2019-20 Coaching Discussion/Carousel

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I see no reason why we couldn't have similar success to Georgia Tech running the triple option, but I think it's something that if implemented here and if it didn't work very quickly, most fans/donors would turn on it faster than a more traditionally run offense.

I dont necessarily think that's a huge point in the negative column, but it's gotta cross Whitman's mind. Most AD's aren't making it past a couple of hires in either revenue sport, and if the triple option doesn't cause an immediately positive impact, it could easily cost JW his job.
 
M tipping over
Pdx
Switzer is about to turn 82 and has been out of football for 20 years. Stoops, on the other hand, is 59 and active as the head coach and general manager of the Dallas Renegades of the XFL. He's only been out of college football for three years, and was All Big Ten as a player at Iowa. Also coached there as a graduate assistant. Grew up in Ohio. Not that he's going to leave the XFL for Illinois, but we could, and probably will, do worse.
It wasn't a serious suggestion, just a light joke on highly successful Sooner coaches.
 
Not discounting what he did at all. Just think as you step up in competition in the Big Ten that you have to be prepared to mix in the pass more.
Let's be clear here. The Big Ten West is a step DOWN in competition from the kinds of schedules Johnson's Tech was playing.

In 2014 (not ancient history!), Tech blew out Deshaun Watson and a ranked Clemson to clinch their spot in the ACC Championship Game, then then next week went between the hedges at Georgia and beat the #9 team in the country, then the next week they lost by two points to Jameis Winston and playoff-bound Florida State in said ACC championship game, and then in the Orange Bowl they beat (and poured in 49 points on!) Dak Prescott and Dan Mullen's best ever Mississippi State team, who had been ranked #1 much of the year.

I absolutely would be intrigued by the possibilities of some kind of offense where you use deception & trickery to overcome talent gaps.
Totally the wrong way to think about it. Exploiting individual talent advantages is just as important as hiding talent disadvantages. Tech had 8 NFL draft picks on offense during Johnson's time there, including 4 WR's, and they found ways to get those guys into favorable situations.

It's just from the ground up a different way to win a football game, and not just on offense. The slow, methodical, reliable offensive drives create a scenario where defenses are well rested and have fewer snaps to defend against offenses that find it tougher to get in rhythm.

And that, by the way, is why you don't add more passing game to it. The pass is there to keep the defense honest, retain the element of surprise, and for situational use. Any more than that spoils the surprise, and allows the defense back into its comfort zone, defending the sort of concepts it has been taught to defend, and forces the offense away from its strengths, and into situations where it will find its bread and butter less effective, and thus less likely to soak up clock to aid its defense, etc etc etc.

He is also probably the pre eminent option coach of modern times (since Switzer/Osborne retired). Maybe Monken could run it as well at this level. Maybe we will find out some day.
Oh sure, we wouldn't want to hire the second most prominent triple option coach, so lets hire the 75th most prominent spread passing guru. That makes total sense.

And I've got news for you, we ARE going to find out. Monken will get a Power Five job. And he will win there, and win consistently. Maybe he'll go somewhere where he has to learn the culture and the recruiting territory and build a roster capable of executing his vision. Or maybe he'll come back home to where half his family are high school football coaches and he'll inherit a RS Fr quarterback who is one of the most electric athletes in the country. Either way the case against him and his system was dead wrong in 2005, it's dead wrong now, and it's going to be even deader wrong in 5-10 years when everyone is wondering why they didn't have the cojones to hire that guy.

(Or, given that everyone seems able to pretend that Paul Johnson wasn't a huge success, maybe people will just keep pretending, I dunno)
 
The good news is that the college football season is long and a loss to Eastern Michigan might not be the defining moment of this year. I have been firmly in the “give Lovie time” camp his entire tenure here and I expect to remain that way until I see the whole season through.

With that being said, I have always loved watching the academies (usually Navy and Air Force, but more recently Army) play football and the idea of the triple option at U of I is fascinating to me. It’s something that hasn’t been tried often in recent years and I would love to U of I be successful in outscheming the opponents. Sure it’ll probably never happen, but how cool would it be to be on the bleeding edge of a new era in college football? It seems to me that all sports are cyclical, with some team finding success by breaking away from the trend. It’s why I love the shift in baseball and love even more the players and teams that try to beat it with a bunt. I hope that if/when Lovie’s time comes, Josh Whitman at least looks at Monken and see how much it would cost to get him to come.

Now I’ll turn my attention to week 3. There may be (but hopefully won’t be) lots of time towards the end of the year to discuss the future coach at Illinois.

ILL
 
M tipping over
Pdx
A throttling of Nebraska would pretty much end this thread, wouldn't it?
Not for me. It's going to take a bit more convincing than that. It's not a fire Lovie thread. It's more of a watchlist thread.
 
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A throttling of Nebraska would pretty much end this thread, wouldn't it?
It’s not like we’ve been seeing slow and steady progress and EMU was the first unexpected hiccup.

We have no solid evidence that would lead anyone to the conclusion that Lovie and this staff can effectively game plan, run a defense, make in-game adjustments, get year-to-year improvements out of players, or instill on-field discipline.
 
It’s not like we’ve been seeing slow and steady progress and EMU was the first unexpected hiccup.

We have no solid evidence that would lead anyone to the conclusion that Lovie and this staff can effectively game plan, run a defense, make in-game adjustments, get year-to-year improvements out of players, or instill on-field discipline.
Don't worry, when Urlacher, Briggs, Peanut and Hester all show up, he'll be fine.

All this talk about the option. I know that it's a great system, because I once beat my roommate in a rematch of BC-Miami '84 on NCAA '99 by running nothing but the option with Bernie Kosar and his 6.3 40 at the QB. Maybe B1G teams will figure out how to cover the pitch man? Maybe not.
 
How about former ASU, Pitt, Rice and Tulsa Coach Don Graham? He only lives a few miles away from me in North Scottsdale AZ (I'm in Fountain Hills). Should I give him a call?lol

Here's an article about the guy and how he loves college coaching and wants to get back in:
https://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/ncaaf/asu/2018/08/01/asu-todd-graham-coaching-job/871495002/

He's still got recruiting contacts, he's as enthusiastic as ever, he can attract top staff, and I don't think we can do any better than him. I think he's a "consultant" in the NFL now.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"He knows it won't be easy once the season kicks off. He's not sure he'll stay in town on ASU game days. But he's confident sometime soon, an athletic director or university president will look at what he's accomplished and give him a chance.
"Look at what we’ve done," Graham said, referring to his head-coaching stops at Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh and ASU. "I was head coach for 12 years. Ten of those years we qualified for the postseason. Five out of six bowl games here. Won 96 games in 12 years. Graduated players almost 90 percent. A 3.0 (team) GPA (at ASU).
"I feel good about all that, and I think there’s a program out there that will want that. We’ll see what happens."

If Whitman isn't on the phone building a relationship with this guy, he's an idiot, especially since there's no "buyout" to contend with....
 
Here's Coach Graham's wikpedia bio. Biggest issue was that in his earlier years he jumped schools pretty quickly, but he thought he found a home at ASU. 7-6 wasn't good enough for the AD. I doubt he'd get stolen from Illinois. Most impressive is his connections in the "coaching tree" with coaches like Gus Malzahn and Mike Norvell at Memphis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Graham

Who seriously thinks that Whitman can do better than him?
 
South Carolina
I can't wait for this thread to come to a screeching halt after the Illini win their 2nd game in a row and get ready to host Michigan as a 4-1 team.
I'll stop following this thread after that happens, not before
 
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Questions -

Why did Jones fail at Tennessee?

Why did Bielema fail at Arkansas?

I have not followed either coach so I would be interested in what your views may be.

Jones at Tennessee came in to replace the laughably unqualified Derek Dooley, a figure that worked well enough as a scapegoat in the short term, and after his first and second seasons brought in monster, top 5 nationally, recruiting classes. A mother lode. Big time hype followed. They ended that third year with six straight wins and opened the next season ranked in the preseason top 10. They almost lost to Appalachian State at home in Week 1 and kinda fell apart across an absolutely brutal stretch of the SEC schedule. Once that negativity crept in, they never recovered on the field or on the recruiting trail. They never did look well coached even in the best of times, just kind of a Zookish roll the ball out and let talent do the work kind of team. And Jones always handled the press and fan pessimism and negativity in horrible, self-destructive ways. That's why I have a hard time seeing him working out here. He's a better fit somewhere that can recruit better players than their rivals and has a rah-rah hometown kind of attitude. Cincy was perfect. Marshall, Southern Miss, something like that.

Bielema got paid an ungodly amount of money to go to Arkansas, and arrived at a program with a taste for big time success. He did fine, pretty well actually, but never lived up to his billing, and developed a reputation that he wasn't behaving himself and wasn't trying all that hard. And honestly he probably gained 50 pounds easily during his tenure there. And now he's on the Patriots staff swearing he's done with college football. So he's going to do a 180 on that and take over a moribund Illinois team playing his mentor and his alma mater every year? Why, for a fat paycheck? It would remind me a bit of Chip Kelly going to UCLA, a can't-miss idea so long as you don't spend any time actually thinking about the underlying circumstances. One could argue the same about Lovie I guess, in retrospect.

I'm not averse to the retread route, but show me somebody who has something to prove, and for whom Illinois is a real opportunity, not somewhere they're slumming it. It always felt like Lovie failed the former test and Zook failed the latter, IMO.
 
Quick question, not sure where to post this.

If this season truly does fail, how much should Whitman be held accountable? The fact that he allowed Lovie to become DC and put Miles in such an important position is pretty alarming.

Imagine if Whitman instead forced Lovie to hire a recruiter or great x's and o's guy to implement the Cover 2 as DC instead..
Would the season be going differently?

Really think Whitman should have showed a stronger hand over the past year.
 
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If this season truly does fail, how much should Whitman be held accountable?
A lot, and justifiably so.

Look, I'll defend the Lovie hire as a worthwhile gamble for the rest of my days. We were hiring during the college *basketball* carousel portion of the calendar. We were just coming off a player abuse scandal and our previous coach was viewed as a hamfisted goof. Not only was Lovie almost universally respected across the football world, but where did his name resonate most? In Chicago and St. Louis. But at the end of the day, it was still a gamble, and sometimes you lose those.
 
M tipping over
Pdx
A lot, and justifiably so.

Look, I'll defend the Lovie hire as a worthwhile gamble for the rest of my days. We were hiring during the college *basketball* carousel portion of the calendar. We were just coming off a player abuse scandal and our previous coach was viewed as a hamfisted goof. Not only was Lovie almost universally respected across the football world, but where did his name resonate most? In Chicago and St. Louis. But at the end of the day, it was still a gamble, and sometimes you lose those.
Agree with most of this. This program was a dumpster fire. I think Whitman made lemonade out of lemons (or so many of us thought). I only start to hold Whitman accountable if he doesn't make the tough decisions when the necessary outcome is clear. Right now, I'm not yet convinced of material progress being made, but I also think we need to see if the team can recover and make progress now that the team is older. Nonetheless, I'm not sure how closely I'm going to be following this team this year, and that's what matters...
 
Nebraska won three national championships in the mid-90s using a type of I-formation triple option attack, and it was damn fun to watch.
I agree with this. However, football is a different beast now. Passing the football is a lot easier in this era due to the rules and constant flags...unless your Wole. Running QB is huge advantage in college. But one that is serviceable in the passing game. Even with his rough quarters, Peters has been better than we have seen in a while. Imagine what Khalil Tate would look like on this team? Hopefully we have some guys on the sidelines ready to show us in the next few years.
The offense isn't what is holding us back.
 
Quick question, not sure where to post this.

If this season truly does fail, how much should Whitman be held accountable? The fact that he allowed Lovie to become DC and put Miles in such an important position is pretty alarming.

Imagine if Whitman instead forced Lovie to hire a recruiter or great x's and o's guy to implement the Cover 2 as DC instead..
Would the season be going differently?

Really think Whitman should have showed a stronger hand over the past year.
I agree with what has already been posted. I think Whitman getting Lovie was a homerun considering all things. I also don't think he really had a choice other than to keep Lovie this last year. The contract, transfers, recruiting jump and the "thought" we were progressing was to big, even to overlook the red flags. If they don't look like a power 5 team at the end of the year, then we will not only see what Josh Whitman is truly made of, but Lovie Smith as well.

If it ends in a failure, I want to see Lovie go get a college coach with something to prove (@ChiefGritty) and a successful track record to implement his own defense. Don't care if he is an up and comer or a been there done that. Just want a dude that his hungry to succeed. Much like he has done with Rod Smith and the O. If Lovie can't nut up and make those needed adjustments, then Whitman better. We shall see
 
How about former ASU, Pitt, Rice and Tulsa Coach Don Graham? He only lives a few miles away from me in North Scottsdale AZ (I'm in Fountain Hills). Should I give him a call?lol

Here's an article about the guy and how he loves college coaching and wants to get back in:
https://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/ncaaf/asu/2018/08/01/asu-todd-graham-coaching-job/871495002/
Well, if you do call him, make sure you use his correct name.

The thing that jumped out at me from that article is that Graham had a $12 million buyout. So Lovie could have been let go after last season (or even after the Iowa game) if Whitman had the stones to do so.
 
If it ends in a failure, I want to see Lovie go get a college coach with something to prove (@ChiefGritty) and a successful track record to implement his own defense. Don't care if he is an up and comer or a been there done that. Just want a dude that his hungry to succeed. Much like he has done with Rod Smith and the O. If Lovie can't nut up and make those needed adjustments, then Whitman better. We shall see
Sadly, the time to take that step was at the end of last season. He didn't, so now this experiment of coaching the defense himself needs to work this season, or Lovie's time has run out.

I'll admit that it's a massive challenge to improve this defense, with the injuries in the secondary and the introduction of many new faces. But Lovie is the one who decided he could take that on as a part-time job, and so now it all falls at his feet and there's really no runway left at the end of this season.
 
Austin
A lot, and justifiably so.

Look, I'll defend the Lovie hire as a worthwhile gamble for the rest of my days. We were hiring during the college *basketball* carousel portion of the calendar. We were just coming off a player abuse scandal and our previous coach was viewed as a hamfisted goof. Not only was Lovie almost universally respected across the football world, but where did his name resonate most? In Chicago and St. Louis. But at the end of the day, it was still a gamble, and sometimes you lose those.
The sanest take.
 
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