Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mangino Gives Big Boost to ISU Offense

From the moment I learned Courtney Messingham would not be retained as ISU's Offensive Coordinator, I wanted Rhoads to hire Mangino.  I didn't think it would happen but it was a pipe dream of mine.  I saw Mangino take a dormant Kansas football program within a game of the National Championship game.  KANSAS.  He knows his offense and has worked with some of the great coaches in college football in Snyder, Stoops, Leach, just to name a few.  What he brings is instant credibility to an ISU offense that has been inept (to put it nicely).
After a three win season, fans were in the dumps.  Two consecutive wins to end the season helped.  The announcement of a enclosing the south endzone was also a huge lift to the fan base morale.  This is certainly the third boost of good information that Paul Rhoads needed to energize the fan base heading into spring ball.  With probably his best recruiting class ( and many defensive JUCO's), a lot of returners on offense and a home run hire to guide the offense Rhoads has put this team in a position to get back to a bowl game in my opinion.
The Mangino hire doesn't come without risk though.  If there was little risk involved he would still be coaching at Kansas, or maybe even a bigger program by now.  His departure at Kansas was mired by allegations of player mistreatment and his interactions with the media could be rather gruff.  This part worries me, a little bit at least.  I don't think Rhoads will stand for too many shennanigans and Mangino shouldn't have to deal with the media as much now as a coordinator.  I think this risk is worth the reward, especially now that Rhoads has established himself as a head coach.
If you think about the staff Rhoads has now assembled on the offensive side of the football, it bodes well.  You have three former offensive coordinators and a former BCS level head coach and coaches that have seen the ins and outs of programs like Oklahoma, Kansas State, Arkansas, Nevada (with Kapernick), and Northwestern to name a few.  There is certainly a plethora of ideas on that side of the ball.  The key is meshing them all together.
The key going forward on this side of the ball is making it Mangino's.  Rhoads needs to take a hands-off approach to the offensive side of the ball and let Mangino do his thing.  Last year there were too many hands in the cookie jar.  Messingham never really stood a chance if you ask me.  It will be interesting to see if guys like Sturdy and Klenakis can work alongside Mangino or if there is tension in that they didn't get the job.  For Cyclone fans, we certainly hope its the former.
There are still a few questions to be answered on this side of the ball.  Will Mangino coordinate from the tight ends position or the quarterbacks position?  In the past he has always coordinated from the offensive line position.  Once again, will there be tension with Klenakis?  It seems like it is Mangino's choice and he can bring in one of his guys if you will to operate the other spot.  Could another Cyclone come home ala Fred Hoiberg?  The rumors have flown around about Sage Rosenfels and Austin Flynn.  Both have indicated there would be interest in coming back to be a part of the coaching staff.   Flynn even went as far as to say it was his dream to come back to his alma mater.  For me, the next pipe dream is getting Sage on staff.
Sage coming back as a quarterback's coach would bring credibility in recruiting the position and a wealth of NFL experience.  I also think his demeanor would instill more confidence and resolve in the program's quarterbacks.  Will it happen?  Its doubtful, but so was the Mangino hire.  I think Sage is enjoying retirement and he is well respected across the country for his insight into professional football.  Flynn wouldn't be a bad choice either although I would prefer he came in as a wide receiver or tight end coach.
Finally, it is my hope that the result of this is a more stable situation at quarterback.  Rhoads has indicated Rohach will get the first snaps in spring.  To be honest, I don't care who Rhoads thinks is the better quarterback anymore.  It shouldn't matter and he shouldn't be making that decisions anymore.  He has a highly, highly qualified assistant to decide that.  He went to the Orange Bowl with Todd Reesing for heaven's sake.  You brought him in to do a job.  Let him do his job.

In Mark We Trust- 1/7/2014

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