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It’s Okay to Be Disappointed With Mario Cristobal

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Mario Cristobal has led the Oregon Ducks to back-to-back Pac-12 Championships. He has accumulated more talent than any coach before him in Eugene. And this year, his Ducks are still very much alive in the College Football Playoff race. All of these statements are undeniable. So is this one: The Oregon Ducks are a massively disappointing football team right now. ...

 

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Thanks for the article Joshua!  You make a well written argument for expressing the disappointment many fans have.

 

You give proper credit for the good things MC is doing for the Duck program.  In addition no one can question Mario's good work ethic, honesty, and connection to the players.

 

"Disappointment" is a good word to describe my feelings this season.  The young talent is there.  Play it!  The 6th year senior quarterback without a doubt does not have the decision making ability or the vision to play quarterback.  Bench him!

 

I'm disappointed that Oregon coaches do not coach up the young quarterbacks and get them ready to play.  I'm disappointed that Oregon coaches are so stubborn and settle for a "game manager" instead of a leader!

 

I thought one tenet of the culture was to instill competition.  When you can't perform the next guy takes your place!  So far I guess QB is an exception!

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I would suggest Mario Cristobal is the most disappointed in the team so far. He just goes about his disappointment differently than most fans.

 

He sees the potential in Flowe, Bennett, Thibs and others and their injuries. Their potential and outcomes are a major disappointment, but he has to move on.

 

Our young qb's are a major disappointment. He knows this team could, would and should be better if these guys were ready, but they aren't. He see what will be and not being able to highlight this yet is a major dissapointment, but he has to move on, support what we have.

 

There are a bountiful number of disappointments with this team. I can only imagine Cristobal sits back every once and a while, and laments what could, should and would have been, but only temporarily. A leader has to do exactly what he is doing, fans don't have to. 

 

He has to be a bastion of strength in a sea of disappointment. Our job as fans and pundits is to point out that disappointment, but I would argue it is also to move on and support the many great stories within this amazing team.

 

I know for me that is the only way I can stay an active, healthy Oregon Duck Fan. That is the Oregon way to me, but to each his own, Go Ducks!

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Disappointed is the perfect adjective. I'll never get the image of the Tweet in the Oregon Football Account of the "Gutsy" win against Cal. No way should a Top 10 4-1 team need a "gutsy" effort to pull out a win over 1-4 Cal, at home. 

 

To be underwhelmed by this season's team takes nothing away from Mario's earlier seasons, in fact, it's those seasons I'm thinking about. The Ducks should be getting better, and this season isn't. 5-1 is a great record, but all 5-1's aren't the same. The Ducks struggled, really, in every game, except the one at Ohio State. 

 

It seems like Cristobal has a plan, but I don't know how he's going about putting it together. "He says he wants his teams to be tough. "I'm thinking he's wanting them to be like his teams at The "U". They aren't. 

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Thank you for another deep thought provoking article Joshua! Depending on one's expectations, the first 6 games have generated one hec of an emotional  roller coaster ride.

 

Personally, my feelings toward the coach and staff are mixed. MC and his staff have done an amazing job with the defense. Mixing and piecing youngsters together to field a unit together takes quality coaching. Playing players at positions they have never played, especially at this level, takes coaching. Players need to practice and play together to jell and build trust. This has not happened this year. Yet the D is giving up less than 20 ppg.

 

That being said. Garbers missed two wide open receivers on the last drive. Why? Because film study showed that Garbers does not throw well on the run.(read a pre game article about this). DC called plays to constantly flush Garbers out. Well done coach(s).

 

The offense is another mixed bag of coaching. At times the offense moves the ball with ease. This unit has been efficient in the red zone. However,  this unit has left multiple scores on the table from penalties or fumbles that negated great plays. Plays that would have been 1st downs into the red zone.  These games should not be one score outcomes. That's on the players the first few games. After that its coaching. Come on coaches. Are changes necessary?

 

UCLA will be the pivot point of the season for this team. There is enough tape on the Bruins for MC and staff to know what's coming. There will be no surprises for our defense. Stop the run and force DTR to beat you with his arm.

 

The Bruin defense cannot stop this offense. Only our players can stop this offense. Coaches it's time. If the players cannot execute and generate points....make changes.

 

Mario, toughness isn't just on the players. Personally, I like you and your staff. Sometimes I just don't like your decision making.

 

Go Ducks. Beat the Bruins and rule the southland.

 

 

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Definitely disappointed with the decision making process that seems to have become a bit of a hallmark of his coaching stint here at Oregon.

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I think it is accurate in my situation to say that I was "disappointed" in the fall of 2018, and when I wrote then that, "Unless there are dramatic changes....Mario Cristobal will not take us to the promised land."

 

That was disappointment, but three years of compounding decisions that I disagree with may have turned into more...

 

And that is happening with a critical mass of fans as well, IMHO.

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Mr. FishDuck

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Not disappointed. Frustrated yes. Hard to be disappointed being 5-1. Easy to be frustrated at how they got there. I said way back that

 

anything but the P12 title and a trip to the Rose would be a huge disappointment. I'm sticking with that.

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Disappointment sums it up nicely.  Something is missing inside the culture that leads to a team effort that is often less than the sum of its parts.  I think the booing on Friday reflected that.  It's not just Anthony Brown.  How about the OL consistently missing pass blocks?  How about LBs that continually struggle in pass coverage?

 

Cristobal is an incredible recruiter and the pieces are in place for a successful season.  However, recent efforts do not inspire confidence about longer-term success.

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Terrific, nuanced, balanced article. Thanks again Joshua.

 

I do see two camps of Ducks football fans. And I am judging neither one.

 

The first group sees college football as it was prior to the BCS and the Playoff. A regional game where the only thing that truly matters is winning the Pac-12 against old foes and playing in the Rose Bowl on January 1st, preferably versus a Big 10 opponent. Who cares what people outside the Pac-12 conference think about the level of football being played out west? This is the Conference of Champions and football is only one of but many sports played in the Pac-12. 

 

Mario is a very good man who is trying his best. What else more can any sane person ask for?

 

The second group sees college football since the advent of the BCS/Playoff to be a national, big time, big money sport. The sport that nationally stirs the national drink, both reputation and money-wise. The Ducks should roll through a milk-toast Pac-12 season after season, make it to the Playoff and win Playoff games against the best competition in the nation. When the Rose Bowl is not a Playoff semi-final site, it is a hyped-up exhibition game between non-elite college teams.

 

Mario can recruit but is way over his head as a head coach and will never produce the results on the field that equal the quality of the roster he has assembled.

 

Mario Cristobal has been a head football coach for 70+ football games. Over this period of time he has an average record as a HC.

 

The first group believes Mario is learning and growing as a head coach. He will soon be at the top of his game and have the team ready to play every game. This is only his 4th season. The team is young and injured. What until next year! Or, the year after that? With a young team close games are to be expected. A W is a W, what do you want?

 

The 2nd group believes that Mario has no potential for growth. That he is a good person who can recruit but does not have the chops to be a successful P5 coach; a playoff winning coach. He is a micromanager playing not to lose instead of playing to win. With the NFL Rookie of the Year playing QB he could not make the Playoff and won the Rose Bowl versus a 3L opponent by 1 point. And Mullens gave him an extension and a $9M buyout?  We're stuck with him we might as well try to make the best of it? But its a grind and it ain't easy.

 

What side of your bread do you butter? 

 

It's sports! So I am not the least bit surprised to see the dissidents making more noise than those who are satisfied with Mario's performance to date.

 

Personally, FWIW, which is not much, I think Mario's coaching zenith is playing in the Rose Bowl in the year when the RB is not a semi-final site. He will not take Oregon to the Final 4 and will not win a national title.

 

If you are OK with paying @5M  a year for THIS? That's fine, eh?

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On 10/20/2021 at 9:56 AM, Jon Joseph said:

 

I do see two camps of Ducks football fans. And I am judging neither one.

 

The other grouping here is the good ole, "Glass half full or half empty" In your two groups I don't know if the former group can even confidently see regular trips to the "Granddaddy of Them All" on a regular basis with this version of Cristobal.

 

Since he's been  at Oregon, Cristobal has been the most successful Coach in the conference. If I had the ability to switch him out for any of the other 11, I wouldn't. But that doesn't mean that I can't hope that Mario see's that he doesn't have coaching down after 70 games and that changing things up can be a positive move. 

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On 10/20/2021 at 10:09 AM, Haywarduck said:

I would suggest Mario Cristobal is the most disappointed in the team so far. He just goes about his disappointment differently than most fans.

 

He sees the potential in Flowe, Bennett, Thibs and others and their injuries. Their potential and outcomes are a major disappointment, but he has to move on.

 

Our young qb's are a major disappointment. He knows this team could, would and should be better if these guys were ready, but they aren't. He see what will be and not being able to highlight this yet is a major dissapointment, but he has to move on, support what we have.

 

There are a bountiful number of disappointments with this team. I can only imagine Cristobal sits back every once and a while, and laments what could, should and would have been, but only temporarily. A leader has to do exactly what he is doing, fans don't have to. 

 

He has to be a bastion of strength in a sea of disappointment. Our job as fans and pundits is to point out that disappointment, but I would argue it is also to move on and support the many great stories within this amazing team.

 

I know for me that is the only way I can stay an active, healthy Oregon Duck Fan. That is the Oregon way to me, but to each his own, Go Ducks!

 

He did admit disappointment in how badly Justin Herbert was coached down. If a leader is disappointed in the results of his efforts he has to change or be replaced as a leader. A CEO who is disappointed and will not or cannot do something to change is out of a job.

 

I'm sorry but I don't feel the least bit sorry for Mario. Wasn't he the captain of the ship that sailed into a sea of disappointment as the result of the captain's errors in seamanship.

 

He is in a sea of disappointment he roiled up. And folks who think highly of him try to throw him a life jacket he refuses to catch.

 

"But he has to move on ..." What evidence have you seen of the man's ability to 'move on?'

 

He has to get the team to the playoff by 2023 or be fired. Fired earlier than that if attendance and enthusiasm at Autzen further disappear along with the brand.

 

Mario's "culture" is killing the "brand."

 

Why all of this 'sympathy' for a guy who is supposed to be a top drawer HC? My sympathy lies with the players who are not being coached up. Being taught to play for a W instead of being taught how to play not to get an L.

 

I do hasten to add that your tolerance is commendable.

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On 10/20/2021 at 7:09 AM, Haywarduck said:

I would suggest Mario Cristobal is the most disappointed in the team so far. He just goes about his disappointment differently than most fans.

 

He sees the potential in Flowe, Bennett, Thibs and others and their injuries. Their potential and outcomes are a major disappointment, but he has to move on.

 

Our young qb's are a major disappointment. He knows this team could, would and should be better if these guys were ready, but they aren't. He see what will be and not being able to highlight this yet is a major dissapointment, but he has to move on, support what we have.

 

There are a bountiful number of disappointments with this team. I can only imagine Cristobal sits back every once and a while, and laments what could, should and would have been, but only temporarily. A leader has to do exactly what he is doing, fans don't have to. 

 

He has to be a bastion of strength in a sea of disappointment. Our job as fans and pundits is to point out that disappointment, but I would argue it is also to move on and support the many great stories within this amazing team.

 

I know for me that is the only way I can stay an active, healthy Oregon Duck Fan. That is the Oregon way to me, but to each his own, Go Ducks!

I am not sure how you mean our young QBs are a major disappointment. I saw TT do extremely well in the Stony Brook game, when he came in at half and blew them out. I did not see AB doing that in the first half, without the turn overs in the fourth quarter, Arizona was matching Oregon. I think this is who he wants Oregon to be. Win games but not by a large margin, and get lucky in the fourth quarter. I have also seen the defense not take the ball away, and watched AB turn it over. Teams have figured out Oregon's offense. It is not the fast paced team as before, it is not shifty, it is a straight up offense, so defenses can now key in on things, they don't have to worry about AB he lacks the skill to throw effectively, Oregon wins because of talent. 

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On 10/20/2021 at 10:25 AM, Arctuniol said:

I am not sure how you mean our young QBs are a major disappointment. I saw TT do extremely well in the Stony Brook game, when he came in at half and blew them out. I did not see AB doing that in the first half, without the turn overs in the fourth quarter, Arizona was matching Oregon. I think this is who he wants Oregon to be. Win games but not by a large margin, and get lucky in the fourth quarter. I have also seen the defense not take the ball away, and watched AB turn it over. Teams have figured out Oregon's offense. It is not the fast paced team as before, it is not shifty, it is a straight up offense, so defenses can now key in on things, they don't have to worry about AB he lacks the skill to throw effectively, Oregon wins because of talent. 

My statement is he wants the qb's to develop and be ready just like we all do. With his filter, conservative as it is, he sees AB as the qb who is ready to lead the 'prevent offense.' That is the best we can do with what we have available, ready. 

 

I do see the Oregon Football Program as a glass which is more than half full.  I suppose I am one of the few who still has that much left in his glass. Maybe I need to drink more and get my glass empty, but I don't want to drink it down that far.

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I agree with the statement above that this year is frustrating over disappointing SO FAR.

 

This is Mario’s 4th year.  Last year really should pretty much be thrown out. But it was similar to this year in that we don’t have an above average QB.  Obviously, we did with Hebert and he was absolutely mis-used for Oregon’s purposes, and that is on Mario and his offensive coaches.

 

I am willing to let the coaches decide when the other QBs are ready.  If they aren’t, then AB shouldn’t be benched. There is no use throwing out a freshman QB who isn’t ready just so he can get reps and throwing away a season.  That is what the off season is for, training.

 

Up North they have a 5 star frosh QB sitting behind an average at best starter (not that I would ever want to compare myself to them); and, at Oklahoma, their frosh QB was the #1 HS QB in the country and is living up to that ranking.  In TT’s action so far, he hasn’t looked anything close to what Caleb Williams is showing.

 

Each year the talent is getting better.  The talent around AB on both sides of the ball is better than before.  Maybe we just have to wait until the QB talent equals the other talent.

 

I don’t want to be a Mets fan and “wait until next year”, so go with what the coaches say is our best chance to win now and develop the next QB later.

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I really can’t  say I am disappointed.  We have been hit hard with injuries this year. Key starters and backups have not been able to play and coaches have actually inserted walk ons to fill in some gaps. 
 

I do get very frustrated watching AB as our starting QB. He has thrown 7 TD’s this year against some pretty easy competition.  He is a “running QB”, but only averages about 3.5 ypc. 
 

Thompson has played two meaningful quarters and has thrown 2 TD passes. Hmmmm. 
 

Oregon fans rarely boo at their own players. I know that people in my section of the stands were booing at only one person, and it wasn’t anyone on the coaching staff.  

That’s not disappointment, that’s frustration. 

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Where are all the blue-chip players on offense? They aren't starting yet.

QB, RB, WR are mostly still 3* kids.

We are expecting better play cuz on paper we have star power, but it's not all on the field yet.

Is this part of the issue?

 

I think our run blocking schemes are at issue also. I know TD just had a great game, but tell me, is any else surprised that a Chip Kelly offense is leading the conference in the run game!

 

Finally, we may be 5-1 now, but all the remaining games are teams better than who we've already played, save tOSU. 

If we go 3-3,  will those critical of us who are disappointed now still think that all is good?!

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On 10/20/2021 at 9:25 AM, Smith72 said:

Thanks for the article Joshua!  You make a well written argument for expressing the disappointment many fans have.

 

You give proper credit for the good things MC is doing for the Duck program.  In addition no one can question Mario's good work ethic, honesty, and connection to the players.

 

"Disappointment" is a good word to describe my feelings this season.  The young talent is there.  Play it!  The 6th year senior quarterback without a doubt does not have the decision making ability or the vision to play quarterback.  Bench him!

 

I'm disappointed that Oregon coaches do not coach up the young quarterbacks and get them ready to play.  I'm disappointed that Oregon coaches are so stubborn and settle for a "game manager" instead of a leader!

 

I thought one tenet of the culture was to instill competition.  When you can't perform the next guy takes your place!  So far I guess QB is an exception!

Very good point, we can criticize the on-field results, but that in no way takes away from the character and drive of Cristobal. It's not for lack of trying that he's struggling; I would never accuse him of that.

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On 10/20/2021 at 9:41 AM, Confused said:

I am a paying member of the Duck organization.  I buy tickets, merchandise, and promote them.  Quite a following now in Northern Arizona!   So I believe that give me every right to question what is happening at Oregon.  If we had the same talent as everyone else in pac 12 I would be singing Praises to the coaching staff.  But we have twice if not more talent and easily could have 3 losses.  I have yet to hear one compliment in the real world,  about Oregon’s coaching staff, other than “They sure can recruit.”   I pay for the right to voice my thoughts about what I find a very “odd” mind set of what’s best for Oregon football and it’s fans.  Maybe we fans just don’t matter? 

You -- and every other Oregon fan -- has every right to question the situation. 

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On 10/20/2021 at 10:09 AM, Haywarduck said:

I would suggest Mario Cristobal is the most disappointed in the team so far. He just goes about his disappointment differently than most fans.

 

He sees the potential in Flowe, Bennett, Thibs and others and their injuries. Their potential and outcomes are a major disappointment, but he has to move on.

 

Our young qb's are a major disappointment. He knows this team could, would and should be better if these guys were ready, but they aren't. He see what will be and not being able to highlight this yet is a major dissapointment, but he has to move on, support what we have.

 

There are a bountiful number of disappointments with this team. I can only imagine Cristobal sits back every once and a while, and laments what could, should and would have been, but only temporarily. A leader has to do exactly what he is doing, fans don't have to. 

 

He has to be a bastion of strength in a sea of disappointment. Our job as fans and pundits is to point out that disappointment, but I would argue it is also to move on and support the many great stories within this amazing team.

 

I know for me that is the only way I can stay an active, healthy Oregon Duck Fan. That is the Oregon way to me, but to each his own, Go Ducks!

I wholeheartedly agree that Cristobal's approach has to be different than one of fans. I do think it's fair to question whether or not he is handling the situation he has been dealt as well as he should. (On the field, of course.) I'll leave my thoughts on that matter at that.

 

But I do definitely agree that there are many great stories worth celebrating, specifically the efforts of Travis Dye. He has really developed into a do-it-all, top-tier Pac-12 running back.

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On 10/20/2021 at 10:10 AM, 30Duck said:

Disappointed is the perfect adjective. I'll never get the image of the Tweet in the Oregon Football Account of the "Gutsy" win against Cal. No way should a Top 10 4-1 team need a "gutsy" effort to pull out a win over 1-4 Cal, at home. 

 

To be underwhelmed by this season's team takes nothing away from Mario's earlier seasons, in fact, it's those seasons I'm thinking about. The Ducks should be getting better, and this season isn't. 5-1 is a great record, but all 5-1's aren't the same. The Ducks struggled, really, in every game, except the one at Ohio State. 

 

It seems like Cristobal has a plan, but I don't know how he's going about putting it together. "He says he wants his teams to be tough. "I'm thinking he's wanting them to be like his teams at The "U". They aren't. 

My goodness your first paragraph sums up my thoughts exactly. Squeaking out a win like that against a conference bottom feeder shouldn't be championed.

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On 10/20/2021 at 10:28 AM, HappyToBeADuck said:

Thank you for another deep thought provoking article Joshua! Depending on one's expectations, the first 6 games have generated one hec of an emotional  roller coaster ride.

 

Personally, my feelings toward the coach and staff are mixed. MC and his staff have done an amazing job with the defense. Mixing and piecing youngsters together to field a unit together takes quality coaching. Playing players at positions they have never played, especially at this level, takes coaching. Players need to practice and play together to jell and build trust. This has not happened this year. Yet the D is giving up less than 20 ppg.

 

That being said. Garbers missed two wide open receivers on the last drive. Why? Because film study showed that Garbers does not throw well on the run.(read a pre game article about this). DC called plays to constantly flush Garbers out. Well done coach(s).

 

The offense is another mixed bag of coaching. At times the offense moves the ball with ease. This unit has been efficient in the red zone. However,  this unit has left multiple scores on the table from penalties or fumbles that negated great plays. Plays that would have been 1st downs into the red zone.  These games should not be one score outcomes. That's on the players the first few games. After that its coaching. Come on coaches. Are changes necessary?

 

UCLA will be the pivot point of the season for this team. There is enough tape on the Bruins for MC and staff to know what's coming. There will be no surprises for our defense. Stop the run and force DTR to beat you with his arm.

 

The Bruin defense cannot stop this offense. Only our players can stop this offense. Coaches it's time. If the players cannot execute and generate points....make changes.

 

Mario, toughness isn't just on the players. Personally, I like you and your staff. Sometimes I just don't like your decision making.

 

Go Ducks. Beat the Bruins and rule the southland.

 

 

The UCLA game will be very telling. Mario tends to bring it in big games, so I'm actually expecting big things out of us.

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On 10/20/2021 at 11:57 AM, Charles Fischer said:

I think it is accurate in my situation to say that I was "disappointed" in the fall of 2018, and when I wrote then that, "Unless there are dramatic changes....Mario Cristobal will not take us to the promised land."

 

That was disappointment, but three years of compounding decisions that I disagree with may have turned into more...

 

And that is happening with a critical mass of fans as well, IMHO.

I'm sure many other .. more descriptive words could certainly be used to describe some feelings I have toward the direction of the team. But I figured I'd take a tamer approach this time 😉

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On 10/20/2021 at 12:37 PM, Duckman said:

Disappointment sums it up nicely.  Something is missing inside the culture that leads to a team effort that is often less than the sum of its parts.  I think the booing on Friday reflected that.  It's not just Anthony Brown.  How about the OL consistently missing pass blocks?  How about LBs that continually struggle in pass coverage?

 

Cristobal is an incredible recruiter and the pieces are in place for a successful season.  However, recent efforts do not inspire confidence about longer-term success.

Very nicely stated. I agree wholeheartedly.

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On 10/20/2021 at 12:56 PM, Jon Joseph said:

Terrific, nuanced, balanced article. Thanks again Joshua.

 

I do see two camps of Ducks football fans. And I am judging neither one.

 

The first group sees college football as it was prior to the BCS and the Playoff. A regional game where the only thing that truly matters is winning the Pac-12 against old foes and playing in the Rose Bowl on January 1st, preferably versus a Big 10 opponent. Who cares what people outside the Pac-12 conference think about the level of football being played out west? This is the Conference of Champions and football is only one of but many sports played in the Pac-12. 

 

Mario is a very good man who is trying his best. What else more can any sane person ask for?

 

The second group sees college football since the advent of the BCS/Playoff to be a national, big time, big money sport. The sport that nationally stirs the national drink, both reputation and money-wise. The Ducks should roll through a milk-toast Pac-12 season after season, make it to the Playoff and win Playoff games against the best competition in the nation. When the Rose Bowl is not a Playoff semi-final site, it is a hyped-up exhibition game between non-elite college teams.

 

Mario can recruit but is way over his head as a head coach and will never produce the results on the field that equal the quality of the roster he has assembled.

 

Mario Cristobal has been a head football coach for 70+ football games. Over this period of time he has an average record as a HC.

 

The first group believes Mario is learning and growing as a head coach. He will soon be at the top of his game and have the team ready to play every game. This is only his 4th season. The team is young and injured. What until next year! Or, the year after that? With a young team close games are to be expected. A W is a W, what do you want?

 

The 2nd group believes that Mario has no potential for growth. That he is a good person who can recruit but does not have the chops to be a successful P5 coach; a playoff winning coach. He is a micromanager playing not to lose instead of playing to win. With the NFL Rookie of the Year playing QB he could not make the Playoff and won the Rose Bowl versus a 3L opponent by 1 point. And Mullens gave him an extension and a $9M buyout?  We're stuck with him we might as well try to make the best of it? But its a grind and it ain't easy.

 

What side of your bread do you butter? 

 

It's sports! So I am not the least bit surprised to see the dissidents making more noise than those who are satisfied with Mario's performance to date.

 

Personally, FWIW, which is not much, I think Mario's coaching zenith is playing in the Rose Bowl in the year when the RB is not a semi-final site. He will not take Oregon to the Final 4 and will not win a national title.

 

If you are OK with paying @5M  a year for THIS? That's fine, eh?

Jon, you never cease to amaze me. Terrific thoughts, and I am 100% in the same boat as you are in your conclusion.

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On 10/20/2021 at 1:57 PM, Steven A said:

I agree with the statement above that this year is frustrating over disappointing SO FAR.

 

This is Mario’s 4th year.  Last year really should pretty much be thrown out. But it was similar to this year in that we don’t have an above average QB.  Obviously, we did with Hebert and he was absolutely mis-used for Oregon’s purposes, and that is on Mario and his offensive coaches.

 

I am willing to let the coaches decide when the other QBs are ready.  If they aren’t, then AB shouldn’t be benched. There is no use throwing out a freshman QB who isn’t ready just so he can get reps and throwing away a season.  That is what the off season is for, training.

 

Up North they have a 5 star frosh QB sitting behind an average at best starter (not that I would ever want to compare myself to them); and, at Oklahoma, their frosh QB was the #1 HS QB in the country and is living up to that ranking.  In TT’s action so far, he hasn’t looked anything close to what Caleb Williams is showing.

 

Each year the talent is getting better.  The talent around AB on both sides of the ball is better than before.  Maybe we just have to wait until the QB talent equals the other talent.

 

I don’t want to be a Mets fan and “wait until next year”, so go with what the coaches say is our best chance to win now and develop the next QB later.

Yeah, the problem is, Cristobal has shown an alarming habit of not developing quarterbacks, even talented ones. Herbert was obviously underdeveloped at Oregon, but many forget that Tyler Shough was a former blue-chip recruit as well. He wasn't developed at all here. It's no guarantee that TT, even with all his talent, succeeds with the track record of poor QB development under Cristobal so far.

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On 10/20/2021 at 1:09 PM, 30Duck said:

 

The other grouping here is the good ole, "Glass half full or half empty" In your two groups I don't know if the former group can even confidently see regular trips to the "Granddaddy of Them All" on a regular basis with this version of Cristobal.

 

Since he's been  at Oregon, Cristobal has been the most successful Coach in the conference. If I had the ability to switch him out for any of the other 11, I wouldn't. But that doesn't mean that I can't hope that Mario see's that he doesn't have coaching down after 70 games and that changing things up can be a positive move. 

 

But is a successful coach who competes in a conference that is usually out of Playoff continuation by the 1st week in November truly successful? If Mario was doing a Dabo in the Pac-12 I would agree; he isn't doing so. 

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On 10/20/2021 at 9:40 PM, Joshua Whitted said:

Jon, you never cease to amaze me. Terrific thoughts, and I am 100% in the same boat as you are in your conclusion.

 

And your writing ability never ceases to impress and humble me.

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On 10/20/2021 at 6:47 PM, Jon Joseph said:

But is a successful coach who competes in a conference that is usually out of Playoff continuation by the 1st week in November truly successful? If Mario was doing a Dabo in the Pac-12 I would agree; he isn't doing so. 

 

 Yes. Recently we saw that Oregon is now Clemson, actually, this year Clemson regressed, and is actually even lower than Oregon. Clemson won the ACC and got to the Playoffs, the ACC isn't nearly as tough as the Pac-12, and even a 12-0 Pac-12 would be a little nervous about making the Final 4. 

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So many points made I so agree with!

 

This week's game will show what we can expect the rest of the way.

 

Without improved play on both sides of the ball, we could be run out of the Rosebowl.

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On 10/20/2021 at 1:41 PM, DanLduck said:

Where are all the blue-chip players on offense? They aren't starting yet.

QB, RB, WR are mostly still 3* kids.

We are expecting better play cuz on paper we have star power, but it's not all on the field yet.

Is this part of the issue?

It is definitely part of the issue........and many of us believe the solution is in changing this to get some of the blue chippers on the field more. 

 

I have said it till I am blue in the face that the best way to coach up talent is through in-game reps. All the young highly rated talent needs to see the field, they need to be fed the rock. 

 

My gut keeps telling me that MC is coaching with some bias towards playing older guys......but your exactly right Dan that many of those guys are 3* or below players.

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Actually, I now wish Oregon long ago had gotten Brandon Staley before the NFL did. Sigh. Coaching genius is so hard to detect early . . .

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Maybe some of these 4* players Aren't so 4*?

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Thanks for the excellent well written article that captures my feelings about this season perfectly.  
I’ve been an avid Oregon fan for over 50 years and have had plenty of disappointments over the years, but this year just feels different.  We beat OSU in the shoe and look like a Top 5 team in the process.  It built such hope and promise for what this season might hold. Instead……………….…here we are 5-1 and disappointed!  

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In the 70s and 80s I kept saying, "Rose Bowl in my lifetime".

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 I for one am not upset with coach. I am a huge Chip K fan and haven't cared much for our team's offense since. Until now.

  I don't care how pretty it is, I want 1 thing. A team that plays hard, never gives up, overcomes obstacles and wins if it happens. I believe this is this team. If it means being conservative so be it. 

  It's so easy to be a Monday morning QB. We don't have enough information to make an informed opinion about what is going on no matter what we think we know. The coaches do. So let them coach.

  We have to remember these players are still kids. College is a lot different than HS. It takes time to adjust except for maybe 1% of the players.   We are a very young team compared to every other team out there, we have been hit with a huge amount of injuries especially in key areas and are making dumb mistakes at key times. A young team will do this, especially on the road. 

  I have watched the Ducks since the 60's and am very proud of them and will be in the future. Would any of you trade for any other team in the PAC?  I didn't think so.

    Go Ducks and MC. I hope we have a long time together.

 

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