I'm going to preface this by saying that I absolutely believe (perhaps delusionally) that this football team will win 7-8 games, rendering this post useless. However, just for fun, let's say that doesn't happen and they only win 5 or 6 and don't go to a bowl game. What happens to Tubs? Until a few hours ago, I would have said get rid of him. But now, well, I just don't know . . .
I wanted to get a feel for how different this team will be come August than it was last year. So, I compared last year's spring roster to this year's. What I found was absolutely shocking. There are 39 players that were either not here for last spring or were redshirted this last year and did not play. I don't know what the normal "swing" is for year-to-year, but that seems like a hell of a lot of difference to me. That does not even include the 17, or so, true freshman/transfers that are coming in this summer/fall.
Even with the worst defense I think I've ever set my own eyes upon, last year's team was arguably 3 plays away from being an 8-win team (yes, I know they were also one play away from being a 4-win team, but that just goes to show the extremely narrow window that college football has become). Anyway, with the aforementioned 40, or so, "new" players and the "hopeful" recoveries, this team should be completely different.
Now for the part most of you won't agree with:
This upcoming fall will be Tubs' FIRST full year of recruiting and placing them on the field. Yes, when he took over and signed the kids in 2010, they were technically his first class, but realistically he did not spend the entire recruiting cycle going after these kids (watching junior film, going to summer camps, tracking senior season, etc.). Any real football recruiter will tell you it is a very long process and I'm going to say that, realistically, 2011 was his first full class that he recruited. Now, a lot of those players saw the field in 2011, however, it those players that make up the bulk of that insane '39' that never went through spring practice or were red-shirted. There is a huge lag time in getting a football team "going" and this just goes to show that.
I know it's been frustrating, and I know we all just want to win. But, should a coaches job really come down to "one" complete cycle of recruiting, training, and playing? I think no. But I realize most of you will not agree, and think that "three years" is enough time. But, don't get too upset if Tubs keeps his job even after another disappointing season. I would have been very upset, until I stopped to really think about it.
Of course, the obvious conclusion is, just win and none of this matters!