Wofford Coaching Search

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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby youngterrier on Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:53 pm

The way I see it, the top 6 private school programs in the FCS are (in no particular order, though I would privilege the teams that won a national title over the ones that hadn't):

Villanova, Furman, Richmond, Wofford, Colgate and Lehigh.

The former two play in the Patriot League, which has their own issues with reduced scholarships, but on occasion they put together a good enough team that can win a game or two in the playoffs. Their recruiting is just as hard, if not harder than ours. They don't run the option and have proven they can win and compete without it.

I'll admit that I was not around when Furman won their championship in the 80s, but again a lot has changed since then. The FCS is deeper than it was. Still, Furman made it to the national title game in the early 2000s without an option game.

Villanova and Richmond are two of the teams to win a title and did so between App State's 3-peat and NDSU's 5-peat. Villanova is probably more different from Wofford and Richmond, but we're all nevertheless similar schools with small alumni-bases and tough academics. Again, they won their titles and have been competitive in the FCS *without* running the option.

When I call the option a gimick, I mean that it depends mainly on deception. The "whodunit" in terms of not knowing who has the ball. It's the the tradeoff of less strength-on-strength in the trenches for speed on the perimeter. The spread offense (Baylor, Western Carolina, etc) does the same trade off, but the difference is that they use a passing game as well (and for the highly effective offenses, it also makes defenses less good because of the sheer number of plays they run and possessions the games have). The best offenses are the balanced offenses, whether they be spread or through the pro set, because they give the ability to attack at any point in any way, so the defense can't afford to give the same look. You can slow down the game if need be with the run (air raids can't do that) or get quick yards on the pass in a two minute drill (Wofford and Furman's ability to do fast pace this year was the exception, not the rule of option offenses and arguably the reason why they were successful was because of not-the-option).

I didn't watch the film of what North Dakota State did to us, but I did watch both of ours against Furman. The same principle applies; we gave them the same look all game, playing smart enough to neutralize the deception part of the game. It's then strength on strength and that's not what an option team wants. If you're Furman, you couldn't do much else, much like we can't when a team figures us out, because in many offenses the option is just the same plays in different formations (so the fundamentals of defending it are the same) with the added bonus that you don't need to worry us much about the pass. What made Furman successful this year was their ability to pass. I'm skeptical that they'll be able to keep up their offensive success because they aren't going to have the same quality of passer as Blazejowski.

Bad defenses and inferior competition can't stop the option, but good defenses can be habituated to stop it if they're sound enough in their fundamentals. Though in every offense one person not doing their job can mean bad production, in an option offense everyone can do their job and still be a minimal gain. It's no coincidence that once we get into the playoffs, about ~50% we fail to score 20. Heck, in the last 7 playoff games we barely broke the 20 point mark and needed turnovers to do it.

So I can fully acknowledge that the option is part of the reason we've won the socon as many times as we have. The App State and Georgia Southern defenses we torched with it weren't good, but on many occasions they torched us.

Bottom line: there's a solid case to be made that option teams have a ceiling and evidence that private schools with academic standards don't need to run the option or air raid to be successful (Georgia Tech has seen some success, but so has Duke and Stanford recently for another datapoint)
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby youngterrier on Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:59 pm

Who was the last team in the playoffs to beat JMU?

It was Colgate, a private school from the Patriot League. Did they run the option? No.

In the abstract I understand the argument about academics and recruiting, etc with the option, but there's just so much evidence to the contrary.

I'll admit that it's inconclusive whether or not doing away with the option would make us unequivocally better, I just don't think it would make us worse.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby youngterrier on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:15 pm

Ruckus wrote:Make fun all you want but I know a ton of schools who are running hot cool hip sexy offenses who lost to the Terriers and would LOVE to have our championships, playoff appearances, and program’s reputation. But at least they look really cool losing to us, I’ll give them that.


Okay, but here's the thing...it's not just scheme that defines an offense, it's execution as well. Very few teams run a pass heavy or run heavy offense.

Like, who is your baseline comparison here?
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby mudrat43 on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:16 pm

The type of offense not withstanding, the search for a HC has many tangible things that can be measured. If it is a former HC, there is won/loss records, various coaching positions held (OC, DC, recs, RBs, etc) and experience. If the candidate has never been a HC, then it gets somewhat iffy. It's the intangible things that make a winner. And how does one judge those things? Not an easy assignment! I for one would like to see someone from outside the Wofford "comfort zone" get the nod. It's not really important (at least to me) what flavor offense they would employ. If WOF gets the recruits in the future that it has in the past, any system can be successful if players are properly prepared. As a fan, (and that's all I am), I like the wide open, hurry it up, sling that ball, gimmicky, fun-n-gun offense, spiced with a bit of kick you in the teeth, run it in your face, not vice-versa. Sort of a mix of Don Shula and Steve Spurrier in their hey-day. Is WOF more prone to hire for "win right now", or "lets do this thing for the extreme long haul"? I don't have a clue!.....Can't wait to find out..........Go Terriers!
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby WocoSix on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:25 pm

Agreed YT with majority of what you stated, except for the SoCon was stronger with App and Ga Southern. To add on to what you stated and what Ruckus brought up. The Carolinas alone have powerhouse teams like Northwestern, Dorman, Boiling Springs, Independence, Mallard Creek, Christ Church, Byrnes, and Dutch Fork who all run some sort of pro style or spread offense. These skill players over the years ended up at other FCS programs miles away. No Wofford may not have been for all of them but I would wager that there is a substantial amount who did not attend Wofford because of the Option offense. Imagine a high profile WR/TE and we want him to block, or a QB who threw for 3,000 yards and we want him to run triple option. Chances are we would not even get them for an Official visit
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby youngterrier on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:30 pm

And to be clear, I wouldn't say I'm anti-option. Just very option-skeptical. I think the option is a great tool, but it shouldn't be the main feature.

But it doesn't matter because I think we're hiring on staff and sticking with the option anyway.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Hobo on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:36 pm

Shanesy article: yers wants Lang to get the job. Johnson says it's a national search and they are not in a hurry.

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20171214/ ... lace-ayers
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby SmallTownTerrier on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:37 pm

Who in the SO CON has done more than us as far as winning since 2012? No one! Don’t forget what got u there.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Terrier NH Dude on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:40 pm

Very Interesting take on the search for HC:

RJ says we are conducting a broad search and will consider national and internal coaches. MA believes Wade Lang should be the choice; however, I trust the input from those "in the know" (i.e. former players, highly networked alums, et al) who indicate Wade does not want to be the HC. Think MA is being PC?
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Ruckus on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:40 pm

So changing schemes won’t make us worse? Whew....ok.
I sincerely hope we never have to find out.
I am more than a little shocked there is a debate on a Wofford board on this topic after all the success we have had. This is exactly how successful programs lose their way into oblivion: by losing their identity and thinking they are something they are not; especially when what they were was more than good enough and winning (See FU).
Simple question: has Wofford ever had a winning season when it did not run some form of option? And if not, why will it magically work now?
I fear we are in for a loooong dry spell in our football program if this thinking holds sway.
I personally don’t care about a scheme as long as we can run the football which shortens games and rests the defense although I like watching option football and it’s tough to prepare for and defend especially nowadays when few teams run it. You mention Duke (which in the year or 2 has dropped off) and Stanford. Both teams run the football out of power sets, especially Stanford (who had 2 RB finalists for the Heisman which doesn’t hurt - but there’s that recruiting thing again). What is not mentioned is 2 option teams made it to the quarterfinals this year: us and Kennesaw State. Sure option teams have won the NC (Furman, GaSo, SHSU) but it is no surprise more teams have won it without the option because they didn’t need to because they had more talent to run more conventional schemes. That ain’t Wofford and never will be. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional. Do we have to run the option to win? maybe, maybe not. But if you think we will be able to attract talent on the scale of JMU, NDSU, or these huge schools you are sadly mistaken. And BTW- every school referenced in this thread is at least more than twice the size of Wofford- especially Richmond and Villanova.
Good night all. Peace out and may your “let’s sling it around the yard and bog down in the red zone because we cam’t run the ball” dreams come true.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Oak Grove on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:41 pm

I really hope that Six isn't on the search committee.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby mudrat43 on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:41 pm

+1 WocoSix
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby lawdog on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:43 pm

I wonder if this discussion is also taking place among those who will choose our new coach.

Here’s the thing: 1. we have had much recent success, including back-to-back 10 win seasons with this offense, and 2. we now have many very good players returning who are well trained and highly capable of running this offense that has been so good to us, plus an excellent coaching staff in place that is expert at teaching this offense, and 3. no offensive scheme is perfect.

Why on earth, especially at this time, would we abandon this successful scheme, and hire a new coach that will try something brand new which may or may not work and who will want to get a new staff to attempt this new approach? That would upset the apple cart and make no sense; rather, tweak and improve what we do, as we did this year, and continue to focus on more success. Our present offense strikes fear and uncertainty into opponents now; keep recruiting talent to and coaching and tweaking it!
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Eyes of Old Main on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:50 pm

Based off the article, I have no problem with putting out feelers and seeing who's interested. That's just smart. Evaluate the current staff guys, the past staff guys at other schools and any outside the family guys that reach out or respond to inquiries. Hopefully it is kept quiet so we don't become the Tennessee of FCS. Hiring before next week's signing period is asking too much and will be too much of a rush, but waiting until February truly would jeopardize the recruiting class. I think this needs to be wrapped up by mid-January so there's time to reassure the recruits and wrap things up in an organized fashion without questions. The current staff clearly knows they could be released and they might be hunting for contingency plans for themselves. If I was one of them, I would be. It's the prudent thing to do. Same goes for the recruits. Every recruit we are in on is going to hear about this from every other school pursuing them. The staff needs to stay on top of everything which will be tough since they are possibly in flux and they don't want to give too much information that could show up in the press. Wofford has always done a good job of keeping this in house and hopefully this will be no different.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Ruckus on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:51 pm

We have had national searches before (see baseball in ‘07) which yielded exactly a young unproven inexperienced assistant on staff (who admittedly has done a fair job despite a very rocky first few seasons). Sure glad Morrison and Leasne didn’t conduct a national search in ‘88.
Spare me the national search crap. Heard that song before. This whole thing has just started and I am already sick of it.
70 year old coach with 30 years in and our AD is surprised at the retirement and caught flat footed with no short list so he can move quickly and make a decision to save a recruiting class and give his assistant coaches and their families some comfort one way or another. Now he says he going to be deliberate and careful while our opponents are hounding our recruits with the uncertainty.
BS. Another illustration at how small time we are.
BTW - I am hearing that WL wants the job which seems more logical to me.
And if he gets it in February after floundering away a good recruiting class, I am going to be ticked off. SMH
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