Blog Entry

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

Posted on: November 23, 2010 12:39 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2010 12:40 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The eight announced finalists for the 2010 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award (as given out by the Football Writers Association of America) didn't offer much in the way of surprise; six of the nominees come from the current top seven teams in the BCS standings and all eight coach for teams in the BCS top ten. They are, from highest-ranked to lowest:

Chip Kelly, Oregon
Gene Chizik, Auburn
Gary Patterson, TCU
Chris Peterson, Boise State
Jim Harbaugh, Stanford
Bret Bielema, Wisconsin
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

A victory over Alabama (and the lack of further allegations against Cam Newton ) would probably make Chizik the front-runner by a nose over Kelly, since his team entered this season with lower expectations and a far worse record in 2009. But Kelly's mastery of his light-speed spread-option offense and dominating season would make him a fine choice, as would any of the finalists. The FWAA can't go wrong.

If there's anything to complain about here, it's that all eight choices follow the "good or great team becomes or stays great" model. But there's something to be said about taking a mediocre or even bad program to (or back to) respectability. Here's three coaches who also deserve some recognition for their work in 2010:

Mario Cristobal, FIU. It's easy to forget just how miserable the Golden Panthers' program was when Cristobal arrived in 2007, with FIIU fresh off an 0-12 season, the infamous Orange Bowl brawl with Miami , and NCAA sanctions. Three seasons later FIU, picked to finish eighth in their conference, will win the Sun Belt and play in their first-ever bowl game if they can hold serve at home against Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee State to end the season.

Ralph Friedgen, Maryland . The only reason the Fridge is even still employed by the Terps is because the school couldn't afford his buyout at the end of 2009, and it was no surprise when Friedgen's team was pegged for dead last in the ACC Atlantic this offseason. Instead of tuning out their supposedly lame-duck coach, though, the Terps have surged back to a 7-4 season with a big win vs. rivals Navy and road victories at Virginia and bowl-bound Boston College , putting them in contention for the division title as recently as last week.

Mike Haywood, Miami (Ohio) . It's hard to believe that the 7-4 Redhawks could win the MAC East when you consider how supremely hopeless they were in 2009, when they failed to score a single point until their third game and finished 1-11. In the MAC. But Miami served notice in a valiant season-opening effort against Florida that Haywood had made the absolute most of the offseason, and if they can claim an eighth win they'll have their most victories since 2004.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:34 am

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

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Since: Nov 20, 2010
Posted on: November 25, 2010 9:08 am

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

Les Miles is by far one of the worst coaches in the SEC. He has horrbile clock management skills, poor player devleopment and is willing to eat grass to luck himself into a win. LSU has a great program, but only b/c of the talent that comes out of LA. Face it, the majority of high school recurits want to stay in-state and play at the major university with their state. It's a fact. Look at the recruiting boards. Does everyone do, but it is the norm. And LA has above average talent coming out of that state year in and year out. That is the only reason that LSU continues to contend with Les Miles at the helm. I am a huge Saban-hater, but if he would have stayed pat...LSU would probably have at least 1 or 2 more NC's with LSU. I am thankful he didn't.

Since: Nov 24, 2010
Posted on: November 24, 2010 10:12 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

I am a bit upset that LSU Coach Les Miles is not on the list for the Eddie Robinson Award.  He has held a team together in the SEC without a strong QB, beating some of the finest teams in the country, to a 10-1 record, so far...he may be a bit quirky but a very good man.... I see a bit of snarkiness in the so called sports media elite???   They seem to have preconceived notions as to what is/isnt a good win,   what is /is'nt luck..... the Win over Tennessee was lucky, well fellas luck plays a part in all games...I  live close to Grambling U, where Eddie Robinson coached and lived,  and believe me he would have thought Miles a very fitting  nominee for this award....he was  a fine man.....

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 23, 2010 11:00 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

You, sir, are the biggest joke on this board.  Gene Chizik had nothing to do with any previous allegations at Auburn, or any other school.  It takes a hell of a Coach to orchestrate an undefeated season in the SEC, regardless of how it's done.  I'm certain that Newton didn't just 'become' the great player he is today on his own.  Sure, he was talented last year, but it's taken the Coaches and his teammates at Auburn to make him great.  Further, Dyer and McCaleb have rushed for over 1,500 yds between them this year....I don't think you can discount that.  Also, I think it was Chizik that brought in his team of Coordinators to call the plays that have resulted in this extraordinary year.
It's amazing how jealously and envy bring out the worst in people.  You are simply bitter as a result of Auburn's success.  May you rot in freakin' 'neck.

Since: Nov 23, 2010
Posted on: November 23, 2010 10:49 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

dejfreebird, I've watched every Auburn game this year and not sure I would say their WR core is "pretty average".  I believe they are more underrated.  The defense is a different subject.  The DL is better than people think while the LB core is average.  Secondary is a totally different animal.  Hard hitters but the coverage skill lacks BIG time.  Believe this has showed in games (SC, Ark, GA) and I'm sure Julio Jones will have a big day.  Bottom line, are they BCS worthy?  Sure they are.  The offense gets all the credit (as they should) but the defense does what is required to help them secure the wins.  They have created turnovers during the fourth quarter (SC and Ark) that were crucial parts of them winning the game.  I am an Auburn fan and don't want to sound bias but tend to agree that Oregon may be the more complete team, even with their offense pretty much being a no-show in their previous game.  Guess the question to ask is, would Cal have held AU to 15 points?  We will never no.

Since: Nov 18, 2009
Posted on: November 23, 2010 6:32 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

Chizik was a great hire for Auburn but his staff deserves a lot of credit..To be honest if you watch Auburn they do have some glaring weakness..One is their WR's are pretty average and the defense isn't NC caliber..Too be honest; the OC and Newton are carrying this team..Against GA they were pretty bad till they broke down and started going to Newton on every play..Auburn is good but all around Oregon is the more complete team

Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2010 4:44 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

Like the Heisman, which doesn't go to the best player, but to a good player at the biggest-name school, the Robinson award goes to a coach at the biggest-name school.  That unwritten biggest-name requirement disqualifies Rhoads right away.  Being the best doesn't matter.  Same reason Troy Davis (first back-to-back 2000-yard rusher in history, first non-senior 2000-yard rusher in history, all-time top rusher if he had stayed in school, and all of this with NO offensive line blocking against the likes of Nebraska, Texas, and Oklahoma) never had a chance for the Heisman:  He played in a cardinal and gold uniform in the Plains rather than a blue and orange uniform in the South.

Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2010 4:37 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

Gene Chizik?  Gene Chizik?

A truly great coach could take the full cupboard left for him at Iowa State by Dan McCarney and do better than 5-19.  A cupboard that Paul Rhoads had no trouble taking to a bowl game in 2009.

I see Auburn's success and I respect it, even as a graduate of a SEC rival.  And when I look at Auburn, I see two names all over it.  One is (obviously) Cam Newton (I won't go into how Chizik got a hold of Newton).  But there are no one-man teams in football:  Cam Newton has to have a lot of support from the rest of a well-built team, and that rest of the team has one name on it:  Tommy Tuberville.

Give Chizik a couple of more years and see if he's as incompetent as he was at Iowa State.  If not, if he really did learn how to coach while he was in Ames, then maybe he deserves an award of some sort.  But there's no doubt that the architect of Auburn's success is currently in Lubbock.

Since: Jul 29, 2008
Posted on: November 23, 2010 4:31 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

I agree - how is Les Miles left off this list? I understand he has obscure (bad) clock management skills, but he does have his team at 10-1.

The question I would like to know is how Paul Rhoads from Iowa State is not up here. Understandably, the Cyclones were only 5-7 this year and will miss out on a 2nd straight bowl. If we base this on record alone, I would agree that Coach Rhoads shouldn't be included. My issue is that he took a team that should have only won 4 games this year and managed to pull upsets against Texas and Texas Tech. Plus, the Cyclones barely lost to Nebraska and Mizzou (well, it was 7-0 going into the 4th quarter), both teams that were 18+ point favorites against Iowa State.

I know I sound like a homer and I am, but in the grand scheme of things, Paul Rhoads did a great job with the players he had available. Maybe if ISU had not lost embarrasingly to Colorado, then he would still be in the discussion. Either way, great job Coach Rhoads, and Cyclone fans look forward to many years of your coaching here in Ames!

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: November 23, 2010 4:08 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

Remember when everyone was calling Auburn Racist for hiring a "good ole boy" in Gene Chizik and not hiring the below 500 African American Buffalo coach in Turner Gill? I remember J.A. Adande and Micheal Wilbon spewing venom at Auburn for doing just that.

So Gene Chizik has completely turned Auburn around, and has them competing for a National Championship, while Turner Gill left Bufflalo, who did not even qualify for a Bowl game his last year there, and went to Kansas where hes turned them into the biggest joke in all of College Football.

Sorry, but as a Texas fan I knew Chizik would succeed at Auburn because he was a great D-Coordinator here for us at Texas.

He went to a struggling Iowa State team that had NO talent, and could'nt get it done. But I knew with some SEC players, he could turn Auburn into the next Texas.

Turner Gill had a losing record as the Buffalo coach. They got blown out in their only bowl game under him.

He got the Kansas job because he was black and because he cried after Buffalo upset BALL STATE in the MAC championship.

Just tired of listening to all this BS, I'm sure you all know what I mean.

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