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ChiRedbirdfan
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Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:50 pm

Total Red wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:49 pm
ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:04 pm
Total Red wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:01 pm

Really? I've seen 4 head football coaches fired during my time as a Redbird Football fan. They can all attest to the fact that there is indeed pressure to perform.
Yep hose coaches were awful but mediocre is ok

So all of our coaches have been awful or medicore and you would fire them all even though the current coach is the one guy that has taken us to the National Championship game level. Rinse. Repeat.

I hope you understand that this isn't the best HC gig in FCS football. We've got some advantages here but also some disadvantages. Did you notice that all 7 D-I teams in Illinois lost this past weekend (NIU, SIU, EIU, WIU, Illinois State, Ill, Northwestern)? If you fire coaches that have performed well by the historical standards of the program they are at you'll soon be looking at "mediocre" performance as the good old days.
Hey TR..YOU brought up the firing of coaches not me. That is your topic and do not try to imply I said things that race through your head. Total B.S
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Total Red
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Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:18 pm

ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:50 pm

Hey TR..YOU brought up the firing of coaches not me. That is your topic and do not try to imply I said things that race through your head. Total B.S
YOU brought up the topic of being ok with "mediocre" performance. So what are you going to do about it? Would you fire Coach Spack for performance you deem "mediocre" or are you ok with it?
JHBird
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Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:26 pm

chuckie1980 wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:33 pm
Thanks, TotalRed!! I no longer feel the need to comment. I agree 100%.

Another thing that struck me watching the game yesterday...it is easier for a football team to be blown out than a basketball team.
I always felt the same. In football, if your down 28 points, you're usually beat physically and so it's harder to get off the sneid. In basketball, you hit a couple of three's and away you go.
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StLRedbird
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:37 am

fourthandshort wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:54 am
this in a nutshell, but still more ups than downs .... it's not easy playing in the best conference in FCS (+ an FBS game). The last 3 years have been a roller coaster.

As I said in earlier post, the one positive on offense ... we ran ok at times against an elite defense, but more importantly, I think Davis showed he could weather a very tough game and keep hanging tough in pocket. he didn't play well, but it looked like he played tough and hung in there trying to make plays .. nothing like the first 3 games. Let's get Edgar back and continue developing the young receiver group.

Most people thought we would be 3-2 at this point .. and we are. Season is not over because we had a bad day against best team in FCS ... FCS history.
"They outplayed us and outcoached us in every phase of the game." At least the coach owned it, but I'm not sure what else he could have said. But I've moved on. SIU Saturday. We'll learn more about the mettle of this team.
ChiRedbirdfan
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:09 am

Total Red wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:18 pm
ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:50 pm

Hey TR..YOU brought up the firing of coaches not me. That is your topic and do not try to imply I said things that race through your head. Total B.S
YOU brought up the topic of being ok with "mediocre" performance. So what are you going to do about it? Would you fire Coach Spack for performance you deem "mediocre" or are you ok with it?
You don't change the level of expectations by merely firing a coach or coaches (although at times that can be part of it). ISU, from the top down (and esp the top on the university side) needs to determine what is acceptable/expected athletic performance and what is not acceptable and set those level of expectations and manage accordingly. From my perspective it seems ISU's athletic performance over the last 8 years has been acceptable as university and athletic dept admin seem to be happy with the performance/status quo. Overall, the fans that remain tend be to accepting of the status quo and those that want more tend to lose interest in ISU sports and move on . ...aka falling attendance/donations..etc. For football I believe ISU should expect more consistent success esp when playing at the FCS level.
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Total Red
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:04 am

ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:09 am
ISU, from the top down (and esp the top on the university side) needs to determine what is acceptable/expected athletic performance and what is not acceptable and set those level of expectations and manage accordingly.
What does any of that mean? What specific course of action would you like to see taken? I asked if setting expectation levels involved firing the FB coach and thus far you have punted on that one so just how do you "manage accordingly?"
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Redbirdwarrior
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:34 am

If I may, there is one major thing that I have noticed that we switched away from after 2015 that bugs me: A read option, dual threat offense.

I know, I know. Tre Roberson isn't going to fall into our lap every year (or every 10), but I just don't think running a pocket passer QB system is the way to win in college football anymore. You need to keep the linebackers guessing or getting the D to waste a defender on a spy. We fell in love with Kolbe in high school because he could throw it to the moon, but he wasn't really a threat because that was about all he could do. I'm seeing more of the same with Davis.

We have QBs that have come in and been able to run the read option well, but refuse to really give them a shot because they don't have accurate arms over 30 yards. We run it from time to time in special packages or up 30 with backups, but never stick to that style and I think it has cost us AT LEAST 4 games since 2015, maybe as many as 7.

Tre Roberson and Marshaun Coprich were good players (I argue that James Robinson is a MUCH better all around RB than Coprich), but their numbers were bolstered by a system that didn't allow defenders to bum rush the line.

In the future, get away from 3 star QBs who plant and throw into buckets from 50 yards, but can't make plays with vision and speed. Go find me a QB that can run a 4.6 40 and spent 2+ years in a read option offense in high school. I don't care if he overthrows guys when chucking it deep. If he can hit the 8-15 yard pass, you have the keys to success all around.

Just my two cents.
CaliRdBrd
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:07 pm

Maybe it’s time to move on from Spack?
I mean, you could pinpoint his greatest success being 100% related to a talented player (Tre) falling into his lap. You could make the same argument about Nagy and Mack, but I digress

To me the more telling issue was that, after his success in getting to the championship, not one P5 school seemed to be sniffing around. That, and the fact, that he seems content to stay at ISU when most quality coaches are constantly looking for the next big challenge, is telling.
Just sayin’....
CaliRdBrd
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:09 pm

Redbirdwarrior wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:34 am
If I may, there is one major thing that I have noticed that we switched away from after 2015 that bugs me: A read option, dual threat offense.

I know, I know. Tre Roberson isn't going to fall into our lap every year (or every 10), but I just don't think running a pocket passer QB system is the way to win in college football anymore. You need to keep the linebackers guessing or getting the D to waste a defender on a spy. We fell in love with Kolbe in high school because he could throw it to the moon, but he wasn't really a threat because that was about all he could do. I'm seeing more of the same with Davis.

We have QBs that have come in and been able to run the read option well, but refuse to really give them a shot because they don't have accurate arms over 30 yards. We run it from time to time in special packages or up 30 with backups, but never stick to that style and I think it has cost us AT LEAST 4 games since 2015, maybe as many as 7.

Tre Roberson and Marshaun Coprich were good players (I argue that James Robinson is a MUCH better all around RB than Coprich), but their numbers were bolstered by a system that didn't allow defenders to bum rush the line.

In the future, get away from 3 star QBs who plant and throw into buckets from 50 yards, but can't make plays with vision and speed. Go find me a QB that can run a 4.6 40 and spent 2+ years in a read option offense in high school. I don't care if he overthrows guys when chucking it deep. If he can hit the 8-15 yard pass, you have the keys to success all around.

Just my two cents.
Great point!
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TIMMY
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:10 pm

Redbirdwarrior wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:34 am
If I may, there is one major thing that I have noticed that we switched away from after 2015 that bugs me: A read option, dual threat offense.

I know, I know. Tre Roberson isn't going to fall into our lap every year (or every 10), but I just don't think running a pocket passer QB system is the way to win in college football anymore. You need to keep the linebackers guessing or getting the D to waste a defender on a spy. We fell in love with Kolbe in high school because he could throw it to the moon, but he wasn't really a threat because that was about all he could do. I'm seeing more of the same with Davis.

We have QBs that have come in and been able to run the read option well, but refuse to really give them a shot because they don't have accurate arms over 30 yards. We run it from time to time in special packages or up 30 with backups, but never stick to that style and I think it has cost us AT LEAST 4 games since 2015, maybe as many as 7.

Tre Roberson and Marshaun Coprich were good players (I argue that James Robinson is a MUCH better all around RB than Coprich), but their numbers were bolstered by a system that didn't allow defenders to bum rush the line.

In the future, get away from 3 star QBs who plant and throw into buckets from 50 yards, but can't make plays with vision and speed. Go find me a QB that can run a 4.6 40 and spent 2+ years in a read option offense in high school. I don't care if he overthrows guys when chucking it deep. If he can hit the 8-15 yard pass, you have the keys to success all around.

Just my two cents.
I agree with you that a dual threat QB gives you versatility and Tre was the type of QB. He was great in that offense. Where I might differ with you a little bit is the deep ball. 8-15 yard passes are nice, but if you can't throw it deep I'm not going to respect it and I'm gonna run a safety up into the box. I think that was part of Tre's strength. Real damn fast and he could throw that knockout pass that kept DC's honest.

I thought Davis was going to be that guy, but he's turned out to be a drop back QB. I sure wouldn't lay awake at night worried about him running. Tre was a DC's nightmare.
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Redbird28
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:04 pm

CaliRdBrd wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:07 pm
Maybe it’s time to move on from Spack?
I mean, you could pinpoint his greatest success being 100% related to a talented player (Tre) falling into his lap. You could make the same argument about Nagy and Mack, but I digress

To me the more telling issue was that, after his success in getting to the championship, not one P5 school seemed to be sniffing around. That, and the fact, that he seems content to stay at ISU when most quality coaches are constantly looking for the next big challenge, is telling.
Just sayin’....
That's simply not true and I've seen you say that more than once so I'll just say this; I was told by a current HS HC who used to be a B1G Assistant that Spack got a request for a private meeting with Purdue in what I was told was a test to see if he would come and talk even though ISU was headed in to preparation for Frisco. What came of it, I do not know, but to say that he wasn't on the radar isn't correct or "telling".

If possible, please hook me up with a list of guys that have been snagged from the FCS ranks recently into P5 jobs simply because they made it to the championship game.

The only name that even remotely comes to mind is Craig Bohl and he's not at a P5. He's hanging out in Wyoming coaching the Cowboys, and it took him 3 consecutive years of actually winning FCS titles before he got that non-P5 gig. The river runs the other way with fired P5's going back to FCS to take on gigs far more often than some P5 taking a chance on an FCS HC as their next HC. So, it doesn't seem exactly fair to judge Spack based on who from the lower rung FBS conferences have or haven't inquired on his availability.

Do we oftentimes talk about how great it would be for ISU to move up to one of those lower tier FBS conferences? Yes. However, that doesn't necessarily mean a 57 year old coach pulling down $300k a year that is comfortable in a program he has established wants to move up for what, a 100k salary increase to start all over again? I guess my point is, how do you know he hasn't had his interest gauged? Just because we don't hear about it doesn't mean it hasn't been broached.
ricohill
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:28 pm

I know people want to get on Spack, but having been around for a while I appreciate what he has done.

Jim Heacock 37-49-2 (.432)
Todd Barry 24-24 (.500)
Denver Johnson 45-46 (.495)
Brock Spack - 74-45 (.622)

Even if you take just from 2016 his 21-18 overall record would be better than almost any ISU coach.

ISU football is not an easy job right now and it is only getting tougher as schools in the league pass us by with their investment into football. This isn't basketball where Dan Muller has the best job in the league and can't win.

If Spack leaves I fear what happens. Do you really want Larry Lyons hiring a football coach? What are the odds of getting someone better than Spack?
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Total Red
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Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:54 pm

ricohill wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:28 pm
I know people want to get on Spack, but having been around for a while I appreciate what he has done.

Jim Heacock 37-49-2 (.432)
Todd Berry 24-24 (.500)
Denver Johnson 45-46 (.495)
Brock Spack - 74-45 (.622)

Even if you take just from 2016 his 21-18 overall record would be better than almost any ISU coach.
:text-+1: Agreed. There are lots of ways to measure coaching success but comparing a coach to others at the same school is one of the fairest and most relevant.
fourthandshort
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:48 am

Total Red wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:54 pm
ricohill wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:28 pm
I know people want to get on Spack, but having been around for a while I appreciate what he has done.

Jim Heacock 37-49-2 (.432)
Todd Berry 24-24 (.500)
Denver Johnson 45-46 (.495)
Brock Spack - 74-45 (.622)

Even if you take just from 2016 his 21-18 overall record would be better than almost any ISU coach.
:text-+1: Agreed. There are lots of ways to measure coaching success but comparing a coach to others at the same school is one of the fairest and most relevant.
Good points for sure.

And what about the strength of the conference in each of these coaches eras, .. how should we view their records relative to strength of schedule .... MVFC or Gateway ?? Sure there were very good teams periodically and a few good years for conference. But I would be willing to bet a lot of money, none of those years or records faced the likes of the current MVFC since 2010 .. particularly with NDSU and SDSU having joined the conference just before then.

Spack was hired in 2009. MVFC has inarguably been the top conference (per Massey Composite of 35 to 40+ polls) since 2011. The era of 2010 & prior belonged to Colonial, but 2011 & subsequent clear belongs to MVFC. And to those (on AGS or here) who would argue, most of that success is NDSU, I crunched the playoff records of the MVFC excluding NDSU and all head to head conference games.

The MVFC excluding NDSU has a .630 win % in the playoffs since 2010. Of course, NDSU has about a 95% win % in that time, losing only in 2010 round of 8 and 2016 final 4. The next 3 toughest conferences in this timeframe all have about a .500 win % ... in order, Colonial, Big Sky, and Southland. But if you remove the most dominant team (EWU from Big Sky and SHSU from Southland), like I did for MVFC excl NDSU .. the Big Sky win % for all other teams in playoff drops to .360 and Southland drops to .250. Colonial is about .500 win % no matter how you slice it as far as excluding their best teams (JMU or UNH).

This speaks directly to 2 things:

- the strength and depth of the MVFC goes well beyond NDSU's success. And given 6 other MVFC teams have lost to NDSU in playoffs, there may have been even more success for those MVFC teams. I can think of one in particular in 2014 :D

- MVFC has clearly got screwed the most consistently out of bids .. and higher seeds IMO. In theory, if the selection committee is doing a perfect job, all conferences would be around .500 win %. MVFC excl NDSU (.950 win %) ihas a .630 win % since 2010. MVFC excluding NDSU is still well above .500.

So between the MVFC playoff record and the Massey Composite (grown from 35 to 45 polls), MVFC has clearly been the top conference starting a year after Spack was hired.

I don't think any of the other 3 coaches had that ,much competition to deal with every year of their respective tenures.

Yes the last 3 years have been a roller coaster of highs and lows that drive us nuts ... but we play in the toughest conference, possibly in the history of FCS. Like it or not, going 4-4 in this conference is pretty good.

IMO Spack's main weakness is the inconsistency of the pass attack and QB recruitment and development. Need to fix that area for sure, but this program is otherwise on very solid footing.
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ricohill
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:07 am

fourthandshort wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:48 am
Total Red wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:54 pm
ricohill wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:28 pm
I know people want to get on Spack, but having been around for a while I appreciate what he has done.

Jim Heacock 37-49-2 (.432)
Todd Berry 24-24 (.500)
Denver Johnson 45-46 (.495)
Brock Spack - 74-45 (.622)

Even if you take just from 2016 his 21-18 overall record would be better than almost any ISU coach.
:text-+1: Agreed. There are lots of ways to measure coaching success but comparing a coach to others at the same school is one of the fairest and most relevant.
Good points for sure.

And what about the strength of the conference in each of these coaches eras, .. how should we view their records relative to strength of schedule .... MVFC or Gateway ?? Sure there were very good teams periodically and a few good years for conference. But I would be willing to bet a lot of money, none of those years or records faced the likes of the current MVFC since 2010 .. particularly with NDSU and SDSU having joined the conference just before then.

Spack was hired in 2009. MVFC has inarguably been the top conference (per Massey Composite of 35 to 40+ polls) since 2011. The era of 2010 & prior belonged to Colonial, but 2011 & subsequent clear belongs to MVFC. And to those (on AGS or here) who would argue, most of that success is NDSU, I crunched the playoff records of the MVFC excluding NDSU and all head to head conference games.

The MVFC excluding NDSU has a .630 win % in the playoffs since 2010. Of course, NDSU has about a 95% win % in that time, losing only in 2010 round of 8 and 2016 final 4. The next 3 toughest conferences in this timeframe all have about a .500 win % ... in order, Colonial, Big Sky, and Southland. But if you remove the most dominant team (EWU from Big Sky and SHSU from Southland), like I did for MVFC excl NDSU .. the Big Sky win % for all other teams in playoff drops to .360 and Southland drops to .250. Colonial is about .500 win % no matter how you slice it as far as excluding their best teams (JMU or UNH).

This speaks directly to 2 things:

- the strength and depth of the MVFC goes well beyond NDSU's success. And given 6 other MVFC teams have lost to NDSU in playoffs, there may have been even more success for those MVFC teams. I can think of one in particular in 2014 :D

- MVFC has clearly got screwed the most consistently out of bids .. and higher seeds IMO. In theory, if the selection committee is doing a perfect job, all conferences would be around .500 win %. MVFC excl NDSU (.950 win %) ihas a .630 win % since 2010. MVFC excluding NDSU is still well above .500.

So between the MVFC playoff record and the Massey Composite (grown from 35 to 45 polls), MVFC has clearly been the top conference starting a year after Spack was hired.

I don't think any of the other 3 coaches had that ,much competition to deal with every year of their respective tenures.

Yes the last 3 years have been a roller coaster of highs and lows that drive us nuts ... but we play in the toughest conference, possibly in the history of FCS. Like it or not, going 4-4 in this conference is pretty good.

IMO Spack's main weakness is the inconsistency of the pass attack and QB recruitment and development. Need to fix that area for sure, but this program is otherwise on very solid footing.
Great points. This is why I have so much built up anger towards what the athletic department hasn't done with the football program. Spack has taken things to a whole new level. Even when Todd Barry was here, tailgating was maybe 100 of us in the parking lot behind the end zone. Now football gameday is a huge thing.

The fact they can't leverage the success they've had by getting football the facilities and resources they need to keep it up is disappointing. Everyone wants to be critical of Spack's recruiting, but it can't be easy when schools in his own league are building top-notch facilities and ISU is sitting back and doing nothing. Spack can't even show a diagram of a practice facility because there is no planning or vision.
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Total Red
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:53 am

Fourth, solid analysis. Don't forget that SoCon used to be a power conference. The best teams left but before they did the tide was already turned in favor of the MVFC. Our playoff win at Appalachian St. was a big part of that.
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Total Red
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:59 am

Rico, Goredbirds did post a design for the indoor practice facility but it didn't draw much of a response. I think we will eventually get something that is scaled back from what we originally saw.
Reggie Redbird
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:08 pm

Total Red wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:59 am
Rico, Goredbirds did post a design for the indoor practice facility but it didn't draw much of a response. I think we will eventually get something that is scaled back from what we originally saw.
I believe the drawing was slapping our logo on a YSU design. Just to put a picture with a concept. We’re there any changes from that?

In terms of coaches, both Berry and Spack took over teams and advanced them to success we have never seen before. TB got an offer at a Dream school for him at a significant raise. That’s hard to pass up.

Spack could have went to a G6 school and made more, but for some people, it isn’t all about the money. Spack also isn’t some flashy guy (Ex. PJ Fleck or a hot OC who is going to come in with a bang). Spack is going to take longer to build a program, which many P5 teams don’t perceive they have or want to spend. If Spack was 10-15 years younger, that may be different.

These next 3 games are critical. You could argue we could win all 3 and then we’re sitting at 6-2 and people are talking up the playoffs again. Lose one, and people will be in panic mode again.
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Chi-bird
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:48 pm

CaliRdBrd wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:07 pm
Maybe it’s time to move on from Spack?
I mean, you could pinpoint his greatest success being 100% related to a talented player (Tre) falling into his lap. You could make the same argument about Nagy and Mack, but I digress

To me the more telling issue was that, after his success in getting to the championship, not one P5 school seemed to be sniffing around. That, and the fact, that he seems content to stay at ISU when most quality coaches are constantly looking for the next big challenge, is telling.
Just sayin’....
This is exactly why I think Spack IS the right man for the job. ISU is not going to go from a subpar (or worse) program (from the 70s - through the Denver Johnson era) to a Boise State or Kansas State overnight. I'm not sure what the goal is, but I know I want to see the program improve over time albeit a year or two here and there where mediocrity is going to occur.

Having consistency at the head coaching position is one way to do it. Spack is allowed some mediocre years...it's not as if he has inherited a winning program, people. With our budget, lack of resources, average facilities, with a dwindling Illinois population, a minimal metropolitan area (#'s wise), with a saturated state (how many D1 football programs are there), and with a university that cranks out significantly more teachers than Dr.'s, Bankers, etc. (not a whole lot of rich alumni), you can't really say we have the greatest environment/conditions to be an elite program.

Do I think Spack and the coaches can get a little more innovative? Sure. Do I think he's substantially raised the character of this football team? Absolutely. We have some great young men on this team. The culture is not the problem. We need to get better players over time, and probably some better coordinators. But I will cheer for this coach and these great student athletes through mediocre years and good years because I believe they are doing things the right way, despite not always winning.
JHBird
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:03 pm

I was hoping for better results this year, but who knows how the rest of the year turns out. He pretty much overhauled his coaching staff the last few years, but the team doesn't seem any different. That's what bothers me more than anything....
I'm just hoping for a couple road wins the next few weeks.
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