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
Louisville – Currently 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.