I watch a bit of college football, I've seen teams rise and fall but some programs stay dominate. While having enough talent on the field to compete is definitely a must in a BCS conference, the point to hit home today is coaching.
While we just saw that one breakout player (AJ Green from Georgia) might be a level above the rest, one super talent still cannot help a team to victory (this point might be arguable from a QB standpoint but that is not the discussion for today). The discussion is that coaching is the key to a successful program.
When Pete Carroll was at USC he had a streak of good players (Matt Leinart) and great players (Reggie Bush, Carson Palmer), however he was able to put together successful seasons continuously. Urban Meyer is doing the same at Florida. Bob Stoops at Oklahoma is another example of coaching players up to their best ability. I would mention Texas but they are so talent rich and seem to be under-coached at times. If we had a great coach and we had to endure some down years I would expect 6-6 type of seasons, not 2-10. I know I named some pretty good coaches and players but look at Chris Petersen at Boise, most his players aren't NFL caliber yet they are dominate (yes I know they do not play in a BCS conference). However, he clearly had talent below that of Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl but he out-coached Bob Stoops to win that epic game.
I think the formula for winning is:
Great Coaching + Talented Players + Execution = Winning
So what is Great Coaching? I believe a great coach can:
- Identify the Talent on the team- play to the strengths whether run or pass.
- Determine the Offensive Coordinators parameters- while understanding the talent he must give the OC a guideline on what he should be doing (example run or pass, play action, screens, deep balls, etc.).
Hire Great-Hungry Coordinators/Staff- at times his job is to coach his staff to what the players are doing wrong. Top down management is key.
- Identify Talent in Recruiting- pick fast, talented players that can grasp the playbook.
- Game Plan- determine weaknesses in your opponent and exploit them.
I have been more than on the Dan Hawkins bandwagon, but it's time the train stopped and I get off. I bought into his values and his zen-type of coaching. I think he is a man of respect and a good decent man. However, I do not think he is a great coach.
I can name problems just as everyone else does on these threads and we have many problems. But at the end of the day I think it's time that we think about another direction. The question is who might be a good fit at Colorado?
I'll leave you with these stats to think about:
|1999||Barnett||7–5||5–3||3rd (North)||W, 62-28 Insight.com Bowl|
|2001||Barnett||10–3||7–1||1st||L, 38-16 Fiesta Bowl †||9||9|
|2002||Barnett||9–5||7–1||1st (North)||L, 31-28 (OT) Alamo Bowl||21||20|
|2004||Barnett||8–5||4–4||1st (North)||W, 33-28 EV1.net Houston Bowl|
|2005||Barnett||7–5||5–3||1st (North)||L, 19-10 Champs Sports Bowl|
|Dan Hawkins (Big 12) (2006–present)|
|2007||Hawkins||6–7||4–4||3rd (North)||L, 30-24 Independence Bowl|