Sunday, December 2, 2012

Aggie football heads into offseason. What has to be done?

Wanted to give a quick look back on the 2012 New Mexico State football season. There will be more extensive analysis later in the week, but for now a primer: What's the team's immediate needs going into the 2012 offseason?

First off, the entire year was one of immense disappointment. Coming in, there was talk of a possible bowl game, of postseason aspirations. But those expectations were met by a program ill-equipped for such lofty goals (and a 1-11 record quickly followed). What action must be taken to rectify such a situation? On the surface a lot.

For one, the team lost key contributors on both sides of the football from a year ago, as well as four assistant coaches. None left a bigger hole than offensive coordinator Doug Martin (all the departures were felt. The lack of an experienced and innovative offensive coordinator was felt most).

We like most things about NMSU head coach DeWayne Walker: the belief that he runs a good program while having good people — players and coaches — a part of it; The team, outside of a week or two during this season, played hard; Attitude and preparation still seemed to be a part of its weekly routine.

What wasn't in place was a passable offense, which has been the case three of the past four years. When there was one, the Aggies finished 4-9 in 2011, could have easily gone 6-7 that particular year and there were rays of hope in improvement (which is really all most Aggie fans want at this point anyway). When one hasn't been present, the outfit has struggled simply being competitive.

We're not passing the buck. We're saying if Walker comes back next year (which in itself doesn't look like a foregone conclusion at this point) he needs a good offensive coordinator, because that side of the ball isn't his forte.

The point is this: In this era of college football, you're not winning many games 7-6, 14-10 and 17-13. The Aggies aren't anyway (instead, they're losing games closer to 50-14).

Walker talked this year — very openly we might add — about the need for more resources within the program. This was honest commentary from a frustrated coach. At the end of the day, it also seemed valid (Utah State and San Jose State didn't get better simply because of a resurgence in coaching. These schools have invested money into their programs in recent years, and big-time results have followed).

At season's end, the Walker pointed to two areas in which he wanted to see an uptick: His team's strength and conditioning program and in recruiting. May we add a third?

Get funds for assistant coaches, and hire an offensive coordinator for $150,000 to $200,000 (more the going rate, and well below what the Aggies are paying now). This will mark the fifth coordinator the school's had in five years (a mind-blowing number, which goes directly back to the on-field struggles) but could also attract a proven coach who might stick around for longer than eight months.

Get the unit up to at least an adequate level. We're not suggesting the Aggie defense was even remotely close to such a clip in 2012, but maybe with an offense that could move the chains and have some variation in its game, NMSU's defensive performance could perform at a slightly higher level as well. In turn, you'd have more an adequate team, something the 2012 Aggies were not. Closer to an abomination, actually.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg


Anonymous said...

Time for McManus and his "3 & out" offense to hit the road!! Hasta la Vista, Jerry!

Teddy brings up some pretty good points but, the biggest is the Conference situation.
NMSU needs a conference in order to bring in coaches, recruit players.

You can't invest in a program that has nothing scheduled past the 2013season!!
How can you recruit with one year left of existence?!! Maybe Juco's that have one year left will come but, high school player/ coaches will steer clear.

It is pretty clear that Boston is not going to get it done. The Regents need to fire him and then find us a home!!


Anonymous said...

Assistant coaches and recruiters...

Anonymous said...

Sorry I don't buy the 'Blame everything except Walker' argument. I really get tired of hearing how bad this offense was and how that is the reason for this poor season. The offense moved the football. Yeah it may not have scored as often as it should have but did the defense ever do anything to get the ball back? No. The defense is hideous. 4 straight years a safety has led the team in tackles. 4 straight years of declining team speed. 4 straight years of getting out muscled up front. 4 straight years that the coach blames everyone and everything else but refuses to look at his mug in the mirror.

"What has to be done?" Clean house, starting with Walker.

Anonymous said...

#1. Make football priority #1! Spend the money
#2. Buy Boston a 1 way ticket, and soon!
#3. The first call CDW needs to make is to Doug Martin!
#4. Make sure the regents hire the right president to lead this university out of the dark ages!

Anonymous said...

Right on Anon. 9:39
Without a conference, you can't do squat to better the program.

You can bring in the staff's from ND or Alabama but, without a conference or a schedule beyond 2013. You can't tell a kid to go spend the next 4 years in Las Cruces.

Here's what we need to do:
Fire Boston, get a conference, invest $$$$ in football like Utah St. LaTech, SJSU.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:09am -- Right On!

I've had enough of Walker using the offensive woes as an excuse. His defense was atrocious as well. Both sides of the ball need change.

I'll give Walker that NMSU under funds the football program, but when you have years of being a bottom feeder, it's tough for anyone to throw good money after bad. When Mumme was at NMSU, they had the offense but no defense -- that would have been a good time to invest some money for a decent Defensive Coordinator. Now with Walker, we are bad on both sides of the ball.

We need a major switch. We need to find a coach that has proven they can build a program with little funding. No more coordinators from Div I schools -- we need a head coach from an FCS, Div II, or DIV III school that has proven themselves at the lower level and can apply that structure to a struggling NM State program.

Anonymous said...

You guys can talk all you want about firing Walker and bringing someone else.

First thing's first: FIND A CONFERENCE!!

No coach in his right mind is going to NMSU without a conference and an uncertain future past 2013!

If we are going down a year from now. Let Walker man the ship.

Anonymous said...

4:27 ask UNLV how that is working! Bottom line is it is going to take so consistency!

one who knows said...

hey teddy why did walker get a new contract that was hush hush. Second of all who are we playing in the toilet bowl with all your bowl talk. last dont be surprised if he quits word is he is going to california to be a defensive coordinator he hates it here.

Teddy said...

Here are links to when Walker signed his original deal.

When it was first reported:

And when it was finally signed:

As for “all my bowl talk.” Entirely not true. At no point did I hype the Aggies up to be a bowl team on this blog or through my reporting because I didn't think they were one. Look it up. With that, at no point did I think they'd be as bad as they were either. Don't know many who did.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:48 -- for someone that is about consistency, you are sure quick to dismiss a proven coach after three years in his new position. Not sure how you think this bolsters your argument.

Consistency is only valuable if you are working in the right direction. You can consistently drive from east from Las Cruces, but your not going to reach California.

By the way, Anonymous 4:27's comment has been proven to work before: Consider Brian Kelly as the Head Coach of Grand Valley State who took a job with a horrible Central Michigan team. He turned that program around...setting him on a course to his current position at Notre Dame (ask them how that's working out). Or you could ask Virgina Tech how getting Frank Beamer has been for them. Coach Beamer took his success at Murray State to capture the Virgina Tech job. At the time--Virgina Tech was not a successful team...oh yeah, they also were independent. It wasn;t until Beamer arrived and Tech found success that they were invited into a conference. Seems to be working out well for them.

There are other examples I could give...but, bottom line is you need to have the right coaching staff before you stay consistently down a path. Walker is not the right guy for NMSU. There are no signs of improvement and nothing to build on for next year. Its time to move in different direction.