Saturday, July 28, 2018

Briggs on Jinks; my thoughts added

Excellent column from David Briggs, who is simply an outstanding writer.  His topic today is the BG Football program, which he addresses with the most damning language of all:  facts.

You should read it.  The basic idea is that BG is tied for the lead in off-season arrests.  (Something Briggs chose not to make note of is that BG is tied with Texas Tech, for whatever that might be worth).

The other idea is that this is making the hot seat for Jinks even hotter. 

So read the column.  I have a couple thoughts to add.

First, I think BG fans expect the program to have dignity.  I expect us to do things the right way.  We've frankly had more of our share of these issues over the years, but they are as bad now as they have ever been now.  And, as the article notes, similar things are not happening at Toledo, Michigan, Ohio State, etc.  The teams we are chasing are winning without these problems.

Here's the problem for Jinks.  It gives the University a new reason--and a potentially more defensible one--for making a change.  It's one thing to buy a coach out for losing.  Some people might think that's not right.  But for running a program struggling with these issues and hurting the school's overall reputation?  That might be a little easier to sell.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit.  Jinks certainly deserves a chance to prove he can succeed.  He claims we are close.  We shall see, he has said that all the time, even in season 1.  BG did not hold a 4th quarter lead in any of the games they lost last year.  And, yes, there were a couple close losses but BG won by a miracle in the Miami game, which was essentially lost.

Anyway, what has me concerned is the recruiting, which is not moving at the pace it had in the first two years and when it was the only thing that Jinks could point to as a success.  I am sure other schools are telling recruits to question how long Jinks will be at BG, and if they aren't then I am sure the recruits are smart enough to figure it out for themselves.

It appears to be taking a toll.  It hasn't wiped it out, but it has moved us from the elite parts of the MAC to the next level down, and we're trying to catch up to them so you don't like to see that gap widening. (Also, let us wonder what compromises BG might have made to get those recruits, based on the discipline issues).

Here's what I have been thinking:  Jinks either needs to do well enough this year to earn an extension or he needs to go.  To earn an extension, I'd think you'd need significant improvement on the field and in the demeanor of the program.

With another bad season and the end of the contract looming even closer, these issues become magnified.  BG saw with Louis Orr what a couple lame ducks years look like--the program is still set back. 

The buyout was an issue when it was for the whole contract, but it is less now that it would only be two years.  And the arrests just make this an easier decision to make.

Briggs notes that Jinks is a nice guy and it does seem to be that he is.  So was Tom Amstutz.  Jinks has yet to show anything that indicates he's ready to be an FBS Head Coach.  The best thing for the program would be for that to happen, though it's just as hard to see as it always has been.  But, if the University chooses to ride it out, lame duck style, a long wilderness looms ahead.

And next time--whenever that is--no more Texas coaches please.

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