Eastern Michigan 34, Illinois 31 POSTGAME

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That's not the problem, it's part of the core benefit.

Everybody who plays like that wins. It's very difficult to defend, and creates long, clock-eating drives that keep your defense fresh and opposing offenses under pressure.
Personally not a fan of it. It would be fun but clearly our ceiling would be limited. Plus the offense is not the major issue here, its coaching and the defense. A running QB in the RPO offense is perfect for us. It can score a lot of points while still attracting top talented players. I doubt a Mookie Cooper would want to play in the triple option, even if we won 8 games.
 
You did, they just don’t answer the question. Luke Fickell is going to be a hot candidate in not only this cycle but the next. The programs that will be looking to offer him will all have talent, facilities and money (If that’s even a factor, he makes a decent amount now for a group of 5 guy). Why would he choose us?

Lovie Smith didn’t choose us because we stood out like a rose in field of weeds. He chose us because we offered him a job that he wasn’t offered elsewhere. Brandon Peters, by his own admission, signed with the good guys because we were the only Power 5 that offered him. These are the type of candidates we will attract. Doesn’t mean we can’t make a slam dunk hire but it does mean we have to understand our limitations and set our expectations accordingly.
I don't disagree with any of this assessment. My hope is that Luke doesn't get offered a job he wants just yet. So he takes the IL job, builds us up for 3ish years before he leaves.
 
Oswego, IL
I don't disagree with any of this assessment. My hope is that Luke doesn't get offered a job he wants just yet. So he takes the IL job, builds us up for 3ish years before he leaves.
This is very defeatist, but I think a bigger question to be asked is why would anyone on an upward trajectory choose Illinois? Why risk your stock taking a hit, that could take years to fix, just for an opportunity at a school that has had more seasons going winless in conference than actual winning records in conference over the last 20 years (4 to 2)?
 
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A few win. Quite a few lose.
Paul Johnson at Georgia Southern, Navy and Georgia Tech, Ken Niumatalolo at Navy, Monken at Georgia Southern and Army and Brian Bohannon at Kennesaw State are the four guys who have done this as head coaches in recent years. The four of them plus Ivin Jasper, Navy's current OC, were the offensive staff at Navy during Johnson's HC tenure at Navy when this system reinvented what was possible at a service academy.

Seven head coaching stints, service academy and non-service academy, from Power Five to FCS, and all seven have been highly successful.

And IMO very boring to watch
To each their own. I love watching it, which probably biases me in the opposite direction.

clearly our ceiling would be limited
Paul Johnson won the ACC in year two! They won their division in the ACC three times! They won at least 9 games four times. He had one losing conference record in 11 seasons at GT.

Johnson proved this wasn't just a blowout-prevention mechanism for scrappy little underdogs with no talent, comprehensively proved that, but the conventional wisdom is crusting over the facts already. Snap out of it!

I doubt a Mookie Cooper would want to play in the triple option, even if we won 8 games.
I don't mean to dogpile on you here, but this is such a perfect distillation of the message board mindset that just baffles me. Is the point of the program to recruit, or is the point of the program to win?

We've won 8 games THREE times since 1990! And that's having won big recruitments a ton of times over that span. Not enough perhaps, not as many as others, but we've landed that huge player away from the big boys so many times and have next to nothing to show for it. If we can sustain success for the first time in decades doing things a different way, who freaking cares what Mookie Cooper thinks?

why would anyone on an upward trajectory choose Illinois?
Because it's a bunch of money to compete against a division where no one scares you at all, and the bar for being treated like the second coming is hilariously low. Win eight games a couple of times and you're either Coach For Life at an enormous salary here, or you can punch your ticket to a bigger job and even more money. And you're inheriting a roster in pretty okay shape, with cupcake schedules out to 2025. And a brand new gleaming facility to sell.

This is by no means a great job, but it's not one of the very worst by any stretch. It's not Kansas or Rutgers.
 
Let's combine the conversations about Jeff Monken and Luke Fickell.

It's probably accurate to say that Fickell would say no to us and hold out for a better job, one he can likely get. Monken has been even more successful, even more impressive, with an even higher degree of difficulty, but because schools are afraid of the kind of football he plays, Illinois would be his best shot.

There are reasons to be leery of triple option football, I think they're often badly overstated, but there's not nothing there. Nevertheless, it is simply a fact that in Monken there is the opportunity to acquire a resume that Illinois would have no chance at otherwise. It's worth consideration on that basis alone.
 
Because it's a bunch of money to compete against a division where no one scares you at all, and the bar for being treated like the second coming is hilariously low. Win eight games a couple of times and you're either Coach For Life at an enormous salary here, or you can punch your ticket to a bigger job and even more money. And you're inheriting a roster in pretty okay shape, with cupcake schedules out to 2025. And a brand new gleaming facility to sell.

This is by no means a great job, but it's not one of the very worst by any stretch. It's not Kansas or Rutgers.
Bolded: This is where the argument falls apart. Is this program Kansas or Rutgers? No. HOWEVER, when it comes to competing for coaching talent in 2020, will we be competing solely against programs like Kansas or Rutgers (Chris Ash is a dead man walking)? That's all that matters here. The answer to that, unfortunately, is also no. There's a significant likelihood that we go into the 2020 cycle trying to compete against some combination of USC, Auburn, Virginia Tech or Florida State (Among others, like potentially Ole Miss. Matt Luke is in over his head). That's not a competition we can win. We will have to pick from a laundry list of candidates that won't be in serious conversations for those types of jobs. This likely eliminates names like Luke Fickell and Mike Leach. We need to adjust our focus accordingly.

I'll give you a name that intrigues me. Jim McElwain.
 
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Let's combine the conversations about Jeff Monken and Luke Fickell.

It's probably accurate to say that Fickell would say no to us and hold out for a better job, one he can likely get. Monken has been even more successful, even more impressive, with an even higher degree of difficulty, but because schools are afraid of the kind of football he plays, Illinois would be his best shot.

There are reasons to be leery of triple option football, I think they're often badly overstated, but there's not nothing there. Nevertheless, it is simply a fact that in Monken there is the opportunity to acquire a resume that Illinois would have no chance at otherwise. It's worth consideration on that basis alone.
I am definitely in the "Leery of the triple option" camp but this post is very well stated. Very, very well stated. This is how we need to think. We need to arbitrage our way to a HC of value. Trying to compete against higher end programs for higher end names will not work.
 
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Bolded: This is where the argument falls apart. Is this program Kansas or Rutgers? No. HOWEVER, when it comes to competing for coaching talent in 2020, will we be competing solely against programs like Kansas or Rutgers (Chris Ash is a dead man walking)? That's all that matters here. The answer to that, unfortunately, is also no. There's a significant likelihood that we go into the 2020 cycle trying to compete against some combination of USC, Auburn, Virginia Tech or Florida State (Among others, like potentially Ole Miss. Matt Luke is in over his head). That's not a competition we can win. We will have to pick from a laundry list of candidates that won't be in serious conversations for those types of jobs. This likely eliminates names like Luke Fickell and Mike Leach. We need to adjust our focus accordingly.

I'll give you a name that intrigues me. Jim McElwain.
You had me until this. Are you actually serious? You want to go with ANOTHER retread that couldn't make it elsewhere? This program needs to be done with that. It hasn't worked before, and it won't work again. Whitman needs to do his research (don't make another idiotic move like Mike Thomas not realizing Campbell was the brains behind Toledo, not Beckman) and get an up-and-comer at a smaller program.
 
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Oswego, IL
Because it's a bunch of money to compete against a division where no one scares you at all, and the bar for being treated like the second coming is hilariously low. Win eight games a couple of times and you're either Coach For Life at an enormous salary here, or you can punch your ticket to a bigger job and even more money. And you're inheriting a roster in pretty okay shape, with cupcake schedules out to 2025. And a brand new gleaming facility to sell.

This is by no means a great job, but it's not one of the very worst by any stretch. It's not Kansas or Rutgers.
While I completely agree with the top part, I have to agree with @Twangers on the last bit there. We aren't Kansas or Rutgers, but we aren't (or shouldn't be at least) competing against them for coaching talent.
 
If 10-4 and 9-4 is "not making it", I shutter to think of what actually does classify as "making it". Is it National Championship or idiocy? Is Nick Saban the only decent head coach in that conference?

Besides that, this argument is lazy (All due respect). It's like the "I drafted Beanie Wells and he sucked so I'll never take another running back from Ohio State again" debacle. People are to be judged on their own merit, period. Ron Zook should have nothing to do with Jim McElwain.

He's also only one name. Not the only name.
It's not lazy when it applies to several coaches we have hired in the past. Ron Turner was a retread. Ron Zook was a retread. Lovie Smith was a retread. Tim Beckman was a lazy search with not enough digging into his background. I'm sick of it. McElwain's record was good (I'll be honest--I didn't realize it was that good), but if he was such a great coach, why'd he get fired 2.5 seasons in? Clearly there were other things being shown that led to a conclusion that he was not going to get it done and they were willing to do a buy-out to get him out quick. I'm just frustrated that all these programs from surrounding states with a fraction of the talent that our state has are doing just fine, and people act like Illinois can never be good. It's getting old, but you are right to say he is certainly not the only name.
 
Oswego, IL
It's not lazy when it applies to several coaches we have hired in the past. Ron Turner was a retread. Ron Zook was a retread. Lovie Smith was a retread. Tim Beckman was a lazy search with not enough digging into his background. I'm sick of it. McElwain's record was good (I'll be honest--I didn't realize it was that good), but if he was such a great coach, why'd he get fired 2.5 seasons in? Clearly there were other things being shown that led to a conclusion that he was not going to get it done and they were willing to do a buy-out to get him out quick. I'm just frustrated that all these programs from surrounding states with a fraction of the talent that our state has are doing just fine, and people act like Illinois can never be good. It's getting old, but you are right to say he is certainly not the only name.
Part of it was not living up to Florida football standards, part of it was the whole "my family and team are getting death threats" fiasco.
 
This is very defeatist, but I think a bigger question to be asked is why would anyone on an upward trajectory choose Illinois? Why risk your stock taking a hit, that could take years to fix, just for an opportunity at a school that has had more seasons going winless in conference than actual winning records in conference over the last 20 years (4 to 2)?

That is why
 
If a coach wins 6 here consistently they are getting a freaking statue built and probably a new stadium named after them. It's not even about being great or above average... just AVERAGE. That's all a fan for this team can hope for at this point.

What non-P5 coach wouldn't want that opportunity?

BTW I truly believe it would be a soft rebuild at this point. The roster next year is perfect for that average season we have all been looking for. Get the right coach. I don't think there would be the mass exodus everyone seems to fear from the players.
 
Woodridge, IL
Yes, it is. It's not judging a person based on his own merit, which will cause you to miss out on really good coaches. Mike Leach is a retread. Ed Orgeron is a retread. Herm Edwards is a retread. Mario Cristobal is a retread. There isn't an Illini fan with a pulse that wouldn't take any of those names.

There's also this guy down in Tuscaloosa. Nick something. He's a retread.
I've always been under the impression that retread is a term for hiring a coach who has been previously fired. Saban's never been fired as far as I know.
 
Paul Johnson won the ACC in year two! They won their division in the ACC three times! They won at least 9 games four times. He had one losing conference record in 11 seasons at GT.
Johnson proved this wasn't just a blowout-prevention mechanism for scrappy little underdogs with no talent, comprehensively proved that, but the conventional wisdom is crusting over the facts already. Snap out of it!
I don't mean to dogpile on you here, but this is such a perfect distillation of the message board mindset that just baffles me. Is the point of the program to recruit, or is the point of the program to win?

We've won 8 games THREE times since 1990! And that's having won big recruitments a ton of times over that span. Not enough perhaps, not as many as others, but we've landed that huge player away from the big boys so many times and have next to nothing to show for it. If we can sustain success for the first time in decades doing things a different way, who freaking cares what Mookie Cooper thinks?



Because it's a bunch of money to compete against a division where no one scares you at all, and the bar for being treated like the second coming is hilariously low. Win eight games a couple of times and you're either Coach For Life at an enormous salary here, or you can punch your ticket to a bigger job and even more money. And you're inheriting a roster in pretty okay shape, with cupcake schedules out to 2025. And a brand new gleaming facility to sell.

This is by no means a great job, but it's not one of the very worst by any stretch. It's not Kansas or Rutgers.
Dog pile away, its a good conversation that needs to be had.
Paul has shown to be successful, obviously more successful than IL. But yes his ceiling is limited. His last four years are 3-9, 9-4, 5-6, 7-6 and this year he is 1-2 after just losing to the Citadel.
The point of the program is to win. The question is what is your definition of win? Be above .500, win your conference every once in a while, be a playoff contender, Championships. I don't personally care what Mookie Cooper cares about individually. In fact posted that last week. What I care about it how to get top talent to IL. Mookie just happens to be one this go around. If the majority of the "Mookie Coopers" do not want to play in a triple option, we will be limited.
 
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My own personal definition of course but resigning before you're either deep on the hot seat or actually fired is roughly the same idea. That axe in Miami was coming down.
Sorry but I don't consider being a highly successful NCAA coach, then not making it in the NFL for two seasons at a program that has been horrible for the last two decades, then coming back and dominating to be that big of a surprise. That word most certainly does not fit him, and you know it.

Herm Edwards still has a way to go to prove he isn't a retread, and he didn't exactly walk into the worst situation ever.

Mike Leach is a lazy argument. The guy got let go for something that had nothing to do with wins and losses. He has been successful everywhere he has been. We would have been ecstatic to have him hired, and rightfully so.

Cristobal is not exactly hitting it out of the park compared to Chip Kelly, and that hire had plenty of people skeptical. Same with Orgeron, though he has been the best case for your argument. LSU was about to have a mutiny when he got the job, but he has proved them wrong (so far).

I totally agree that it is not fair to ignore the merits of someone who was fired from another job. I just see the lack of success we have had with it and am hesitant to see it happen again.
 
If a coach wins 6 here consistently they are getting a freaking statue built and probably a new stadium named after them. It's not even about being great or above average... just AVERAGE. That's all a fan for this team can hope for at this point.

What non-P5 coach wouldn't want that opportunity?

BTW I truly believe it would be a soft rebuild at this point. The roster next year is perfect for that average season we have all been looking for. Get the right coach. I don't think there would be the mass exodus everyone seems to fear from the players.
With the talent upgrades and the recruiting relationships being built, is the best case scenario also the least likely, Lovie getting a D coordinator where he is just the face of the program? I would prefer that more than anything. But from all accounts, Lovie is a very stubborn dude that doesn't like to be told what to do.
 
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Little Rock, Arkansas
With the talent upgrades and the recruiting relationships being built, is the best case scenario also the least likely, Lovie getting a D coordinator where he is just the face of the program? I would prefer that more than anything. But from all accounts, Lovie is a very stubborn dude that doesn't like to be told what to do.
I believe we saw that scenario played out with Zook.
 
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I do not agree at all with your assessment of Nick Saban's status but that's fine, agree to disagree.

I read until the bold portion and then stopped. If Mike Leach being fired for cause declassifies him as a retread coach, then why are you grouping Jim McElwain (Who was fired for cause) into that very category? You can't have it both ways.
Mutual Agreement to Part Ways between McElwain and UF

I know I'm grasping at straws a bit, but those two situations are not the same.
 
Of course they're not the exact same situation. Physically mistreating the son of a college football media personality is not a common occurrence. The meat and potatoes of why they were fired, however, is very much the same. An issue arose that did not directly correlate to wins and losses that ended in a termination of employment. That is what being fired for cause is. If Mike Leach is not a retread, then neither is Jim McElwain. This is not gray, it's very black and white.
Ehhh, I think there is definitely some gray.

If both coaches were performing like Nick Saban, neither one would have been fired. If both coaches were personally beloved by the administration and prominent donor community, neither would have been fired. So there is a shades of gray spectrum.

Leach's firing was 50% bad press, 40% powerful people not liking him personally, 10% the football team not being good enough.

McElwain's firing was 10% bad press, 40% powerful people not liking him personally, 50% the football team not being good enough.

Not performing up to the program's standards on the field was a much more prominent part of McElwain's downfall than Leach's.

The other thing about Florida is that they believe, not without justification, that they can get a great coach any time their job opens up. So why put up with someone they don't like?
 
Ehhh, I think there is definitely some gray.

If both coaches were performing like Nick Saban, neither one would have been fired. If both coaches were personally beloved by the administration and prominent donor community, neither would have been fired. So there is a shades of gray spectrum.

Leach's firing was 50% bad press, 40% powerful people not liking him personally, 10% the football team not being good enough.

McElwain's firing was 10% bad press, 40% powerful people not liking him personally, 50% the football team not being good enough.

Not performing up to the program's standards on the field was a much more prominent part of McElwain's downfall than Leach's.

The other thing about Florida is that they believe, not without justification, that they can get a great coach any time their job opens up. So why put up with someone they don't like?
Fair. Here's my counter to that: Show me the clear difference between one and the other? We can guesstimate the percentage that each factor played in their loss of employment and maybe I see it one way and you see it another but at the end of the day, both coaches were fired with cause due primarily to issues outside of pure football performance. If one classifies as a retread, so too should the other. Clearly drawing a line between them and saying they're in different categories does not hold up.

Your last sentence is pretty much my view of it. The administration didn't care for how he interacted with them or that he called most all of Gator Nation football crazed, wannabe serial murderers so why put up with it? They'd rather fire him. Almost to the letter the Mike Leach situation. His schtick wore thin on that group and the incident with Craig's son was an easy out.
 
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If one classifies as a retread, so too should the other. Clearly drawing a line between them and saying they're in different categories does not hold up.
I guess I would be more inclined to agree with your broader point that putting coaches into buckets and accepting or rejecting buckets as a whole is a bad idea, everyone should be assessed on their own merits.
 
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Fair. Here's my counter to that: Show me the clear difference between one and the other?
McElwain was ostensibly fired because of some odd fit/off-the-field stuff, but really because he wasn't meeting Florida's on-the-field expectations, and post-Muschamp, the natives were pretty restless.

Leach redefined what Texas Tech's ceiling was as a program, so it's hard to make the argument that the off-the-field stuff was a stalking horse to axe a guy who didn't deliver results.
 
McElwain was ostensibly fired because of some odd fit/off-the-field stuff, but really because he wasn't meeting Florida's on-the-field expectations, and post-Muschamp, the natives were pretty restless.

Leach redefined what Texas Tech's ceiling was as a program, so it's hard to make the argument that the off-the-field stuff was a stalking horse to axe a guy who didn't deliver results.
I need to preface this post by disclaiming that my wife and I have just recently (April) re-located back to the midwest from Lubbock. I've got a much more intimate picture of what goes on in Raider Nation than a normal person on this board. Also, if I ever go missing from this board for any extended period of time, my wife has followed through on her threats to leave me for Chris Beard and I'm wallowing in self pity somewhere.

Mike Leach was and is still not well liked within that university. You go down around university and find a fan in a bar they'll tell you they all love him but Gerald Meyers, a couple of key members of that board and Jim Sowell (Wealthy booster) despised Mike Leach with a fiery passion. That incident was the out they needed to terminate him for cause and stiff him on his remaining salary.
 
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