Long time readers know that we love to follow the world of coaching moves from the expectations fans apply to their coaches to the way Athletics Directors deal with situations all the way through to the annual coaching carousel of firings and hirings.
I also like to take snapshots of people who will go ‘on the record’ with comments and expectations for coaches.
Before the 2010 college football season began, “Bleacher Report” ran an article identifying ‘magic numbers’ of wins’ for some coaches. (Note: Bleacher Report is awful. You must realize that most anything you see there is nothing more than a message board topic that gets attention in a more glitzy package.)
This pre-season article proclaimed that Tom O’Brien’s magic number of wins was seven.
After things just didn’t work out with head coach Chuck Amato, North Carolina State decided to bring in the tough minded Tom O’Brien from Boston College to give the program some needed discipline.
O’Brien has started reshaping the program in his image, and has done a good job of injecting some structure, but it just hasn’t resulted in a breakout season yet. The Wolfpack fans have been treated to three straight seasons of seven losses. There’s no doubt that kind of performance just doesn’t meet expectations. O’Brien’s offense will be fine this season with one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC, junior Russell Wilson, leading the way.
The defense is what needs to sharpen up. The unit let up over 30 points a game last season, including a three game stretch in which they gave up over 45 points in every game. O’Brien has to get this team to a bowl and show the fans and the boosters that he can put a defense out on the field worthy of respect.
Other key magic numbers in the article?
Take a look at them and tell me what you think. Gotta love Maryland’s firing of the Fridge after a NINE WIN SEASON. Can’t wait for Tim Brando, Seth Davis, Dennis Dodd and others to ride Maryland fans for the next decade on what they did to one of their most successful head football coaches in history? Could you imagine if NC State had actually fired Herb Sendek instead of Sendek’s exercising of free will to leave NC State on his own accord for Arizona State in an offseason where he was losing 4 starters and bringing in a weak and spotty recruiting class? We may have all been subpoenaed!
Looking for more? You can visit this conversation.
The ticker at the bottom of the TV screen caught my eye last night when it listed State’s NFL draft prospects. Nate and George Bryan were projected mid-round picks. Williams and Spencer were way down the list of top WRs (something like 46th and 63rd best). And that was it, no other juniors/seniors even rated a mention.
The team just completed a 9 win, 5-3 ACC season that will probably end with us ranked in the top 25…and it has only two upperclassmen who will be drafted, and no one even close to a first rounder. That is remarkable.
By comparison, look at our 7-5, Meineke Car Care Bowl champs team from 2005. That team, which was unquestionably not as good as the 2010 Pack, had the #1 overall pick, three first rounders, 7 jrs/srs who were drafted in the fourth round or higher, and 9 jrs/srs who were drafted overall.
This does seem to support the notion held by me and BJD (among others) that TOB does not need to recruit elite talent to do very well. We need a good QB. With a QB in place, TOB can coach a bunch of solid but unspectacular players to 9+ win seasons.