GAME THREAD: 92nd Battle of the Piney Woods

TallTexan
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I'm all for giving a coach 4 years, but that's where I feel it's fair to evaluate them. And I don't see many things pointing me to push for a 5th at this point.

We very nearly got beat by a bad UIW game, but let's see how the rest of the season goes. We're certainly not a school in a place to fire a coach midseason. Wouldn't be much of a point.

I'm on the side of a coaching change at this point. Honestly, Jeff Traylor is one of my favorites candidates at this point. The guy is a Lumberjack, and spent years at Gilmer. He can out recruit anyone for the East Texas area. We need to hit a few homeruns for a coach, and I think that could be Traylor. I'd even say we should keep the defensive staff intact for the most part.

There's also a case to be made for a proven winner at HC. That's what KC Keeler was for Sam. Pelini for Youngstown State.

But I'm just not sure Conque is the answer for SFA.
SFAXE93
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What about Truelove, he could hand the ball off.
TheRevSFA
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I'd like to see us go after Shannon Dawson and get him a HC opportunity.

If he can control the offense while allowing Byrd to develop his defense, we would have a pretty potent team with the talent we have.

The problem is, Conque isn't utilizing the talent we have. It's being wasted
TallTexan
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TheRevSFA said:

I'd like to see us go after Shannon Dawson and get him a HC opportunity.

If he can control the offense while allowing Byrd to develop his defense, we would have a pretty potent team with the talent we have.

The problem is, Conque isn't utilizing the talent we have. It's being wasted
But then we'd have a head coach named Shannon.



In all seriousness though, I don't think he'd be a bad fit. Overall though, we need a program builder. Someone who leaves the cupboard stocked when they take their next higher level job, not a rebuilding job when we have to fire them.
SFAXE93
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Not sure if he would be the right fit

https://www.aseaofblue.com/2016/8/17/12518330/shannon-dawson-is-still-the-worst

Southern Miss. currently 3-2 with losses to Kentucky and North Texas.
SFA88
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Dawson's offense isn't exactly setting the world on fire at Southern Miss. He and Traylor would likely see the HC job at SFA as a step back in their careers. Traylor, in particular, is probably looking for a head coaching job at a FBS school.

Graham Harrell is an interesting name or maybe there will be another fallen FBS coach like Bo Pelini SFA can hire.
Ljacks&Longnecks
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Wow, would hope you are kidding about a Pelini, nothing but trouble and more baggage than a bellhop could carry in a lifetime. Most fallen FBS coaches have good reasons why they fell from grace and we wouldn't need the problems that would surely follow them here.
PurpleForever
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So did Nac HS have two kids named Josh Thompson last year because I see you listed him on our list of redshirted fr, but i know Texas also has a freshman named Josh Thompson from Nac.
SFA_03
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So I'm guessing that's a no on Art Briles?
TallTexan
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SFA_03 said:

So I'm guessing that's a no on Art Briles?
If SFA hired Art Briles, I'd never support SFA again.



I'm not sure Traylor would view SFA as a step down. While he'd likely prefer an FBS HC position, he's the RB coach/Associate Head Coach at SMU. His next step is likely an FBS coordinator for a few years, and then taking a job as an HC at a lower level FBS team. Or he could become a head coach of an FCS school in December.

Graham Harrell is an interesting name, OC at UNT. That's an excellent level to grab good, up and coming coordinators who have the potential to become decent HCs. And the Leach Tree typically bears fruit.

As far as fallen major coaches go, look for ones who aren't morally bankrupt or were prematurily retired.

Think Mack Brown, Gary Anderson(Could be wrong, but I haven't heard anything bad about him) type coaches. All coaches of this level would be moonshots for SFA.

edstile
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TallTexan said:


And the Leach Tree typically bears fruit.

The Leach Tree typically bears fruit... Good one, Texan!
INiedrauer
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I'm a little uncomfortable in this conversation since, as you know, I'm behind Conque for at least one more year.

That said, if Art Briles came to Nac, I'd shut this whole damn site down. I love sports but not that much and that ordeal hits way too close to home.

Personally, I don't think a twenty-something offensive coordinator at UNT is ready for an FCS head coaching job regardless of how great he was at Tech. Interestingly enough, my youngest brother is a high school defensive tackle at Tyler Lee where Jeff Traylor's brother is the head coach.

So plenty of interesting names but here's the best one for 2018: Clint Conque. Let's finish what was started and see where this can go before we blow it up and start over.

EDIT: Graham Harrell is apparently 32. But still.
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Isaac Niedrauer
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BigJack85
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I disagree with the changing would be "blowing up" the whole thing. Frankly if we finish 3-8 what is there to blowup?
INiedrauer
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TallTexan said:

I'm all for giving a coach 4 years, but that's where I feel it's fair to evaluate them. And I don't see many things pointing me to push for a 5th at this point.
My disagreement here has more substance than being "buddies" with the current staff as our dear Rev would like to say. Truth is, before this season we had to acknowledge that this team was probably built to contend in 2018 and not this year. Obviously we're all disappointed with what has happened so far this season but I hate the idea of killing the momentum just before what we'd consider a "peak" year. If next season there is no measurable progress, maybe that's where a change has to be considered. This just isn't the right time based on the current makeup of this team.

I get that we're all frustrated but it makes a lot more sense to re-evaluate the situation after next year than it does this.
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Isaac Niedrauer
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INiedrauer
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BigJack85 said:

I disagree with the changing would be "blowing up" the whole thing. Frankly if we finish 3-8 what is there to blowup?
This is true only if you don't recognize the potential of these same players to win next year. In my opinion, they're too good not to with the amount of talent lost between UCA and Sam.
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Isaac Niedrauer
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TallTexan
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Blowing it up is only true if the next coach can't come in and win by better coaching with these same players.

I'm not 100% sold on the fire Conque train, but I'm definitely at the station looking at ticket prices. He was too good of a coach at UCA to think he won't eventually get it done here, but I'm also pretty partial to Jeff Traylor's ties and coaching ability.


Here's a name on the home run coaches list: Les Miles- No real scandal except the inability to field a quarterback, and has excellent connections in the area.

Plus, we wouldn't need to pay him as much as he'd normally be worth. His buyout from LSU pays in the range of 1.5 million a year, so any new salary would simply be deducted from his buyout amount. If you want an excellent primer in what smaller schools should do when hiring a recently fired prime time coach, check out Charlie Strong and company at USF. Texas is essentially paying USF's entire staff for the first 3 years and then bigger salaries kick in once the Texas buyout is over.



INiedrauer
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TallTexan said:

Blowing it up is only true if the next coach can't come in and win by better coaching with these same players.
It's more about the recruiting continuity. You basically lose an entire calendar year in the recruiting cycle when you change coaching staffs. It might not even set back this program next year, but like Conque going from the playoffs in his first year to struggling to win in his second, it takes the entire program years to recover from that lost cycle. There are exceptions but changing staffs every 4-5 years is not an effective way to build a program.

I totally get the disappointment. I'm right there with you. Just explaining my point of view on this.
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Isaac Niedrauer
@INiedrauer


edstile
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INiedrauer said:

TallTexan said:

I'm all for giving a coach 4 years, but that's where I feel it's fair to evaluate them. And I don't see many things pointing me to push for a 5th at this point.
My disagreement here has more substance than being "buddies" with the current staff as our dear Rev would like to say. Truth is, before this season we had to acknowledge that this team was probably built to contend in 2018 and not this year. Obviously we're all disappointed with what has happened so far this season but I hate the idea of killing the momentum just before what we'd consider a "peak" year. If next season there is no measurable progress, maybe that's where a change has to be considered. This just isn't the right time based on the current makeup of this team.

I get that we're all frustrated but it makes a lot more sense to re-evaluate the situation after next year than it does this.
Thanks for being the voice of reason, as usual, Issac. I'm not in love with Conque's body of work here, but lets put away the tar and feathers for now.

As far as speculating about ever landing a former FBS HC, it ain't gonna happen, guys.
drhuggybear
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Les Miles here would be entertaining ...

Briles ... I would have to seriously consider having my daughter go elsewhere.

This is where things get fun. Throwing around names and just discussing. But the truth is ... what is the best business decision for SFA? At the end of the day butts in seats means money to the university. A better on the field product means more alums or people like myself who have kids there donating more money and so on. All of these expanded income sources means a better education experience for the students.

I don't know that I agree if you change coaching that it costs you a year of recruiting. That is all dependent on the coach that you bring in. If he is a known quantity or has a good reputation - maybe a small dip but not a years loss. Recruiting losses typically come because of poor on the field output. Kids are less likely to commit somewhere where they know they are going to get beat week in and week out. Lets be honest. Losing sucks. We all hate it but think about it from the perspective of a 17 year old looking at where he wants to play ball. They want to go somewhere where they will win or at least have a good chance of winning. The other byproduct of poor on the field performance is the coach being shown the door. Its a downward cycle.

You have a winning year and recruiting goes up. Look at A&M - recruiting the year after they announced they were going into the SEC went way up. (Drastic change) First year in the SEC Manziel wins the Heisman ... recruiting goes way up. (On the field performance)

When in a downward cycle, there are two ways to fix it - win or make a drastic change - either gives players a reason to take a second look. Which one is more likely to happen at SFA?
cboothe09
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Traylor is not coming to SFA.

He is Associate HC for a reason. When A&M comes calling to Morris, Traylor will take over at SMU.
TallTexan
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cboothe09 said:

Traylor is not coming to SFA.

He is Associate HC for a reason. When A&M comes calling to Morris, Traylor will take over at SMU.
While I'd love to believe that's true, I'm not 100% sure that'll happen. So far he's been a position coach at 2 schools, that's a big jump for an SMU program that can't pay players anymore and really doesn't want to be in the basement again.

I'd expect SMU to target another high level coordinator.
TallTexan
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edstile said:

INiedrauer said:

TallTexan said:

I'm all for giving a coach 4 years, but that's where I feel it's fair to evaluate them. And I don't see many things pointing me to push for a 5th at this point.
My disagreement here has more substance than being "buddies" with the current staff as our dear Rev would like to say. Truth is, before this season we had to acknowledge that this team was probably built to contend in 2018 and not this year. Obviously we're all disappointed with what has happened so far this season but I hate the idea of killing the momentum just before what we'd consider a "peak" year. If next season there is no measurable progress, maybe that's where a change has to be considered. This just isn't the right time based on the current makeup of this team.

I get that we're all frustrated but it makes a lot more sense to re-evaluate the situation after next year than it does this.
Thanks for being the voice of reason, as usual, Issac. I'm not in love with Conque's body of work here, but lets put away the tar and feathers for now.

As far as speculating about ever landing a former FBS HC, it ain't gonna happen, guys.


Well the tars on back order anyways(thanks Amazon!) but I've already got a load of feathers headed over from Pilgrims, so.....
cboothe09
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TallTexan said:

cboothe09 said:

Traylor is not coming to SFA.

He is Associate HC for a reason. When A&M comes calling to Morris, Traylor will take over at SMU.
While I'd love to believe that's true, I'm not 100% sure that'll happen. So far he's been a position coach at 2 schools, that's a big jump for an SMU program that can't pay players anymore and really doesn't want to be in the basement again.

I'd expect SMU to target another high level coordinator.
I agree it would be a pretty big jump for Traylor, but something tells me they gave him that Associate title for a reason.

That said, I think the higher ups at SMU see the same potential that we see here. He was a killer recruiter at Texas, and has done well pillaging east Texas since hitting the hilltop...

I would rather him in Nacogdoches if I had it my way, but now Conque is our guy and I'm still behind him. I have my questions, but I can see that next year could be a BIG step forward. It just matters if we see growth and development from our players in the offseason.
Ljacks&Longnecks
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Isaac--Since you have said that Conque will be back next year, I'm just looking at this like the winter 'hot stove league" for MLB when one debates trades FA, etc no harm done in talking of possibilities and who one might like to see come in as coach. At least it keeps us talking about football otherwise the board would be rather silent.
I'll take your point on building for 2018 with this group and perhaps a "peak" year---and believe me I hope it happens---however if 2018 is another 5-6 clunker then I fear the same old tired excuses and the promise of next year will get recycled for another season. I hope your confidence in Conque will prove well founded next season, we can only wait and see.
Ljacks&Longnecks
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Your killing me 03.......not even gonna touch that one.
INiedrauer
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Ljacks&Longnecks said:

Isaac--Since you have said that Conque will be back next year, I'm just looking at this like the winter 'hot stove league" for MLB when one debates trades FA, etc no harm done in talking of possibilities and who one might like to see come in as coach. At least it keeps us talking about football otherwise the board would be rather silent.
I'll take your point on building for 2018 with this group and perhaps a "peak" year---and believe me I hope it happens---however if 2018 is another 5-6 clunker then I fear the same old tired excuses and the promise of next year will get recycled for another season. I hope your confidence in Conque will prove well founded next season, we can only wait and see.
For what it's worth, my saying Conque will be back next year isn't me reporting it as fact. It's the overall vibe I'm getting and what I think will and should happen. What Mr. Hill decides to do is ultimately up to him, Dr. Pattillo and the board of regents.

I'll be very disappointed if they pull the plug and I think it's pretty unlikely, but it's not impossible to fathom.
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Isaac Niedrauer
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SFA_03
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Just want to point out the Briles thing was a joke.

I am with Isaac 100% that I think Clint has what it takes to lead this team to a phenomenal season.
However I believe that barring us finishing above .500, none of us can say for sure what will happen.

If we finish above .500 Clint keeps his job for sure, and like Isaac said, a playoff berth next year at minimum should be the expectation.
BigJack85
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If we skip to 2018 with Conque I say the minimum expectations are: 1) finish 8-3 overall and 6-2 in conference. OR 2) finish 7-4 AND BEAT SAM.
SFA_03
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Next year beating Sam is a MUST no matter who's coaching.
SFA88
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Ljacks&Longnecks said:

Wow, would hope you are kidding about a Pelini, nothing but trouble and more baggage than a bellhop could carry in a lifetime. Most fallen FBS coaches have good reasons why they fell from grace and we wouldn't need the problems that would surely follow them here.

I was just using him as an example of an FBS coach that went to an FCS program. Although I highly suspect many other coaches have said similar things when they don't think they are being recorded, I had forgotten what an a$$ he is. Upon reading it again, I see how it sounds like it but when I wrote "fallen FBS coach" I did not mean fallen from grace. I merely meant it as an FBS coach that has to go back to FCS to prove himself before another FBS team will hire him. Those things do happen but I think it is extremely unlikely SFA will get a coach like that.

I find Harrell intriguing because he fits the mold of the young hot coordinator that is the rage right now. Yes he would only be 33 next year but that is right around the same age as Kliff Kingsbury, P.J. Fleck, Willie Taggart, Lane Kiffin, and several others when they were hired as head coaches.

Maybe Conque should get another year. I expect a thrashing at the hands of UCA next week but it is very important that the team pick up some wins and show improvement in the last four games. Also, if the team starts off conference play next year stumbling and bumbling through their games, I don't think it will be necessary to wait until the end of the season before making a change.
INiedrauer
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BigJack85 said:

If we skip to 2018 with Conque I say the minimum expectations are: 1) finish 8-3 overall and 6-2 in conference. OR 2) finish 7-4 AND BEAT SAM.
I think this is pretty fair.
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Isaac Niedrauer
@INiedrauer


BigJack85
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Glad you agree Isaac. I mean I don't expect us to go 10-1 every year. But a steady diet of 5-6 isn't going to get it either. With what we have and the competition we should be 6-5 or better most of the time.
SFA_03
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6-5 should be a bad season. Not an acceptable one. But then again I dream of a world where SFA football plays consistently like they did in 2009....
TallTexan
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For those interested in discussing how to improve SFA as an institution, and for something to focus on other than football, feel free to join us on the general discussion thread.

SFA Challenges & Opportunities: Peer Schools Edition

@BigJack85- It also has the latest enrollment numbers for SFA.
BigJack85
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Looks good. I'll check it out.
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