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.
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