Friday, October 05, 2007

The Master Recruiter

Ron Zook has been called a master recruiter by his many supporters, especially those in the media. Well my old friend "Not Baghead" at Fire Ron Zook, The Blog takes on a rather heinous myth that has to do with the Old Ball Coach and the so-called empty cupboard that he left at Florida. It's especially worth reading in light of South Carolina's big win over Kentucky last night. An excerpt:

Now if you look at the 2007 recruiting classes you'll see that Spurrier managed to bring in the 7th ranked class in the country with (1) 5-star, (13) 4-stars and (13) 3-stars. The average rating was 3.35. Zook on the other hand was much ballyhooed for bringing in the countries 20th ranked class with (2) 5-stars, (5) 4-stars and (8) 3-stars for an average rating of 3.14.

Bang, bang. Another nail in the coffin.
Go read the whole thing. You'll be glad you did. Unless you believe in the myth.


Anonymous said...

To make my comment about the post at FRZ, The Blog I'll paraphrase the title of Paula Deen's bio: "It ain't all about the recruitin'".

As you mentioned at FRZ, the Illini are up against a weak Big Ten this season and thus look good at this point in time; however, they still have Wisconsin and Ohio State to play this season as well as Michigan, who as we know are traditional Big Ten "powerhouses". Zook may have brought in a highly-ranked recruiting class, but my point is can he (1) COACH these kids, and (2) develop their talent to being out the best in them over the long-term?

Illini fans are so quick on the trigger to call out UF and talk trash about us over the Zook firing, but they don't stop to think about what really went on diring 2002-2004 and all the variables involved that compelled Machen & Foley to make what was a necessary decision for the good of the Gator football program and in the best interests of UF as a whole.

We know that he failed at coaching and developing talent at Florida, and that along with the fact that he was a poor gametime strategist were among the many reasons why he was finally fired at UF (Zook apologists refuse to accept this fact). Maybe he learned from his mistakes now that he's at Illinois, but he's had two dismal seasons at Champaign to start with so far son in a matter of speaking the jury's still out on him up there.

SOS brought in a decent class at South Carolina, but as the ESPN commentators pointed out last night, he's one of the best gametime strategists in college football. He made the best of the talent he had on hand at both Duke and Florida, and his success at both schools speaks for itself.

Zook was FAR from the secret for SOS' success at UF; another fact the Zook apologists seem to forget is that the Zooker was demoted on his staff as far as defensive assistants go - if Zook was such a good coach as they seem to believe, then WHY did he not stay with Spurrier?

The real credit for our 2006 National Championship belongs to Urban Meyer as well as our kids for "buying" into his way of doing things and working with him to achieving this goal. As far as I'm concerned Gator Nation doesn't owe Zook a damn thing.

Any good college coach must be able to be a good recruiter, have an organized plan to get his players ready for every game on the schedule during any given year, and be able to develop the talent on his roster. If all three qualities aren't there then he sets himself up to fail.

Spurrier and Meyer have "it"; Zook doesn't.

Mergz said...

I hope Illinois wins the Big Ten, so we can say our castoff coach is Big Ten champion.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather see Zook get his ass handed to him so that Illini fans will finally see that Florida was right all along.

As far as this weekend goes, ON WISCONSIN!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

BTW, there's somebody at the FRZ blog who thinks Not Baghead's merely "piling on" and calling his bluff. He obviously didn't read and understand the article.

Anonymous said...

Then he must be a pretty good game time coach, suddenly.........

I prefer the myth of the Zookster. Puff out your chest, look 'em staight in eye and spit out a stream of gibberish mixed with non sequiturs and saliva until VOILA, a top 10 recruiting class.

JJ Gator said...

I'm still glad the Zooker's gone; the Gainesville Sun can drool all over him as much as they want as evident by an article they posted on their site today that moved me to the brink of regurgitation, get their digs in at (BTW, I LOVED that site and still visit there from time to time; Baghead made some excellent points and knew what he was talking about), but what had to be done HAD to be done in the end.


Zook may still be quibbling about the firing in making statements that he could have taken UF to a National Championship had he been allowed to stay in Gainesville, but that would have NEVER happened with the way he mismanaged the preparation/conditioning of our players and the gametime aspect of our football program, as well as the inconsistency that was evident from 2002-2004. He has nobody to blame but himself for the termination of his contract on 10/25/04 after that fiasco against Mississippi State.

It's one thing for a college coach to have recruiting savvy, but in order to be successful he must eatablish a sense of control over the program as a head coach, be able to utilize the talent he brings into to its fullest potential, be an effective gametime strategist - AND be able to balance all of those aspects. Zook was one-dimensional and set HIMSELF up to fail with the poor decisions he made; it wasn't a website in cyberspace that started his demise.

Meyer is just as effective at recruiting as Zook and Spurrier were, so I refuse to buy in to the Zook "myth" and will NEVER refer to the Zooker as a "master recruiter".