Talking ACC FBall Coaches & Local Blogs

Today I would like to give a tip of the hat to J.P. Giglio and the N&O’s ACC Now Blog.

They have provided some quick stats and analysis focused on the recent performance of ACC Football Coaches compared to the performance of the program in a timeframe prior to their arrival that is identical to their current tenure.

The results of the numbers are exactly what I expected, and aren’t necessarily designed to precisely rank the overall success of the programs during the timeframes chosen since they don’t include adjustments for peak seasons (ie State’s Gator Bowl vs GT’s 7-win barrier), consistency (State’s 5 Bowls in 6 years vs Maryland’s two consecutive losing seasons), national rankings, etc, etc. But the numbers do provide great guides and points of reference.

In ACC Coaches +/-

is a comparison of the eight ACC schools that have changed head coaches since 1999. Instead of four years ago, the records are equal to the number of years each new coach has at his school.

So for N.C. State, it would be the six seasons under Chuck Amato compared to the previous six seasons. For UNC, it would be the five seasons under John Bunting compared to the previous five seasons.

I totaled the records, both overall and ACC, and took the difference. The overall record is simply that. I didn’t make any effort to explain the numbers, i.e. when there was a 12-game season or the number of Division I-AA opponents.

Is this a genuinely fair reflection and/or comparison of the program relative where it was four, five, six or seven years ago? Probably not since the numbers don’t recognize the “new ACC� or the point in a coach’s career (for example, Mack Brown at his peak to Bunting at his start). Nevertheless, the numbers are interesting.

ACC Coaches By the Season

Since the previous post didn’t account for enough variables (strength of schedule, number of games) here’s another way to measure where each of the quasi-original nine ACC programs stand.

I went back, starting in 1999 with Clemson’s hiring of Tommy Bowden, and compiled each team’s cumulative record since a new coaching hire. As you would expect, Florida State has the best record and Duke has the worst. Duh.

But in between, it gets back to my original point. Bowden can claim no one, except his dad, has won more ACC games since he joined the league in 1999. Ralph Friedgen can make the same claim, about Tommy Bowden’s dad, since 2001.

As for the Wolfpack, with or without Amato, it remains remarkably steady at sixth (out of nine) in each of the five tables.

Regardless of your position on the recent “Hot Seat Talk”, this year is very important for Chuck Amato’s record and resulting perspective of the evolution of his program at NC State. Using the N&O’s parameters, Mike O’Cain’s best year will get added to his overall record after this season – Amato’s 7th. Therefore, a seven year comparison between the two coaches – particularly in ACC competition – will be tighter after this season unless Amato has a year that more resembles the Gator Bowl season as opposed to the average of the last three seasons. (Of course, this ignores any adjustments for the impact of the “New ACC” and the fact that Amato will have played three less games against Duke than O’Cain played).

Local Media Blogs
IMHO, this kind of work is EXACTLY what the internet and the blogosphere is designed to nurture. For whatever reason, this kind of work is NOT what you will find printed in the daily newspaper, but it is the kind of information that rabid fans enjoy. It is very nice to see the local “mainstream” media in our area continue to provide unique perspectives and information to back up their perspectives.

Blogs like ACC Now, and 850BuzzBlog and David Glenn at WRAL-TV are great examples of “mainstream” outlets adding valuable content to the ‘system’. These outlets have more resources than the average person/blog and it only makes sense for them to provide great information to us all. Thanks, guys for all that you do!

General NCS Football

7 Responses to Talking ACC FBall Coaches & Local Blogs

  1. Cardiac95 08/23/2006 at 12:44 PM #

    Excellent research by JP! There’s a couple of minor flaws in Chuck’s before/after analysis, such as the Duke Effect, but nonetheless interesting.

    The one that jumps out at me is the analyis of the ACC from 2003-2005 (the 2nd Half of Chuck’s tenure). We’re tied with unc at 10-14 for 6th place, just ahead of Duke & Wake. That kind of puts the whole “Us vs. other NC Schools” debate in very clear perspective.

  2. redfred2 08/23/2006 at 3:48 PM #

    ^Your last paragraph points out what I posted a few weeks back. If FSU and Swofford’s new group of hand picked football heavyweights were taken out of the mix, the ‘old’ ACC would align much differently. Add to that the recent head to head competition, the tougher OCC scheduling, and Bunting gets the definite nod.

    I also think that the “new ACC” eliminate’s any way to get a true comparison on past and present coaching. Not talking about their personalities, but it definitely eliminates in-conference W-L percentages as a gauge anyway. But that’s another subject entirely.

    What I have said, and your paragraph verifies, is that for a program that has been touted as ‘on the verge’ and just waiting to step up into the upper echelon, the exact opposite may be true. That doesn’t bode well for a coach who reveled in the attention and helped to build the highest expectations of all time. All of the complaints about booing aside, I think maybe Chuck Amato may have built his own instrument of doom. It’s his own head on the block now, he needs to make damn sure that in 2006 he has figured how to wriggle it back out of harm’s way.

  3. redfred2 08/23/2006 at 4:08 PM #

    To clarify-

    I think Amato just got niavely caught up and swept away in all the hype, I believe he has always had the best of intentions for the program. He has brought the program a long way in almost every facet except one, that being his one major weakness,….game day.

  4. class of 74 08/23/2006 at 4:50 PM #

    I still contend history is not on our or Chuck’s side. If we really want to be bigtime in football we must look to a proven bigtime college coach, not some top assistant or a small college wonder. Someone like a Butch Davis comes to mind. Until we face reality and history, we will be like the sled dog. If you’re not in the lead the view doesn’t change.

  5. redfred2 08/23/2006 at 5:24 PM #


    If history is any guide, the chances are even decided less in the new ACC. I truly believe that there are no excuses with this 2006 team. Chuck’s assistant coaching is there, Stone should show improvement, the O line should improve, the backfield is loaded, D is not overwhelming but acceptable, this is it. There are some holes but there’s balance and I’m not expecting a break out season. It’s the ability to get it done without shooting yourself in the foot and coaching that are in question now. This season should be a definite answer as to what the future holds with Amato.

  6. BoKnowsNCS71 08/24/2006 at 2:54 PM #

    If history is any guide — if we ever get a big time coach (aka past NSCU coach Lou Holtz) they are going to either more money in the NFL (aka NY Jets) or more money and higher stature in a bigger school (aka Notre Dame). Duke had a big time coach in Spurrier — same scenario. UNC? Can you say Mack Brown was a big time coach?

    And look at all the talent we’ve at NCSU had but never grew. Pete Carroll (USC) was an assistant coach under Kiffin etc. At least with Chuck, we have stabilty and can grow toward a great season every now and then — like most teams in the ACC. If we ever get to be a powerhouse, we are going to get robbed of the coach unless he’s a Beamer who loves his school.

    Our problem is patience.

  7. redfred2 08/24/2006 at 9:08 PM #


    You’re probably saying that the team never grew, the individual talent has flourished and moved on to the next level under Chuck Amato.

    The best of intentions are there with Chuck Amato regarding NC State, but he would hit the ground running if a bigger program came calling. I personally won’t blame him for a second. I didn’t blame Lou Holtz, but he was a program wrecker. Or haven’t you heard that about the hall of famer already from the ‘more knowledgable’ Wolfpack fans? Two peas in a pod, same vein as Valvano, just never crucified publicly. I wonder if Holtz’s ldecision to leave a university that didn’t have the backbone to stand for it’s own had any bearing on that?

Leave a Reply