Lovie Smith out at Illinois

#226      

Deleted member 654622

D
Guest
I understand that we learn from history. So it's legitimate to reflect on what was done before, to learn from that and do better in the future. I also was a strong supporter of Lovie. I was greatly disappointed, and plainly just hurt and mad, about the results. It felt like he failed me personally. It's human nature to extract revenge, but that's where we can get carried away. I think at some point the criticism becomes no more than a surrogate for revenge. And piling on by others legitimizes our criticism in our minds.
But I just know when I do that it ends up not making me feel better, and usually worse.
I'm not any sort of expert about this stuff, just reflecting on my life experiences. But 5 cents paid to Lucy for an hour of therapy would probably be more worthwhile.
If you want to pay someone to listen to your feelings, I am all for it. Me personally, I am going to do it here for free
finger gun GIF
 
#227      
Cincinnati, OH
Nonsense. The program when Lovie took over wasn't spiraling. It was a normal Illinois program. They finished 5-7 the year before he got here. With alot of starters coming back. It was a stable yet very mediocre program. There was nothing that needed to be "stabilized" because the prior coaching staff/regime had been here 5 years with middling results. Give Bill Cubit the same contract that Lovie got, give him 5 years and we aren't any worse off except probably a bit better financially because Cubit wouldn't have commanded the same salary. And the entire trope about "no one good will ever take an Illinois job", well Lovie Smith proved that if you throw enough money at someone, they'll come. There's plenty of other coaches, other than Lovie Smith, that would have gladly taken an Illinois job given the salary. The Illinois job is one of the most cushiest in college sports. The fans/boosters have literally no expectations, and you get paid a ton of money, and you get into a state pension system that will also give you a ton of money. So there's very little negatives about the job. It's highly paid, and low stress compared to nearly every other college football job.

You might be the first person I've seen claim the program was "stable" at the end of the Beckman/Cubit/Thomas era and not saying that as satire. There were lawsuits that required the University to pay out $500k in settlements. Thomas was fired. An administrator deemed the Cubit contract "not ideal". This goes beyond the record of that team and completely ignores that crises can happen off-the-field. Would we state the same about Penn State football when Bill O'Brien took over? Or when Bielema took over at Arkansas following Petrino/John L.?



Believing the program is in better shape now since the day Cubit was fired and believing that Lovie ultimately was a failure and a poor hiring decision are not mutually exclusive. And we don't have to distort the past to justify one over the other.
 
#229      
Ok, so he left us in a better place because:
1. He was a splash hire
2. He didn't abuse players
The only reason why we are in a better place is because players who are seniors were given a free pass. Under any other year, we would have lost everyone who was a Senior or Grad Senior. We are catching a huge break with the way the rules are now. We will have at least 10-12 players back who would not have been able to come back. BB should get a huge bounce from recruiting and we could be a bowl team next year but not because of Lovie.
 
#231      
Nonsense. The program when Lovie took over wasn't spiraling. It was a normal Illinois program. They finished 5-7 the year before he got here. With alot of starters coming back. It was a stable yet very mediocre program. There was nothing that needed to be "stabilized" because the prior coaching staff/regime had been here 5 years with middling results. Give Bill Cubit the same contract that Lovie got, give him 5 years and we aren't any worse off except probably a bit better financially because Cubit wouldn't have commanded the same salary. And the entire trope about "no one good will ever take an Illinois job", well Lovie Smith proved that if you throw enough money at someone, they'll come. There's plenty of other coaches, other than Lovie Smith, that would have gladly taken an Illinois job given the salary. The Illinois job is one of the most cushiest in college sports. The fans/boosters have literally no expectations, and you get paid a ton of money, and you get into a state pension system that will also give you a ton of money. So there's very little negatives about the job. It's highly paid, and low stress compared to nearly every other college football job.

And I don't think Lovie Smith provided any "legitimacy". What is legitimate about taking a guy from the pros, that has never been a head coach at the college level, and then having him hire one of the worst lowest qualified staffs in football. What exactly is legitimate about that? That was amateur hour.

Lovie didn't upgrade any facilities. Josh Whitman and his donors did that. And given the amount of money that Whitman spent on hockey, I'm pretty sure he'd have made sure the football facilities were done regardless of who the head coach was. Unless you can find the donors that explicitly said they were only donating because Lovie Smith was hired, then this is again nonsense.

We don't need to make excuses for Lovie. He sucked. It was a bad hire on day one, it was a bad hire the day he was fired. It was taking a shot on something out of the box, that failed miserably. That set us back years.
Huge difference. Cubit threw the ball. Lovie didn't.
 
#232      
The only reason why we are in a better place is because players who are seniors were given a free pass. Under any other year, we would have lost everyone who was a Senior or Grad Senior. We are catching a huge break with the way the rules are now. We will have at least 10-12 players back who would not have been able to come back. BB should get a huge bounce from recruiting and we could be a bowl team next year but not because of Lovie.
Our competitors will also be getting older players back so relatively speaking we may not be better off if their returnees are > our returnees.
 
#233      
It doesn't matter who left the program in worse shape- was it Beckman, was it Lovie, was it possibly Zook after his final season? The important thing to focus on is that we now have a winner as a coach, as well as the best staff we have had in years. We can all confidently say the future looks bright, which is something we haven't been able to say in a long time.
 
#234      
If Beckman won at Illinois there would have been an insane number of people on here who would have embraced the lasagna comments that we all joke about now. Fans always hate the mannerisms of their coach when they are not successful but accept/embrace them when they win.
Agree its shocking the amount of bullsh@t and misconduct people are willing to overlook when the team is winning. It would be nice to have that option for once haha.
 
#235      
I could only watch 48 seconds of that before I had to turn it off. Wow.
I applaud you for the 48 seconds!!!! I absolutely could not make it past 12 sec. E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-S-I-N-G!

(Probably not a terrible assistant coach where he never had to speak in public and where the head coach was in charge of player discipline ---- i.e. working under Tressel at OSU).
 
#238      
Our competitors will also be getting older players back so relatively speaking we may not be better off if their returnees are > our returnees.
Not necessarily, as they have better players who will go pro so most teams will lose many experienced players. You could be right but better teams will lose more
 
#239      
I don't post much but have been a member on this site for going on 13 years. No more than a gut feeling but this is the first time in a very long time I feel like we have a credible P5 head coach that understands what is necessary to achieve success. I am excited for the future and feel a strange sense of calm going into next season.
I agree. We are going to get better. The kids are going to get better.
 
#240      
Nonsense. The program when Lovie took over wasn't spiraling. It was a normal Illinois program. They finished 5-7 the year before he got here. With alot of starters coming back. It was a stable yet very mediocre program. There was nothing that needed to be "stabilized" because the prior coaching staff/regime had been here 5 years with middling results. Give Bill Cubit the same contract that Lovie got, give him 5 years and we aren't any worse off except probably a bit better financially because Cubit wouldn't have commanded the same salary. And the entire trope about "no one good will ever take an Illinois job", well Lovie Smith proved that if you throw enough money at someone, they'll come. There's plenty of other coaches, other than Lovie Smith, that would have gladly taken an Illinois job given the salary. The Illinois job is one of the most cushiest in college sports. The fans/boosters have literally no expectations, and you get paid a ton of money, and you get into a state pension system that will also give you a ton of money. So there's very little negatives about the job. It's highly paid, and low stress compared to nearly every other college football job.

And I don't think Lovie Smith provided any "legitimacy". What is legitimate about taking a guy from the pros, that has never been a head coach at the college level, and then having him hire one of the worst lowest qualified staffs in football. What exactly is legitimate about that? That was amateur hour.

Lovie didn't upgrade any facilities. Josh Whitman and his donors did that. And given the amount of money that Whitman spent on hockey, I'm pretty sure he'd have made sure the football facilities were done regardless of who the head coach was. Unless you can find the donors that explicitly said they were only donating because Lovie Smith was hired, then this is again nonsense.

We don't need to make excuses for Lovie. He sucked. It was a bad hire on day one, it was a bad hire the day he was fired. It was taking a shot on something out of the box, that failed miserably. That set us back years.
I agree with most of what you expounded upon with the exception it set us back years. Are we as worse off as we were 5-6 years ago? I don’t think so, however we are not putting a better product on the field. Our FB program is no worse or better than it has been for years. I pray for better times.
 
#241      
Final F/+ Rankings are out, so let's close the book on the Lovie era:

Zook
2005: 102nd
2006: 79th
2007: 18th
2008: 40th
2009: 84th
2010: 30th
2011: 52nd

Beckman
2012: 107th
2013: 71st
2014: 78th

Cubit
2015: 65th

Lovie
2016: 103rd
2017: 119th
2018: 108th
2019: 67th
2020: 102nd

In Conclusion
 
#244      
Final F/+ Rankings are out, so let's close the book on the Lovie era:

Zook
2005: 102nd
2006: 79th
2007: 18th
2008: 40th
2009: 84th
2010: 30th
2011: 52nd

Beckman
2012: 107th
2013: 71st
2014: 78th

Cubit
2015: 65th

Lovie
2016: 103rd
2017: 119th
2018: 108th
2019: 67th
2020: 102nd

In Conclusion
Thanks very much for the data. So the average of the 11 prior years / 3 coaching regimes (2.5?) was 66 (with 2 out of 11 above 100). Lovie averaged 100 (with only 1 year below 100 and never reached the prior average a single time), and yet the idea from a number of people here is that he improved things? Only if the facilities upgrade couldn't happen without Lovie Smith, which I don't believe.
 
#246      
There's an alternate universe where JW took a chance on Cubit and he's our Saban.🤣

But in all seriousness I will always have some respect for Coach Cubit for stepping in when he had to.

Did you respect his decision to hire his son as OC when he had no experience besides working for daddy? The guy is in orthopedic sales now according to his LinkedIn page. Hasn't coached since.
 
#247      
am I the only fool who when initially hearing the new football facility was named the “ Smith Center “ , thought maybe he gave back a years salary and that was the honor given to him ?

geez , what a stupid thought !!
 
#248      
and yet the idea from a number of people here is that he improved things?
It's hard to assess how vulnerable we were to real roster devastation in March of 2016. That Cubit team was basically Beckman's, he got fired a week before the first game, it was his roster and his staff. Cubit had replaced most of the staff and was on a joke no-credibility contract. The 2016 class was weak and surely the 2017 even weaker, and how would the existing players have handled a year under a lame duck? And you also have to consider how absolutely poisonous the fan atmosphere was after Not Ideal. The relatively quality of the 2015 team does not tell the whole story of how shaky that situation was.

It MIGHT have been a better idea to ride out 2016 with Cubit and then do a real coaching search. But there are big potential pitfalls between March and December of 2016.

The problem wasn't the hiring of Lovie, which was a calculated gamble by Whitman from a position of weakness that he didn't create. The problem was the galaxy brained logic that prized "stability" as an abstract concept over really looking at what was happening. Not to mention Whitman's bad tendency toward structuring contracts to make it financially impossible to fire a coach early when he doesn't have to because he's not negotiating against anyone.

He should have been gone the morning after 63-0. That's the mistake. We've had some fun moments in the intervening two years, but we have a lesser roster and a lot of wasted time to show for it. And it would be worse if not for the Covid rules letting our seniors come back.
 
#249      
Did you respect his decision to hire his son as OC when he had no experience besides working for daddy? The guy is in orthopedic sales now according to his LinkedIn page. Hasn't coached since.

No obviously not, but we haven't even sniffed something like Lunt's numbers that year.

Still bettee than losing 63-0 at home.
 
#250      
It's hard to assess how vulnerable we were to real roster devastation in March of 2016. That Cubit team was basically Beckman's, he got fired a week before the first game, it was his roster and his staff. Cubit had replaced most of the staff and was on a joke no-credibility contract. The 2016 class was weak and surely the 2017 even weaker, and how would the existing players have handled a year under a lame duck? And you also have to consider how absolutely poisonous the fan atmosphere was after Not Ideal. The relatively quality of the 2015 team does not tell the whole story of how shaky that situation was.

It MIGHT have been a better idea to ride out 2016 with Cubit and then do a real coaching search. But there are big potential pitfalls between March and December of 2016.

The problem wasn't the hiring of Lovie, which was a calculated gamble by Whitman from a position of weakness that he didn't create. The problem was the galaxy brained logic that prized "stability" as an abstract concept over really looking at what was happening. Not to mention Whitman's bad tendency toward structuring contracts to make it financially impossible to fire a coach early when he doesn't have to because he's not negotiating against anyone.

He should have been gone the morning after 63-0. That's the mistake. We've had some fun moments in the intervening two years, but we have a lesser roster and a lot of wasted time to show for it. And it would be worse if not for the Covid rules letting our seniors come back.

Yeah I think the highest of the highs in 2019 are just exciting enough to make some people forget that we took the air out of own sails before halftime vs Nebraska, struggled vs UCONN, lost a head scratcher to EMU who almost lost to a horrendous team the following week. Looking back on the Lovie era will likely be mostly beard memes and standoffish answers about Brandon Peters and the constant look of bewilderment as opposing offenses march down the field unhindered.

I'm sure there's some amount of good that was done, but I'm so happy we can just move on now.