Re: Overall Talent Level
I still look back at that first ISU game vs Wyoming with Coach Mac. ISU had the lead fairly comfortably. Davis had a ton of yards. Then toward the end of the game (for whatever reason: conservative play calling, lack of depth, a good Wyoming team..), Wyoming comes back and ties the game. Wyoming kicks off with less than 2 minutes (maybe less than 1) to play. Troy Davis is back to receive the KO, and Wyoming kicks it to him. If it weren't for the kicker slowing up TD, he would have taken it to the house for the TD. Unfortunately, the return was stopped just outside of field goal range. Instead of using the final seconds of the game to try to get the ball closer for a field goal, coach Mac decides to play for the tie and use what was new that year: the tiebreaker.
Originally Posted by Cyhart
Coach Walden (who came before Mac), tried to implement a wishbone offense. He recruited as much speed as he could get his hands on. So when Mac took over, he knew he had no real chance for a good passing game. So "Run Davis Left....Run Davis Right...Run Davis up the middle..." was about the only available option, and the only way to get the team to focus on something to be proud of.
Re: Overall Talent Level
Talent wise, I think it's tough to make comparisons to Mac's entire tenure. Every current Cyclone in the NFL was either recruited by or played under Mac, so while Chiz & Rhoads may have coached some of those guys, Mac brought them in. I firmly believe that will change this year as Sims & Franklin have a great chance to make a roster, but Lamaak was recruited by Mac.
As a snapshot, the current talent level is still a notch below what we had between '00-'02, with '02 of course being the tail end of some of talent we had. Comparing current guys to some of the best we've had in the last decade, here's how I see it shaking out by position:
QB: Nobody on the current roster is even in the same stratosphere as Sage & Seneca. Also until Jantz or Tiller proves something, Meyer was clearly better than what we've seen from the current QBs. I do like the direction this group is going with Jantz and Richardson, but they have a lot to prove.
RB: TD, DD & Ennis are clearly the class of this group. A-Rob was another guy recruited by Mac and even Hicks had some success. I like the current group and I think there could be some special players, but again, they have a lot to prove. The depth is better, but the top end talent remains a question.
WR: Another one that goes to Mac as a whole. Neither Chiz nor Rhoads has been able to develop or identify an elite receiving threat.
TE: Receiving wise, Franklin was better than Banks or Barkema, but it's unfair to critique Collin's blocking due to our offensive scheme. I like Hammerschmidt and I think Brun was a solid pick up, but I don't know that there's a pro in our current group.
OL: Really too many guys to name here, but I think our current talent and depth is as good as it ever was under Mac. KO is a pro we've heard nothing but rave reviews about the group that redshirted last season. The problem under Mac wasn't necessarily talent, but they had an awful OL coach in Marty Fine. A former player who shall remained unnamed told me that Fine was the worst coach in America in any level of football and the rest of coaches felt the same way about him.
DL: The '00 group and the '05 group are the best we've had. I like Ruemp a lot and I think McDonough & Laing are developing nicely. Maggitt is our best end and that's not even debateable. I know this board love Lattimer, but the guy disappeared for entire series far too often. Maggitt will have a big year. The current group is clearly a notch below the likes of Rubin, Curvey, Leaders, Berryman, James Reed and Reggie though.
LB: Knott is a future pro, this much is evident. He still has a lot of work to do, but he's good. Klein still has room for improvement. He's not better than Dobbins at this point, but he's probably a little better than Robertson. Athletically, Bowen and Knott are about the best two we've had, but Knott is much smarter and a better player. I think we could have good depth at this position, but MT hasn't been on the field enough and George as well as others are complete unknowns.
CB: Hobbs is the best we've had. LJ would need to have a lights out season to be mentioned with Hobbs, which I'm not ruling it out, but I don't see it yet. I still think LJ finds a way onto an NFL roster next season. He's better than DeAndre Jackson and LeMarcus Hicks or even an Atif Austin. The current CB group is solid, but again, a lot of unknowns beyond LJ, Reeves and Young.
Safety: Moving TB to safety was a great decision. It's a more natural position for a guy his size. Again a lot of questions at this position, but I think we've recruited well and we'll be surprised by that group. Talent wise, I still go with a Steve Paris or Moser or Avey, but if TB takes to the position well, he can throw his name in the list of best safeties. I think he'll play the pass better than Sims, but Sims was very good in the run game. TB is a physical guy, so I think he'll be an asset in run support, but we'll have to wait and see.
I know some of these comparisons were unfair, because I was comparing our current guys to the best of the Mac era, but in the case of the OL, RBs, LBs and the CBs, that's not a ridiculous comparison to make and those groups are in decent to good shape. I really like the recruits we brought in this year and OL and RBs brought in last year have a chance to be very good. Our talent will get there, and if a leader emerges out of the QB group, then this team has a chance to make some noise.
I think the biggest things Rhoads has brought to the program are depth, great preparation and strategy and a drive to succeed. While the 2-pt conversion against Nebraska didn't work, the entire team came away knowing that Rhoads believed they would win and was confident in the team executing. Mac and Chiz don't make that call. I feel very good about where our team is currently at and I think we have the right leader in Rhoads and some budding stars on the roster and what appears to be a solid foundation and nucleus in our young classes.
"Karl Malone love making up jokes. Karl Malone always say, 'laughter is the best Mexican.' "
-Jimmy Kimmel impersonating Karl Malone
Re: Overall Talent Level
exactly what i was going to say
Originally Posted by CylentButDeadly