30.Oct.2016 This Rebuild is Becoming Exciting
Yes, last night was a heartbreaking loss, but ever since game 1 last year, I/we said that what we want to see is progress. For most of last year there was none. I feel that had a lot to do with StS at QB, though you guys can argue that all you wish. This year, from game 1 vs MN, I noticed they looked bigger and more aggressive. They passed the “eye ball” test more. They gave good effort. Things looked on track. Then the Colorado game. That one threw us all off. Those of us who saw progress began to question it, etc. It was ugly. Shortly after, first Pac-12 win, and things are looking up again. Then they play Utah close. Tough loss, but again, looking up compared to last year and the general effort. Then Washington blows us out, though we still see effort and will the entire game. They never mentally break; they just get outplayed. Now a great effort vs a tough offense in WSU.
It makes you wonder how fast this thing can get turned around next year with (a) everyone who is injured now returning healthy and (b) new injection of talent into the program via another recruiting cycle, and the current redshirts coming off.
I had this team for 4 wins this year (Arizona and Oregon seem like wins to me, but with a team this beat up you can’t bank on anything). Next year I’m seeing 6 if they continue this effort and also get that injection of depth/talent.
The good news is we have an exciting basketball team and baseball team to bridge the gap until then. And also we can watch this current team keep fighting and mentally preparing (because that’s what they’re essentially doing this year — it is simply mental training for when they do have the physical bodies) for next year and beyond. This is what I expected to see all along, and I’m fine with it because I can see the improvement, even if it’s not yet showing up in the results. It reminds me of a stock, like say Google, which years ago spent billions investing in hiring new talent. The stock cratered hundreds of points as investors got spooked by the short-term earnings dip. What has happened since? The stock almost doubled as those long-term investments paid off in new product. It’s the same thing happening here. GA is laying down the mind-set, which is long-term. The short-term results aren’t there, but this will pay off big.
The one concern I have is McGiven. He could not recognize McM as the best QB (and not only that, but threw him under the bus, when he didn’t do the same for the other QBs who were actually out there playing and sucking eggs), he came out of the half pass happy last night, overall play calling has been poor, etc. The other coach who should be on the hot seat is Brennan. I like him very much as a human being, and I think he’s a decent recruiter, but someone has to take the responsibility for all these dropped passes the past few years. It should be easy to coach “focus”, catching with the hands instead of body, looking the ball in before running upfield, etc. These are not difficult skills. The rest of the staff looks solid. Clune has been a surprise to the upside. I was lukewarm on the hire.