First Sean Norton decides to leave Fresno State to search for a better opportunity to play. One day later offensive coordinator Steve Hagen decides to leave for North Carolina to coach with his old friend Butch Davis. I realize most Fresno State fans are happy to see Hagen go, but do you know what this could possibly lead to? Yesterday Pat Hill was quoted as saying he is in no hurry to find a offensive coordinator and he may even call the offensive plays himself. Is there anyone out there who still questions whether this offense is the fault of the coordinator or that of Hill? I believe that quote in itself tells you exactly what is wrong with the offense. If Hill is going to run this offense then we have absolutely no chance of scoring next season. He is the reason we run-run-pass so often. He is the only college coach in America who feels the way to win a game is to control the clock and limit the opposing team's opportunities. Wake up Pat. College football does not run by the same set of rules that Pro football does. Controlling the clock has very little to do with who wins in the college ranks anymore. Hawaii averages 3-4 minutes per drive yet scores over 40 points a game. What's their record? Oh that's right they are 10-3. While I am not sure Hagen was the offensive answer I know for a fact Pat Hill is nowhere near the answer to correcting our offense. He is too stuck in a world where his way works and no one else's does. Part of the problem may be the fact Pat seems to worry about what everyone else thinks of him. This morning Matt James (check out his article on Sean Norton today in the bee) was on the Tony D show. Matt James is a good beat writer for the Dogs because unlike most other Dogs reporters he wants to know what the hell is truly going on. He will ask the questions no one else will. James said he has never seen a man who worries about other people's opinions more than Pat Hill does. It is quite possible that we may have the wrong man coaching this team. Coaches should not worry about what people think of them. They should do what's best for the team and I do not feel Pat Hill did this this past season.
While Hagen leaving will not hurt the team the exit of Norton is going to affect this team tremendously. Pat has no one to fall back on now if Brandstater continues to struggle. Brandstater will be our starter (and 10,000 less people will be in the stands for each game unless the team Norton transfers to comes to town) but the pressure on him will not decrease. This is not going to make Brandstater's job any easier. Instead if he does not get the job done we will struggle through another losing season. Fan support will continue to dwindle and any hopes of ESPN having interest in putting the Dogs on television will all but disappear. Fresno State may very well become one of those horrific WAC automatic wins for other schools. All the work Pat Hill will have done to get the Dogs into the national spotlight will have been ruined because of his support of a QB who cannot do what is needed to win games at the college level. I do not have the answer to why Pat is so adamant about starting Brandstater. When Norton announced he was leaving Pat stated "I still think Sean is a good QB". When asked about Brandstater Hill stated "I think with time and work Tom could be a good QB". In other words the QB that is good is leaving and the one that needs all the work in the world to become good is staying. How much sense does that make? Yesterday on ESPN 1430 Brandstater stated that he is going to study the playbook well this off-season so he can be more effective next season. My question is what have you been doing for the past three years? have you noticed maybe you should open the book up and see where it takes you? Colburn took the same route as Brandstater as he grey-shirted then red-shirted his first two years at State. He will be in his third year in the program and there is no possible way he could be as bad as Brandstater has been. But do you think Pat is going to give Colburn a true shot?
The title of this blog "A Concerning Exit" refers to Norton leaving. This one situation will create more problems for the Bulldogs in 2007 than Pat Hill wants to admit. Hill calling plays is not the answer and never will be. We all knew he was doing this anyhow, but now he may be our offensive coordinator. While you are at it Pat why don't you fire Brown, Simons, and Baxter and coach the entire team yourself. That way you don't have to worry about what people think of your football team anymore. You will know everything falls back on you and there is no blame you will be able to put out there to take it away from you. This team faltering is Pat Hill's fault and I am tired of listening to people who are trying to protect a coach who used to be a strength at this university. Times have changed and Pat's mentality is not the right mindset for the Dogs right now. Hill ran Norton out of town and if that doesn't piss you off then nothing will. In that sense I can almost understand those who support Pat. Just understand this football team will not be successful for many years to come as long as Hill continues to worry about everything except his football team.
Question - Why do you think Pat is so adamant about starting Brandstater? Why did Pat do everything in his power to keep Norton off of the field? I have my own thoughts but what does everyone who reads the Blog think?