Monday, November 26, 2007

Coach Brandon....and a note

First, congrats to PJ Mahone was is the MAC East Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. And to think we didn't consider him a starter at the beginning of the year.

Now, onto larger matters. At this time last year, many Falcon fans were wondering about the fate of our football coach. The program seemed to be lapsing into a familiar pattern--the Blackney pattern--as we went from winning early to losing late. Coach's contract runs until the end of next season, and I think it is safe to say that many feared that he would play out the string, much as Coach Dakich did, and then we would rebuild.

A funny thing happened on the way to catastrophe:

  • We finished 8-4
  • We were young and talented, as opposed to young and bad
  • We found a QB
  • We innovated to handle injuries
  • We played to the end of the season
  • We re-established our home field chops (4-1)
  • We also won on the road (4-3)
  • We (it appears) made a bowl game.
Just as blame goes to the coach when the team loses, here we have to give credit. Not only is Coach Brandon now winning with his own players, but he did so while replacing six of his coaches last season, and introducing two new coordinators. This is no small feat. And he went 8-4 while playing 7 road games---I'd wager no other eight win team had seven road games this year.

College football is a coach's game, and it looks like we've rebuilt the program and are ready to compete for a MAC title next year.

I think anyone would agree that we can't let the Coach go into next year as a lame duck. I expect him to get at least a one year extension. In fact, he deserves more. At a minimum, he should get a couple years on the end of the deal, with more to come if we can win the MAC next season.

Judging by message board traffic, Coach has not completely banished his critics. And, in his job, much like mine, you are only as good as your last season, or last game. Having said that, I would strongly support two additional years for him. I don't claim to know that he's going to be successful for those three years.

But I do believe that he is a good coach, any replacement could be worse, and that the program appears to be on the right track. Stability at head coach is not only the right thing to do for the coach, but also good for the program.

And, if we win the MAC next year, I think other schools may come calling.

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