2019-20 Coaching Discussion/Carousel

Do they understand the challenges of a school that won't bend on academics? Who, of all the coaches mentioned, has had success at possibly the most challenging Division I school, has ties to Illinois, and isn't afraid of a school where people will say you can't win? I can think of only one.
There are some legitimate questions in here, but I'm gonna be blunt for a bit. Yes, every coach that comes here knows to some extent the troubles academics put on recruiting; maybe not the entire story, but its not something hidden deep down. No, we aren't the most challenging D1 school if thats what you're implying. Having ties to Illinois is a big plus, but definitely not a requirement by any means (I'd say having Midwest ties is much more important) and no coach comes to a school in fear of people saying he cant win. You gotta have some ego when you're a HC of a D1 school.

I'd label all of those as negatives as to why a coach wouldn't come here, rather than them being ignorant of the situation they're stepping into.

I think a big question to ask yourselves: who really wants this job? Is it a stepping stone or a destination? Do you think these coaches will stay at Illinois for their contract or will they bail for a better "football" school?
I'll admit, this is a negative. But you're seriously concerned now, after what will amount to 4 straight seasons of losing football, to a coach jumping ship after a good season or two? We are most definitely viewed as a stepping stone to a really big chunk HC candidates. Building a program and being viewed as a stepping stone are not mutually exclusive.

If we have a coach poached from us, it means we are in a better (probably much better) place than we are now. Avoiding candidates who might view us as a stepping stone is up there in the HOF for bad takes in this thread, though I think the whole "I would rather lose running any offense other than the triple option, then to having a winning record" takes the number one spot.
 
Cincinnati plays a weaker schedule year over year maybe we need to move to a different conference so are chances are greater for a win...Beckmen was winning at Toledo when he came here.
Every time you make a post you are digging yourself in a deeper hole.. so many bad takes.
The staff we have is not working and will not work. If they stay for another year recruiting will fall off, ticket sales will go down even more, and we will continue to sink as a program. No coach in their right mind is going to look at Lovie's horrendous record over 4 years and think "Wow they really didn't give him a chance, so I don't want this job."

To be a literal legend here, all a coach has to do is be average. Just average. 5 to 7 wins a year with competitive football and sprinkle in an 8 or 9 win season every now and then and there will literally be a statue built. New facilities, B10 conference, recruiting proximity, and a $$$ salary are very convincing to most coaches looking for their next move.

Dino Babers wanted this job. We can get someone similar this time around.

There is literal proof in this thread that new coaches almost always improve recruiting as well. And you bring up a weak schedule for Cincy... take a nice hard look at this link: https://www.teamrankings.com/college-football/ranking/schedule-strength-by-other

Illini- 109

Cincy- 12

There is NO excuse for this team to be 2-3 right now. None.
 
South Carolina
Yes it is for now...your trying to compare apples and oranges. Most jobs dont have a message board and constant scrutiny by outsiders like you and I. Also in most jobs your not dealing with students where part of your performance is based on them becoming better contributors to our society as well as student athletes. So yes I think back to previous coaches like Zook who we ran out of town. Beckmen who truly needed to be fired. Cubit who was given no real commitment by the university or the fan base. What story has that painted for recruits and their parents? Its ugly and its plastered all over these boards and in the media. So then were going to hire another coach and tell the kids dont worry everyone is committed...give me a break.
Without getting into a debate about moral obligations, I can tell you this: winning holds more weight with recruits than character building under Lovie Smith. And right now we aren't doing much winning
 
This is purely my personal opinion but I believe this is the conundrum Josh has on his hands. If Lovie sits down and makes a convincing argument that this roster, with another year of offseason work and the addition of Luke Ford and Marquez Beason, can finally be the team for which the “this is the year” moniker rings true, does he buy that explanation enough to do just that..,give it one more year? I don’t think it’s out of the question that he would.

Please note, I’m not suggesting this is what Josh SHOULD do. I’m merely talking through the scenarios of what I believe he COULD do. Don’t come beat me up for saying Lovie should be safe. That’s not the conversation.
I think a couple other concerns here that would need to be considered:
1)Next year's recruiting class (2021) >> this years (2020 coming) in terms of numbers & thus importance - I think there is a good argument to take our recruiting lumps this coming year vs. 2021 when we will need a full class
2) Next year's team should be better than this years, it would be nice to give the next coach a decent chance in year 1... I'm really scared for the year after all the current JRs graduate
...Keeping Lovie this year just seems like doubling down at this point, I still think Whitman is too smart for this, and as an example he made a move to hire Lovie day one at what seemed like an impossible time to hire a coach & although I think you could argue in hindsight Groce could/should have went a year earlier, he did make that decision at the risk & eventual outcome of losing what was likely to be Groce's best recruiting classes & was able to snag Underwood the following year...so I have a hard time pretending I know enough of the behind the scenes to call question to that timing.
 
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I think a couple other concerns here that would need to be considered:
1)Next year's recruiting class (2021) >> this years (2020 coming) in terms of numbers & thus importance - I think there is a good argument to take our recruiting lumps this coming year vs. 2021 when we will need a full class
2) Next year's team should be better than this years, it would be nice to give the next coach a decent chance in year 1... I'm really scared for the year after all the current JRs graduate
...Keeping Lovie this year just seems like doubling down at this point, I still think Whitman is too smart for this, and as an example he made a move to hire Lovie day one at what seemed like an impossible time to hire a coach & although I think you could argue in hindsight Groce could/should have went a year earlier, he did make that decision at the risk & eventual outcome of losing what was likely to be Groce's best recruiting classes & was able to snag Underwood the following year...so I have a hard time pretending I know enough of the behind the scenes to call question to that timing.
All good points.

For note, I posted this hypothetical before the Minnesota debacle. I don't think there's a scenario barring us upsetting Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa or Wisconsin that can talk Josh Whitman into another year.
 
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The only scenario is beating Purdue, Rutgers and Northwestern. Would 5-7 with 3 BIGs do it? My guess is the JW keep Lovie around under that scenario, and frankly I'm not sure I could argue with that. Now how likely is that scenario to happen? @Purdue looks to be a big test. Should we win that one, we ought to beat Rutgers, and then we have to wait until the end of the season.

The 5-7 scenario this year, followed by a better result next year would give us some positive momentum.

I think a likely scenario is the "nightmare scenario." We find enough to beat a banged up Purdue and then Rutgers, so we hold out hope until NW, and we are let down. JW is looking at an uninspiring 4-8. At that point I think he is considering all alternatives.

If we lose at Purdue, I think Lovie must be done.
 
The only scenario is beating Purdue, Rutgers and Northwestern. Would 5-7 with 3 BIGs do it? My guess is the JW keep Lovie around under that scenario, and frankly I'm not sure I could argue with that. Now how likely is that scenario to happen? @Purdue looks to be a big test. Should we win that one, we ought to beat Rutgers, and then we have to wait until the end of the season.

The 5-7 scenario this year, followed by a better result next year would give us some positive momentum.

I think a likely scenario is the "nightmare scenario." We find enough to beat a banged up Purdue and then Rutgers, so we hold out hope until NW, and we are let down. JW is looking at an uninspiring 4-8. At that point I think he is considering all alternatives.

If we lose at Purdue, I think Lovie must be done.
Bolded: If Lovie Smith and this staff retain employment under this scenario, I will be a very unpleasant person to interact with.

Sad, sad thought.
 
Morrison, CO
The only scenario is beating Purdue, Rutgers and Northwestern. Would 5-7 with 3 BIGs do it? My guess is the JW keep Lovie around under that scenario, and frankly I'm not sure I could argue with that. Now how likely is that scenario to happen? @Purdue looks to be a big test. Should we win that one, we ought to beat Rutgers, and then we have to wait until the end of the season.

The 5-7 scenario this year, followed by a better result next year would give us some positive momentum.

I think a likely scenario is the "nightmare scenario." We find enough to beat a banged up Purdue and then Rutgers, so we hold out hope until NW, and we are let down. JW is looking at an uninspiring 4-8. At that point I think he is considering all alternatives.

If we lose at Purdue, I think Lovie must be done.
As someone correctly pointed out earlier, this scenario is pure fool's gold.
 
The only scenario is beating Purdue, Rutgers and Northwestern. Would 5-7 with 3 BIGs do it? My guess is the JW keep Lovie around under that scenario, and frankly I'm not sure I could argue with that. Now how likely is that scenario to happen? @Purdue looks to be a big test. Should we win that one, we ought to beat Rutgers, and then we have to wait until the end of the season.

The 5-7 scenario this year, followed by a better result next year would give us some positive momentum.
This is my nightmare.
 
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The only scenario is beating Purdue, Rutgers and Northwestern. Would 5-7 with 3 BIGs do it?
If we look respectable against Michigan and Wisconsin and then really comfortably brush aside Purdue and Rutgers, things might look pretty different at that point. Our advanced stat profile certainly will.

That a 90th percentile outcome without breaking a sweat based on what we've seen so far. Probably more like 98th.The line for Saturday has ballooned to 23. It will be higher for Wisconsin.

I think the more likely outcome, the modal outcome, is that whether it's announced publicly at that time or not, the Lovie Smith era will be over and the search for his replacement will be underway after a brutal homecoming beatdown in front of the donor community to sink to 2-5 (0-4).

As long as there is time and there are games there remains uncertainty, but the outcomes keep piling up toward one end of the probability distribution with every snap.
 
Every time you make a post you are digging yourself in a deeper hole.. so many bad takes.
The staff we have is not working and will not work. If they stay for another year recruiting will fall off, ticket sales will go down even more, and we will continue to sink as a program. No coach in their right mind is going to look at Lovie's horrendous record over 4 years and think "Wow they really didn't give him a chance, so I don't want this job."

To be a literal legend here, all a coach has to do is be average. Just average. 5 to 7 wins a year with competitive football and sprinkle in an 8 or 9 win season every now and then and there will literally be a statue built. New facilities, B10 conference, recruiting proximity, and a $$$ salary are very convincing to most coaches looking for their next move.

Dino Babers wanted this job. We can get someone similar this time around.

There is literal proof in this thread that new coaches almost always improve recruiting as well. And you bring up a weak schedule for Cincy... take a nice hard look at this link: https://www.teamrankings.com/college-football/ranking/schedule-strength-by-other

Illini- 109

Cincy- 12

There is NO excuse for this team to be 2-3 right now. None.
I'm digging no hole at all it's an opinion. Just so know I get right now strength of schedule is weaker let's look at it by the end of the year and if you think that Cincinnati has a tougher schedule than we do year over year your mistaken. My point is that if we were in a weaker league our chance for a better win percentage would grow so maybe we need to do that. That's it no hole, just an opinion.
 
Um, did you purposely leave out 75% of our schedule to prove your point? Cause it didnt work, it might have if I would have said non-conference.
You could make the case Cincy has a more difficult schedule than we do this year. They're in the weaker half of the AAC, but even still.

Let's go from strongest game to weakest, using the F/+ rankings

#2 Ohio State > #6 Wisconsin
#14 UCF > #16 Iowa
#24 Memphis < #17 Michigan State
#51 Temple < #22 Michigan
#61 Houston < #26 Minnesota
#63 Tulsa < #55 Nebraska
#74 UCLA < #65 Northwestern
#97 USF < #73 Purdue
#103 Marshall > #105 Eastern Michigan
#108 Miami (OH) > #113 Rutgers
#114 East Carolina > #126 Akron
#127 UConn = #127 UConn

So it's 6-5-1 in our favor, though in fairness the biggest gaps are in our favor, we play more genuinely good teams that they do, even though their top 2 games and their cupcakes are stronger.
 
Cincinnati plays a weaker schedule year over year maybe we need to move to a different conference so are chances are greater for a win...Beckmen was winning at Toledo when he came here.
And to hit this directly: Beckman didn't fail at Illinois because his Toledo success was a mirage and things are way tougher in the Big Ten. Beckman failed because the team he built at Toledo was better than the one he built at Illinois. A lot better, actually.
 
If i were JW i would tell Lovie fire your son and hire a DC to run the defense that is the only way he would get another year, that may also force him out with out actually firing him
 
If i were JW i would tell Lovie fire your son and hire a DC to run the defense that is the only way he would get another year, that may also force him out with out actually firing him
That doesn’t make a ton of sense for us. For starters, that conversation is a year too late. There’s nothing to be gained from having it now. Two, how does that get rid of Lovie Smith without firing him? Contrary to the belief of some, he’s not stupid. He knows if he’s fired without cause he gets all that money. He’s not going to walk away on his accord. If we give him that ultimatum (Again, not helpful at this juncture) all he has to do is say “Thanks but no thanks”.
 
You could make the case Cincy has a more difficult schedule than we do this year. They're in the weaker half of the AAC, but even still.

Let's go from strongest game to weakest, using the F/+ rankings

#2 Ohio State > #6 Wisconsin
#14 UCF > #16 Iowa
#24 Memphis < #17 Michigan State
#51 Temple < #22 Michigan
#61 Houston < #26 Minnesota
#63 Tulsa < #55 Nebraska
#74 UCLA < #65 Northwestern
#97 USF < #73 Purdue
#103 Marshall > #105 Eastern Michigan
#108 Miami (OH) > #113 Rutgers
#114 East Carolina > #126 Akron
#127 UConn = #127 UConn

So it's 6-5-1 in our favor, though in fairness the biggest gaps are in our favor, we play more genuinely good teams that they do, even though their top 2 games and their cupcakes are stronger.
And by the way, next year we replace #17 Michigan State with #2 Ohio State....and then #22 Michigan with #33 (!?) Indiana, #126 Akron with #129 Bowling Green, and #105 Eastern Michigan with FCS Illinois State.

Illinois State at Home
UConn at Home
Bowling Green at Home
BYE
at Rutgers
at Nebraska
Purdue at Home

Butch Jones might have a statue next to Dick Butkus' by next Halloween.
 
Austin, TX
If i were JW i would tell Lovie fire your son and hire a DC to run the defense that is the only way he would get another year, that may also force him out with out actually firing him
At the very least, for the money being paid, Lovie absolutely needs to get a far better staff. Firing his son is the bare minimum.

Not sure the problem is with a DC, Lovie himself is one. Seems to me his choice of staff around him on D is the problem.

Nobody should attend the games. Even if the tickets are free.
 
Plainfield
Stepping stone or destination? I don’t think it’s a good question at all. Pretty much every school except a small handful of blue bloods could be deemed a stepping stone. It really is the person. A guy like Barry Alvarez for example could have left Wisconsin for Notre Dame, Nebraska and others after his initial success, but chose to stay. Guys like Gary Barnett were always looking for the next job.

In our history - only Mackovic left for a better job (Texas).
 
Plainfield
Watching NC State v Syracuse. Doeren ready to come back to the B1G?
 
Plainfield
Good reminder of what works in the Big Ten:

Baber’s Offense would fail against a tough D like Doeren runs. Doeren would succeed here.
 
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In our history - only Mackovic left for a better job (Texas).
And anybody who says they wouldn't jump all over the next John Mackovic for Illinois is a liar.

Watching NC State v Syracuse. Doeren ready to come back to the B1G?
Maybe to Michigan. But on the plus side if you think back to that big list of hires I put together, the Dave Doeren's of the world are not nearly the sure thing they seem. Not a big jump in likelihood of success versus a Luke Fickell type at all.

There's an awful lot of energy in this thread dedicated to fighting tooth and nail against a certain conventional wisdom: "if you're bad, just fire the coach and hire a promising mid major up-and-comer". People are really really really committed to the idea that that's a hopeless and self-defeating idea.

Trouble is they're wrong, the evidence is pretty robust that the conventional wisdom is the smartest and likeliest path to success.

Another note on your post: clamoring for Dino Babers seems conspicuous by its omission. Are people starting to agree with me on that?
 
The Thrill
I’m watching the Syracuse vs NC State game on espn right now. I’d take either Dino or Doeren. Chance to coach on the B1G plus some monster load of KhanKash?!?! Yes please. I think you could define a legitimate path for either to take the risk.
 
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