Benchmark Tom O’Brien: Version 2.0 (11:45PM Update)

Those who have been with us longer than a year may recall last season an article was published titled “Benchmark Tom O’Brien: The Race to Perceived Success“.  There is some good discussion on our message boards regarding Tom O’Brien’s trajectory as a program builder and why he is a good asset for our athletic department.  Rest assured that with new athletic direct Debbie Yow, Tom O’Brien’s performance and trajectory will be evaluated based on what’s best for NC State, based on what we have seen so far in our recent basketball coaching search.

Still, it’s worth while to look at Tom O’Brien’s success on the gridiron to see how he stacks up against NCSU’s other coaches.  First, let’s summarize where TOB sat as of this time last year:

Tom O’Brien, after his third season, was 0.432 overall and 0.375 in ACC play.  Not too hot.  The only permanent coach worse than that was Tom Reed (0.273/0.190 ACC) who also came into NC State as a “successful” coach at his former post (32-19-2 at Miami-Ohio).  Not a fair comparison of TOB to Reed, but the numbers ‘are what they are’. link

The point I would like to make at this time is two fold:  The first is that O’Brien is statistically on the right path.  And while it may be necessary to get more data to support any definitive answers on where O’Brien is heading, the statistics show that “something” positive is occurring in Raleigh.  The other point I would like to make is not that Tom O’Brien is a good or bad coach, but rather that because of his results in the first few years, he has reached a point where there will always be a period during his tenure that he is behind most of his other NCSU predecessors.  User ‘ACC 10K’ said it best in last year’s article when he stated: “…though it wasn’t stated explicitly, [this article is a] good demonstration that when you get a certain distance behind a standard, it becomes impossible to catch up within a constrained time period.”  Does that mean that Tom O’Brien couldn’t reach a level that Holtz couldn’t even reach?  Of course not; O’Brien is in control of his own destiny.  It does mean, however, that for now, all we know is how his results stacked up against previous coaches.

SO, LET’S DIVE INTO THIS… (averages analysis)

O’Brien finally had his first  winning season in 2010.  It was an amazing season filled with plenty of owed congratulations towards an experienced coach and the inevitable “WTF” play calls that will accompany every coach from Chuck Amato up to Joe Paterno.  Currently, Tom O’Brien sits at an overall 0.563 winning percentage.  This brings him above par with Chuck Amato by about 1% and above Mike O’Cain by 5%.  In my analysis, I attempted to determine why so many fans, despite the results, have been so enamored by this coach.  The answer can be found as clear as day in O’Brien’s record against conference opponents.  While Chuck Amato only won 45% of his games against conference opponents and Mike O’Cain only won 46% of his conference games, Tom O’Brien is beating his conference opponents 53% of the time.  This effect mixed with the 10,000 reports of injuries on the practice field that have been commented on extensively on our forums and blog give Wolfpack fans a reason to believe that if the roster can stay healthy, that 53% could easily be over 60%.

By the way, Dick Sheridan beat ACC opponents 63% of the time, Bo Rein at 65%, and Lou Holtz at 76%.

ACC Opponents
Tom O’Brien did very well against ACC opponents last year (6-2).  The last time a coach at NC State beat ACC opponents that well was in 1994.  Again, this helps explain some of the fandom that we see exhibited over Tom O’Brien.  Before this last season, O’Brien’s records against ACC opponents was 3-5, 4-4, and 4-4 during his 2007-2009 seasons, respectively.

Another interesting side-note, Tom O’Brien posted the first 4-4 conference record in 20 years in which NCSU did NOT make the post-season.  Take it for what it’s worth (AKA, not a lot).

The highlight of O’Brien’s ACC record is, obviously, his 4-0 run on Carolina.  Despite Carolina having a squad with more NFL draftees than almost anyone “in their class”, O’Brien has still managed to beat Carolina by 31-27, 41-10, 28-27, and 29-25.  The discussion of “we might have won/lost if only this one play went different” is just as messy as it is irrelevant to the discussion, but with NCSU being in such poor shape during the 2007-2009 period, coming away from Butch Davis’ “hired football teams” with four wins in a row is deserving of celebration and congratulations to Tom O’Brien, his staff, and to the Russell Wilson lead football squads.

Overall Records
Tom O’Brien’s overall record is a little more ominous than previous coaches.  Note that I like to look at “conference” and “overall” records, rather than strictly Out of Conference (OOC) opponents, since that gives enough data points to actually draw any sort of conclusion from the numbers.

O’Brien is currently beating any opponent on his schedule approximately 56% of the time.  Chuck Amato and Mike O’Cain only managed to beat scheduled opponents 55.6% and 51% of the time.  This statistically places O’Brien above Mike O’Cain and puts him on par with Chuck Amato.  There are many theories for why Tom O’Brien is only matching, rather than exceeding, Chuck Amato’s number (injuries, harder OOC opponents, et al), but at the end of the day, the results are the results and I’ve never seen a record book with asterisks to explain why an particular football squad should have done better than the record reflects.

PROGRAM BUILDER ARGUMENTS (3-year trend analysis)

This is where the results start to get interesting.  As I noted earlier, there has been a lot of discussion on our message boards concerning  whether Tom O’Brien is more of a program builder than our previous coaches.  Those who have voiced their unyielding support for O’Brien will be proud to note that the numbers 110% support this conclusions.

Note the table below (I’ll explain it in a second)…

O'Brien - Amato - O'Cain Comparison Chart (Click to Enlarge)

(CORRECTION: There are three errors in this chart. 1) The record in 2009 was 5-7, not 7-5.  2) The record in 2010 was 9-4 (5-3).  3) The bowl game against Miami in 1998 was a loss.  After re-running the numbers, I determined that (a) these errors only exist in one of my two stat sheets (the one you see here) and not in my sheet I actually use for my analysis.  The results of the analysis are roughly the same and point to the exact same conclusion: TOB’s 3-year average is increasing at a rate of 21% overall and 18% in conference play.  This points to a positive trajectory for O’Brien as a program-builder.)

In this table we have the records, winning averages, and percent change for each of our previous three coaches.  Also note that I have “Three-Year” values.  What I am attempting to do is ‘get a track’ on where each coach was trending.  In short, I averaged a three year period and gauged how that three-year average changed as a coach continued on-board at NC State.

Mike O’Cain
What you will notice about Mike O’Cain is this turbulent up-and-down pattern.  This really personified O’Cain’s tenure at NC State as many did not necessarily see a strong year-to-year reason to fire him, rather they got tired of the inconsistent and unpredictable performance of his squads.  This was true in both his overall and ACC records.  Usually when you see this kind of turbulence, it implies that a coach does not have the long-term vision for build a program, but rather is building individual teams.  In other words, a coach decides today to build a team for 2013.  When 2013 happens, the results are positive since the personnel and staff are geared towards that year.  As soon as the personnel and staff vary from the 2013 plan, the team begins to exhibit poorer performance.  A true program builder will ensure that even with player and staff turn-over, the program is consistently leaning forward and exhibiting above average, at worst, results.  O’Cain’s squads simply didn’t survive player turn-over.

Chuck Amato
Amato’s tenure was a bit easier to characterize, even with “The Philip Rivers Effect”, or the inflation in initial success of Amato’s coaching record based on having one of the best QB’s to ever enter Raleigh.  In both his overall and ACC records, three-year averages show a steady decline in performance.  Even though Amato’s career at NC State saw some tremendous highs, which contributed to NC State’s visibility greatly, it was also marred by crippling lows.  Over time, the lows outweighed the highs and thus we see the increasingly large decrease in performance over each three-year average.

Tom O’Brien
O’Brien is showing the opposite effect as Chuck Amato.  Now that he has been coaching for 4 years, we are able to look at two different three-year averages and determine if he is improving.  Initially, it appears as if Tom O’Brien is building an increasingly more successful program, despite the injuries that plagued the squad in 2009.  Keep in mind that just as the three-year average helps eliminate the positive effects of Rivers in the early 2000’s, it also helps eliminate the negative effects of fluke injuries.

The problem with analyzing if O’Brien is a program builder is having only two three-year averages to compare against each other.  It appears that O’Brien is improving each season (5, 6, 7, and 9 wins over his last 4 years respectively), but the factual conclusions regarding the program O’Brien is building can not be found in his results at Raleigh.  That doesn’t mean there may not be compelling arguments for such a claim, it just means that as of pre-season 2011, O’Brien “appears” to be building a program in West Raleigh and anything else is based on intangibles rather than the results on the field.  In my humble opinion, these intangibles are only of value to those inside the NC State fanbase but prove nothing to the rest of the conference and do nothing for the program at large.

What O’Brien Must Accomplish
If O’Brien has a respectable 8-4 season with a bowl appearance, his year-by-year and three-year percent changes will be less than stellar, but his ACC and Overall averages would increase to 58% each which shows definite improvement and gives much higher credibility to the claim that O’Brien is building a solid program.  The three-year average doesn’t have to increase each year, it only has to be a positive percentage.  Positive percentages mean that the program is increasing it’s performance over the past three years.  If the rate of percent-increase continues to rise, that’s awesome, but at some point in time you have to begin to asymptote.  From O’Brien’s previous records, he hits a ceiling at 9-wins. O’Brien has arguably more resources and better visibility at NC State than at Boston College, so hoping for some 10-win seasons and BCS visibility is a high-bar to meet, but within the realm of possibilities.

TOM’S PAST WILL HAUNT HIM… KIND OF… (bottom 5-year analysis)

Ultimately, if Tom O’Brien is able to match that +60% winning percentage that the likes of Bo Rein and Dick Sheridan brought to Raleigh, no one will care about any of this.  Until that point, it’s worth while to compare O’Brien’s first 5 years against his predecessors and determine what it would take for him to match the records of those who came before him.

Last year, we looked at what O’Brien needed to do over his 2010 and 2011 seasons to match the success of his predecessors.  What we arrived at is that O’Brien needed to make sure he could keep above an 80% win mark between 2010 and 2011 if he wanted to move from the “lower echelon coaches’s five year worst records” to the “high echelon coaches five year worst records”.

From Last Year's Benchmark TOB Peice

Now we know that with 9-3 record, Tom fell short of an almost unreasonable goal of 80% by 5%.  Therefore, the same figure modified to account for last year’s results changes to…

Updated Required Goals to Match Previous Coaches' Worst Records

I want to point something else out at this time: these figures take into account each coach’s worst records over a 5-year period while in West Raleigh.  What you see from the updated graphic is that in order for Tom O’Brien to match the success of each coach’s worst 5-year record, he would actually have to win more games in 2011 than he has scheduled.  Maybe when Carolina vacates some of their wins, we can have them give some wins to O’Brien.

Conclusion From the Analysis
One step at a time:

1) Does NOT mean: Tom is an inferior coach to Chuck Amato.  As noted in the three-year trend analysis,  Amato had a problem with building programs.  However, the “low” point of Amato’s overall record was not as low as O’Brien’s will inevitably be.  That’s just the penalty we pay for losing some games earlier on.

2) Does NOT mean: Tom will never be in the same category as Bo Rein or Dick Sheridan.  Again, this is a 5-year analysis of each coach’s worst 5 years.  While this means that O’Brien’s lows are lower than the other “higher echelon coaches”, it doesn’t mean that his highs won’t be just as high.

3) DOES mean: Tom will have a period that reflects behavior of a lower-echelon coach.  In other words, while this does NOT mean that he will definitively be a lower echelon coach, is does mean that no matter what he does this season, there will always be a period of time while he was coaching at NC State that he reflected results that make him appear to be a lower echelon coach.

A supervisor once gave me good advise: If you want people to always think you’re great at what you do, never be wrong.  This applies to this analysis.  While nothing about this says that O’Brien will be a bad coach or should be on the hot seat, it does say that ‘he made the mistake’ of not winning.  I put that in quotes because I know, and am incredibly tired of rehashing, the excuses and rationales for why O’Brien’s performance is what it is.  The bottom line is that his results are what they are and there is nothing he, or any fan, supporter, or analyst can do about it.


Two out of the three analyses conclude that O’Brien is on the right track and taking beloved NC State where she needs to be.  My father once told me that NC State would be thrilled with a Dick Sheridan-styled coach who was successful overall, stayed at NC State for a longer period of time, went to a bowl a little over half the seasons he was here, and always promised a good chance at a winning season.  In my humble opinion, Tom O’Brien is poised perfectly to be that kind of coach.

However, O’Brien is also 110% in control of his own destiny.  While a record of 8-4 would bring him in a transitional position between the lower echelon coaches and the high echelon coaches, a 6-6 record would bring his three-year percent change to 0% or lower, making him appear to have more of the “up and down” trend of a Mike O’Cain.  (This is at the root of why I, personally, am in wait-and-see mode over this coach.)  It’s worth noting that given O’Brien’s previous record at Boston College, there is no reason to think that he would lead the Pack to a 6-6 record, especially given the Pack’s 2011 football schedule.  If Tom O’Brien finished 2011 with a record of 6-6 or worst, it would be the first time in his D-1A coaching career that he finished a season with more than one less win than the previous season.  Being fans of the great NC State University, it would be extremely foolish to consider it unthinkable that O’Brien couldn’t have his first here in beloved Carter-Finley.

Until then, I’ll continue to root for the Red and White and cheer O’Brien on.  That being said, IF things turn sour, my hope is that we all have the sensibility to know what needs to be done.  If that hope never comes to fruition, I have faith in Debbie Yow’s ability to know what is best for NC State.  Go Pack!


UPDATE REGARDING CORRECTIONS: As noted by a few of our posters, there were three errors in the three-year analysis chart.  These errors have been noted and their effects stated.  These errors, in no way, affect the conclusions of this article.  Thank you for your input to our community and the analysis we provide.

Also, please let our authors know anytime there is an error in any of our pieces.  StateFansNation is composed of a group of alumni and fans, working and otherwise, who find time out of their busy weeks to provide the fanbase with the quality inside information that many other “premium” sites so often lack.  Sometimes that means that our authors do not have the time to triple check their stats.  Though statistical flaws are minimal, they still occur.  Thank you for your input and for helping us provide a high-quality community for the Wolfpack Nation!  Enjoy! -NCStatePride, 11:45PM, 6/13/2011


About NCStatePride

***ABOUT THE AUTHOR: NCStatePride has been writing for since 2010 and is a 2009 graduate of the College of Engineering.

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31 Responses to Benchmark Tom O’Brien: Version 2.0 (11:45PM Update)

  1. LRM 06/13/2011 at 5:29 AM #

    Nicely done. Although, you may want to correct one part…

    “Tom O’Brien did very well against ACC opponents last year (6-2). The last time a coach at NC State beat ACC opponents that well was in 1994.”

    That’s not right. State was 5-3 in 2010 (with losses to VT, Clemson and Maryland). O’Cain was 6-2 in 1994 but Amato was also 5-3 in 2002.

  2. coach13 06/13/2011 at 5:44 AM #

    Just win baby! In addition to finally having that winning season, I am more a fan of having TOB right now in light of all the NCAA scandals going on, I have the utmost confidence TOB will deal with that better than any other coach in the ACC right now. I am confident he will not embarass us in that regard.

  3. Hamlet 06/13/2011 at 6:24 AM #

    Great stuff, Pride, but as LRM noted, a couple of the stats are off.

    2009 was an absolute disaster, as we went 2-6 in conference play and only won 5 games overall. I tend to view that season as the outlier, however, due to everything going wrong that could go wrong and Irving missing the season after his accident. Still, it does not change the record.

  4. tractor57 06/13/2011 at 7:43 AM #

    Like any fan my goal is to be undefeated and win the NC every year. Of course that won’t happen. Amato (with the “Rivers effect”) gave us an outside chance one year but as a program builder he obviously failed.

    Overall I feel better than at the end of Amato’s tenure. I agree TOB’s future success or failure is in his hands. I have no facts to add to this well reasoned analysis and I haven’t gone back to check the data either so more of a gut reaction.

    In the end I like the way TOB has handled the program and the players. Will he be the greatest even? Maybe not but I’m sure he will leave the program in general a lot better for the next man than is was when he arrived. Again this is a “gut” thing and not something I can prove.

  5. Plz2BStateFan 06/13/2011 at 7:54 AM #

    Very nice analysis. A very cold way to look at the raw numbers, but at the end of the day, a coach will have to be held to the results.

    I am not sure what kind of value I would place with the “Goal to match previous coaches” graph and stats. It kind of becomes irrelavent once those numbers go over 1.

    Is there a way to look at the data to show the trajectory of the programs before coaches took them over? For example, Amato took over a program what was doing much better than the way Amato left the program. This would show what it took to turn the programs around when the coaches came into the program based off the state they were left in

  6. Master 06/13/2011 at 8:30 AM #

    Nice analysis and comparison of coaches at NCSU.

    Even though injuries are hard to chart qualitativly, they are easy to chart quanitativly. More than any other factor, I believe that the massive number of season ending injuries to our players has determined the perceived mediocrity of TOB teams in ’09 and ’10. And let’s make that clear – I’m talking about season ending injuries, not just miss a game here and there injuries, which include Fr. year Russell Wilson and Jr. year Nate Irving.

    You may not have enough data to plot that against CTC, MOC or Sheridan, but as a 50+ year fan of NCSU football, I have never seen anything like what we experienced with major injuries under any previous coach. No, there will never be an asterisk in a record book to note this, but that does not mean it isn’t a major factor. For the record, PR never missed a game.

  7. packplantpath 06/13/2011 at 8:37 AM #

    My comment from the boards predict the record thread:

    Honestly, I say anything less than 8-4 next year is below expectations based on the schedule.

    6-6 or worse should get TOB fired, and I would be ok with a firing at 7-5 but wouldn’t clamor for it. Last year was year 1 of the “no excuses TOB express” for me. I now ignore his first 3 seasons when considering his tenure at NC State since I’m ok with the excuses available for the results those years and the problems were not of his doing. Last year, he started with a blank slate for me. It was his team. This year he gets the same rules.

  8. daly 06/13/2011 at 9:35 AM #

    TOB to me has been a mystery. Came in with a rep as a great producer of OL’s and I’m not sure we;ve seen 1 yet that I would qualify as capable of smash mouth FB. The Clemson not going for it game last year sucked–followed only by the crap punt. Then going for the 4th down at UNC followed my the miraculous reception. Then taking the tail-pipe after starting up 14-0 at Maryland

    I went to every game but the bowl game, saw alot of great plays (nate was obviously awesome and 16 was most of the time his unreal self). But there were lots of WTF moments last year and enough for me to not be a TOB for life guy.

    curious what Glennon offers–but unless the OL protects better then we;ve seen for the last 4 years—Glennon will be running for his life eveyr play—just like RW did virtually every play the last 3 years

  9. ryebread 06/13/2011 at 9:37 AM #

    One point on the spreadsheet. Miami beat us 46-23 in that Micron PC bowl. I was a student and remember it vividly. I knew we’d get smoked coming in because Miami was a team who had started slowly and rattled off a bunch of wins in a row (including a win over the #1 or #2 ranked UCLA near the end of the year).

    That was an ugly game — as ugly as the Michigan and Florida bowl losses. It also told me that NC State was a long way from college football’s elite. Virtually every time we played them (outside of that fluke game against Texas and Torry Holt’s single handed victory over FSU), we got rolled.

    As for the original article, it is funny how different people can see different things. When I compare TOB and Amato, in Amato, I see a coach that improved immediately and trended upwards quickly. He couldn’t maintain that success though. We blame this on the Rivers effect, but I think it was more to do with the high staff turnover that we saw under Amato.

    Will we be talking about the same RW effect? He’s one of the top 3 QBs in NC State’s history and our best since Rivers. I hope that isn’t the case. If not, then I think we actually have a program builder. Until then, the verdict is still out. I do think the staff continuity has been promising though, and the addition of Tenuta was a pretty large upgrade.

  10. Manu Ginobili 06/13/2011 at 9:40 AM #

    I may be reading something wrong, but in your first table, you’ve got 2010, 2009, and 2008 records wrong. We went 9-4 in 2010, 5-7 (2-6 ACC) in 2009, and 6-7 in 2008. I didn’t really check other tables and figures to see if they are also wrong, but if you refer all other tables to that excel spreadsheet, it would be an easy fix.

  11. packalum44 06/13/2011 at 9:45 AM #

    “I am more a fan of having TOB right now in light of all the NCAA scandals going on”

    Exactly why again? OSU just won a BCS game and Auburn just won the National Title and UNX is stacked to the gill with NFL talent and recruiting extremely well and indications are they will get off with a slap on the wrist.

  12. runwiththepack 06/13/2011 at 10:23 AM #

    I think it should also be mentioned that TOB has had only 4 years on the job and that VA Tech and Miami have joined the league to improve it. Although the acc has not improved as much as expected, it’s not VT’s fault. They have replaced some of the games NCS had with weak Duke, WF, MD, and Virginia teams in previous decades.

    4 years isn’t enough years to compare with coaches that were here for much longer, especially with the condition that TOB found the program in (and the ridiculous injury list).

    I agree that if NCS slides back to 6-6 or less, it will be a very big disappointment. I’m VERY hopeful that we have found our man in TOB.

    I’m SO anxious to see how Glennon does at QB.

    We’ll know a LOT more about NCS football after this season, I suppose.

  13. NCStatePride 06/13/2011 at 10:31 AM #

    Thanks all for the feedback/corrections. There is a lot of data going on here and it takes a few passes to get it all right. I will make corrections this evening.

    BTW, feel free to comment on the article, but we never have, nor will we ever, tolerate mud throwing on this blog.

  14. runwiththepack 06/13/2011 at 10:31 AM #

    Also, we are comparing coaching records of past coaches that didn’t have to contend with Florida State and Georgia Tech. BC certainly hasn’t done too bad since joining the league, either. For a long, long, time, Clemson was the only consistent football powerhouse. Now there are at least 4 ACC teams that have comparable track records.

    That doesn’t mean I accept lower W-L%. But we have to realize that it’s at least a little harder to win in this league than it was before it started accepting new members with numerous national championships. If TOB catches up to past NCS coaches statistically, I will regard his record as having SURPASSED previous coaches that didn’t have the newer, better ACC teams on the schedule.

  15. packplantpath 06/13/2011 at 10:40 AM #

    “BTW, feel free to comment on the article, but we never have, nor will we ever, tolerate mud throwing on this blog.”

    Save that for the message board boys 🙂

    NCStatePride: +1

  16. highstick 06/13/2011 at 11:21 AM #

    We don’t throw mud, we throw cow patties!

  17. phillypacker 06/13/2011 at 11:31 AM #

    Xavier Griffin looks very talented. Great hands, runs good routes, fast, gets open, fights for yards after the catch, cuts like a butcher knife, very good fundamentals, shifty, adjusts to the ball, 6’3.” Competition or not the guy has great tools, 3.6 GPA, very sharp kid, looks like he’s in slow motion as he outruns everybody. His quarterback, Taylor Reynolds, looks like Cam Newton. Just watch him throw and run. Great touch on the ball, makes plays, cuts and has a strong arm. Beautiful, smart athlete. Sign him!

  18. JSRy2k 06/13/2011 at 1:11 PM #

    Key ways TOB has built up from Amato’s tenure:

    TOB’s first 3 years are roughly equivalent to Amato’s last 3, but while such results fail to meet our higher aspirations, they are admirable considering coaching contrast and player casualties (massive attrition of Amato’s players + injuries). And, although 2010 is not a trend but just a single successful season, there is good reason to believe that we will build on it with returning players and, even better, staff.

    Entering year 5, TOB retains both coordinators and all position coaches but two (McCollum, Swepson), and has drastically upgraded the defensive staff (Tenuta). Entering year 5, Amato’s coordinators alone had already turned over four times as he was on his third DC (Green, Amato, Herring) and third OC (Chow, Galbraith, Mazzone).

    Football is the ultimate team game, and it’s not only on the field but also on the sidelines and in the pressbox.

  19. tjfoose1 06/13/2011 at 1:36 PM #

    The OL did a fine job of pass blocking last year. They should only be better in 2011.

  20. HPWolf 06/13/2011 at 1:41 PM #

    I think that it is worth mentioning that TOB easily could have had two winning seasons and two bowl wins under his belt at the end of year four at State. His unselfish decision to let RW sit the second half against Rutgers two years ago without a doubt cost him the bowl win and a winning record. We were owning Rutgers until coach sat RW even though RW said he would have played if Tom asked him too. TOB did this to protect his young quarterback. How many coaches would have done that. The man has character that breeds unity, teamwork and devotion. I personally believe we as fans are damn lucky to have TOB as our football coach. Expect one hell of a ride from here on because MG can take us beyond 9 wins for the next two years. We are in good hands.

  21. Pack78 06/13/2011 at 2:27 PM #

    ^^^JSR-Good point of the staff retention-really hurt during the latter part of the CTC years. McCollum went home to GA and Swepson got an HC job-understandable moves in both cases.

  22. howlie 06/13/2011 at 2:40 PM #

    I respect the article–but had to ‘drop out’ 1/3 of the way through (I’ll consume the rest later). However, you don’t need statistical analysis to prove he’s a good coach, you see it on the field.
    For O’Pain & Chuck, you saw mixed in with some good: BOATLOADS of off-side calls; delay of game; inadequate no’s on the field; selfish play; etc. You heard Amato say he had NO possible answers for eliminating penalties & lack of precision.
    In one year, suddenly both units were working in lock-step, fine precision on the field. There was no pouting, celebrating, jawing, penalties & stupid oversights or turnovers, just precision.
    If you get 11 guys on the field working in sync & w/precision, and don’t LOSE games w/your own mistakes, you have a chance to win.

  23. packhammer 06/13/2011 at 3:39 PM #

    I loved Chuck’s attitude and passion but he owed everything to Phil Rivers. The truth about college football is this, you have to have a really good quarterback. When you don’t have one, you don’t win that much. Even with a really good defense and everything else you might want. Watching film, Russell Wilson did some pretty amazing things to help us win games. Going to be interesting to see what we have next year.

  24. adwomack 06/13/2011 at 6:01 PM #

    This article would be great, if not for the inaccurate date throughout it. It all sounds good, until you use real data, and then it is not as rosy.

    1) As someone else pointed out, We were 5-3 in conference last year
    2) The 3 year average table has two “positive” mistakes” for Obrien. We were 9-4 last year, as we lost the 3 conference games, and to ECU.
    3) We were not 7-5 in 2009 and the 3 year table suggests. We were 5-7 if I’m not mistaken.

    And, when you compare O’Brien to the Chest, you like to use ALL of his, not his first four years. If you did that, I believe that the numbers would be a lot different.

    Remember Chuck had a winning record his first 3 years, and I don’t believe anyone on this board thinks O’Cain left him with a loaded squad.

    Maybe O’Brien will build a powerhouse program, but his recruiting does not suggest that will happen any time soon. No, matter what the glass half full people want to say, you need elite recruits. O’Brien knows that as well. That is why he offers them all scholarships, but they just don’t end up coming here.

    He’s a solid coach, and with our week non-conference schedule, I’m sure he’ll win 7 or 8 games every year, and 9 occasionally when we win the blue bonnet bowl, but there is nothing in his coaching history to suggest otherwise either at NC State or BC.

    NCStatePride: I’ve explained the errors in the article, but the results are still the same: O’Brien’s program continues to build while others simply did not. When you re-run the results, you see that O’Brien’s 3-year average increased 21% in the first four years while Amato’s decreased by 3%. This gives Amato as much credit as he is owed for a quick start followed by a steady drop-off. Again, many thanks for the corrections, but don’t over-state the effect they have on the numbers (especially since 2/3 of the analysis isn’t based on that one table… I have no idea how that table got so many errors in translation from my master sheet). Let me know if you see anything else.

  25. Wolfy__79 06/13/2011 at 7:03 PM #

    nice read!

    my opinion of NC STATE football is that any coach that’s worth his salt should be bowling 3 out of 4 years at worst. there are umpteen million bowl games now, there is no reason with the amount of support WOLFPACK FAITHFUL give our program that this cannot be accomplished. i’m behind TOB 100%, but i’m still cautiously optimistic about where we are as a program. it’s pretty obvious to see that he is building and early on my expectations out ran the reality of the situation… but it’s about time for all this building he’s done to show. i think he’s a great coach and role model for the student athletes and the program in general.. although 8-4 isn’t going to rock my world.. i would be okay i guess with that… but i’ll still have to see how it feels.

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