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2018 Season

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Another factor that may tie into funding is fan expectations.  Regardless of funds, how long would Mussman have lasted in Fargo?  For sure gone after the Sioux Falls game.  How about Rudolf?  People demand a winner there while here we are content to win a conference championship here and there.  How long since we won a playoff game?  Not nearly as much pressure to win here.  I think lack of demand for a winner is holding back some contributors - who wanted to pour more money down the hole Muss dug for example.  Again chicken-egg.  We need a break out - It could have been two years ago, but nooooo.  Demanding a winner and being willing to pay for it are usually part of the same mind set (although not always) - We need to collectively decide we are tired of being second fiddle in this state and start to demand excellence.

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1 hour ago, Midwestern Hawk said:

Hockey is a great sport and UND has a fantastic program but if the University wants to elevate its profile in the Midwest and beyond, only football and basketball will do that.  Phase 2 needs to be a priority and funding needs to be generated ASAP.

To be fair, most of the country gives a crap about FCS football - although you get some nice press if you are 6 time champions.

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16 minutes ago, Irish said:

Another factor that may tie into funding is fan expectations.  Regardless of funds, how long would Mussman have lasted in Fargo?  For sure gone after the Sioux Falls game.  How about Rudolf?  People demand a winner there while here we are content to win a conference championship here and there.  How long since we won a playoff game?  Not nearly as much pressure to win here.  I think lack of demand for a winner is holding back some contributors - who wanted to pour more money down the hole Muss dug for example.  Again chicken-egg.  We need a break out - It could have been two years ago, but nooooo.  Demanding a winner and being willing to pay for it are usually part of the same mind set (although not always) - We need to collectively decide we are tired of being second fiddle in this state and start to demand excellence.

One item in your above post I will have to disagree with.  The idea that "NDSU DEMANDS a winner and we are content to win a conference championship here and there"  Until SU began its current string of success over the past 10+ years, I don't remember coaches getting fired on a regular basis from 1992-2006 or so.  UND was the class of the NCC for those years.  As much as I like Bubba, I do not know if he can get UND to where we all want to go (hope he does).  SU's success has come with coaches with more DI experience, not DII coaching trying to become DI coaches.  I hope last year was an aberration and Bubba and UND can turn things around this year.  I truly think 2018 will be better than 2017, not sure if we can get back to what they were able to do in 2016.

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1 hour ago, UND92 said:

One item in your above post I will have to disagree with.  The idea that "NDSU DEMANDS a winner and we are content to win a conference championship here and there"  Until SU began its current string of success over the past 10+ years, I don't remember coaches getting fired on a regular basis from 1992-2006 or so.  UND was the class of the NCC for those years.  As much as I like Bubba, I do not know if he can get UND to where we all want to go (hope he does).  SU's success has come with coaches with more DI experience, not DII coaching trying to become DI coaches.  I hope last year was an aberration and Bubba and UND can turn things around this year.  I truly think 2018 will be better than 2017, not sure if we can get back to what they were able to do in 2016.

Fair points.

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3 hours ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

He needs $$$ (HPC phase II, better coaches via better salaries) to make it happen on the field.

Do you fire a lumberjack for not cutting down trees fast enough when all he/she is provided is a handsaw and everyone else (other programs) has chainsaws? 

UND now is trying to recruit players to 90 year old locker rooms and coaches to 90 year old offices and meeting rooms with outdated salaries to boot. 

It all comes back to emphasis and support, which UND football needs more of within the hockey climate of Grand Forks. 

Need $$ for football and the only significant $$ is that which is gifted.  

Filling the Alerus from 10,500 to 12,800 for 5 games looks great on paper, but that is only a small help financially.  If the Football program has enough ticket revenue to pay for the use of the Alerus, they are happy.  We have resorted to playing big money games, like Utah/Washington, but those funds are swallowed up by the rest of the season's travel budget.  The only other answer is private funds, gifted to football, by the mass to keep this thing afloat until a big event happens.  Will we have a big financial event??, I think it is possible if not likely, but it won't happen for a while.  (Schmitty will be in his 15th year as head coach, give or take)

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1 hour ago, gundy1124 said:

Need $$ for football and the only significant $$ is that which is gifted.  

Filling the Alerus from 10,500 to 12,800 for 5 games looks great on paper, but that is only a small help financially.  If the Football program has enough ticket revenue to pay for the use of the Alerus, they are happy.  We have resorted to playing big money games, like Utah/Washington, but those funds are swallowed up by the rest of the season's travel budget.  The only other answer is private funds, gifted to football, by the mass to keep this thing afloat until a big event happens.  Will we have a big financial event??, I think it is possible if not likely, but it won't happen for a while.  (Schmitty will be in his 15th year as head coach, give or take)

Mark Chipman should be a billionaire in a few years 

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1 hour ago, gundy1124 said:

Need $$ for football and the only significant $$ is that which is gifted.  

Filling the Alerus from 10,500 to 12,800 for 5 games looks great on paper, but that is only a small help financially.  If the Football program has enough ticket revenue to pay for the use of the Alerus, they are happy.  We have resorted to playing big money games, like Utah/Washington, but those funds are swallowed up by the rest of the season's travel budget.  The only other answer is private funds, gifted to football, by the mass to keep this thing afloat until a big event happens.  Will we have a big financial event??, I think it is possible if not likely, but it won't happen for a while.  (Schmitty will be in his 15th year as head coach, give or take)

Excellent point. Seems the UND football alumni base has to be just huge. Eventually someone or some people will donate a REA level gift. 

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4 hours ago, Irish said:

Another factor that may tie into funding is fan expectations.  Regardless of funds, how long would Mussman have lasted in Fargo?  For sure gone after the Sioux Falls game.  How about Rudolf?  People demand a winner there while here we are content to win a conference championship here and there.  How long since we won a playoff game?  Not nearly as much pressure to win here.  I think lack of demand for a winner is holding back some contributors - who wanted to pour more money down the hole Muss dug for example.  Again chicken-egg.  We need a break out - It could have been two years ago, but nooooo.  Demanding a winner and being willing to pay for it are usually part of the same mind set (although not always) - We need to collectively decide we are tired of being second fiddle in this state and start to demand excellence.

If Bubba doesn't have a good year this year I think he should be gone.    The minimum should be 1 playoff victory.     In the event that he is gone, you can bet we need to seriously up coaches salaries to attract the right guys, and even if Bubba stays the pay checks need to reflect real world FCS salaries.    This is the first place I would start and then build from there.   You get what you  pay for when it comes to coaches.

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6 hours ago, Teeder11 said:

Actually, I think LkvlleUNDFan did a nice job of helping many on this board understand that there are things beyond the coaching staff's control when it comes to players' decisions. His/her post, I think, actually will help many move on from Grady and quit bringing him up, which gets us closer to what most of us want anyway.

Totally agree!!

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1 hour ago, TRex said:

If Bubba doesn't have a good year this year I think he should be gone.    The minimum should be 1 playoff victory.     In the event that he is gone, you can bet we need to seriously up coaches salaries to attract the right guys, and even if Bubba stays the pay checks need to reflect real world FCS salaries.    This is the first place I would start and then build from there.   You get what you  pay for when it comes to coaches.

Funny how quick people are to get rid of Bubba after just 4 seasons. Muss lasted longer and did a worse job. Bubba has a 24-22 record, compared to 18-24-1 for Roger Thomas in his first four seasons, and 23-20 for Chris Mussman in a mostly DII schedule. I think we give Bubba a chance to coach in the MVFC. His contract is up in 2021, so I say let him coach til at least 2020, thats 2 seasons in the MVFC. If he can be successful in that conference then keep him, if not then can him. But if this team doesn't make the playoffs can the assistants. 

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3 hours ago, darell1976 said:

Funny how quick people are to get rid of Bubba after just 4 seasons. Muss lasted longer and did a worse job. Bubba has a 24-22 record, compared to 18-24-1 for Roger Thomas in his first four seasons, and 23-20 for Chris Mussman in a mostly DII schedule. I think we give Bubba a chance to coach in the MVFC. His contract is up in 2021, so I say let him coach til at least 2020, thats 2 seasons in the MVFC. If he can be successful in that conference then keep him, if not then can him. But if this team doesn't make the playoffs can the assistants. 

We seem to be endlessly patient - the problem here is that Bubba had a chance to deal with a less than stellar staff and decided all is well.  He'd darn well better produce after endorsing the crap offense we have been subject to.  And in the mean time, NDSU is top dog in North Dakota.  Time to get serious about winning.  And comparing anyone to Muss is a non starter.  He's the reason we are still digging out of a hole.  

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3 hours ago, darell1976 said:

Funny how quick people are to get rid of Bubba after just 4 seasons. Muss lasted longer and did a worse job. Bubba has a 24-22 record, compared to 18-24-1 for Roger Thomas in his first four seasons, and 23-20 for Chris Mussman in a mostly DII schedule. I think we give Bubba a chance to coach in the MVFC. His contract is up in 2021, so I say let him coach til at least 2020, thats 2 seasons in the MVFC. If he can be successful in that conference then keep him, if not then can him. But if this team doesn't make the playoffs can the assistants. 

Now Darell, if Bubba can't win at least one playoff game this year, then I think we are headed for disaster in our first few years in the Mo Valley FC.  Another thing, our first year in the MVFC is in 2020, so if we give him until the end of 2020 that's one season.   As to the assistants, I don't think it's fair to fire them and not hold Bubba responsible.

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1 minute ago, TRex said:

Now Darell, if Bubba can't win at least one playoff game this year, then I think we are headed for disaster in our first few years in the Mo Valley FC.  Another thing, our first year in the MVFC is in 2020, so if we give him until the end of 2020 that's one season.   As to the assistants, I don't think it's fair to fire them and not hold Bubba responsible.

 

5 minutes ago, Irish said:

We seem to be endlessly patient - the problem here is that Bubba had a chance to deal with a less than stellar staff and decided all is well.  He'd darn well better produce after endorsing the crap offense we have been subject to.  And in the mean time, NDSU is top dog in North Dakota.  Time to get serious about winning.  And comparing anyone to Muss is a non starter.  He's the reason we are still digging out of a hole.  

First, I am sure Bubba, like some of us, blame injuries on the season we had, it was a total MASH unit. No one could see us lose that many players throughout the year. Being an independent puts more pressure on this team and on Bubba as we can't win a conference title. As we saw 7 wins doesn't produce a playoff berth, so its 8-3 or better for this team. Can it be done, sure. But playing a Pac12 title favorite doesn't start the season well. But anything can happen.

I was thinking 2019 because of the NDSU game, yep 2020 is the first year in the MVFC which means Bubba's last year is the next season, he does need to produce wins but saying we need a playoff win or its fire town for him may be premature. NDSU was a powerhouse in the 80's and RT stood the thumping they gave us through 1992 before knocking them off year after year and becoming a NCC power ourselves. 1986-1989 those 4 seasons, zero playoff games and 2 out of the 4 we were above .500. 1990 new defensive coordinator (Dale Lennon) took over, and in 1992 a playoff berth (a loss to Pitt St), 1993 two playoff wins, and a conference title plus we beat the Bison. So in 1990 why did they fire the DC and not Roger Thomas?  What's funny is that 3 win season for RT in 1989 was the last time he was under .500 for a season, and finished his career with 7+ wins 8 out of the next 9 seasons. Just a little history lesson. 

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The same people who blamed last year on injuries will be the first to laud how great the coaches are for turning things around if we go 6-5 or 7-4.   Bubba's best coaching move thus far was not firing Rudy; if the coming year is a disaster, then Rudy goes.  And Bubba will feel no heat.  He basically bought himself another year to avoid criticism by retaining Rudy.  

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2 hours ago, Siouxphan27 said:

The same people who blamed last year on injuries will be the first to laud how great the coaches are for turning things around if we go 6-5 or 7-4.   Bubba's best coaching move thus far was not firing Rudy; if the coming year is a disaster, then Rudy goes.  And Bubba will feel no heat.  He basically bought himself another year to avoid criticism by retaining Rudy.  

I’d like to think 7-4 would be considered a failure.

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A lot of new faces in 2018. New quarterback, new offensive linemen, new defensive backs, new linebackers, new specialists ...

This will be interesting to see. The coaching staff has a big task in front of them. They have to prove they are truly talented coaches and effectively teach a competent system in a short amount of time. 

In my opinion, it is a make it or break it year for Bubba and staff. Grand Forks can't withstand long stretches of losing football or it will push football back into the Stone Age in terms of following. If the team has another horrible season (losing record), I think it's important to get new football leadership prior to embarking on the big boy transition that is the MVFC. But, Bubba and Schmidt know what the MVFC is all about so let's see how it plays out (success in it at SIU was limited, unfortunately).

An HPC phase II within the next 5 years for Bubba (if still at UND) and the program would do wonders for recruiting and player development. 

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5 hours ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

A lot of new faces in 2018. New quarterback, new offensive linemen, new defensive backs, new linebackers, new specialists ...

This will be interesting to see. The coaching staff has a big task in front of them. They have to prove they are truly talented coaches and effectively teach a competent system in a short amount of time. 

In my opinion, it is a make it or break it year for Bubba and staff. Grand Forks can't withstand long stretches of losing football or it will push football back into the Stone Age in terms of following. If the team has another horrible season (losing record), I think it's important to get new football leadership prior to embarking on the big boy transition that is the MVFC. But, Bubba and Schmidt know what the MVFC is all about so let's see how it plays out (success in it at SIU was limited, unfortunately).

An HPC phase II within the next 5 years for Bubba (if still at UND) and the program would do wonders for recruiting and player development. 

The offense regardless of experience will be stagnant and incompetent. Very unfortunate considering the talent. 

 

The biggest worry for me is the special teams....complete overhaul.  Special teams play is very underrated.  The field position play within special teams goes unnoticed to many.  Having confidence in the special teams group can sway a HCs call in many ways.  Just look at the punt return the last couple years...we as fans sweated out every punt from opposing teams.  Imagine what the coaches were thinking.  With a much tougher schedule UND needs every aspect of their game to be hitting on all cylinders.  The defense will have to bail out Rudolphs offense again like two years ago.  Definitely a make or break season for bubba. 

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I don’t like the gloom and doom. I want to win like everyone else. Winning is more fun. Gosh, if bubba isn’t smart enough or is too stubborn to make changes then he isn’t the guy we need. I can’t imagine bubba isn’t smart enough.

Or, bubba has been right all along and we can have success by staying the course - same coaches but better players - or same players but somehow being able to execute better .

by the way, I am a gloom and doom kind of guy. I just don’t like being like that! :)

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3 hours ago, SiouxFan100 said:

I wonder what the players consider a successful season to be. 

I hate to think of 2018 as a rebuilding season. Everyone has new players. 

I really don't think the players or coaches will be thinking of 2018 as a rebuilding season.  More like a get back to the trajectory we were on after our 2016 season, meaning playoffs at a minimum.  There is no way guys like Santiago and Brady are going to go into this season with a mindset.........ahhh we are just rebuilding.  As for a 7-4 season being a failure from the other post, I don't see us finishing the season at 7-4.   If we finish regular season 7-4 I'd say 90% chance we are in the playoffs and would end up either 7-5 or 8-5.  Yes I realize it is possible to not make the playoffs at 7-4, we already lived that one once.  But an FBS loss to a good program, and potentially a second loss Sam Houston, I think if we end up with 2 other losses we are more than likely still in.  But I think there may be a pretty big bubble this year of teams with 7-4 record....so who knows.  

Let's just knock of Sam Houston though, we'd be in a much better position.  

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Is our team viewed differently to the playoff commission because we are an independent vs being in a conference? I would think a Big Sky schedule helps compared to a real independent schedule. 

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