Monday, December 31, 2007

Nearing the end if only because of the inevitability of it all-Coach Watch Day 64

Sorry for the lack of posting this last week.  I kind of missed most of the Junes Jones development or lack thereof.  Well, I am not really sorry.  I am just about sick of waiting.  I can either post vitriolic rant or play with my kids.  I choose kids.

SMU will have a coach soon.  SMU will not be coachless as it enters the next contact period with recruits just as it will not be coachless as it enters Spring practice or next season.  That means SMU will have a new coach at the end of this week or perhaps next week.

The next full contact period begins January 13th.  I refuse to entertain for a moment the idea that a coach won’t be hired by that date.  You could also note that recruits can visits the weekends of January 4th and January 13th, but the idea that a coach can get be hired one day and turn around and host recruits the next day borders on the absurd.  Again, I will point out that aside from there not being a head coach, there is NO COACHING STAFF.  If SMU goes in any direction other than a coach that is currently a head coach, putting together a staff will take time.  That time and energy will also take away from the time and energy that needs to be devoted to recruiting.

Of course, the whole notion that it is OK that SMU doesn’t have a head coach because recruiting is in a “dead period” is ridiculous.  While it is true that during a dead period, no one associated with SMU may contact or evaluate prospects on or off campus, coaches may still write or call prospects.

If SMU essentially has no recruiting class in 2008, it will affect SMU for years.  Those players will, in effect, never exist and never be replaced on the roster.  SMU has historically come close to offering the limit of 25 scholarships every year through graduation and attrition anyway.  If there is an “empty” class, even though only half of those athletes might pan out, those athletes won’t redshirt, they won’t play, they won’t make the two-deep roster.  It will harm depth.  It will require more athletes to burn redshirts in the future.

A few thoughts on June Jones and Jon Tenuta, since their names came up in the last week.

June Jones is the head coach of Hawaii and an offensive genius.  I would hire June Jones any day of the week and twice on Sundays.  I would wait until January 3rd to hire June Jones; he is worth the wait.  I would not wait until January 3rd to talk to June Jones.  All signs say June Jones isn’t coming to SMU and most pundits say that if he did, he would be nuts.  Most likely, SMU is the only school dumb enough to chase June Jones and he intends to use Orsini to get himself a raise and new carpet for his office.

In the Dallas Morning News on November 13, 2003; June Jones said the following regarding Phil Bennett:

"I think Phil is on an island sometimes," Jones said. "He's going through some unfair requirements over there. He's not on the same playing field as the rest of us."  

Now, does that lead you to believe that Jones would even consider coming to SMU four years later, when little more than the name on the AD's door has changed?  That being said, if June Jones did take the job, it would go a long way towards restoring some credibility to SMU because he obviously would not come unless he thought he could win.

As for Jon Tenuta, his name has unfairly become a punchline for me.  The cruelest thing you can say about Tenuta is “Jon Tenuta is Phil Bennett without the personality.”  That isn’t really fair, because Tenuta is a heck of a defensive coordinator and has a better resume than Phil ever did as defensive coordinator.  However, Tenuta has wanted a head coaching job for years, rarely even gotten an interview.  Many think he lacks the personality to be a head coach.

There is a widespread rumor that he had a special deal at Georgia Tech where he did not have to recruit.  Seriously.  Even if it isn’t true, the mere fact that it is out there gives me pause.  He is a college football coach.  College football coaches recruit.  It is part of the job.  I can’t imagine any self-respecting coach allowing such a rumor to even get out there.

Tenuta will not sell tickets.  Tenuta will not sell SMU.  Not to alumni.  Not to Dallas.  Not to recruits.  End of story.

My new fear is that SMU will hire someone like Tenuta and use his current role as interim head coach as an excuse for the ridiculous delay.  "Hey, he was the interim head coach, we couldn't hire him a month ago."  Or, "He was coaching the quarterbacks for the [insert NFL team here], we couldn't hire him."  If they tried that, it would be a lie.  A lie. An untruth.  A falsehood.  Coaches have left their current teams; coaches have been announced as leaving and stayed to coach the bowl game or the rest of the NFL season.


Anonymous said...

I have a hard time believing that Jones does not/did not have some interest in SMU. Otherwise I do not think Steve Orsini would have waited this long. Perhaps his agent and Orsini had discussions that Jones can claim he "had no knowledge of". Or maybe, Jones was following through on threats to Hawaii to get things he wanted - like improvements to practice facilities or higher asst. coaches pay.

Also, if SMU does not hire a coach this week, it falls into the irrelevant abyss that Div.II programs inhabit. At this point, few people outside of SMU know or care that there is not a head football coach in place.

And with no recruiting for this year having been done, perhaps we can step in and steal all the prospects that were considering Trinity in San Antonio or Dartmouth.

Anonymous said...

The last time SMU had no recruting class was in the 1987-88 timeframe. I seem to recall that the lack of depth thereafter caused us to struggle ever so slightly.


Anonymous said...

One thing to consider. GENERALLY, schools prefer to have recruits visit on weekends. But with SMU adding a coach late in the recruiting season, SMU can have recruits visit during the weekdays too on kids whose schedules may be booked. However, its not preferrable because they don't get the full recruiting visit experience or meet fellow recruits. I believe there a holiday at most high schools for Martin Luther King day when kids might take multiple visits in one weekend period.

Anonymous said...

I think your thoughts about Tenuta are right on target. I still hold out hope that June Jones is the reason this search has come to a standstill. If he's hired, that will be a pretty big "wow" of a hire.

One thing people don't think about with regards to Jones is the fact that living in Hawaii is VERY expensive. 800k there is like
400k here. Everything has to be shipped or flown in to the island. It's pretty and all that, but it's also very isolated. I would imagine paradise gets boring after a while, particularly when you've known another type of lifestyle.

Coming to Dallas for double the money could be much more attractive to Jones and his coaches than most people think.

Coach Holmes said...

Not so true...It is the opposite in cost more over here than over in Hawaii...IF YOU LIVE THERE and not visting??? And that all sounds great but, the truth be told that June Jones is a Great coach and If the money is not right in Hawaii he should "THINK ABOUT SMU?" But, SMU is a hard job to take and a Big Name Coach will not save SMU...I applied also for the job and am willing to take a GIANT PAY cut to show the College Nation that SMU can win and you don't have to be a BIG NAME to do so....Just know X's and O's....AND A TRUE LOVE FOR THE GAME AND THE KIDS??? I'm just saying