Sunday, October 21, 2012

Our Number One Candidate

Just to review, we still don't necessarily think Hope is a dead man walking.  There are a few reasons behind that- Burke doesn't have a history of firing coaches and Hope can still salvage the season.  Sure, the signature win(s), if Hope can correct things, would be against depleted Penn State and Iowa squads, but a 7-win regular season is pretty respectable...and there is no way Hope could/should be fired with that record heading into a bowl.

I feel like when we write, some people read the headline, the first sentence and the last sentence...then respond via Twitter.  For those people, nothing that's written matters anyway.  For others of you that are reading this and trying to figure out the back story for this post, here are the posts that led to this:

Don't Hire These Guys

Affordable Options

Wish List

The Way Things Are

Even though the first list posted was slightly more-pricey, we think there are some pretty good names on these lists...and if Burke's hand was forced and he needed to seek candidates for this job, this would be a great final three:

Rutgers HC, Kyle Flood

Northern Illinois HC, Dave Doeren

...and finally, without further ado...

Louisiana Tech HC, Sonny Dykes

A few of you also think Dykes is a great candidate, but we think he might be the best candidate.

First off, if there's one consistent opinion within the majority of the Purdue fanbase, it's that Purdue's heritage as a program lies in the passing game...and Purdue should have an offense that is built around passing the football.  Plus, if there's any chance to keep Purdue's QBs that are on the roster and on the way in, a new offense would have to be sold to them.  Sonny Dykes pedigree and current offense would be attractive to most quarterbacks, we believe...and Hope's focus on speed in the skilled positions would play quite well in Dykes system as his offenses are a bit more balanced than Tiller's early teams were. What Dykes' teams really do is just score and move the ball up and down the field.  In fact, his offense might make Cowboy Joe Tiller of 1997 blush a bit.

They're currently 1st in points scored, 8th in passing yards and 12th in rushing yards.  Before coaching for LaTech, he was OC in Arizona, but he really learned what he knows in his previous 6 seasons coaching under Mike Leach at Texas Tech.

Those jobs are another reason that we like Dykes.  Coaching in the state of Texas, but not for UT or A&M is a challenge...same goes for coaching in Louisiana and not wearing purple and yellow.  The recruiting and resource situation at Purdue will be similar to two of his previous jobs...the one thing Dykes doesn't seem to know too well is colder weather...but we think that isn't a deal breaker.

Dykes turns 43 in a few weeks, makes 3/4 of a million dollars right now, and his buyout is about what Hope's is right now (estimated; can't find the exact number).

From what I've read, Arkansas fans have also noticed Dykes resume and ability to recruit the state of Texas...something that Purdue fans can appreciate as well.  The point is, if Burke waits long on Dykes, he won't be available either...like the other two names on the list, he's a great candidate and would be a pretty solid fit for Purdue.

Like many of you, I'm still hoping Purdue wins out, including the bowl, then there'd be no doubt that no change is warranted.

The apathy that seems to have settled within the Purdue fanbase is noteworthy and widespread...it'll take something like a five or six game winning streak to awaken us from our early hibernation.

10 comments:

strawmy57 said...

The only way we get dykes is if somehow the interim president fires burke and hope before december. Dykes will probly be fielding serious offers as soon as the regular season ends, and with arkansas having more money, being in a better conference, better talent base, being in the south, etc. we have little to no chance of this hire with the current regime.

boilerdowd said...

I tend to agree...I'd take Doeren in a heartbeat though.

hankrrt said...

The (growing) segment of the Purdue fanbase who wants Burke fired will probably have to find a way to be content with that not happening. The football program is struggling, but no AD is fired based on the performance of a single sport. Looking at his career as a whole, he has been arguably the most successful AD in Purdue history (I will now duck as 90% of the Purdue fanbase starts throwing stuff at me). I'm sure those SAs who compete in non-revenue-generating sports would agree with me, as the facilities across the athletic department as a whole have been greatly improved - the aquatic center being the most notable. And when push came to shove (and I agree it shouldn't have come to that), he stepped up to make sure that Matt Painter would remain the men's basketball coach, a move for which I am particularly grateful.

But of course, the reason why he's taking so much heat lately is because of the football program, and those criticisms are certainly well earned. He frankly went bargain hunting when Tiller retired, and the result of that was the hiring of a guy who was a solid (yet unspectacular) FCS (formally Div I-AA) coach that he could get for pretty cheap. To Hope, Purdue is a destination job; he clearly loves being the head coach of Purdue's football team, but in four years he has yet to show that he possesses the necessary skill set to be a head coach in the Big 10. If I'm being completely candid, he's probably best suited as a position coach at the Big 10 level. He's a good recruiter and his players love him; those are skills that you want your position coaches to possess. But his inability to manage the game, hire properly qualified assistant coaches (minus Tibesar, for whom the jury is still out; and of course he has to operate within the tight budget constraints imposed by Burke, another completely valid criticism of the AD), game plan effectively, or give his teams any sense of identity are what's holding this program back. Those are not "fixable" things; they are systematic problems that a team like Purdue should not be dealing with. THAT is why I'm unhappy with Hope: in four years he's still the same guy who's just happy to be on the sidelines; the same guy who is long on meaningless positive platitudes but short on providing a real direction for this team to go in in order to turn things around. The program has failed to advance, and the whole athletic department is suffering because of it. Four years is enough time to know whether you have a coach you can believe in. It would take quite a bit for me to do so at this point.

I could write more, but this is a comment box and not a soapbox for me to pontificate. If this team makes it to a bowl, Hope will probably be back whether they win the bowl game or not. But as the program suffers and there are fewer and fewer butts in the seats on Saturday afternoon, Burke's hand might end up being forced. However, if his hiring of Hope is any indication, we may find ourselves in the same position four years from now.

James said...

This is a set of suggestions. First, hire Luke Fickel of TOSU as head coach. Luke did a respectable job managing a difficult situation when Jim Tressel was fired. He brings a list of Florida high school contacts developed by both Tressel and Urban Meyer. He knows the Big Ten Conference well.

Fickel brings Mike Vrabel along with him. If it's thought that he was a solid pro linebacker but doesn't have enough coaching experience just yet, Purdue could keep the present DC and give Vrabel the "co-cooridinator" tag. I for one think Purdue could use a little of the New England Patriots mindset on the coaching staff. It would only do them good.

Thirdly, hire Bryan Harsin of Texas as OC. Harsin came from Boise State. He called what is probably the best college football game I ever saw, the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Texas will likely clean house after the season is over, so the ever-thrifty Morgan Burke wouldn't have to pay a buy-out, Texas would do that for him. Though Harsin is still young he already has a ton of experience. His offense is not unlike Joe Tiller's when he first arrived in West Lafayette.

Of course, the argument against hiring Luke Fickel is "We tried that once before and it didn't work." Jim Colletto was an Ohio State offensive coordinator who consistently torched Purdue. I talked to a former player of his who said, "Colletto was a good coach and a great guy but he couldn't recruit." Recruiting is Danny Hope's greatest strength.

boilerbugle said...

"Purdue's heritage as a program lies in the passing game...and Purdue should have an offense that is built around passing the football."

Heritage is a strong word for something that started in 1997 and was successful only because the Big10 was such a run happy league before then.

Purdue Matt said...

@boilerbugle,

Purdue's passing heritage only started in 1997? Are you sure? Ever heard of mike Phipps, bob Griese, mark Herrmann, Gary Danielson, Len Dawson, etc.... There is a reason Purdue is known as the cradle of quarterbacks.

Purdue Matt said...

I would be thrilled with either Dykes or Doeren. Both seem to understand the game a lot better than Danny Hope.

boilerdowd said...

You're mistaken, Bugle.

abling said...

Hankrrt - great summary. I think you are spot on.

James, you should talk to an OSU fan before promoting Fickell for any job. They are very displeased with his performance. His defense is weak - shoot, they let IU stick around!
I wouldn't want him a Purdue based on their performance.

zlionsfan said...

Hankrrt pretty much said what I would have said. I will point out that some ADs are fired because of a single sport, although it generally has to be the most important sport at the school and a significant error or scandal has to be involved. (Example: Greenspan at IU, "resigning" basically for being dumb enough to believe Kelvin Sampson. Penn State, because obvs.)

Burke's actually 1 for 2 with respect to football coaches, believe it or not, although I'll agree you can call it 1 for 3 if your point is that he kept Colletto (King's last hire) around too long. And he's overseen programs that have won two-thirds of all the NCAA team titles Purdue has ever won. (Yes, two out of three.) It's just that his philosophy (hire cheap, keep 'em around) works fine for non-revenue sports and sucks for revenue sports, especially sports with a lot of coaches.

Dykes has a ton of major-conference experience: two years in the SEC, seven in the Big 12, three in the Pac-10. Doesn't mean he'll do any good here, but he can't be any worse, and at least he'd run an offense that would be fun to watch (and probably fun to execute).

If Burke sends out collection cards with Dykes' name on them, I'm in.