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Topic: Help - Notable Worst HCs

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847badgerfan

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2020, 11:09:28 AM »
Yeah, no one's ever heard of these guys. 
Says the guy who started watching college football in 1996.
U RAH RAH! WIS CON SIN!

Riffraft

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2020, 11:11:34 AM »
Isnt this the Charlie Weis and Co. Camp?

As much as I liked him as a high school head coach, I would have to say Gerry Faust at Notre Dame was much much worse.


Sorry, just read through the thread, others have mentioned him.

bayareabadger

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2020, 11:13:15 AM »
It's entirely possible to be a good head coach at the FCS or G5 level, but totally suck at a premier Power 5 school.  I think that best describes Hoke.

He's back at San Diego State.  I have no reason to believe he can't keep the program afloat.
It might be, but Hoke is hard to pin down. 

He went 15-31 his first four years at Ball State, though the fourth team finished 3-1 and bothered Michigan some in the loss. 

Then he goes 7-6 with a bowl loss, everything comes together for a 12-1 run that ends with a choke in the MAC title game. He takes over a bad SD State program, has one bad year, one 9-4 year. 

I don't even know if that makes him a good G5 HC. Probably much better than average, because the average is low, but still not very good. 

ALA2262

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2020, 11:26:49 AM »
Bobby Petrino's college record was 119-56. He may have been a scoundrel but he was far from the worst coach. That honor goes to Ears Whitworth who was 4-24-2 at Alabama in the 50's.
That doesn't begin to tell the story. How bad was Whitworth? Since he left, Bama has played 62 seasons of football and has been shut out 11 times. In Whitworth's THREE seasons, Bama was shut out 11 times. Bama couldn't score much less win with Whitworth.

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2020, 11:33:07 AM »
He had a problem when the rosters were even.His bowl record was almost as dismal as it was vs Michigan
Cooper also had a poor record in Bowl Games.
Cooper at Ohio State was great except for his record against Michigan.
As soon as I saw this thread I knew that it would generate a Cooper discussion.  

Here are the facts:
  • .715 overall winning percentage (111-43-4), 10th best in program history and only #6 Woody Hayes has a better record with the same or more games.  
  • .692 conference winning percentage (70-30-4), 14th best in program history and only #6 Woody Hayes has a better record with the same or more conference games.  
  • 3 Conference titles which is tied for fourth best with Meyer and John Wilce behind only Woody (13), Tressel (6), and Bruce (4).  
  • 3 postseason wins, fifth best behind only Woody, Urban, Tressel, and Earle Bruce.  
That much is good.  

Now the bad:

  • 2-10-1 against TTUN
  • 7 bowl losses (3-7 record)

Cooper is hard to get a read on.  Excluding the last two games of the year he was one of Ohio State's greatest coaches.  Only "one name" legends Woody, Urban, and Tressel are definitively better.  His record against Michigan and in bowls was abysmal.  Only the one or two year failures are comparably bad.  

I also think that, to really understand Cooper's tenure it is important to make a distinction between his first five years and his last eight.  Cooper inherited an empty cupboard (Earle Bruce's recruiting failures were a major cause of his dismissal) and did about as well as could be expected:
  • 1988:  4-6-1 ending with a very competitive loss to a vastly superior (9-2-1) Michigan team.  Obviously going sub .500 is never a good thing but the team seemed to be improving and giving a much better Michigan team a solid run for their money to end the season looked pretty good.  
  • 1989:  8-4 and the four losses were to teams that finished 9-2-1 (USC), 10-2 (Illinois), 10-2 (Michigan), and 10-2 (Auburn) and only the USC loss on the West Coast was a complete blowout.  This wasn't great, obviously, but did appear to be heading in the right direction.  
  • 1990:  7-4-1 ending with an embarrassing Liberty Bowl loss to Air Force.  The Buckeyes went into THE GAME at 7-2-1 and the Michigan loss was close (3 points) but still bad.  That and the embarrassing bowl loss probably should have gotten Cooper canned at the end of 1990 but they didn't.  
  • 1991:  8-4 ending with a loss to Michigan and a bowl loss to Syracuse.  Syracuse was 10-2 so, in theory, this wasn't bad but tOSU should have won.  The Orange went 10-2 the next year as well and that included getting smoked by the Buckeyes in the Carrier Dome early in the season.  Additionally, the Michigan loss wasn't even remotely competitive (31-3).  Cooper definitely should have been fired at this point.  
  • 1992:  8-3-1 and FINALLY, a non-loss to Michigan.  A one-score bowl loss to a very good (10-2) UGA team isn't bad and the tie with Michigan was actually pretty good considering that they were 9-0-3 with one of the other ties being with a very good Notre Dame team.  The problem with this season was that Ohio State had back-to-back losses to ~.500 teams in early October (5-6 Wisconsin, 6-5-1 Illinois).  


In those five years Ohio State wasn't great.  The 0-8-1 against Michigan and in bowls are terrible.  

After that, Cooper's recruiting was so good that it carried him.  From 1993-2000 Ohio State was very good . . . except against Michigan and in bowls:
  • 1993:  10-1-1 with an actual bowl win!  Other than getting shutout by the Wolverines this was a great season!
  • 1994:  9-4 with a WIN over Michigan!  I can't really complain about the bowl loss.  the 9-3 Buckeyes got matched up with an 11-1 Bama team that had lost only once and only by a point to Florida in the SECCG and the Buckeyes kept it within one score.  The other three losses were less forgivable.  The Buckeyes got annihilated by PSU (63-14), lost to a mediocre (7-5) Illinois team at home, and lost to a mediocre (7-4) Washington team on the road.  
  • 1995:  11-2 ending with losses to Michigan in Ann Arbor and Tennessee in Orlando.  Of Cooper's 10 losses to Michigan, this one is the most annoying.  The Buckeyes were 11-0 and ranked #2.  It was a great season with a horrible ending.  
  • 1996:  11-1 with a Rose Bowl win!  The Buckeyes were undefeated and ranked #2 heading into the Michigan game (sound familiar?) then lost to Michigan again.  The bowl win was nice but anti-climactic after yet another upset loss to Michigan.  
  • 1997:  10-3 ending with losses to Michigan in Ann Arbor and FSU in NOLA.  Honestly, my only complaint with this season was getting run off the field by FSU.  The other two losses were close in Happy Valley to a team that was ranked #2 at the time and close in Ann Arbor to a team that was ranked #1 at the time.  
  • 1998:  11-1 and this was Cooper's only season that ended with wins over Michigan and in a bowl.  The problem was that the #1 ranked Buckeyes inexplicably lost at home to an MSU team that finished 6-6.  The Buckeyes were oh-so-close to appearing in the very first BCSCG.  
  • 1999:  6-6 obviously a rebuilding year after nearly winning it all in 1998.  Through October this year looked decent.  At the end of October the Buckeyes were 6-3 and ranked #20 and the three losses were to very good Miami, Wisconsin, and PSU teams.  Then the bottom fell out.  The Buckeyes ended the year with back-to-back-to-back losses to MSU, IL, and Michigan and only the Michigan loss was competitive.  
  • 2000:  8-4 and the end.  Heading into THE GAME the Buckeyes were 8-2 and #12.  The losses were to mediocre (6-6) Minnesota and (8-4) Purdue teams but that could have been forgiven if the season had ended with wins.  Instead the Buckeyes, yet again, ended the year by losing to Michigan and in a bowl.  

In 13 years Cooper's seasons ended:
  • 6 times with losses to both Michigan and the bowl opponent.  (1989, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2000)
  • 2 times with a loss to Michigan and no bowl. (1988, 1999)
  • 2 times with a loss to Michigan and a bowl win.  (1993, 1996)
  • 1 time with a tie with Michigan and a bowl loss.  (1992)
  • 1 time with a win over Michigan and a bowl loss.  (1994)
  • 1 time with wins over both Michigan and the bowl opponent.  (1998)


The odd thing is that Cooper might be two or three games from being remembered not just as one of the greats at Ohio State but as one of the greats in CFB.  Seriously, three games:
  • Convert the 1996 Michigan loss to a win.  Ohio State wins the 1996 NC (Sorry Florida).  
  • Convert the 1995 Michigan loss to a win.  Ohio State would have gone to the Rose Bowl and frankly, USC would have been an easier game than Tennessee.  There is a good chance that tOSU wins and at least shares the NC (Sorry Nebraska).  
  • Convert the 1998 MSU loss to a win.  Ohio State plays Tennessee in the very first BCSNCG where a win (that would have been at least a 50/50 shot) gets them another NC.   
Make those changes and Cooper is 5-7-1 against Michigan with three NC's.  Moreover, four of the seven losses and the tie with Michigan were in Cooper's first five years

after which he goes 5-3.  

fezzador

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2020, 11:34:19 AM »
It might be, but Hoke is hard to pin down.

He went 15-31 his first four years at Ball State, though the fourth team finished 3-1 and bothered Michigan some in the loss.

Then he goes 7-6 with a bowl loss, everything comes together for a 12-1 run that ends with a choke in the MAC title game. He takes over a bad SD State program, has one bad year, one 9-4 year.

I don't even know if that makes him a good G5 HC. Probably much better than average, because the average is low, but still not very good.
In retrospect, I guess I didn't really pay a heck of a lot of attention to his head coaching career.  His lone noteworthy season at Ball State probably had more to do with Nate Davis than Hoke.  Regardless, it got him a better gig at San Diego State, but he was only there for two seasons - hardly a quality sample size.  His first season was mediocre at best (but to be fair, the 'tecs were completely awful for quite some time prior to his hire) but he went 9-4 the next season, which led to Michigan hiring him.

Similarly, Jim McElwain had that strong season at Colorado State before Florida hired him, which the Gators ended up regretting.  Mac is back in the MAC, which is probably where he's best suited.  

The moral of the story is, one big season at the FCS/G5 is hardly a guarantee that the coach can replicate that at the P5 level.  It ends up backfiring, more often than not.  

ALA2262

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2020, 11:35:42 AM »
Rich Rod was a bad fit at Michigan.  Gerry Faust at Notre Dame back in the early 80s was bad.  I believe Faust was a head high school coach before taking the job in South Bend. 

Cooper at Ohio State was great except for his record against Michigan.
Moeller High School[edit]
Faust had a highly successful run at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1962 to 1980, where he built the program from scratch.[2] The Crusaders under Faust had a 178–23–2 record and included seven unbeaten seasons, four national prep titles, and five Ohio state titles in his last six seasons.[3] One of Faust's linebackers at Moeller was John Boehner, who later became a United States Congressman and the 61st Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.[4]
Faust was inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame in 2004.[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Faust




ALA2262

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2020, 11:46:05 AM »
If it weren't for Ears, there wouldn't have been Bear. 
If it weren't for Earl Brown, there wouldn't have been Shug at Auburn. Ralph "Shug" Jordan went 176-63-6 from 1951-1975. Prior to that, Earl Brown was 3-22-4 from 1948-1950.

Was really as bad, if not worse, than Whitworth. Was shut out 11 times in his three years. Same as Whitworth.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 11:58:46 AM by ALA2262 »

Cincydawg

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2020, 12:04:50 PM »
The worst coach at UGA in my lifetime was of course Ray Goff, who was a pretty good QB back in the day.  I am pretty sure he put in the effort and time but lacked whatever it is that makes for a good coach, which is a thing we could discuss all day.

Kirby is a very good recruiter apparently, or has folks working for him who are good.  I have a sense the assistant coaches are really important in making the HC look good, or bad.  When Richt had good assistants, he looked pretty decent.

I was not a fan of Grantham.

bayareabadger

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2020, 12:06:45 PM »

The moral of the story is, one big season at the FCS/G5 is hardly a guarantee that the coach can replicate that at the P5 level.  It ends up backfiring, more often than not. 
Ehhh, kind of?

In truth, most hires, when you go out long enough, fail. And most hires have shorter track records than you'd like, and longer track records end up backfiring a good bit as well. 

It's all just a big dumb crapshoot. 

bayareabadger

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2020, 12:16:44 PM »
The worst coach at UGA in my lifetime was of course Ray Goff, who was a pretty good QB back in the day.  I am pretty sure he put in the effort and time but lacked whatever it is that makes for a good coach, which is a thing we could discuss all day.

Kirby is a very good recruiter apparently, or has folks working for him who are good.  I have a sense the assistant coaches are really important in making the HC look good, or bad.  When Richt had good assistants, he looked pretty decent.

I was not a fan of Grantham.
Goff did bring you guys future UGA DC Will Muschamp. He'll look good working for Kirby. 

Goff's run was odd. Quick descent after Dooley settled into Richt-land. Sudden rise to 9-10 wins, drop to .500 and out. I've read he's a stupendously nice guy by most accounts, so that's at least good. 

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2020, 12:16:50 PM »
Yeah, Luke Fickel was hilariously bad as OSU's interim head coach, but is doing quite well at the G5 level. 
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

bayareabadger

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2020, 12:33:08 PM »
Yeah, Luke Fickel was hilariously bad as OSU's interim head coach, but is doing quite well at the G5 level.
Does that speak to P5 coaching ability or just thrown into the fire after your coach quits in May coaching ability?

Also, when you're in that spot and inherit the OC-QB coach combo of Bollman-Siciliano with the choice of Joe Bauserman or a freshman Braxton Miller at QB, yikes. 

(I looked up Siciliano's background, and it is among the most threadbare resumes I've ever seen. It's amazing)

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: Help - Notable Worst HCs
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2020, 12:50:26 PM »
Does that speak to P5 coaching ability or just thrown into the fire after your coach quits in May coaching ability?

Also, when you're in that spot and inherit the OC-QB coach combo of Bollman-Siciliano with the choice of Joe Bauserman or a freshman Braxton Miller at QB, yikes.

(I looked up Siciliano's background, and it is among the most threadbare resumes I've ever seen. It's amazing)

I guess, but he had more talent at his disposal than everyone he went up against. The year before they went 12-1, with a share of the Big Ten Title. The year after they went 12-0, and would have smoked ND in the NCG if eligible. The Fickel roster was completely loaded up with guys from one or both of those teams. The fact that he couldn't muster 8 or 9 wins is ridiculous, frankly.

On a more macro level, OSU had one at least a share of the Big Ten Title in each of the six years prior to the Fickel season, and they have one at least a share of their Big Ten Divisional Title every season since. Yet he tied the school record for most losses in a season, right in the middle of a run like that? That is an alarming level of incompetence. 
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

 

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