Could this happen to us?
Dan had to weigh in on the NCSU coaching hire and whether or not a potential replacement for Gailey would put GT in the same boat - I guess one column a week isn't enough to cover everything for him. (For the record, I think NCSU's coaching search debacle says a lot more about the quality of job that Lee Fowler is doing as their AD than anything about their fans or the job in general - so I do agree with Dan on this one).
One of these things is not like the other.
Everyone is getting a great laugh in the ACC, and probably across the nation, out of NC State’s trials and tribulations in finding a new men’s basketball coach. Hell, I rank among them since I absolutely cannot stand NC State in any way, shape, or form. However, I still think they were at a dead-end with Sendek. He’s a good guy and a solid coach, though not as super genius as people were trying to give him credit for. Let’s be honest the Flex offense is like blackjack strategy. You do the same things over and over again based on the given situation. You might have at most three choices to make in said situation and the best choice is usually heavily weighted against the other two unless you’re willing to gamble a bit. Everyone out there calling him some X’s and O’s genius doesn’t seem to realize that it’s just a system that you drill over and over again. It’s great for under talented schools like Air Force and Princeton in that it enables them to compete with other more talented programs, but its weaknesses mean the odds are very long of it carrying you to a national championship.
But I’m not here to get into basketball minutiae; this post is about the aftermath of Sendek’s departure and what’s being said about it in GT circles. Right now NC State is struggling to find a replacement HC and Chan Gailey supporters have taken this as gospel testament that if you let a winning coach go that it will be impossible to replace him. I was a firm believer in this argument when people were saying to get rid of Chan in years 1 and 2 of his service (full disclosure: I didn’t like him back then either, but I knew that firing a coach after two years of winning seasons would be a disaster in finding a replacement). For this argument to hold now the following statements would have to be true; as I will show they are most certainly not.
Herb’s record is similar to Chan’s in the W-L column
In the last 5 years Herb Sendek has won 20+ games in 4 of them and had 18 wins in the one year that he was under 20. Comparing this to the 7-6, 7-6, 7-5, and 7-5 campaigns under the Gailey era is just not being realistic about what a 20 win season in basketball means. Even with the increased amount of patsy non-conference scheduling in basketball you have to have a very successful conference campaign and likely a small run in post season play to achieve 20 wins in men’s basketball. This is why it’s considered such a high water market for a program to hit 20 wins in a season. Football on the other hand basically starts with 6 wins being a requirement for bowl eligibility with 7 wins being the standard for a moderately successful season. To even compare multiple 7 win (two of which came in 13 game seasons) to multiple 20+ win seasons in basketball is ludicrous.
Herb’s post season exploits are similar to Chan’s
I’m working on not swearing in articles for this blog so I’ll blank it out, but this is about the ****ing stupidest thing I have ever heard. Comparing the Silicon Valley, Humanitarian, Champ Sports, and Emerald Bowls to 5 consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament is ridiculous. At best you could compare that to 4 trips to the NIT and I’m not certain that’s even fair considering the supply/demand ratio for post season basketball play is much higher than that for post season football play. Let’s just move on before I start throwing things.
NC State’s coaching search is being conducted in the exact same manner GT would conduct its coaching search
I defended the feeling of the Pack with regards to Sendek up above. Wanting him gone was still not a mistake in my mind, but the aftermath of his departure has been an absolute cluster****. The State faithful seem to believe that a 20-year-old national title puts them in position to be an elite b-ball program. In this regard they are no different than your average Tech fan talking about 4 MNC’s in football. The difference here is that the NC State administration seems to have bought into the hype and feel like they offer a program that can attract away a happy coach from a current or rising national basketball power. This same train of thought just isn’t going to happen within the Tech administration as shown by the Gailey hiring. We set very realistic expectations during that hiring (in my opinion they haven’t worked out or I’m very frightened if they have) and I see no reason why the new AD wouldn’t follow suit.
The truth is that all of the pieces are in place for Chan Gailey to prove me wrong this year. Studly offensive line, future top 5 draft pick at WR, “veteran” starting QB, and a front 7 on defense that would willingly sack your grandmother and then spit on her. There can be no excuses this year, because we look pretty damn stacked. I was close to believing last year with how the season started out, but eventually I came to see the same old things that I’d always seen from Gailey teams. Stunningly brilliant play in one game (Miami) followed by mind numbing ineptness in another (Utah). I am locked into one more year of potential heart attack inducing inconsistency from game to game (yet there is amazing consistency come end of the season.) I would LOVE to be proven wrong about my suspicions. Unlike your average Tech fan I don’t think being wrong is the worst thing ever in the world, but I don’t have any faith that he will prove me wrong and NC State’s post Sendek search doesn’t have me quaking in my boots about us finding a new coach if I’m right