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Posts Tagged ‘Don Treadwell’

No. 87: Miami (Ohio)

Two years ago, Miami scored 21.6 points and allowed 23.2 points per game. Last fall, Miami scored 21.3 points and allowed 22.9 points per game. In 2010, the RedHawks averaged 352.0 yards of offense per game; that total jumped to 372.9 yards a year ago. Mike Haywood’s last defense allowed 338.2 yards per game while Don Treadwell’s first allowed 363.7 – a jump, but not a huge jump, and one certainly in the realm of inflation given how MAC offenses moved forward as a whole in 2011. So given how statistically similar last year’s team was to the 2010 squad that made an unforeseeable leap to the top of the MAC, how was it that Treadwell’s debut ended with only four wins? Two factors: the schedule and an inability to win close games. Miami couldn’t control the former; the latter was likely a result of a first-year head coach learning his new gig on the fly.

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    Midseason Grades for the New Guys

    There are 24 first-year head coaches doing work on the F.B.S. level, not counting the three interim coaches keeping seats warm at Arizona, New Mexico and North Carolina. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where that trio — Tim Kish, George Barlow and Everett Withers — become full-time replacements in 2012, though the way Withers has kept U.N.C. afloat through the first half of the regular season certainly bodes well for his future coaching opportunities, whether with the Tar Heels or otherwise. So how are the new faces doing at their new stops? Let’s hand out some midseason grades for the new hires, and include the grade each coach received over the winter’s hiring recap.

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      No. 83: Miami (Ohio)

      Top floor, please. Express, no stops. Miami (Ohio) took the elevator from the basement to the penthouse, eschewing the ladder-style stops that accompany such a massive rebuilding project: from one win to four, to six, to eight, to 10. It was done in one fell swoop, not just revitalizing an extremely proud program but also granting a measure of respectability to a coach who had more than just a few detractors after his 1-11 debut. It turned out that Mike Haywood did know what he was doing after all, and he wisely parlayed his newfound respect into a B.C.S. conference promotion – it didn’t last long, but Haywood did get the call. Unfortunately, he was not afforded a mulligan: there’s no coming back once you walk out that door, and in Don Treadwell, his replacement, Miami rapidly identified a coach with the background and experience needed to keep this program pointing upwards.

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        Handing Out the Coaching Diplomas

        It took two weeks, give or take, but I’ve touched on every head coaching move in the F.B.S.: all 21 of them, ranging from the Sun Belt to a team only a year removed from a perfect 12-0 regular season, from the Pac-12 to the Big East and all points in between. The grades have fluctuated from an A+ — three such grades, in fact — all the way down to a C; as a once-abysmal student, I don’t have what it takes to give anything less than a satisfactory grade. Not that I couldn’t have been far harsher on Randy Edsall and Maryland, had I woken up on the wrong side of the bed on that particular morning.

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          Grading Miami (Ohio)’s Coaching Move

          B.C.S. conference experience: check. Head coaching experience — at least to a degree: check. MAC experience: check. Experience at Miami (Ohio): check. What’s next, you’re going to tell me Don Treadwell graduated from Miami (Ohio)? He did? You know, it’s simply lovely when a plan comes together like this. There was talk that once Mike Haywood departed for Pittsburgh, Miami had two candidates for the open position: Treadwell was one, Nebraska’s Shawn Watson the other. Let’s be honest: there was no way that Treadwell wasn’t getting this job. The relationship simply works too well, as you can see.

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            Turnover Runs at a High Clip

            Let’s do the math: 120 teams in the F.B.S.; 21 coaching changes heading into the 2011 season; that’s roughly a new coach at one of every six programs in the country, an astonishing level of turnover — one that highlights the win-first, win-now mentality that leaves even the lowliest program begging for immediate results. To be fair, a handful of coaching moves have come about due to an incumbent’s promotion elsewhere, such as was the case at Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois and San Diego State. That wasn’t the case along the B.C.S. conference ranks, as you’ll see below.

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              2010 End-of-Year Awards: Big Ten

              It’s a great problem for a conference to have, though Michigan State can only sit back and wonder what might have been. The Big Ten had three teams finish with matching 11-1 records, 7-1 in conference play, meaning that three’s a crowd — one team had to stay home from B.C.S. play. Thanks to each team’s starting position, one would imagine, Michigan State became the odd team out. Wisconsin and Ohio State, on the other hand, head to the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, respectively. The top-heavy nature of the conference belied a weak middle: five teams finished 7-5 or 6-6 overall. The two programs at the bottom of the conference — Minnesota and Indiana — opted for a coaching change.

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                Trimming the Broyles From 36 to 1

                Though more often than not more of a popularity contest than an actual measurement of the nation’s finest assistant coach, the annual Broyles Award does its best work in presenting a list of the understudies most deserving of a moment in the spotlight. Last fall’s winner, Alabama’s Kirby Smart, certainly deserved credit for helping to orchestrate a national title-winning defense; however, one could have made an equally strong case — if not a stronger case — for several other F.B.S. assistants, such as Will Muschamp at Texas or Cincinnati’s Jeff Quinn, among others. In advance of next month’s award ceremony, here are the 36 assistants nominated for the 2010 Broyles Award listed alphabetically by school. From there, I’ll trim this list — using my view on things — to 18, to nine, to five and then down to one.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.