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Author Topic: Pac 12 Hot Seats  (Read 1245 times)

Online CatsbyAZ

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Pac 12 Hot Seats
« on: August 06, 2017, 06:32:45 AM »
According to this AZCentral article Jim Mora has the nation's hottest hot seat with 1-9 odds of being the first fired. Within the conference it's a three way race between RichRod, Graham, and Mora, but nationally I'm betting Butch Jones (Tennessee), Kelly (Notre Dame), and Sumlin (TX A&M) are on shorter leashes. If Mora/RichRod/Graham's were coaching at any of those three schools and delivering the W/L results they have they'd already be on the street.

Of the four Pac 12 coaches hired in 2012 - I wouldn't've predicted Leach would be in the most stable position given way much more difficult the Washington State rebuild was.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/heat-index/2017/07/06/college-football-coaches-hot-seat-todd-graham-rich-rodriguez/455386001/



Online bwarbiany

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 12:51:21 PM »
Wow, one bad year and Mora is on top of the list? He had seasons of 9, 10, 10, and 8 wins before last year's 4. And that was after losing the starting quarterback 6 games into the season. True, they were only 3-3 after that game, but they were competitive in two of the three losses.

Is something else going on at UCLA? Are people concerned with off-the-field issues, or is he not recruiting well enough?

Or are the fans/administration just full of unrealistic expectations?

Offline DevilFroggy

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 04:58:07 PM »

Of the four Pac 12 coaches hired in 2012 - I wouldn't've predicted Leach would be in the most stable position given way much more difficult the Washington State rebuild was.


This. I didn't think Leach would be a disaster or anything, but I never would have guessed he was on the least hot seat between Graham, RRod, Mora, and himself.
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Offline PiratesRoost

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 06:11:47 PM »
I think Mora's seat being the (arguably) hottest just tends to show that expectation is as much a factor as performance.  I think the UCLA athletic department and fan base is tired of being "on the verge" of good things to come.*  Mora at this point is middling okay but the Bruins have had a string of middling okay coaches that they didn't hesitate to can once a slide set in.  No reason to think they're going to have any more patience now than they did with Dorrell and/or Nuweasel (worse record, but fired).  In fact, the Mora tenure is beginning to show a lot fo similarities with Dorrell.  Mora might buy a year with a 10 win season or maybe even 9, but anything less is probably skidsville.



* The BoR probably doesn't care so long as the football is good enough that the athletics dept doesn't borrow from the general fund-a bone of contention at Cal from what I've heard lately.

Offline PiratesRoost

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 07:22:57 PM »
FWIW, I think Graham may have the tougher road to hoe to keep the gig even with a more realistic expectation level.

At least Mora has the pieces to reel off the 9-10 wins (maybe even 8) he needs to buy some time.  If Rosen comes back and is Rosen again 8 wins is do-able, 9 just needs some luck, and 10 would need everything to go right.  The O-line didn't lose much and has room to improve, the receivers are good, the RB's need to get going but Rosen passing well would help, and while the D wasn't great last year (especially at 4th down) there are athletes and the problems are fixable (seriously fixing 4th down equals 2-3 more wins right there) with the current roster.  For UCLA, it is more about staying healthy (esp Rosen) and fixing a number of little things.

Graham may not have the pieces he needs and at least some fo the fixes needed are big time.  The most glaringly obvious is the usual--another bad O-line.  In all fairness this problem preceded Graham and has basically been a perennial issue since whatsisname, the former Boise coach.  But ASU has given up 38 sacks in each of the last five seasons, last year was not a good one with 41 sacks, and this year could be worse.  Basically, with the O-line problems Graham is in the unenviable position of having to put a lot of his chips on either an unknown talent (Barnett, a transfer from a great but staid Bama offense) or a known but ho-hum QB (Wilkins 12TD, 9 INT) and have both cut off at the knees by a poor O-line no matter which bet he takes.  And no matter which way he goes there the opponents are going to be able to bomb away at their leisure on last year's worst pass D and pass rush, which doesn't have the horses to make noticeable improvement likely.  The bet here for Graham is probably to double down on a run defense that was serviceable at times and hope it stymies a few middling teams that rely heavily on the run (Utah, Oregon) and just hope they can't get it done through the air.  The odds say it won't work since Graham's scoring defense stat has slid every single year he's been at ASU.  My guess is that ASU cans him if the team does anything less than 7 wins since the downward trend is apparent in lots of stats, but I guess there is an outside chance they extend him a year if he eeks out 6 wins so long as they stomp Arizona (who may be pretty stomp-able this year).  The problem is that the schedule is not too hot.  Play the Six Win Puzzle with me below:

New Mexico State   (Almost certain W)
San Diego State    (50/50, SDSU is 2 time MWC champ rebuilding on O, but loaded on a very reliable D)
At Texas Tech aka "No Tackling Game of the Year"  (51/49 win, was shootout last year and teams are mirror images)
Oregon      (50/50, UO probably improves noticeably but until new coach tested who knows?)
At Stanford    (L)
Bye Week
Washington    (L)
At Utah   (L, see the "At")
USC     (L)
Colorado (probable L, even rebuilding CU has much much less to fix) 
At UCLA  (no more than puncher's chance, see the "At")
At Oregon State  (50/50, Devils are probably better, but away)
Arizona (probable W)

See the problem getting to 6 wins?  There is really only one guaranteed W on the schedule and only one other probable W, as opposed to three near certain losses and three likely losses (@UU, CU, @UCLA).  And getting to 7 wins?  Nearly impossible unless the Bama transfer QB is the next coming of Jake the Snake Plummer or something.  Just a very tough schedule for Graham to run into during a tough rebuilding year

Sorry, that didn't start so windy in my head but it sure veered that way.

Online CatsbyAZ

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 07:52:07 AM »


Is something else going on at UCLA? Are people concerned with off-the-field issues, or is he not recruiting well enough?


Yes. The something else going on at UCLA is that the critical mass of Bruin fans have come to realize that Mora is an average coach and thus no better than their recent hires (see PR saying: "In fact, the Mora tenure is beginning to show a lot of similarities with Dorrell.")

Mora's better record despite careless coaching was heavily masked by the blessing of high quality quarterbacks (and running backs) manning the offense until last year's injuries left the team looking exposed and like they were playing without a Plan B. Last year, lacking dependable QB play without Rosen, Bruins fans witnessed what many'd come to suspect - Mora is an uncreative and uninspiring coaching mind. Before last season's 4-8 disappointment the more insightful Bruins fans were already fussing about Mora's inability to beat the bigger boys, especially Stanford. This year with playing Stanford early and Rosen back on board we'll know early whether UCLA can mount a comeback season.

On another note, if you ever want to see the Bruin's notorious pessimism in action, get to following their Bruins Nation fan blog - it's the most aggressively negative college fan blog I've ever come across: https://www.bruinsnation.com/

Online CatsbyAZ

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 07:51:58 AM »


Graham may not have the pieces he needs and at least some fo the fixes needed are big time.  The most glaringly obvious is the usual--another bad O-line.  In all fairness this problem preceded Graham and has basically been a perennial issue since whatsisname, the former Boise coach.  But ASU has given up 38 sacks in each of the last five seasons, last year was not a good one with 41 sacks, and this year could be worse.  Basically, with the O-line problems Graham is in the unenviable position of having to put a lot of his chips on either an unknown talent (Barnett, a transfer from a great but staid Bama offense) or a known but ho-hum QB (Wilkins 12TD, 9 INT) and have both cut off at the knees by a poor O-line no matter which bet he takes.  And no matter which way he goes there the opponents are going to be able to bomb away at their leisure on last year's worst pass D and pass rush, which doesn't have the horses to make noticeable improvement likely.

PR, From gleaning the usual ASU internet haunts and reading the latest from their beat writers (Haller & Metcalf) there's cautious optimism for the OL; at this point it's a matter of selecting the starting five and strategizing a rotation for four backups that have emerged since the spring. (IMO the QB and especially the secondary are the more concerning problems.) ASU is loaded at WR; it's one of the best receiving corps in the nation. If the offense can be predicated on quickly getting the ball to the WRs and letting them do the rest, while also opening a run game given the experience at RB, the offense will be in dependable shape. In other words, the hope for the OL is to only require 2 seconds of cohesive blocking to get by on play after play. But getting the ball out quickly is the problem. From the practice reports Manny isn't looking much better (against the second string) than what we've seen before and Barnett's delivery is looking slower than a bingo call. But all in all there's plenty of useful pieces on the offensive side of the ball.

On the other side I'm hearing the secondary is still in such bad shape it could lead to another lost year for the defense. Recent quotes from the beat writers include the secondary is an "open audition" and there's "basically no depth chart." Wide receivers and athletes from the track team are being tried out at corner and safety. If that's any kind of warning, I don't see how ASU's defense doesn't again give up another nation's near worst through the air.

Online 847badgerfan

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 10:24:48 AM »

You'd think with Graham's background he would have teams that actually play defense. It's kinda weird. 478 points allowed last year??


How do you explain this?
U RAH RAH! WIS CON SIN!

Offline DevilFroggy

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2017, 03:03:31 PM »
You'd think with Graham's background he would have teams that actually play defense. It's kinda weird. 478 points allowed last year??


How do you explain this?

Swung for the fences his first few seasons recruiting DBs and whiffed with very few/poor backup plans. That's pretty much 98% of it right there.
I thought I settled my debts that night on the ride home
But I have still got hell to pay

Offline DevilFroggy

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 03:08:01 PM »
Catsby scouts his rivals well. The OL last year played well below the sum of their talent. Much more shiffling along with a rough transition to a zone blocking scheme last year's OC Chip Lindsey implemented. The OL has a new coach this year who has reverted back to the previous blocking techniques as well as more cohesiveness is expected this season.


If ASU manages to go from 130th in pass D to hell, even 100th this team is capable of 7 wins, maybe 8 with good injury luck (something ASU also did NOT have last year).
I thought I settled my debts that night on the ride home
But I have still got hell to pay

Offline DevilFroggy

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2017, 03:10:01 PM »
Being as unbiased as I can here but honestly I think RRod has the least to work with going into this season. Uofa's only prayer at 6+ wins is if their RBs stay healthy which has been a big issue for them the past few seasons.
I thought I settled my debts that night on the ride home
But I have still got hell to pay

Offline PiratesRoost

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 03:51:31 AM »
SDF,

Given that the OL problems are not a one year abberation but a five year trend of giving up 38+ sacks per season, and cautious optimism seems aspirational at best.  But hey, it is a subject on which reasonable people could disagree because every streak has to ends sometime, right?

OTOH, I must say that I find the notion of ASU winning 8 with the current roster and just ordinary good luck to be wishful thinking at best because of the schedule (which I posted above).  Washington, USC and Stanford are all surefire losses since ASU just does not have the horses to have any more than a hope and prayer chance.  And Utah away is also a very likely loss since ASU has not shown any recent ability to beat a competent defense and definitely not on the road.  That's four losses right there.  ASU would need more than just good luck to win every one of their contests with MWC Champ SDSU, P12S Champ Colorado, the "No Tackling Game of the Year" against mirror image TTU, an Oregon team not mired in its worst letdown in season in years, UCLA possibly with Rosen, OSU, and the rivalry game at the end.

Knocking down one, two, or maybe even three of them and getting to 4-5 wins is (with the NMSU layup) do-able.  A lucky year with the breaks going Tempe way could get 6 and maybe just barely 7 wins.  But 8 would require winning every single one of the more or less even games or almost all of them plus stealing one against a powerhouse squad, and that would take otherworldly luck.  Please note that my disbelief that 8 wins is on the table is based as much on the schedule as ASU's issues.  The squad has issues, but the schedule is not helping.  Oregon this year would be a contra example.  No matter how excited they are, the stats show that year 1 of a new coach is almost never a barn-burner, but they drew just about the kindest schedule possible with only one toss up in the OOC and skipping both USC and Colorado out of the South.  ASU's schedule just puts them on a steep steep uphill to try to get to 8 wins is all.

Online CatsbyAZ

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 08:18:13 AM »
Being as unbiased as I can here but honestly I think RRod has the least to work with going into this season. Uofa's only prayer at 6+ wins is if their RBs stay healthy which has been a big issue for them the past few seasons.

6 wins + Bowl is my great hope for this coming season. If Arizona ever needed a bounce back schedule this is it - and I'm not so sure Utah and Colorado aren't winnable games given their very high volume roster of turnover and early scheduling. Throw in getting Cal, WSU, & Oregon St instead of UW & Stanford and the set up couldn't be better for an ambush here and there.

However, RichRod's tenure has staled into the inept defense and high QB & assistant coaching turnover that Wildcat fans don't expect addressed, much less actually corrected, until a new coach comes to old Tucson.

Simply put RichRod waited way too long (neglected) to recruit the numbers (and quality) needed for depth and rotation on a D1 DL. And though the roster numbers at LB and in the secondary are adequate the talent is questionable. I envy UCLA's defense of athletes with scholarship offers from across the nation, whereas most of Arizona's defensive players have maybe an offer or two from the MTN West; usually no other P5 interest.

And speaking of UCLA, though I agree RichRod has the least to work with (his fault) the leash on Mora (and Graham) is shorter. A winning season might buy RichRod a mini contract extension, whereas a successful, Rosen-powered season in Westwood only buys Mora the next year, similarly to Tom Crean at Indiana basketball winning the 2016 Big Ten conference and only earning one more year before getting canned during that very next year. Mora is one bad season away from getting fired, even if that last bad season comes on the heels of several more 8/9 win seasons.

Online CatsbyAZ

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 08:33:02 AM »
SDF,

Given that the OL problems are not a one year abberation but a five year trend of giving up 38+ sacks per season, and cautious optimism seems aspirational at best.  But hey, it is a subject on which reasonable people could disagree because every streak has to ends sometime, right?


ASU's OL problems date back more than five years; it's more like a decade long trend now. There was about a 2-3 year reprieve to start Graham's tenure with draftable  & all-conference talents Jamil Douglas, Finkenburg, and Christian Westerman unifying effective Lines, but since then I guess it's back to the disappointing norm. Going into this season the concerns are typical of many reorganizing OLs - getting the blocking scheme down, working out the 2 deep, etc - which is refreshingly better compared to the absolute worst stretch from 2008-10 when Erickson's beer buddy Gregg Smith took the OL Coaching job as a form of poolside retirement.

Online CatsbyAZ

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Re: Pac 12 Hot Seats
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2017, 09:30:27 AM »
The surprising success of the Arizona schools have cooled the seats of Graham and RichRod.

But Mora Jr has work to do. The Bruins collapse last week Vs an Arizona team they usually truck over was dampened a bit by yesterday's strong showing against an Oregon program that usually gives Mora Jr's team fits. Especially uplifting is the defense only allowing 320 yds (200 yds less than their 523 yds/game ave) and the all out domination in the 2nd half, outscoring the Ducks 17-0 to break open a 14-14 halftime tie. As Josh Rosen stated in the post-presser "it was a good team win."

Next week UCLA gets a Washington team that will be hungry to recover from the shock loss Vs Arizona State. Their closing four games are equal parts winnable and losable with @UTAH, Vs ASU, @SC, and Vs Cal. Going 2-2 and winning the Bowl to finish 7-6 is good enough for Dan Guerrero because he's too lazy to go looking for a new coach this late in the wane of his AD tenure and UCLA doesn't want to deal with Mora Jr's criminally high buyout.

Really looking forward to ASU @ UCLA in a few weeks.








 

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