 and consistently going to bowl games. This will keep fans interested, money coming in, and recruits considering coming to Ames.

    Then, those years where we have a favorable schedule, pull off a couple upsets, or otherwise catch some breaks you're looking at 9-10 wins. As it stands now, we're hovering below .500 and those "good years" we're winning 7 and going to a mediocre bowl game.

    It's going to be a process and I am hopeful that our new staff can pull it off. I think the problem with Mac was that we appeared to be close to establishing that base, but then started to move backwards again.
     
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  7. DaddyMac

    DaddyMac Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
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    Agreed. And I think the vast majority of ISU fans see it this way.

    The problem for Danny Mac is he got us to a semblence of consistency, but never delivered on the "big upset" or anything like the magical season. Instead we whizzed away two trips to the conf championship at an all time low in the Big XII North and followed it up with some pretty nasty lows.

    IMO, if he wins either of those two games to go to the conf championship, he's still sitting in that office.
     
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  8. isunorth

    isunorth Well-Known Member

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    +1
     
  9. cmhawks99

    cmhawks99 Well-Known Member

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    #9 cmhawks99, Apr 15, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009

    This happens to be a subject I love, and I have thought long and hard about it with lots of time in research. Without going into exquisite detail, you do not have to sign consistently high classes. You do have to recruit well. You also should not be satisfied with mediocre results. All the same it takes the right situation to get above water.

    USC & Texas as you pointed out have always signed these great classes yet for most of the 80's and 90's they sucked. So obviously it was more than "great" recruits. It also took a loooonnnngggg time to get their ships righted.

    Furthermore, and more importantly ISU & Iowa will never sign consistently great classes and they don't have to either. At least based on "great" rankings anyway. I've said this before but there are basically 15 "elite" recruiting schools and they will always be the same. Yet they still stumble often, all the while continually signing terrific classes. If Pete Carroll showed up in Ames or IC tomorrow they would NOT suddenly begin signing regular top 10 classes. I don’t think they even would if they won 2 NC’s in the next 5 years. Nebbie never did anyway.

    The Iowa's, Wisconsin's West Va's, Va Tech's etc of the world don't sign consistently great classes yet still have plenty of NFL alumni showing they too had good players despite their poorer rankings.


    IMO these are the main ingredients to building a consistent football program/team………………………

    1) A good coach who can stir passion in the fan base, who sticks around, has a “structural” vision and processes in place to “build” his team and make it better daily.

    2) Fan buy in and the ability of the coach to translate his message to said fans and recruits.

    3) An idea of what kind of players you can consistently recruit and where to get them that will be successful in your system and conference.

    4) A great defensive mind/system that you can plug players in and out of that never changes and makes it difficult for opponents to beat you with big plays.

    5) Terrific to good line play year to year

    6) Consistent, not great, but consistent QB play year to year.

    7) Good to very good facilities and university support. Which is greatly facilitated by a glib, well respected coach and a consistent money flow.

    8) Finally and probably most important is a rabid fan following that gets you money flow and national recognition even when you blow.


    Chad



     
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  10. Cyrocks

    Cyrocks Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2009
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    +1,000
     
  11. isunorth

    isunorth Well-Known Member

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    As much as I hate to say it, I think Iowa has a pretty good model. They seem to have eliminated the really bad years like we have and also seem to seize the opportunity to make a great run in years where things are in their favor. They also have a few signature wins in recent years that we're lacking.
     
  12. intrepid27

    intrepid27 Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2006
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    Do I see us being a consistent conference champion? Probably not. Can we be much better? FO SHO!!. Look at some of the programs that were national powers at some point: 1940's - Army and Minnsota, 1950's- Michigan State, 1960'- Ole Miss, ect. There is no reason ISU cannot put together a good run and get some national attention. I'd cite Rutgers and Missouri as a case study. Better yet- Kansas State is a perfect example of what the right coach can do.
     
  13. dunar

    dunar Well-Known Member

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    And they got Bill back... I would add to it, right coach at the right time! I don't see KSU going back to the days of top 10s under Snyder this time around.
     
  14. cyhiphopp

    cyhiphopp Well-Known Member

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    I hate Boise State with a passion, but they are a good example of a team that has succeeded based on a consistent system, rather than outstanding recruits. They also have the advantage of being in a overall bad conference.
    ISU at least has the advantage of being in the B12 North which still does not have an outright favorite every year. If we have a coach that sticks around and establishes a system, we can see consistent wins in the future.
    There is no quick fix at ISU unfortunately. Schools with better reputations have been able to hire the next big coaching prospect and had their programs turned around quickly. ISU has to build up slowly.
     
  15. cmhawks99

    cmhawks99 Well-Known Member

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    I would agree that Iowa has a decent model and I would concur with the poster who said Iowa was lucky to get Hayden Fry. Hayden most assuredly saved Iowa football. Now a couple disclosures are in order there.

    The old timers tell me (good guys not delusional homers) that Iowa, even when they blew, and they were baaaddd still drew 50 thousand plus fans game in and game out. So Iowa for whatever reason has always been the school most favored in the sate it seems. Even when ISU was good they didn't generate that kind of fan support way back when. Iowa has always had a leg up for whatever reason.

    Also I think it is important to note (and I doubt most Iowa fans know this and those that do don’t want to admit it) But the Big 10 was not near the conference in the 80's that it is now. I know it's popular over here to talk about how lousy the Big 10 is but truly it is tough to win each and every week. Even the scrub teams, just like in the SEC, can beat the best teams in the conference any Saturday if things go their way.

    Back in the 80's it really was Michigan, Ohio St and then Iowa. In fact I'm not positive Iowa wasn't the 2nd winningest team in that time frame. Wisconsin was terrible. Minne more of the same, PU was very spotty, the same goes with MSU and Illinois and although IU had a couple decent teams they were their usual selves and Northwestern was heinous. Furthermore there was no PSU. Honestly as important as Hayden was in the ground work, what KF did coming back to a down program and moving it back into the top 4 consistently was no small feat itself. Sometimes older, or less impartial Iowa fans convince themselves that HF is far superior to KF and though there is no Iowa without Hayden, it is a much tougher Big 10 now-a-days!

    Chad
     
  16. Wingback

    Wingback Active Member

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    #16 Wingback, Apr 15, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
    In reality Cyrocks, it is a combination of things, coaching, reputation, facilities, recruiting, just a lot of things. And unfortunately, in most of those areas, Iowa State has historically lagged behind.

    There is no doubt that coaching is at the top of the list. I have always felt that, based on the recruiting ratings put out by Scout, Rivals, et al, there is no way Dan McCarney should have ever had the success he did in Ames. His recruiting classes never cracked the top 50...never. Yet, somehow he found a way to compete for Big 12 North titles and go to bowl games. It can be done. The question is, can success be sustained without at least some very good athletes.

    The problem ISU runs into with recruiting unfortunately is pretty simple. If I make a recruiting trip to Ames one week and to Lincoln the next week, as a recruit I see two vastly different pictures. In Ames I see improving facilities, but still light years away from what I see in Lincoln. In Ames, I see a 50,000 seat stadium that is full some of the time, not full at other times. In Lincoln, I see an 85,000 seat stadium filled to capacity (even the spring game at $10 per seat is sold out). When I walk through the complex in Ames I see a handful of minor bowl trophies and pictures of some All-Conference performers but not much more than that. When I walk through the complex in Lincoln, I see five national championship trophies, countless conference championship trophies/banners, numerous major bowl trophies, pictures of Heisman winners, Outland winners, All Conference performers and All Americans. That's a pretty tall mountain to climb for an Iowa State coach to try to recruit against. Can it be done? Yes. But it isn't easy.

    Iowa State needs to be very prudent in their recruiting. They need to establish areas where they know they can have success and work them hard. They need to understand which players fit into their system and go after them hard (let the other schools fight over the blue chip prima donas). Certainly from time-to-time, you are going to land a four or even a five-star guy, but it won't be done consistently. They need to assess current needs and make sure they consistently fill them. And, most importantly, when they get young men to make a commitment to Iowa State, they need to make sure outstanding coaches are there (I believe that is the case currently) who can bring out every ounce of their potential and then some.

    The point certainly isn't that Cyclone fans shouldn't have high expectations. Of course they should. But the expectations need to be realistic. And every time ISU doesn't win the Big 12 North, people shouldn't be calling for a coaching change.

    Realistically, with the current 12 game schedule, Jamie Pollard should be scheduling, in addition to Iowa, which I would consider over the long haul a toss-up, three non-conference games that he can reasonably expect a decent Iowa State team can beat. I am not one who is impressed with non-conference schedules that include Southwestern College of Meatcutters and Oklahoma City Truck Driving Institute, but Iowa State should be scheduling lower half BCS conference opponents (the likes of say Kentucky or Mississippi State from the SEC, maybe Duke out of the ACC, say Indiana out of the Little 11, or someone like Washington State or Stanford out of the Pac 10), maybe a mid-level team from say the WAC or Mountain West, and even some upper level teams from the lesser Bowl Championship Division conferences. Teams that have a little stature on paper, but who Iowa State can be reasonably expected to beat. If you win three of your four non-conference games, and then can win three or four conference games, you're bowling every year and people are feeling reasonably good about things.

    If you can accomplish that - good coaching, prudent recruiting, and realistic scheduling - then as some have stated, if you catch a break here and there, maybe pull an upset or have a Seneca Wallace directing your offense, from time-to-time you'll find yourself with a 9 or 10 win season and who knows going bowling on January 1. I think a realistic expectation should be no less than .500 in any season, with an occasional 9 to 10 win season when things land just right. Winning the Conference championship and competing for January 1 bowl games and national championships consistently just isn't going to happen.
     
  17. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    The best writing I've ever seen a Hawk do on this site. Good analysis!:notworthy:
     
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  18. LindenCy

    LindenCy Keep and Pride - It works
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    I still am not sure that we shouldn't have passed on that invite. That was a disaster waiting to happen.
     
  19. GrimesCy

    GrimesCy Member

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    Cot man says "We are going to knock em on their *** and not help them back up" " I want want the front four in the back field wrecking shop" " I want the 3 linebackers knocking their d***s in the dirt" I'm tired of losing ...so drop the skirt and play some BIG 12 Football"

    "There are no free Cotstache rides"
     
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  20. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    #20 Bobber, Apr 15, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
    Amen Brother! You're setting youself up for average if you buy into what they're saying.

    I also refuse to have those same fans tell me it was a bad idea to let Coach McCarney go.
     

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