Make no mistake, offseason commitment is terribly important in the game. Didn't one member of the team (was it Jeff Backes? Jason Wright? I forget...) even comment after the last game last year that this team better hit the weights even harder this upcoming year. So it's a good sign.And Good enough to be a Post of the Day - IMHO
[And supposedly the team is still very positive about their prospects and many of the players did a lot of the recruiting and got kudos from the coaches. And then you have the senior leadership, All of this is a good sign.]
At the same time, it's not the only thing that matters. I think Randy Walker, (who I still more or less support for now) may have thought that Miami of Ohio techniques will get it done in the Big 10. And, hey, they have worked for many others from of the "cradle of coaches." For goodness sakes, that's why we hired him.
But perhaps this is a different era. I'm no MAC expert, but my guess is that in the MAC the talent on all of the teams, with the possible exception of Marshall, is more or less the same and that the team that "outworks" the opponent usually wins. You can just outhustle the other guy the way RW did when he was a player at Miami.
I don't think that is the reality of B10 football in 2003. You need recruiting, pre game and "in game/halftime" strategy, coaching skills, and add to that my purely personal opinion that NU's intelligent players will generally most likely respond better to a more positive "Pom-pom Pete Carroll" (hint hint, Pat Fitzgerald, Jeff Genyk) type coach as opposed to a "Woody Hayes" (hint hint, Kevin Wilson) type guy.
The kids are too smart to be called names........and they know it.
Finally, one thing I DO know about the MAC is that it is not known to be a particularly strong defensive conference, just like the Mountain West isn't. That is why I was surprised that RW hired Colby for our DC. But having said that, RW has forgotten more about football than I will ever know, so there must be something that he sees that I don't, I would assume.
So let's keep our fingers crossed for next year. The team does seem to be working hard and seems to like RW and his cadre of coaches. Let's hope it all "clicks" and we increase our win totals. The team showing passion and getting an "A" for effort is not enough. But it's a great first start and let's hope it carries through.
Just the ramblings of a fan to take or leave.
-- da Coach
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