Coach D, you have us so confused

The following entry was originally published on November 30th.

I don’t even know what the best format to write this post would be. I’ve heard so many different points and counter points about Coach D, this team and the staff as a whole that I don’t know what to think so I’ll write them all out with a few facts and maybe you all can help me decipher what the hell to think.

Point – TOB left this team without any talent.
Taking a look at the recruiting rankings a few comparable programs from 2008 – 2013, which would be an entire class plus a redshirt year you’ll see some interesting numbers:

Baylor Currently #9 & 9 – 1 in Big 12
2013 – 31
2012 – 45
2011 – 46
2010 – 39
2009 – 55
2008 – 51
Average class ranking of 42.83

Missouri Currently #5 & 10-1 in SEC
2008 – 25
2009 – 40
2010 – 21
2011 – 48
2012 – 31
2013 – 41
Average class ranking of 34.33

LouisvilleCurrently ranked #20 & 10-1 in AAC
2008 – 55
2009 – 77
2010 – 48
2011 – 29
2012 – 42
2013 – 52
Average Class ranking of 50.5

NC State – Currently unranked 3-9 in ACC
2008 – 31
2009 – 52
2010 – 34
2011 – 87
2012 – 53
2013 – 47
Average class ranking of 50.6

Validity – Questionable at best This is a small sample but you can see that recruiting, while important, isn’t the whole story or my small sampling of schools are a bunch of outliers who are out performing their rankings. We know recruiting is important and these rankings don’t include busts, transfers, or injuries but it is hard for me to believe that teams like Marshall, ECU, Wake Forest, and Duke are that much more talented than us.

Point – Coach D needs time.
Taking a look at the other first year coaches, some who were rumored to be in the running for our position before DD was hired

Sonny Dykes @ Cal: 1 – 11 (1 win being vs Portland State, lost 10 in a row) *Side note, Cal’s average recruiting class is 25.8!!!*
Darrell Hazell @ Purdue: 1 – 10 (currently losing to Indiana would make 10 in a row, 1 win vs Indiana State)
Willie Taggert @ USF: 2 – 9 (beat Cincy and UCONN)
Bret Bielema @ Arkansas: 3-9 (beat Louisiana, So. Miss, Samford, 0-8 in conference)

Validity? – Valid. First year coaching is hard and coaches don’t get fired and leave behind good teams.

Point – We are young
There is no disputing that we are one of the youngest teams in country. Taking a look at the number of returning starters across the country you’ll see very few major conference teams with less returning starters than NC State. Here are the teams with the 5 lowest number of returning starters in the 5 major conferences.

NC State (5 offense/5 defense), Michigan (6 / 5 ), K State (7 / 1), Cal (6 / 5), Florida (6 / 5).

As you can see, all of these teams have had tough years and if you look at the opposite, teams with highest number or returning starters overall they’ve had great years. Teams like FSU with an average recruiting class of 7.5 are able to overcome having only 10 returning starters. Maybe one day we’ll take a deeper look and find the correlation here but not today.

Validity? – 100% valid, it is hard as hell to win with young teams.

Point – WTF Play Calling
There are two areas here that I’ve heard people talking about, the aggressive play calling & the vanilla play calling. While we as a fan base have been yearning for an aggressive play caller, some of the calls this year have even the most die-hard fans scratching their head. Fake punts in particular but going for it at inopportune times have been particular areas of concern. I’ll give Coach D a pass here since I like the aggressive nature and if half of these plays had worked it wouldn’t be an issue. The area that I can not for the life of me understand is what we saw today, 4rth & short and we line up in shotgun/pistol formation. When you have a 6-4, 240lb QB and you need 6 inches on 4rth down. Line up under center and let him Cam Newton his way to a first down. The play-action rollout today was extremely puzzling when a score late in the 3rd would have put us right back in the game.

Point – Coach D doesn’t have a QB to run his system
If you want to see the type of offense that coach D wants to run turn on Auburn or Baylor this year and watch those guys run the ball. I believe it was vs Texas Tech Baylor had 5 running backs with over 100 yards and right now Auburn has 2 100 yard rushers and is tied with #1 Alabama. The offense works, is exciting but does require the right personnel.

Taking a further look at our QBs you’ll see: a converted WR who never started a game at QB, a QB who transferred in with a – 5 INT ratio and was sacked 71 times in 2 previous seasons, a guy who is transferring, 2 walk-ons and a guy who had no other BCS scholarships and chose NC State over Harvard.

Validity?. Valid but coach DD has put a lot of pressure on Jacoby before he’s even taken a snap in a State uniform.

While this was without a doubt one of the most painful seasons I can ever remember, partly because of the results of the field and partly because of the kick in the balls that the #OurState campaign turned out to be, Coach DD needs and deserves time to get the program running the way he wants it. I know it is hard for everyone but we really need to reserve judgement and support the entire staff as they continue to put together a very good first full recruiting class.

PS – I’m completely impressed with the crowd at the State vs Maryland game today. I was expecting an abysmal showing but outside of the lack of students (home for the holiday excuse), there was a very good crowd at Carter Finley today. Good job Packies.

About JackWolf

I'm an unapologetic NC State fan but also consider myself a rational one. Hit me up on twitter if you want to talk @NCStateFootball

'13 Football Dave Doeren Football Recruiting NCS Football

86 Responses to Coach D, you have us so confused

  1. Wulfpack 11/30/2013 at 7:33 PM #

    He certainly deserves time. He also did a very poor job this season. It goes both ways. Hope next year is different or else it will be a short tenure for him in Raleigh.

  2. TheAliasTroll 11/30/2013 at 7:41 PM #

    Well it was piss poor coaching his first year.. and that’s a fact, JACK!

  3. wolf71 11/30/2013 at 7:44 PM #

    Sorry for duplicate post.

  4. wolf71 11/30/2013 at 7:46 PM #

    Time for a change! In over his head! No excuses for a winless conference season! Georgia Southern will hand us a 10th straight loss!

  5. Wulfpack 11/30/2013 at 7:51 PM #

    Let me be clear that the deck was stacked against him. That is obvious and why he deserves more time. Just how much? I don’t know.

    But in the end, a major college football coach must win. If you don’t, the reasons why are of no consequence. He must turn it around quickly or else. NC State, as mediocre as we have been, has no business going winless in the ACC. None. And I do not care how bad it is. You just can’t do that in this league.

  6. wolf71 11/30/2013 at 7:53 PM #

    Went from mediocre to pathetic very fast and coaching helped that!

  7. vtpackfan 11/30/2013 at 8:14 PM #

    Hurts head to even think about this team, just glad it’s over.

    But wait….”2011 – 87″. WTF is that!? Do you people understand the caliber of schools that finish ahead of you when your class is ranked 87!?

    You almost have to TRY and suck that bad when you have an electric home stadium atmosphere and football facilities that we have.

  8. Wulfpack 11/30/2013 at 8:15 PM #

    We lost 8 of our 9 losses by double digits. Weren’t even close in the majority if them in which they were over by half. I mean this year we really were taken to the woodshed and offered very little resistance. And we lost badly to some very average to below average teams, including our bitter rival that is much more talented than us right now. Doeren is a rah-rah, upbeat kind of guy, but another one of these and it becomes a joke. You gotta win, man, fairly or not. Heck, just win a couple to give us at least some hope.

  9. El Scrotcho 11/30/2013 at 8:17 PM #

    When you have the recruiting/young team issues we had this year you can cover a lot of that up with good QB play. When you have those issues and add terrible QB play you’re going to stink and stink really badly. I expected maybe one more win this year – it was obvious how bad we were going to be.

    Hopefully Jacoby is enough to get us into bowl range – which would buy enough time to have this whole team overhauled by year 4. If he doesn’t buy us something positive to sell it’s going to be a long way back.

  10. heavy 11/30/2013 at 8:21 PM #

    So, we were supposed to be afraid of joining the SEC because there was a real possibility of us going 0fer in football? How’d that work out. I agree 0feren isnt going anywhere for 3 years (total), but I have a real bad feeling we are in for the same next season.

  11. Wulfpack 11/30/2013 at 9:06 PM #

    At least he gets it (quote today):

    “It has been a tough, long season,” Doeren said. “As the head coach here, it’s my job, obviously to get this football team to play better than we did.”

    I like him, I really do. However the results are the results and they won’t hold up. They can’t.

  12. NelsonHall97 11/30/2013 at 10:11 PM #

    Coach D has me confused too. I want to like him, but I’m just confused. I mean…he keeps it positive, which is good. But he just looks like a man defeated. On the last few Dave Doeren shows he looked and sounded like he wanted to be anywhere but here…like he’s in over his head. He just doesn’t instill any confidence to me.

  13. JackWolf 11/30/2013 at 10:23 PM #

    For those saying “he can’t coach” show me some data that supports your point. I guess dykes hazzel raggedy and Bielma can’t coach either?

    A guy who goes 24-3 doesn’t just forget how to coach

  14. Greywolf 11/30/2013 at 10:36 PM #

    Very fair write up but with a few omissions. Injuries weren’t mentioned and citing Baylor’s and Louisville’s recruiting classes without mentioning the quality of their quarterbacks is just irresponsible.

    Baseball recruiting that doesn’t include quality pitching is just a bunch of meaningless statistics and so it is with football without a quality QB.

    There is more to producing good football teams than recruiting players who were quality HIGH SCHOOL standouts. Weight training, redshirting, seasons of training in the systems employed are essential to developing teams — none of which DD has had at his disposal for a full year.

    Referring to coaches that were interested in who are having a tough first year as if it somehow casts a shadow on our evaluation process is a bit of a low blow. But oh, I forgot. This is the internet and any asshole who has a negative comment to make is just being affectionate toward their team. I read that somewhere recently. I don’t believe it but what the hell, it was on a good site so it must be true.

  15. heavy 11/30/2013 at 10:48 PM #

    Heres my confusion. 0foren is getting accolades as a recruiter. Tob did the following:
    2008 2.88 stars average
    2009 2.78 stars average
    2010 3.05 stars average
    2011 2.75 stars average
    2012 2.77 stars average

    2013 3 stars average. Maybe a smidge better than tob but not the world beater he has ben proclaimed to be. It seems his ranking is getting a plethora of 3 stars and 1 4 star. Again, hope im wrong and it works out but this shot is getting old. My tenure at state has seen les, herb, sid and mark for b ball. Also been dick, mike, chuck, tom and dave in football. For some reason we have had little success in hiring coaches. It seems like we have done it again.

  16. Alpha Wolf 11/30/2013 at 11:06 PM #

    What Greywolf said…injuries piled up and made us play lesser players with no real backup, meaning they wore out — hence the number of games lost in the fourth quarter.

  17. Adventuroo 11/30/2013 at 11:32 PM #

    Interesting article….appreciate the quantitative info. This puts it in perspective.

    One of the fans in our BB section tonight made a comment. “Coach D was dealt a bad hand and played it poorly”

    I agree except I think it was a VERY bad hand and he had to take a lot of chances just to break even.

    Wolf71, I HOPE your comment about cutting our losses was Tongue In Cheek.

    If you read the Memo Of Understanding (ironically dated 12/1/2012), then you know that his base salary is $750K and he has 4 more years remaining. The language in the “Termination for convenience” clause is very concise and clear. PAY THE MAN IN FULL. There are no kickers or language for margins of victory or defeat W/L records.

    SO, if we cut our losses now, then we will be writing checks totaling $3,000,000… if he gets another COACHING job in the NCAA, you subtract his earnings.

    We can not AFFORD to do anything just because SOME have buyer’s remorse. I had pointed out Sonny’s record before, but not the entire litter.

    YES, we DO guarantee him $1,050K in ADDITION. But that is it. Coach Fedora has a contract with UNC, the Rams Club and the “media” which totals $1,700K. THEN he gets to negotiate his own “Shoe” and “Clothing” contracts….Don’t know how much they were worth, but TOB’s was over $150K before Debbie and the AD corralled all the Media and Clothing into THEIR coffers.

    SO, CUTTNG OUR LOSSES, is really not something that is practical. I get Poison Oak and have had it so bad that I was hospitalized as a child. Even then, the Doctor never suggested amputation….and I think that example is fitting here.

    NOW, I am disappointed with the season. I had MUCH higher expectations…..maybe 6 & 6 and some Podunk bowl invite…..which I would not have attended. Followed the pack to Birmingham and was going to FL but the weather did not cooperate and have been to Charlotte. I have been to at least 10 bowl games, so I TRAVEL….but the ones that we would have ended up in were not of interest.

    Coach D is a VERY sincere man. He does not hide his emotions and he is very disheartened. I think that he will work on those areas, which might include some staff shuffling, with a vengeance. I also think that our returning players will be in better physical shape and they will know his systems next year.

    I also think that we have a pretty good recruiting class coming in. BUT, it is prattle like I read here that CAN and WILL hurt us.

    We are a peculiar lot. We expect a lot. We suffer a lot. We, justifiably, complain a LOT.

    That has convinced some really up and coming coaches NOT to return our phone calls or even do a preliminary interview.

    SO….As Jimmy V said, give yourself 24 hours of self pity and mourning, assuming you do not play a game the next day……then GET OVER IT….

    Coach D knows better than anyone else that he failed to live up to HIS commitments and also our and the WPN expectations. He has made NO excuses for talent, injuries, poor officiating, or bad luck.

  18. wolf71 11/30/2013 at 11:47 PM #

    No I mean cut our losses. Even if Debbie was dumb enough to write a contract with a termination clause of 3 million then god help us all because state will never be able to make a change. Isn’t this part of the reason for md’s budget problem. Too much tied in to termination clauses for coaches leading to unhappy fans not attending or donating. Hope we will not be following that path.

  19. wolf71 11/30/2013 at 11:51 PM #

    This is a win and loss business do not give a damn how sincere he is. Win , improve be competitive but this shit storm is completely unacceptable.

  20. mak4dpak 11/30/2013 at 11:58 PM #

    The nightmare season is over for all the reasons that caused it, whatever they may be. Now time to focus on basketball, which I did, by spending the entire day in Raleigh, and watching the win over E. Kentucky, who is no slouch, not to mention the women in convincing win today . Go Pack Basketball!

  21. vtpackfan 12/01/2013 at 12:19 AM #

    So TOB was following a similar trajectory to that of the Baylor and Missouri coaches? I can’t get behind that knowing full well that the game had completely left him behind.

    A lot of folks are pretty sure that TOB would have won more games and not gone winless in the ACC. Really so sure? Bible would have had a QB that wasn’t mobile and didn’t have a strong arm. Our OL was bad before we graduated Mattes, Allen and Wentz.

    And that brings us to the secondary. Anybody remember the last time we had such a young secondary? Not that it mattered since that very same secondary matured into those debacles vs UT and Miami last season.

    The only ACC win TOB could have had was versus Syracuse. Honestly, think about it. Was this the year he would go to Winston-Salem or Chestnut Hill and not have us come out like football fairies again?

  22. Adventuroo 12/01/2013 at 12:19 AM #

    I do NOT think that Debbie and the word DUMB should ever be used in the same sentence or maybe paragraph or even….

    The termination for convenience clause is in every major contact for any GOOD (or thinks they are good) coach. If you did NOT have it, then you would get coaches that would really make you cry…..

    Debbie actually is very shrewd and her contracts are being somewhat plagiarized. She uses INCENTIVES to get performance instead of just a HIGH salary.

    Case in point. We bought out Doeren’s contract at NIU. BUT, he had to pony up the taxes and that was PLAINLY spelled out. That cost him about 45% if my wife, the retired tax preparer for folks that earned Coach’s salary, is correct.

    I THOUGHT it was tax deductible….then I did some googling. I read a LOT of contracts for big schools….(is Michigan OK to cite?) They DID not have the performance incentives. In addition, they had “ZERO TAX CONSEQUENCES” clauses where they paid the TAX on the incoming coach’s buyout.

    If you recall, Debbie also “negotiated” TOB’s buyout so he could go play with Mr. Welch and the boys at UVA. I THINK that she also cut a deal with an assistant. SO, she saved us one full year or more of TOB’s contract.

    I also read some of the Alabama contracts. Anytime a university is a “public” entity, the FOIA kicks in and you can usually find a coach’s contract.

    Mikey makes $7,000,000….based on the non-profit tax docs released by Duke.

    Roy and Larry BOTH have the same “convenience” clause as did Butch. Getting a good coach without a “termination for convenience” clause is NOT something that is feasible today.

    Sort of like having a motel and offering FREE DIALUP (if you have your OWN modem) INTERNET. It is a fact of life….

    Do a little googling….read some big time coach’s salaries and contracts… in point….read Shaka’s AFTER he got them to match Debbie’s offer and then what he got the NEXT year….

    Hope this makes sense…..this is the real world….not what I or others might think it should be….

    As to MD’s AD Budget. How about LACK OF REVENUE? Fans were NOT buying tickets to FB. Fans were fed up with Gary. Her mistake was that he had some big donors who remembered what he HAD done for them….and chose NOT to look at what he was NOT doing for them. She is usually pretty savvy, but she did not pick her battles…..and she learned from that.

    NOW, you will get all sorts of comments about MD’s budget….and you will get all sorts of insiders. I think that she served them well and was trying to clean up a BIG mess and the lack of fan support (revenue as well as donations) when the economy hit the skids was the reason. Did she do everything right…..of course not. But give her a B+ for her years there and they were better off AFTER she left than before she came.

    She and Dr. Woodson have been the ONLY AD and Chancellor to actually IMPROVE our competitiveness since Bruce Poulton and Jimmy Valvano were in power….and that ceased in 1990 and the Faculty Senate and the BOG cowtowed to the witchhunt that the N&O started…..and we have been in a SLIDE every sense.

    Go back and look at the Director’s Cup standings from 1990 (if they go back that far) and look at what she has accomplished. YES, we fluctuate up and down a bit….but we are now closing in on a consistent TOP 25 – 30 position….

    My thoughts….my research…..others will disagree….some will agree….but we do NOT have $3 Million to needlessly cut Coach D because he had a bad year….

    What may NOT have sunk in, I think, was the OFFENSIVE WEAPON of a REAL QB….BD would have come around, I think, if he had not been sidelined for several games.

    TOB had three years of Russell Wilson and two of Mike Glennon. Where have I seen those names recently….OH…the stats from the Sunday (and other days) fracases in the NFL. Seems that they are both starters. Chuck had some kid from Alabama named Rivers. I went to the Gator Bowl and watched him KILL Notre Dame. He is getting older, but I watched him the other day….and he is STILL exciting and was the same one that I watched pull out many a game….when we had the same level of talent in the other positions…

    If Coach D had had a Rivers or Wilson or Glennon, then this thread would NOT have been written….

    TOB would be equally dismal this year since we do NOT have a QB…

  23. tjfoose1 12/01/2013 at 12:24 AM #

    “No I mean cut our losses.”


    Team wasn’t going to get magically better in the last few weeks. Once we hit the mark of 9 starters out to injury around week 6, the team became what it is, and no amount of genius coaching was going to change anything.

    The bad hand analogy works if you throw in a tiny chip stack. Sometimes what looks like a dumb move under different circumstances is the only play to make.

    I don’t know what we have yet, but next year will tell us, regardless of the win total.

    I am concerned about our defensive staff. Misreads and bad assignment football should not be happening at the rate we’ve seen these last few games, regardless of talent.

    But with the continual changes to the lineup, they get a first year pass.

    Again, next year we’ll know (at least for the short term) what we got, and I’m not talking about through wins and losses.

  24. tjfoose1 12/01/2013 at 12:33 AM #

    “No I mean cut our losses.”


    If Yow fired Doeren after 1 year, she’d have to scour the high schools to find a coach of potential quality willing to work for her.

  25. wolffpride 12/01/2013 at 1:29 AM #

    Making any kind of judgment on DD and his staff before the end of next season is foolish. Time to move on and hope for the best next year. Basketball is in full effect with Northwestern coming into town on Wednesday. Let us pay them back for last time…

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