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Overview of FB program after the Bison game

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1 hour ago, UND Fan said:

I have purposefully not been on the ss.com since the game so I am sure that many have given their thoughts about the game and our FB program.  As I am not sure where to post this, I will start a new thread.

While many were quite optimistic about the outcome of the game, we are a long ways from being able to compete with the Bison.  Some of my thoughts:

  • I don't think we played poorly.  The SU players are simply better than ours - bigger, stronger, faster and more confident.  A confidence that comes with playing for the best FCS program in the country for the last many years.  It is a given that SU gets the majority of recruits they want.  They don't lose many to other FCS programs.  Their analysis of prospects is very good which means the athletes they sign each year are better than ours (and most everyone's).  You will seldom beat a well-coached team that has better FB players at most every position.
  • For those of you who have been around awhile, you remember that we lost 12 straight games to SU in the '80's and early '90's.  In the middle of that drought, we lost 49-0, 62-13 and 42-10.  We then started to catch up and, in my opinion, had a better team the last 2-3 years before we actually stopped the streak in '92.  We could talk about those games but it really doesn't serve any purpose at this point.  The bottom line is that SU was much better than us back then and we eventually caught up to them and had the upper hand in head-to-head meetings starting in '93.  Unfortunately, I am afraid it will take a long time to catch up this time around.  SU is just that damn good and, with their resources and tradition, it will be very difficult to reach their competitive level.

Enough about SU!!  Thoughts about our program:

  • I think we are making some progress.  A win this weekend is crucial to our season.  If we can win 2 of the next 3 and remain relatively healthy, we can have a very successful season.  
  • I know Bubba well but I honestly don't know if he is or is not the guy that can move the program forward to where we need it to be.  The two new coaches hired after last season appear to be great choices - I sure wish those changes would have taken place a couple of years earlier.  I do have confidence in Chaves - he wants to win and I think he will make good decisions when it comes to all of our sports.
  • I understand our wanting our OL to be quicker, etc. with our new offense but there are hundreds of 300+ pound OL across the country who are mobile enough for this type of offense.  It scares me that apparently thought we didn't have any who could be effective without losing some significant weight.  We are really small up front - hopefully, it will work!
  • I don't understand the situation we are in with our place kicking.  For decades, we have always had a very good PKer.  (Some may question whether Taubenheim fits into that category - he certainly did until a leg injury really hindered him his last two years).  With that history and playing indoors, we shouldn't have a problem finding a very talented PK and someone who can kickoff into the end zone - whether that is one guy or two.    
  • Everyone agrees that we must develop better quality depth.  We are making some progress there but still have a long ways to go.  It doesn't happen overnight and mostly relies on your recruiting efforts.
  • Speaking of recruiting, I think we are making some progress there but it remains a real challenge.  I follow recruiting very closely and am the guy who annually updates Wiki with prospects that are either interested in UND or UND may have some interest in them.  The 230+ kids listed have either been actively recruited by UND or attended our camps, Jr. days, been invited to attend games, etc.   I will be the first to acknowledge that my interest in recruiting does not make me an expert.  However, after following it closely for so long, I firmly believe that we have to sign kids that are also offered by other good programs.  I know there are Santiagos out there that aren't heavily recruited but, if we don't land a lot of kids that other programs also want, we won't be successful.  Many feel quite good about the commitments we have so far this year but, as has been the case in recent years, only a handful of them had/have offers from other FCS or FBS schools.   I don't think we can be a consistent playoff contender when we sign a majority of recruits who only had offers from DII schools.  We have certainly offered more "wanted" recruits in recent years - we need to figure out how we can sign more of them.
  • Continuing on the recruiting front, until we start winning more consistently and Phase II of the HPC is completed, it will be challenging.  There are many reasons:  we are the most distant school from the majority of the prospects we are recruiting,  the perception (real or perceived) that GF winter weather is difficult to handle, the fact that it is rather difficult/time consuming to get to GF (for parents, family, girlfriends, etc.), it is more costly to bring more-distant kids in for recruiting trips as compared to other schools that we recruit against, etc.  I think the biggest issue is for many of the MN, WS, NE, IA and IL kids is the distance and the fact that they and their families have a to drive another few hours (or one hour by SU) after they pass SDSU, USD, and, for some, UNI, etc.  Most of these kids realize that they aren't going to be playing beyond college.  They and their parents & girlfriends want to be able to see their games without driving hundreds of miles one way.  Joining the MVC will help with this to some degree.  
  • Again, Phase II is essential to our success but until a couple big-money donors step forward, it is not going to happen.  We are working hard at it but no one is saying "yes".  I hope I am wrong but it may be awhile before Phase II becomes a reality.  It may take our locker room facilities at Memorial being condemned before people fully understand the need! 
  • Lastly, for the FB program (all programs other than hockey) to be successful at UND, they need better funding.  Recent presidents (I won't include Kennedy as he is a whole different story) have not thought athletics were a priority.  We can't do anything about that now.  Hopefully, the new president will be pro-athletics.  That will help but there is still the challenge of finding the $.  Budgets will continue to be very tight.  That is the primary reason I started the Let's Help Bubba campaigns a few years ago.  The money needed to improve results will need to come primarily from alumni/boosters (along with improved attendance, etc) - the institution will not be able to help a great deal!  The few thousand $ we raise each year certainly doesn't make a huge difference but it does help and it is greatly appreciated.  We have reached $10K but, as expected, the donations have stopped after the Saturday loss.  If anyone can help, please do!  
  • Importantly, I do know Chaves is working hard trying find more $.  How successful he will be remains to be seen.   His predecessor basically ignored this important duty!

Wow - that was a lot longer than I anticipated.  I am curious what others think about these issues.

    

 

I think you speak the same language as nearly every other UND poster in the Football threads.  To recap:

-Bubba may or may not be the guy.  This season is the litmus test.

-Coaching changes after last year seem encouraging, but most were wondering why it took so long.

-I think most posters are excited for the direction recruiting has taken and will continue to take since the coaching changes have been made.  I know one great class can pay dividends for many classes into the future, and I personally think we're getting pretty close in this area.

-HPC II seems to be the most important investment for the FB program.

-Midwest kids will always have lots of schools to choose from, including our primary rivals.  This is why I think it's imperative to have a strong Canadian recruiting footprint.  We are the first school those kids drive by.  No school should out recruit us in Canada.

-Finally, as an overarching thing that will give everyone involved a real shot in the arm, we need a "Seize the moment" type event.  Examples of us not seizing the moment are the 2015 home game against Drake (though it was a win), the 2015 Homecoming game against Idaho St., the 2016 Playoff game against Richmond, the entire 2017 season, and the 2018 Homecoming game against Idaho St.  A win last Saturday certainly would have done that (though it wasn't likely), but the next chance to do it is already only 4 days away.

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17 minutes ago, Dustin said:

-I think most posters are excited for the direction recruiting has taken and will continue to take since the coaching changes have been made.  I know one great class can pay dividends for many classes into the future, and I personally think we're getting pretty close in this area.

What's changed?

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37 minutes ago, Dustin said:

 

-Midwest kids will always have lots of schools to choose from, including our primary rivals.  This is why I think it's imperative to have a strong Canadian recruiting footprint.  We are the first school those kids drive by.  No school should out recruit us in Canada.

 

Agree 100%. The talent pool isn't deep, but we have gotten great Canadian Players. This is where UND should dominate in recruiting. I'm perfectly ok with UND being a CFL farm system

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1 hour ago, UNDBIZ said:

What's changed?

I think our new style of offense, as well as the age of the coaches that changed (Freund and Pawlak), resonate more with recruits than Rudy and his offense.  The fact that we have 19 2020 commits in September 2019 makes me think that guys are excited to get on board at UND.  I think the 2019 class has players that most posters would say are good gets: Skokna, Fort, Nelson, Pierre.

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1 hour ago, northernraider said:

I'm perfectly ok with UND being a CFL farm system

Absolutely we should be.

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In my opinion, this video shows a lot. Listen to the guys talk about how “cool and exciting it is” to go play in the Fargo Dome. Maybe they’re talking about how it’s cool to be the start of the rivalry again but it just rubbed me the wrong way. They all talked about how they really needed to build off that one drive as if it was something magical how they scored on the mighty NDSU.

I love Bubba and think he can be a guy who has us as a fringe playoff team year in and year out but I don’t think he has what it takes to get us over the hump. 

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@UND Fan I agree with most everything you posted. 

Most everything you posted I also have posted just over the past week. 

For starters, NDSU does have better players than UND and that in itself makes it hard for UND to beat them currently, especially with competent coaching. Some of us felt the coaching change to Entz and a new freshman QB would lessen the coach/player differential between UND and NDSU and lead to a close game; as we saw, that is not the case. Entz’ staff coached a good game and Trey Lance is a special dual-threat talent at QB for NDSU.

As for how UND improves, they have to better emphasize football and, as such, improve in recruiting. It is a work in progress. Thank you for your donation efforts that allow us to donate directly to UND football. 

Recruiting is always directly linked to success. The student-athletes are the ones who win the games. How to get the better recruits is the complex multifactorial question. 

For starters, people need to voice their opinions regarding the next president of UND. We need to hire a president who understands the importance of collegiate athletics in selling an entire university relative to other regional institutions. Furthermore, that president needs to want to further UND football, specifically. It will be easy to find a president who wants to maintain the status quo with hockey, but finding one who wants to also advance football will be more unique. 

Coaching competency, with Bubba and his staff, will be determined by the team’s final record this season. Against NDSU is one thing, but there is no reason UND can’t compile 6 to 7 wins every season against other FCS programs. We have to recognize anything less is a failure and hold UND football coaches to this standard, strictly. If not, complacency sets in. 

As for better emphasizing football, beyond coaching, UND needs to get HPC Phase II funded. This is priority #1 beyond coaching. In the meantime, while waiting for the immense funds, UND can invest in locker rooms and turf at the Alerus Center. Uniforms and helmets should be regularly funded and updated as well. Keeping the gameday home (Alerus Center) for UND football up to date is also very important for recruits and current football players. Look at what UND hockey has done with locker room renovations and scoreboard/videoboards etc. UND needs to be proactive in addressing the Alerus Center in addition to HPC. 

Every detail counts when trying to sign recruits. If we overlook these details and consider them miniscule, then UND will continue to get inferior recruits relative to NDSU, SDSU, UNI, etc. Every detail counts in competition. 

Focusing on the right geography for recruiting is also key, as some have said. Having a presence in Canada is very important simply based on where UND/Grand Forks is located. 

Im summary, all in all, let’s see what Bubba and his staff can do this season. Starting with Sam Houston State,  UND will now start to play teams with a talent level similar to themselves and the execution & coaching will be the difference.

If the season does not end “successfully” (open to interpretation), I think UND and Chaves need to absolutely get a new coaching staff that can sign better student-athletes with different recruiting tactics. Also, the game of football is largely mental. As much as we all love Bubba, the most important thing is the competitive mindset and attitude his players - not us - have toward to him. There is always room for improvement there, in my opinion. 

 

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40 minutes ago, sioux24/7 said:

In my opinion, this video shows a lot. Listen to the guys talk about how “cool and exciting it is” to go play in the Fargo Dome. Maybe they’re talking about how it’s cool to be the start of the rivalry again but it just rubbed me the wrong way. They all talked about how they really needed to build off that one drive as if it was something magical how they scored on the mighty NDSU.

I love Bubba and think he can be a guy who has us as a fringe playoff team year in and year out but I don’t think he has what it takes to get us over the hump. 

Looks like the team had the right mindset going into it. Unfortunately, NDSU just has the better talent on the field. Bubba (or someone) needs to close this gap, though. It is a must. 

UND will improve throughout the season. How much is the major question. Beat Sam Houston State and go from there. 

Optmism should be focused on iron sharpens iron with UND’s schedule. Definitely an opportunity to make playoffs this year if players and coaches approach this thing the right way. 

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4 hours ago, Dustin said:

I think our new style of offense, as well as the age of the coaches that changed (Freund and Pawlak), resonate more with recruits than Rudy and his offense.  The fact that we have 19 2020 commits in September 2019 makes me think that guys are excited to get on board at UND.  I think the 2019 class has players that most posters would say are good gets: Skokna, Fort, Nelson, Pierre.

Of those 19 commits, it appears 4 had other D1 offers. 

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1 hour ago, sioux24/7 said:

In my opinion, this video shows a lot. Listen to the guys talk about how “cool and exciting it is” to go play in the Fargo Dome. Maybe they’re talking about how it’s cool to be the start of the rivalry again but it just rubbed me the wrong way. They all talked about how they really needed to build off that one drive as if it was something magical how they scored on the mighty NDSU.

I think that must be one of Bubba’s recruiting pitches since they will be playing every year again. I have heard at least a couple of his commits this year say one of the things that intrigued them was that they get to play NDSU every year.

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Great thread - my 2 cents - you have a very good analysis, but in my opinion several years too late.  This is Bubba's 6th year and I think we could clearly see last week what he has built (and 6 years of Muss before that).  We are very very slow to make changes.

On the positive, no one bleeds Sioux green like Bubba.  However, in my opinion he is stuck in 1985.  He desperately wants to play Bubba Ball, but has never had the horses to do it.  Defense should be the cornerstone, but it seems like we have never had the complete package - great line and backers and very poor corners and secondary, or great secondary and an undersized line.  Offense, well that's just a mechanism to pin the other team back for our D to get on the field.  I have several main issues with Bubba - first the absolute lack of adjustments on either side of the ball.  We were plain out-adjusted in almost every game last year.  Second - the offense, specifically keeping Rudy for 5 years when everyone, and I mean everyone could see his shortcomings (I have heard everyone from 70 year old ladies to Junior High kids call Rudy out during games).  Third - special teams - remember when that was our specialty?  Fourth, and most important - I am not sure Bubba "gets it" at all.  He is always "aw shucks, we'll have to regroup and work harder" but never makes meaningful changes.  How could someone with his football knowledge and experience actually think Rudy was a good coordinator for example.  I just don't see him as capable of self reflection or change.  He is not the worst coach - but he is a .500 coach with occasional good seasons - just enough to keep his job.  Who really thinks Bubba will lead us to prominence?  I would feel a whole lot better if I had some indication that Bubba actually realizes the program's shortcomings and is willing to make significant changes or at least an honest evaluation of where we are and a plan to move forward.   

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6 hours ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

Looks like the team had the right mindset going into it. Unfortunately, NDSU just has the better talent on the field. Bubba (or someone) needs to close this gap, though. It is a must. 

UND will improve throughout the season. How much is the major question. Beat Sam Houston State and go from there. 

Optmism should be focused on iron sharpens iron with UND’s schedule. Definitely an opportunity to make playoffs this year if players and coaches approach this thing the right way. 

At some point NDSU will falter and. that will be UND opportunity.   The team we lined up against last Saturday is at the pinnacle of college football(and it pains me greatly to say that).  7 out of the last 8 FCS nattys, 6 FBS wins in a row.  Which FBS teams would be favored vs NDSU at the moment?  20? 25?

We need to focus on ourselves, win 8-10 games consistently, win playoff games, get HPC II constructed and be ready to pounce on the opportunity to bypass the Bison when it comes.

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2 hours ago, Midwestern Hawk said:

At some point NDSU will falter and. that will be UND opportunity.   The team we lined up against last Saturday is at the pinnacle of college football(and it pains me greatly to say that).  7 out of the last 8 FCS nattys, 6 FBS wins in a row.  Which FBS teams would be favored vs NDSU at the moment?  20? 25?

We need to focus on ourselves, win 8-10 games consistently, win playoff games, get HPC II constructed and be ready to pounce on the opportunity to bypass the Bison when it comes.

Waiting for NDSU to descend to UND's current level is not a recipe for success. In fact, there's no guarantee it will happen for a long time, if ever. 

I agree, though, that UND needs to start by focusing on themselves and setting competitive standards. We, the fans, and the UND administration has to hold the coaches and players to these standards, though. No more excuses and leniency with losing to borderline losing seasons. 7 wins should be the benchmark standard year in and year out. When you look at UND's schedule (most years, this year may be the exception), UND should be better than well over half the FCS teams they play. 

UND has to meet NDSU half way, if you will. NDSU may regress a bit, but not a lot. UND has to be proactive and look to improve by a lot. Ways for that to happen have been suggested above. If no improvement during the rest of this season, then likely it starts with new football leadership. However, the leadership at the AD and eventual new president level for UND is also incredibly critical. 

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1 hour ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

Waiting for NDSU to descend to UND's current level is not a recipe for success. In fact, there's no guarantee it will happen for a long time, if ever. 

NDSU may not "falter" as much as other programs will rise up to challenge them. SDSU should have beaten the Gophers (too many turnovers did them in) and will be a top contender this year. James Madison, same thing. If we would get our $#%& together, we could join them. That should be our focus.

Eventually, you will have a formal split between the G5 and P5 conferences and then you will have more evenly matched teams in each division. But again, that is the future. Right now, I don't care what anybody else is doing, I care about what we are doing to be a better Division I school across the board (not just FB).

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UND is a Hockey first school, not a Football first school. 

Even recruits can see that the football program is second fiddle to the hockey team. 

The Fighting Hawk mascot holding the sign "play us in hockey" just underscores the point. 

In addition to all the points made by the OP, this one is also a barrier as all the other MoValley teams point out to prospective recruits.  Successful recruiting is often a matter of perception.  Rivals being able to present UND as a hockey school certainly has its effects on getting star recruits.

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And even with hockey, UND still has a better football fan base than 90% of FCS schools.  For example how many fcs schools have a football message board as active as ours?  Not many.

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40 minutes ago, nodak651 said:

And even with hockey, UND still has a better football fan base than 90% of FCS schools.  For example how many fcs schools have a football message board as active as ours?  Not many.

This level of football is for basketball schools.

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14 hours ago, CMSioux said:

At the end of their DII domination it was other schools that caught up to su (the change in the # of scholarships allowed helped). Hockey has always been the top sport but it didn't stop UND from dominating SU in the 90s and winning a national championship. UND has proven it can get blue chippers.   

This isn’t the D2 days. The 90’s and early 2000’s may just be a decade and a half past, but they are light years from the FB landscape in the Upper Midwest today. 

I don’t remember ESPN College GameDay coming to ND in the D2 days. I don’t remember and ND team consistently beating FBS schools, and an occasional P5 school on recruits. I don’t remember one if the ND schools being named one of the top10 schools in ALL of college football, being named the 3rd best game day experience in all of college football. Having the Number 2 NFL draft pick that has signed a $100 million contract and consistently putting players in the NFL. 

UND fans may not want to face it, but the mountain they need to climb is higher than it has ever been to catch NDSU in FB. NDSU has a national profile now bigger than any FCS school. They won’t win every championship and they will lose 2 or 3 games this year. They will probably lose a game to UND in the next ten years, they have probably lost at least once to every MVFC in the last 10 years, but UND won’t pass NDSU in FB in the next 25 years or as long as they are both in the same sub-division.

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1 hour ago, nd1sufan said:

This isn’t the D2 days. The 90’s and early 2000’s may just be a decade and a half past, but they are light years from the FB landscape in the Upper Midwest today. 

I don’t remember ESPN College GameDay coming to ND in the D2 days. I don’t remember and ND team consistently beating FBS schools, and an occasional P5 school on recruits. I don’t remember one if the ND schools being named one of the top10 schools in ALL of college football, being named the 3rd best game day experience in all of college football. Having the Number 2 NFL draft pick that has signed a $100 million contract and consistently putting players in the NFL. 

UND fans may not want to face it, but the mountain they need to climb is higher than it has ever been to catch NDSU in FB. NDSU has a national profile now bigger than any FCS school. They won’t win every championship and they will lose 2 or 3 games this year. They will probably lose a game to UND in the next ten years, they have probably lost at least once to every MVFC in the last 10 years, but UND won’t pass NDSU in FB in the next 25 years or as long as they are both in the same sub-division.

You’re not taking into account NCAA sanctions for Brock Robbins type scenarios that repeat themselves.

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7 hours ago, nd1sufan said:

This isn’t the D2 days. The 90’s and early 2000’s may just be a decade and a half past, but they are light years from the FB landscape in the Upper Midwest today. 

I don’t remember ESPN College GameDay coming to ND in the D2 days. I don’t remember and ND team consistently beating FBS schools, and an occasional P5 school on recruits. I don’t remember one if the ND schools being named one of the top10 schools in ALL of college football, being named the 3rd best game day experience in all of college football. Having the Number 2 NFL draft pick that has signed a $100 million contract and consistently putting players in the NFL. 

UND fans may not want to face it, but the mountain they need to climb is higher than it has ever been to catch NDSU in FB. NDSU has a national profile now bigger than any FCS school. They won’t win every championship and they will lose 2 or 3 games this year. They will probably lose a game to UND in the next ten years, they have probably lost at least once to every MVFC in the last 10 years, but UND won’t pass NDSU in FB in the next 25 years or as long as they are both in the same sub-division.

Glad to see you are still monitoring every post made here and making sure to set us straight - you must not have a game to follow with your team this week. 

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8 hours ago, nd1sufan said:

This isn’t the D2 days. The 90’s and early 2000’s may just be a decade and a half past, but they are light years from the FB landscape in the Upper Midwest today. 

I don’t remember ESPN College GameDay coming to ND in the D2 days. I don’t remember and ND team consistently beating FBS schools, and an occasional P5 school on recruits. I don’t remember one if the ND schools being named one of the top10 schools in ALL of college football, being named the 3rd best game day experience in all of college football. Having the Number 2 NFL draft pick that has signed a $100 million contract and consistently putting players in the NFL. 

UND fans may not want to face it, but the mountain they need to climb is higher than it has ever been to catch NDSU in FB. NDSU has a national profile now bigger than any FCS school. They won’t win every championship and they will lose 2 or 3 games this year. They will probably lose a game to UND in the next ten years, they have probably lost at least once to every MVFC in the last 10 years, but UND won’t pass NDSU in FB in the next 25 years or as long as they are both in the same sub-division.

Come on upstairs; your mom has pancakes on the griddle. 

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19 hours ago, nodak651 said:

And even with hockey, UND still has a better football fan base than 90% of FCS schools.  For example how many fcs schools have a football message board as active as ours?  Not many.

How many FCS schools even have D1 hockey?

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