I've been watching this recurring debate for a while now and have been biting my tongue trying not to judge too quickly. Well, here goes: Me thinks more and more that Rudolph is turning into a bit of a scapegoat for Bubba and Schmidt as criticism of the latter two has become somewhat sacrilege because of all that they have legitimately done for the program. I CAN'T STRESS THIS STRONGLY ENOUGH -- I AM NOT SAYING SOME OF THE CRITICISMS of the OC ARE NOT VALID but I also think nothing is as bad or good as the fan boys make them out to be as we break our ankles jumping on and off the bandwagon in game threads ( Ok, maybe the J.J. run was that good and more! )
Just spit balling here, but Rudy is the most "outsider" of the three top coaches and has the fewest good ol' boy connections in town and has absolutely no connection to UND's glory years of the 1990s and early 2000s. So when things click, it's Bubba's doing, when things don't it's Rudy's fault...or the players' talents covered up for any ineptness. My hunch is their are hundreds of programs across the nation where this very same dynamic is playing out on fan message boards.
So my question is what is the deciding factor for coordinators on good teams? Are they inherently good, or is it their players' talents that make them good coordinators or cover up for them if they are deemed "clueless"? Or is it an arm-chair-you-know-it when-you-see-it-gut-feel kind of thing?
Some fans seem to focus on the good and dismiss the bad as flukes... others choose to magnify the bad and discount the good when it comes to our offensive series. For the former, it's as if they see what's going on as more of a team effort with more input and dynamics involved than just Rudy. They defer to UND's body of work over the past three years and see gradual improvement with some inevitable hiccups along the way. The latter seems to pin it on one guy -- who can't catch a break with them -- damned if he does and damned if doesn't.
There's just so much we don't know that is happening behind the scenes that lead our coaches to make the decisions they do. What may look like a no-brainer from the cheap seats...may not be so cut and dried when your down on the sideline wearing the head set or in the coaches' booth.
The team is currently 1-1 with games against legit Power 5 member Utah and MVFC cellar dweller Missouri State. UND was respectable against Utah on the road as evidenced by Utes' fans' biased assessments of the Fighting Hawks. UND demolished the lowly Bears of MSU at home.
Last year at this time we were 0-2 with the Yotes coming in. UND lost to Bowling Green last year by 1 point with a legit shot to win it, at a time when UND still was figuring out who they were as a team. The Yotes just beat Bowling Green by 8 points, going in with all the confidence of knowing how UND played against the Falcons last year. They probably felt how we did going up against WYO in 2015.
Bottom line is that UND has acquitted itself quite well in the first two games of the year, with its full attention on the Yotes for this weekend. No matter how successful the team is this year -- or not.... none of it should be pinned on one individual, IMHO. Team game, team effort.
All that said... I love the passion that we fans have and that we try to hold our team accountable! Go Hawks!