Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Response to Scheduling Thoughts
I have to say I am surprised so many people disagree with me about the way Fresno State generally schedules. You all make outstanding points about how Fresno State is preceived to be a far more dangerous team than any of the other mid-majors because of the chances they take by putting teams such as Tennessee, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC, and LSU on their schedule. I also completely understand where everyone is coming from when you talk about how Fresno needs to continue to schedule this way. The only problem I have with the entire theory posed by each of you is this: You say that if the Bulldogs went undefeated they would be in a BCS game without conflict. While I agree that is true I also feel that Fresno State's chances of going undefeated are slim to none. One response stated that the undefeated season's by Boise, Tulane, and other mid-majors didn't warrant as much consideration for a BCS game as an undefeated season by the Bulldogs would warrant. However, these teams have all had undefeated seasons and we have not. That is the only point I make. I know that we have had a chance to make that happen but we have not done it. I feel like our scheduling hurts because the Dogs have to get up so high for a game such as the LSU game, and then they are brought back down to earth when they play someone like a LA. Tech two weeks later.
That being said I won't change how I feel with respect to scheduling. I know that sometimes teams need to schedule to fit the talent level they have so I don't question why some of the smaller schools only schedule games against schools they can compete with. At the same time I accept that most Fresno State fans agree that the Bulldogs way of scheduling is how mid-majors should do it and I will lay off this topic. However, I did get many responses from people and remember that is the point of writing a blog such as this. I try to get people interested and want to hear what they have to think. I don't mind if they do not agree with me, I just want to know what the rest of the Bulldog fans out there think about the way things are going for Fresno State. GoBulldogs.com won't write an article that is against Fresno State nor will the Fresno Bee. So that pretty much leaves MDG sand I to write about what is really going on with respect to the Dogs.
While most of the responses were warranted I have to say there is one post I can't say I agree with. One person stated "The replacement of Brandstater and the departure of Hill, would be very detrimental to the program". Coaching in college football tends to be a carousel, and the fact that Pat Hill has remained the Bulldogs coach for ten years is a testiment to what he has meant to the Bulldogs. But what many people have to realize is that change is not always bad. I mean because we go through change it does not always lead to terrible results. Colorado changed coaches and I am willing to bet down the line it will be a much better atmosphere in Boulder. If Hill could open up his mind with respect to the team such as the play calling and player rotation then I would feel like there is no need for a new coach. Hill used to feed on the fact that other teams would often overlook the Bulldogs but that is not happening anymore. Our punch them in the mouth and surprise them with our tenacity is not working anymore because other teams are coming out and becoming just as physical as we are in games. This should be noticed right away as the Dogs usually score on the first drive of the game but are continually frustrated after. The reason is the adjustments other teams make. Is it just me or does it seem like the other teams we have played all make great adjustments while we do very little after the first quarter? At the same time changing the QB isn't going to kill Fresno State. It can't get worse and that is my point with respect to this kind of change. Jenkins and Simmons rotate at corner and neither of them do a very good job as they have not figured how to cover quite yet. If Norton came in and performed as Brandstater has up to this point it would not change anything. Honestly it would be hard to do worse.
What I would like to see is for Brandstater to start against Utah State, but for Norton to get some reps during the game. If Norton could get into the game and get a feel for it he would be much more prepared for the follwing three games. Say Brandstater struggles horribly against Hawaii. If Norton has not played at all up to that point is that the kind of game you bring him into? The same should go for the next two games at LSU and at Boise. Norton would have to have some experience before that three game streak to perform at a respectable level. Whether he gets any reps at Utah State will be up to Hill, but I don't foresee that happening. I realize Brandstater has great arm strength but he needs to step it up this weekend. He needs to unload on a Utah State team that is not good by any means of the imagination. Brandstater needs to turn this game into a route early on by hitting his targets early and often. I believe Tom can do this, I just hope that he has the confidence in himself to do the very same. I know it has been a very tough start for him, but if he could orchestrate a win at Utah State and find a way to win one of the big three games following (hopefully Hawaii) he would then put us in line for a bowl game once again. If we finished 7-1 in the WAC this season we would come in second and that would warrant an eighth straight bowl. It all starts this weekend with Utah State. I know this is going to be a good weekend, I just have that feeling. Tune in because Tom or Sean is going to tear the Aggies a new one.