Amato Off Mandel’s List

In June of 2005, Sports Illustrated‘s Stewart Mandel listed Chuck Amato as the nation’s most over-rated coach. (Link)

In June of 2006, Sports Illustrated‘s Stewart Mandel demoted Chuck Amato and called him the nation’s worst coach.(Link)

This week, Mandel made some revisions to his 2006 list. In a move that Jeff obviously supported in this great entry before the season even began, Mandel now calls UNC-CH’s John Bunting the worst college football coach in America. Calls for Bunting’s job have grown louder and louder in recent weeks.

You can read Mandel’s article by clicking here. The following is the set-up of the piece:

Did you happen to watch last Thursday’s Florida State-N.C. State game? Right after the game, Dr. Jerry Punch asked Chuck Amato — the guy I dubbed No. 1 worst coach over the summer — whether the win would “quiet some of the critics who have been writing all this stuff about you.” Amato, in one of the great responses of all time, said with a straight face, “What critics? … I have no idea what you’re talking about,” and ran off the field. Also, at halftime of that game, Lou Holtz reached a new low in studio analysis when he referred to former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley as “J.D. Stokley.” Both events help explain a dream I had when I went to bed that night.

In it, I was in a classroom with the N.C. State football team. I was sitting on the far-left side in one of those awful “chair desks” that you have to squeeze yourself into. An unidentified woman at the front of the room (I don’t think she was a teacher) asked if anyone had “anything to say to Coach Amato,” who was sitting on the opposite side of the room. I turned to him and started politely explaining how the list was compiled, and why he shouldn’t take it personally — only I couldn’t make myself heard over Holtz, who was sitting in one of the rows between us gabbing with the person in front of him. That’s the last thing I remember.

So to clear my conscience, I think I had better revisit — and, in some cases, revise — the list.

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35 Responses to Amato Off Mandel’s List

  1. Cardiff Giant 10/12/2006 at 2:45 PM #

    The man’s an ass. And I don’t mean Amato or even Bunting.

  2. Pack Laddie 10/12/2006 at 2:55 PM #

    Chuck can thank the skinny kid from Broughton for his exodus from that list.

    Cardiff, I think a lot of us had Chuck on that list after the hammering in Hattiesburg.

  3. StateFans 10/12/2006 at 2:56 PM #

    ^ Agreed with Laddie. The case can be made that Chuck deserves to be on the list MORE for NOT playing Daniel Evans until now. Just like not playing Andre Brown until late in the season last year.

    But, let’s don’t open that can of worms and just be thankful that we are excited about the rest of football.

  4. Pack Laddie 10/12/2006 at 3:00 PM #

    “But, let’s don’t open that can of worms and just be thankful that we are excited about the rest of football.

    Agreed. I shudder to think what might be happening right now if Chuck had not pulled the trigger on the QB switch. Give him credit for making the move.

  5. redfred2 10/12/2006 at 3:06 PM #

    Bunting sky rocketed out of no where, all the way from sleeping giant land, to snatch the #1 position away.

    The dream about Holtz??? latent tendancies???

  6. Mr O 10/12/2006 at 3:09 PM #

    Maybe Evans wasn’t quite ready at the start of the year and he would have flopped the first few games?

    Sometimes it seems coaches can’t win no matter what they do.

    Were there any other idiots out there who made the trip to Hattiesburg like myself??? That was the worst road football game I have ever witnessed by an NC State team. Good place though and it would be a good team to play a home and home with once every five years.

  7. packbackr04 10/12/2006 at 3:09 PM #

    i agree, we should just be thankful he made the move… better late than never, but it makes you think, could we be undefeated right now with Evans at the helm all year? i think we could

  8. Dan 10/12/2006 at 3:11 PM #

    It would have been funnier if he followed it up with his five worst articles.

    Man, he blew that one.

  9. Trout 10/12/2006 at 3:13 PM #

    ^ I think we would be 4-1 had Evans started from the beginning. USM was a complete nightmare, and the entire team stunk, not just Stone. Many good teams have gone in there and lost.

    Mr O – how many hours was it from the ATL?

  10. RAWFS 10/12/2006 at 3:13 PM #

    Statefans, unless you can see what goes on in practice, you’re judging in hindsight — a dangerous business. Perhaps Brown was missing assignments in practice, or perhaps Stone was looking good. Not saying it is so, but that the possibility indeed exists.

    Keep in mind too that this is not the first mid-season QB change — Stone replaced Jay Davis and for a time the switch worked. Now we have Evans, who makes better decisions and is more accurate when he throws the ball. And next year, Justin Burke and Harrison Beck are available. Will there be pressure to play one or the other of those two should the team swoon, as it always seems to do?

    Amato has always shown loyalty to his upperclassmen starters. On one hand, it is good that they do not play with one eye on the bench, afraid a single mistake will cost them their job. On the other Amato can be said to be too loyal — after all there’s a job that needs doing and only sixty minutes a week to get it done. The key to his success is finding the right balance between the two.

  11. Spin Wolf 10/12/2006 at 3:21 PM #

    I’d like for someone to ask the honest question of Amato – what are the criteria for how you judge who starts at QB? He probably wouldn’t answer it. The point is that I just don’t see how, our first two QBs post-Rivers were impressive enough in practice for Amato and staff to say – Yes, let’s give this guy the keys to the car.”

    There is no way these guys were world-beaters in practice M-F and then stunk up the field on Sat. – and that’s what bothers me. Clearly, we haven’t been putting the best QB on the field and I’d like to know why.

    If it’s more out of loyalty as RAWFS suggests, that’s a problem, IMHO.

  12. Sam92 10/12/2006 at 3:22 PM #

    I’m not one of Chuck’s big supporters, but back-to-back W’s over BC and FSU deserve credit. he’s not one of the worst coaches — Chuck earned his name off that list.

    as for bunting, well, everybody says he’s a nice guy.

  13. primacyone 10/12/2006 at 3:27 PM #

    Bunting is a great guy. Better yet he is a great coach. In fact it he is the one of the best coaches UNC has ever had.

    All those Bunting haters don’t know what they are talking about and he just needs another five years.

    They will not be able to get anybody that is any better than John Bunting.

    He needs to stay.

  14. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 10/12/2006 at 3:28 PM #

    Amato would of been insane to pull Stone at the beginning of the season. How the f would you recruit QB’s when you yank a starter that had helped turn around a season and won a bowl game.

    You pull starters when they have lost the team’s and coache’s confidence not that of the lunatic fringe to borrow a phrase of a great philosopher (ahum). In one of his better coaching moments Amato made the right choice at the right time. Remember Stone won the Akron game only for it to be lost by the celebration penalty and the non-TD TD. What was he 8 or his last 9 on the final drive? The Stone led team also won at FSU last year but the team as a whole is playing better in all aspects since the move and that is what a miracle drive and pass can do for a team.

  15. legacyman 10/12/2006 at 3:28 PM #

    The way a kid works in practice is often quoted as the reason for why he is or isn’t playing on Saturdays. Only the coaches and perhaps a few well-heeled donors get to see Chuck’s closed practices. For anyone to speculate on why Daniel has only recently become the starter is firing with no bullets. We pay Chuck and his staff a huge amount of money to make these decisions and we get to sit back and act as if we know better how to run the show. I, for one, do not know enough to replace Chuck and, so far, no poster has convinced me that he/she does either. Let’s leave the coaching to Chuck and enjoy the show.

  16. packbackr04 10/12/2006 at 3:31 PM #

    SPin^^ it would be hilarious to ask CHuck that question… I can hear him going off on a tangent….
    SO chuck “what are the criteria you use to determine who starts at QB?”

    Chuck replies “well you know the angle of the suns rays directly affect the kind of sunglasses i wear and the rate of growth of the grass on the field, and you know we gotta keep the grass short in order to keep these guys hydrated and playin their butts off out there” “thanks for the interview”

  17. Mr O 10/12/2006 at 3:32 PM #

    Personally, I still don’t think Stone was a better QB than Davis. IMO, the reason Stone appeared better than Davis last year was because of a conservative game plan focused on limiting QB mistakes and running the football. IMO, if Davis had played in an offense with the same focus, then he would have been a more successful QB than Stone and our team would have still been 5-1 in our last six games winning by larger margins.

    Where we screwed up last year was not playing a conservative offense the first six games of the season.

  18. Pack Laddie 10/12/2006 at 3:36 PM #

    I hesitate to use the term, but, based on what we have seen, Daniel has a much higher football IQ than Davis or Stone.

    Surprising in Davis’ s case, since he is the son of a coach. By all accounts, Marcus just has never grasped the offense. Struggles with the mental part of the game.

  19. BoKnowsNCS71 10/12/2006 at 3:38 PM #

    Damn EweNC! They snatched another #1 ranking from us!

  20. gumbydammit 10/12/2006 at 3:47 PM #

    Mandel is frequently at the top of my list as the “Worst Sportswriter in America”, so go figure…plus I liked him a lot more when he had hair and stuck to comedy…

  21. Cardiff Giant 10/12/2006 at 3:56 PM #

    “Cardiff, I think a lot of us had Chuck on that list after the hammering in Hattiesburg.”

    Mine too. But like most of the national media, as you know, Mandel has very little idea of what’s he’s talking about.

    It took Chuck far too long last year to realized that the Jay Davis project was hopeless and his leadership was resulting in a team that played like undisciplined clowns. This year he seems to have recognized and corrected these errors much faster, for which I credit him greatly.

  22. redfred2 10/12/2006 at 4:03 PM #

    Maybe Evans wasn’t quite ready at the start of the year and he would have flopped the first few games?

    Nobody is questioning whether Evans was 100% ready or not. We’re questioning the yardstick.

    Let’s just hope he doesn’t have the ability to revert back to rookie status in just seven days, like he did in the seven days when he developed his previously unnoticed game winning and HEROIC football playing skills .

  23. choppack1 10/12/2006 at 4:18 PM #

    The beauty of being a sportswriter or any kind of critic is that you can be wrong as hell. In this case, you have an idiot say, “Amato is the worst coach in America.” He then revises a list to include someone he didn’t even have in the bottum 5 and has him as the worst coach….Correct me if I’m wrong, but was his list yearly, monthly, daily or what?? People like this are just jerks – Mandel deserves to be treated by all coaches the way Amato treats some of the writers around here.

  24. Wolfpack4ever 10/12/2006 at 6:53 PM #

    redfred2 Says: “Maybe Evans wasn’t quite ready at the start of the year and he would have flopped the first few games? Nobody is questioning whether Evans was 100% ready or not. We’re questioning the yardstick.”

    1. The team floundered, O & D but won the first game. Was this the time to bench your QB who had QB’s wins his first 5 of 6 starts the previous year for an untested QB?
    2. The D allowed Akron to shove the ball down our throats and caused us to snatch defeat from a game that Stone had literally won with an 8 out 9 passing performance. Was this the time to bench Stone?
    3. The team again was lousy, O & D and the coach brought in Evans to see what he could do.
    4. Evans started the next game.

    What is really wrong with this yardstick?

  25. brown pelican 10/12/2006 at 10:20 PM #

    credit the staff with having the courage to make the change at qb—don’t forget the improved play of the defense—the play against fsu and bc was far superior to the performance against so miss and akron—i’m as big an evans fan as there is—however—he is still learning—and—there will be moments when he and the offense take their lumps this season—the key to our continued resurgence will be the play of the defense—when de struggles—and he will at times—can the d and the kicking game be strong enough for us to survive?—me thinks hell yes—go pack

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