Saturday, December 15, 2007

Coach Cutcliffe: Welcome to Duke?

I have to admit, I'm still a little skeptical about this hire. I recognize that he won at Ole Miss, and recognize that he's developed two pretty good quarterbacks, but what about the fact those quarterbacks were both sons of an all-time legend, and probably had a little bit of talent to work with? Will he be able to recruit the same to Duke?

I'm just wondering, given that Duke apparently didn't see money as an obstacle (which is amazing, in and of itself), why names like Bowden (Tommy), Holtz (Skip), and Neuheisel didn't become more prominent. I can see why concerns over Dorrell being a West-Coast guy and not having many recruiting contacts in the East would factor in, but was this really the second-best candidate out there after Johnson? Part of the disappointment is that national names actually seemed to find appeal in the Duke job, and yet they never got a close look.

Now, of course, that's not to say that those guys would have been any better than Cutcliffe, but given Alleva's abyssmal hiring record, I would've felt a little more secure with a guy who has shown the ability to succeed at a school that has any parallels to Duke, which it's hard to say that Ole Miss has.



FTA said...

I was in the same scepitacl boat until I watched the 43 minute press conference. After that, I was ready to sign on and play myself. Coach Cutcliffe is a winner and as much as I backed Roof, I'm now totally on board with backing Cutcliffe.
Mark Hoffmann, T 00.

Head Dude said...

Yeah, I was pretty impressed with the press conference too. I remember Franks had the same enthusiasm, but I'm more willing to believe there's substance behind Cutcliffe. I still think he's primed with a favorable schedule and veteran roster to follow Goldsmith's history from '94 and at least put together a 5-6 win season.

The Dude said...

I think it's phenomenal hire; I'm penciling in both Thad Lewis and Eron Riley for the Heisman watch list next year!

Head Dude said...

But should you be penciling in Asack instead? There's no guarantee Thad will be the starter next year -- remember how much Goldsmith loved D Bryant, and then he disappeared under Franks? Asack was one of three players to attend the press conference, and while that may have had as much to do with exam schedules as anything, I think the job will be open in spring practice. Other than the Mannings and Heath Shuler, we don't know the type of QB Cutcliffe prefers.
Riley, meanwhile, faces no such threat.

ThadisRad said...

Most of my comments were left in the last post, but I'm excited for the hire.

Our last two hires were a running backs coach from a team known for passing and our own defensive coordinator. Just having someone who has been a head man before I think will make a big difference, so in that sense, this is a big step up.

Ideally you would find someone with experience and success at a Duke-like school, but once Johnson was off the table, no one stood out to me as an absolute must-hire. And keep in mind, Fred Goldsmith was a man with success at a Duke-like school, and well, that didn't turn out too well either.

That said, I hope both coach and school are in this for the long haul. To truly rebuild this program will take more than the four years we've been giving coaches. I think a coach will need a full recruitment cylcle to start something, and then another full cycle to build on that.

In other news, Archie Manning said he will come to Duke's first game next year as a sign of support. Between that and Roger Staubach's frequent visits to historic Jack Coombs, I half expect to see Bart Starr roaming the metal bleachers of Koskinen Stadium next soccer season.

The Dude said...

Fortunately, Duke games will never have Jessica Simpson in attendance - she is apparently the only celebrity worth anything.

ThadisRad said...

It should be noted that Coach Cutcliffe called me today and asked me to renew my season tickets. He promised me a free autographed Duke football if I did so.

Through five years of loyal attendance, Ted Roof never offered me anything. I bought Year Six of season tix today, and look forward to replacing the wedding picture on my mantle with my new football. Thanks, Coach!