… It seems with each passing week an ever growing number of “real Tar Heel fans” are climbing out on the ledge over the perceived plight of Carolina Football, BobLee assesses the facts and fantasies surrounding the issue. …. The situation has changed over the past several days. … Is there a solution that does not involve Ol’ Roy and/or a fullscale peasants’ revolt? …. Indeed there is.
We will approach this session from a calm rational perspective. Many of you, who are NOT card carrying members of the Lunatic Fringe, have become increasingly despondent over the current state of Carolina Football. That is understandable given recent circumstances. If you did not have an inflated concern for such mundane issues you would never have been drawn to this website in the first place.
Many of you are not Carolina fans and are enjoying the hell out of the gloomy cloud of angst stalled over Chapel Hill this Fall. You might benefit from this too so don’t run off.
Using a Question and Answer format we will go through the primary elements that frame this issue. Those of you who ARE card carrying members of the Lunatic Fringe will refute much of this because it does not support your well-publicized agenda of complex Machiavellian conspiracies, class envy, and that Dick Baddour is the bastard child of Satan and Mamma Dip. You have BobLee’s permission to stick toothpicks in your eyes and gargle razor blades while reading this.
Is the 2006 UNC Football Season a “lost cause”?
Mathematically, of course not. Of the five games already played, 99% of August prognosticators had UNC unanimously losing three of those (VaTech, Clemson, Miami), one as a toss-up (Rutgers) and UNC likely winning one of them (Furman). From a strict Won-Loss perspective, the Rutgers loss is what messed everything up in most fans minds. Since Rutgers is currently undefeated, UNC fans’ well-documented arrogance to most everything beyond themselves, has much to do with that disappointment.
Beyond simply Won-Loss … the overall performance of the team has been VERY disappointing in essentially every measurable category. Even “Rita from Chester” would be hard pressed to find a pony in the pile of manure building up at the Kenan Football Center.
There are seven games remaining to be played. As of October 8, three of those remaining games could be considered “possible wins” (UVa, NCSU, and Duke). UVa because they are really really bad. NCSU and Duke because they are intense rivalries and really strange things happen in rivalry games. Two of the seven are “could wins” … USF and Wake Forest. UNC will be an underdog in both however. The remaining two games (GaTech and Notre Dame) are HIGHLY unlikely opportunities to win with Notre Dame looming as “Massacre #13” possibility.
UNC finishing 1-11 is certainly possible. That would be awful. 8-4 is also mathematically possible and that would be considered a freakin’ miracle. A totally objective, non-emotional, slightly optimistic forecast would be 3-9 with Ws over UVa and Duke.
If that is the case as of November 26, everyone connected with UNC Football (players, coaches, admins, Fat Cats, fans) will consider the 2006 season very very disappointing and not an indication that the program is moving forward in any sort of positive fashion. No “after-the-season evaluation” could reveal otherwise.
Are there individuals connected with UNC that are not “concerned” about the current football situation and/or are finding pleasure in it related to their own agendas?
Yes, undoubtedly. There are some incredibly radical nitwits “connected with UNC” who do indeed despise the emphasis given to “big time college athletics”. In many cases these same radical nitwits also despise capitalism, Christianity, and AM radio. Luckily these radical nitwits have no real voice in anything except when an “info babe” needs a provocative quote.
What happens with UNC sports, football specifically, is up to the Board of Trustees, The Chancellor, the Director of Athletics and some murky body known as The Athletic Council. While “radical nitwits” may try to influence these individuals, they don’t.
“Radical nitwits” do NOT include any mythical cabal dedicated to suppressing Carolina Football in favor of Carolina Basketball. Carolina Basketball is in the very competent hands of Ol’ Roy and he has zero tolerance of “nitwits” of any sort. Unlike his legendary predecessor, Ol’ Roy is incredibly self-confidant and not given to playing palace politics nor given to paranoia. Ol’ Roy spends his time being the very best Ol’ Roy he can be which is a darn good Ol’ Roy.
It would be hunky dorry with Ol’ Roy if every Carolina sports team went undefeated and won their sport’s national championship. Ol’ Roy would be in the stands cheering them on. As would The Meez … he would be the one clapping like a gay seal.
But BobLee … aren’t “Dickie and Moeser” part of some sinister group that “just cares about $$$ and don’t really care if we win football games?” Hard as it may be to believe … “Dickie and Moeser” are HUMAN. Given the choice of being popular and well-liked by as many people as possible … versus being ridiculed, despised, and the targets of incredible public animosity … they would each opt for the former. Some times “being in charge” means making difficult decisions. Some times those decisions don’t turn out as hoped. “Good intentions” do not validate bad decisions; but, neither do “poor decisions” imply “sinister intent”.
But shouldn’t they be held responsible for “poor decisions”? Absolutely. Isn’t hiring competent personnel a key function of executive management? Absolutely. Does the current turmoil related to Carolina Football benefit ANYONE who has a vested or partisan interest in UNC? No, it does not.
Has the past nine years of unrest and turmoil related to Carolina Football been orchestrated by any individual or group?
No, it simply “happened” like most everything in life not directly related to November 22, 1963 or September 11, 2001. Those two events were orchestrated apparently by Barbara Bush and Karl Rove respectively.
At the time he was hired, wasn’t John Bunting’s professional resume incredibly similar to the resume of Charlie Weiss when he was hired by Notre Dame?
Actually Bunting’s resume had a decided advantage in that he “actually played and excelled in” both college and professional football. Charlie Weiss never played the game beyond the high school level. Does that mean John Bunting is as good or better a college head coach than Charlie Weiss? No, not at all … reread the question. BobLee are you defending Dickie’s hiring of John Bunting? No, I am just saying “hiring key people who will be highly successful” is a very inexact science.
OK BobLee, knowing what you knew six years ago, had you been UNC AD, would you have hired John Bunting? No, probably not. I think being a CEO-level manager is incredibly difficult and requires a solid progressive background of executive skill development. “Bleeding blue” and “a whole lot of want to” is nice but cannot substitute for experience. Would you have hired Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame? No, for the same reasons. Does that mean your theory is wrong? No, it means key personnel recruitment is a very inexact science.
Is Carolina Football in a helluva mess right now?
Did UNC losing to Miami by 20 points make matters worse?
Not as much as State’s two recent wins plus Wake Forest’s emergence as a legitimate “good team”. State’s dramatic turnaround, in particular, removed the all-important “They Suck Too” Factor which was cushioning Carolina’s disappointing start. Do “Dickie and Moeser” realize how much bitterness exists among Carolina fans relative to State and Duke? Yes, they do. Do they care? Yes, they do. But BobLee we thought all they care about is $$$. You were mistaken. The $$$ is almost insignificant in comparison to the emotional toll incurred by a losing football program. Especially relative to NC State.
If “we” just threw a lot of $$$ at a big name coach wouldn’t that solve all our problems?
(1) Who is “we” and (2) Call “George” in the Bronx and ask him if $$$ guarantees a winner. Better wait a few days though until he’s in a better mood.
Isn’t Carolina “the sleeping giant of college football” … and our facilities, academics, coeds, Kenan Stadium, Franklin Street blah blah blah just “the best there is” and it “sells itself” to any recruit?
Zzzzzzzzzzzz, I’m sorry I dozed off. Repeat that question. ….. never mind.
What about past, present, and upcoming “great recruiting classes” filled with “Carolina type of kids”?
Zzzzzzzzzzzz, oops, dozed off AGAIN. “Recruiting” = yuck, ptui, bleech.
Do you think John Bunting will be UNC’s Football Coach next season?
Yes, IF he wins at least three of the next seven games (one of which is Duke) and, if he loses to State, it is not by “much”. How “much” is “too much”? Not very many.
Is the buy-out of all the long term contracts a factor?
Not really. See earlier comment relative to “emotional costs”.
Will the “message boards” go nutz if UNC loses to UVa?
The “message boards” have been “nutz” since halftime of the Rutgers game. Think of it as a wildfire in the Everglades which cannot be put out … it simply burns and burns until it consumes all the combustible matter in its path. Stay out of the Everglades … it’s a dangerous place.
Can we expect any “comment on the football program” from “Dickie and/or Moeser” any time soon?
God, lets hope not. Anything beyond “We are all disappointed in the season so far. We will evaluate the program at its conclusion” will be very very foolish. Ergo, expect all the regional media to try and goad them into saying something at every opportunity.
Do you support Dickie Baddour as UNC AD?
Who cares if I support him or not? I am on record as saying Dickie should have walked proudly through his “Golden Door” in the Spring of 2005 after the Tire Bowl in football and after Ol’ Roy cut down the nets in St Louis. It was the perfect time to do so. Now it is complicated.
If there is a search for a new coach after this season, will Dickie Baddour be in charge of that search?
Since absolutely no one, especially Dickie, would want that to be the case, probably not.
Is there a scenario that precludes that?
Will you explain what that scenario might be?
Not at this time.
Do you know more than you are telling us?
That depends on whom “us” is.
Do you think you have damaged your friendship with John Bunting because of your frankness here?
Maybe … but he likely has more urgent concerns on his mind. I also have a relationship with the faithful and loyal readers of this website that I value a great deal.
What is the team name of the University of South Central Florida Atlantic International A&M? Without googling … who is USF’s coach and where is USF located?
Eugene “Mercury” Morris … Clarence “Big House” Gaines … John “Blue Moon” Odom.
The Left Wing Legend In The Basement did a political ad this week. Yes, BobLee has an opinion about it. It will wait until the next column. It will be a memorable opinion. You won’t want to miss it.
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