Author Topic: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference  (Read 4285188 times)

Offline Li'l Giant

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2619
  • Karma: +369/-223
    • View Profile
    • my twitter
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34605 on: October 16, 2018, 04:23:20 pm »
Whether it's lack of the major talent of the past or coaches not getting the most out of similar talent now--hard to say.

Honestly, I think it's the latter. You can't lose coaches the quality of ER and BJ and expect to keep the kind of talent development we used to enjoy.

Unfortunately, I think this is the new normal. Unless and until Matt Tanney tires of regression to the middle of the conference as much as the rest of us have.
“I believe in God and I believe I'm gonna go to Heaven, but if something goes wrong and I end up in Hell, I know it’s gonna be me and a bunch of D3 officials.”---Erik Raeburn

I don't drink with the enemy, and I don't drink lattes at all, with anyone.

Offline Bashbacker16

  • Junior Varsity
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34606 on: October 17, 2018, 04:24:37 pm »
Gents -

I've tried to stay off of here but I can't.  SigmaOne is so spot on in so many ways.  I hope we won't be referring to Wabash football from 2002-2015 as the glory years but the changes are glaring.  We absolutely are missing the standouts like a lot of the names already mentioned.  Kennon, McCullen, Hodges, Scola, Gum, Hammer, Buresh, Short, Knott, Harbaugh, Austin Brown, Chamblee, Zurek, and I could go on and on.  The type of players that you kind of wonder - man, how did we end up getting that guy?

Watching the games and especially the last 2, the team just looks uninspired.  Ugh.  Can I use the word boring?  Beating OWU 7-0 - spin it however you like but that was yuck on all fronts.  We miss Ike big time but thank God St. Joe shut down their football program.  Every single game left will be a dog fight and a couple of those could be ugly if we don't start playing better.  The special teams are so bad.  Again, what is our identity from a scheme standpoint?  Offensively, we don't run well, we don't throw it well, and it certainly doesn't seem like we are utilizing some of our should-be play makers.  Defensively, look at the big plays we give up?  Again, are we a blitzing/attack D?  Are we a bend but don't break D? 

It's so different than it used to be and it bums me out so bad.  There had to be reasons why ER left, especially for that job, and I think we are all seeing those before our eyes.  I am extremely hopeful that the new AD will be able to get things back on the tracks.  Thank God he's an actual AD who cares about our success and "gets" what makes Wabash a special place.

Wabash Always Fights is such a good motto when we roll teams and win championships.  Grasping to the motto week in and week out when we are squeeking by the bottom half of our league or getting throttled by a good Denison team... it just isn't as good.

#2002-2015 - remember when 9-1 was a disappointing year?  Remember when we used to beat Witt?  Remember when we used to be accused of running up the score and scoring 80?  Remember when we had classes graduate with 40+ wins?  Remember when the only times we would have tough games was when we played Witt, Depauw in the Bell game, or our playoff opponents?  Remember when we listened/watched to the ER show and enjoyed it?  Remember when we had press conferences after NCAA playoff games?  Remember beating Witt twice in 2 years?  Remember playing the Purples in the Elite 8?  Remember when the Bell rival got so lopsided it didn't seem fair?

WAF
BB16

Offline bashbrother

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 3116
  • Karma: +393/-233
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34607 on: October 17, 2018, 04:44:33 pm »
What he said.....
Why should you go for it on 4th down?

"To overcome the disappointment of not making it on third down." -- Washington State Coach Mike Leach

Offline Bashbacker16

  • Junior Varsity
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34608 on: October 17, 2018, 04:48:04 pm »
*beat Witt 2x in the same season.

Offline sigma one

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 912
  • Karma: +192/-63
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34609 on: October 17, 2018, 06:11:09 pm »
Yea, I only went back to the beginning of this decade, but the "run" began in earnest in 2001.  For 17 years Wabash football had much to be proud of.  The only two problem years were 2003 and 2004, after the Hall of Fame 2002 team, which went to the Final 8, graduated.  Since 2004 no Wabash team has lost more than two games in a season, and almost always after that if there were two losses, the next year would be at worst one loss during the regular season and another in the play offs.
     But even more importantly for me (and I know for others) is the way Wabash played and is playing.  Bashbacker16 is right.  There appears to be no emotional edge.  There is no identifiable style.  For years, Wabash passed the ball led by great QB play, exciting receivers, helped along by outstanding linemen.  Under ER the LGs transitioned to an impressive rushing team.  But importantly, those teams could reinforce their dominant style with a competent running/passing balance.  And defensively Wabash was dynamic, with good schemes and outstanding individual players.
     That's gone.  Sure, there are games in which Wabash runs the ball really well, but not against the best of the conference.  The passing game looks predictable.  There is the occasional roll out off a fake hand off, but this has been shut off lately.  The defense, while competent, shows no spark.  There are still good players, but it just looks like they sometimes go through the motions, not getting the most of their talent.   I can't remember seeing a guy get really fired up lately, leading the team to an emotional peak.
     I'm going to shut up now on this topic.  I'm repeating myself.  Every team I've ever paid attention to reflects its head coach, and assistants feed off the head guy too.  This is  simply not the way we are used to seeing Wabash play football.

Offline old wabash

  • Second-stringer
  • **
  • Posts: 153
  • Karma: +17/-16
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34610 on: October 17, 2018, 09:47:26 pm »
there is not many things sadder in this life than someone not livening up to their potential,,,whether that is in the classroom, office, boardroom, or the athletic field.  i feel like i watched the last 15 years of Wabash football, seeing players achieve great things(individually and together). i feel like i have watched the last 2 1/2 years of players and teams not realizing their FULL potential. that is why I am sad...for them, and for me it is difficult to watch. i do not know as much about football as anyone here, i am just a "loyal son" class of 76 who believes that WAF is not a great slogan but a way of life. I wanna see that resurrected on the football turf, cause right now it feels like a slogan of the past. i don't think we need a new slogan, as much as we need a new re-committment to the true meaning of WAF!!

Offline WLGHistorian

  • Junior Varsity
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34611 on: October 18, 2018, 10:24:31 am »
All -

     I have been reading the comments on here for the last couple of weeks.  First of all, I agree with much of what has been said.  I have concerns about the level of play, the horrible special teams execution and the ability of the coaching staff to get the most out of the football players we recruit. Special teams have actually been declining much longer than has been mentioned recently.  I have on-going conversations with a colleague who  is keeping a "spreadsheet" of special team failures for the last half decade...or maybe longer.


     But no one, and I do mean NO ONE, has mentioned a huge impact with this year's team.  The death of a 4-year starter, all-conference linebacker, Evan Hanson.  The impact of that, the impact that it was suicide, the impact that it was a guy who was so involved in helping others and seemed so happy.  What does that do to a team? This is also the 2nd suicide of a Wabash football player (although the other player was not on the team due to injury).  The 2 young men, in fact coincidentally, took their lives on the same date exactly 2 years apart.  So some members of the current team knew these men.  You can't ignore what that does to the coaching staff, who now has to double their job description to include grief counselor. You can't ignore what that does to the team in terms of enthusiam, focus and emotion on the field.


     I definitely saw the lack of emotion against Denison.  But I did see a little emotion on the defensive side against OWU...the offense not so much.  I talked to my older brother, a former coach, about the results against Wooster (homecoming) and Denison.  He said that when a team goes through a situation like this, you just have no idea how long a team can sustain their drive to perform. It could be they were still holding it together through homecoming and then everything collapsed the next week.


     Just didn't want all of you to overlook this.  I have not been directly involved in Wabash's football program for 36 years but have followed Wabash football for 50 years now and Evan Hansen's death brought my life, my emotional health and well-being to one of the lowest points I have ever felt.  I am just beginning to come out of it.  And so I say, if this did this to me...what is the Wabash football team and staff going through?

Offline WAF78

  • Junior Varsity
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +3/-1
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34612 on: October 18, 2018, 11:27:20 am »
WLG....thank you for bringing us back to reality. I know when I heard about the suicide, I felt like someone gut punched me and I didn't know the young man or his family. I was out of sorts for a couple of days.  Can't imagine what those guys on the team are going through. I mean....when I played at Wabash, my sophomore year...one of captains quit the team...and I remember it having a really negative effect on the team. I can't imagine what the effects might be when a captain commits suicide. Every guy will go through this differently as will every coach. I'm rooting for this team and for the WAF attitude to come back. But, if it doesn't....then I'll root for them again next year too.

Offline WLGHistorian

  • Junior Varsity
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34613 on: October 18, 2018, 11:47:12 am »
WAF78-

     I think I remember that too, if it was the year I am thinking of.  The co-captain quit pretty close to or the night before a game.  I was a student manager.  Checking off names as everyone got on the bus.  Coaches checking with me as to who still hadn't arrived.  I kept saying this guy (the co-captain) wasn't on board yet.  The coaches just kept shaking their heads and just saying no.  They wouldn't tell me why.  It was the next week I learned he had quit but still never heard why.

Offline sigma one

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 912
  • Karma: +192/-63
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34614 on: October 18, 2018, 01:36:02 pm »
WLGHistorian: thanks for bringing up Evan Hansen.  I know his loss has been on my mind, and I know it must weigh more than we can calculate on the team and coaching staff.  I have no doubt that if even subliminally his suicide is affecting the emotional health and play of the team.  I didn't know exactly how I wanted to bring it up and do justice to his absence.  You do a sensitive, reasoned job of summing up what is in the minds of so many of us.
     My posts don't just cover the period since mid-September, but harken back to the play of the past two years.  The team's performances have been disappointing over that time and mirror comments several posters, myself included, made a year ago.  Still, your comments appropriately speak to what is no doubt significantly influencing this year's team.  You help put in perspective at least the last few weeks.  Thanks, again.  Let's hope there has been some recovery for the coaches and players as time passes even if the team stays in its current funk.   

Offline firstdown

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
  • Karma: +96/-41
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34615 on: October 18, 2018, 01:41:51 pm »
I think WLGHistorian is right on the mark. 

The many great teams since 2002 have always had something to prove.  In the words of Rodney Dangerfield - "I don't get no respect."  A small school of 950 +/- students in the Midwest always seems to have to prove itself which the WAF spirit helps to provide.  Unfortunately, this year the loss of Evan has placed a heavy weight on the heart of the team.  No doubt Evan and Sapp are together and are asking "Did Wabash win?"
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 01:52:53 pm by firstdown »

Offline Bashbacker16

  • Junior Varsity
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34616 on: October 18, 2018, 03:21:57 pm »
LGHistorian,

No doubt about the fact that the loss of Evan had impacted this season.  I was also sick and saddened to hear the news as I think we are all part of the Wabash football family.  It is impossible to not let such a tragic loss impact the team, the coaches, the parents, the alums, and all of the fans.  Evan was, without a doubt, once of the best players on that side of the ball and he sounded like an amazing person on and off the field.  My prayers and thoughts certainly remain with his family and our guys.  People never know how teams will react with tragedies.  Some teams rally, other teams struggle.  I even made the exact comment after the Denison loss that maybe our guys had held it together just long enough and couldn't do it any longer.  I definitely cannot blame them either and I am not.

I agree with SigmaOne that generally speaking, this has been a trend and it has been a gradual decline.  To my points earlier, Wabash football today is in a MUCH different place than it was in 2015.  It's really not even close if I am being honest.  The whole mindset seems to have changed and that shows on the field in all types of ways.  The farther we get from the 2002-2015 type program...the harder it will be to get back to that.  A lot of us would do anything to get back to that but I am not sure that is the plan.

Here is a random question or thought.  How many of the current starters would be starters on the 2015 team?  The 2002 team?  The 2005 team?  Any of ER's playoff teams?  I don't know the answer but it is an interesting thought.

Offline Li'l Giant

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2619
  • Karma: +369/-223
    • View Profile
    • my twitter
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34617 on: October 18, 2018, 05:54:24 pm »
Here is a random question or thought.  How many of the current starters would be starters on the 2015 team?  The 2002 team?  The 2005 team?  Any of ER's playoff teams?  I don't know the answer but it is an interesting thought.

That's a good question, BB16.

I'll propose a follow up question: What would this Wabash team look like with ER at the helm? This goes back to my original comment that I think our players are really good players being wasted by an uncreative coaching staff incapable of developing and maximizing talent.
“I believe in God and I believe I'm gonna go to Heaven, but if something goes wrong and I end up in Hell, I know it’s gonna be me and a bunch of D3 officials.”---Erik Raeburn

I don't drink with the enemy, and I don't drink lattes at all, with anyone.

Offline bashbrother

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 3116
  • Karma: +393/-233
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34618 on: October 18, 2018, 06:10:56 pm »
Li’l Giant - great post!

# Coaching Matters!

How many teams have we seen in college football get the best recruits and then they don’t win as exoected..  (Many examples of this in D1 over the years).

Good Coaching inspires their players to play at or above their potential as a team.   Bad or mediocre coaching can dilute, not motovate and create a culture of “going through the motions” as individuals.

I too believe the Wabash teams of the past two years have not lacked in talent..experience maybe but not talent.   I have followed the recruiting classes pretty close... and believe we are still getting a high quality of recruit.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 06:18:19 pm by bashbrother »
Why should you go for it on 4th down?

"To overcome the disappointment of not making it on third down." -- Washington State Coach Mike Leach

Offline sigma one

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 912
  • Karma: +192/-63
    • View Profile
Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« Reply #34619 on: October 18, 2018, 07:46:11 pm »
Like bashbrother, I follow Wabash recruiting, and I have done so closely for at least 20 years.  On paper, the last three recruiting classes, the eldest of which are now juniors,  have matched the talent of earlier classes--except at QB.  (Credit the coaching staff in this regard.)  It's early to tell whether this year's QB class of eight players (two have switched positions) contains a real winner.  But the h.s. credentials of several of the new QBs are outstanding against good competition.
     Otherwise, the recent Wabash classes, both in terms of numbers and talent level, appear to be in the same ball park as earlier classes.  The one group I would point to as perhaps a notch below is the receivers.  This is likely related to Wabash's running the ball on about two-thirds of the offensive downs even before ER departed.
     CC and ER exuded confidence at the top, and the players took that confidence into games with them.  A large number of the assistants have also gone on to Division I or to success in other places in Division III.  BJ Hammer is a fine example, but there have been others.   
     With due respect to recent posts about the influence of the Hansen tragedy on the team, the Wabash team was already on the way to the present; the tragedy has accelerated what we have been observing for about two years.
     The season records aside--wins and losses matter--we are seeing  a different Wabash team.  Eventually, maybe this year, those differences will be reflected in the number of wins.  All of us who are posting love the wins, but we also love seeing Wabash play with the WAF attitude win or lose.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 12:22:16 am by sigma one »