I was the biggest Randy supporter for years. Thought it was fantastic he got the job. Wanted him from the beginning. Thought Randy was the first coach who would stay after winning a national title. We'd finally have our Bowden. We'd have what we could have had with Schnellenberger. Wanted him since I knew Coker was a fraud. And yes, I'll toot my horn and say I gave up on Coker before most did. 2003 in fact, after the Tennessee debacle. (That defense was one of the best in the past 20 years. All you needed was a competent QB not throwing picks and they play in the national title game, even after the Va Tech loss. ARRG 10-6 loss to crap team at home on game I flew in for!!! Ok, tangent Coker rant over.)
Up until this year's UVA game, I would argue to the death with any Randy hater regarding his obvious in game coaching mishaps. Timeouts? Who needs em! My thoughts were "Randy knows the Miami formula: recruit South Fla heavily, get better players than everyone else and more of them, run a pro style offense, let the talent run amok into wins and thus national titles." Lets face it, Miami hasn't had a great "great" coach since Jimmy, so this is a tried and true formula.
Having said all that. This year's UVA game finally put me on the other side of the fence. Randy is not the guy to turn this program around, his back story and unadulterated love of Miami notwithstanding. We all thought it was only Coker living off Butch's recruits, Butch's players, and rode them to a national title and a 60-15 record. Wrong. Randy was living off those exact same players, exact same recruits, just on the defensive side. Lets face it. When did Randy build his resume as a fantastic defensive coach? 2001. Who did he have that year? Reed, Vilma, DJ Williams, Buchanan, Rumph, Joseph, Walters. Any competent DC could've done what he did with that defense. Remind you of anyone?
2002. Supposed rebuilding year, especially for the defense. Yet, Vilma, Williams, Walters, and Joseph all came back. Who did they add (as starters)? Sean Taylor, Vince Wilfork, Antrel Rolle. Only three perennial NFL Pro Bowlers. I think you all see my point. If Schiano stayed on as DC (a coach we all probably agree sucks) it wouldn't have surprised me at all if he would've gotten any HC job in the country after the 2000-02 defensive run. And we all probably would've been happy and proud about it given his track record.
We all know Randy's defensive philosophy. Play a straight 4-3. No blitzing whatsoever. Make the D line force sacks and qb hurries to allow the back seven to create turnovers. Works great when you have an awesome seven man D line rotation of the early oughts, with Reed and Taylor FLYING AROUND OUT THERE in the backfield. Not so much when your MLB hits the wrong holes on basic off tackle runs (McCarthy) or your OLB is the size of a SS (Spence) or your most recent 5 star recruit (Ray Ray) follows the underneath route in zone coverage instead of the deep post.
With all of the above, one could still argue for Randy's ability to turn things around. It's the players fault, they don't care enough (as I've seen some people saying in threads today), coaches don't make them hold or jump offsides. But then you see what Butch did with UNC these past 2-3 years. Looking at their defense only, how many of those players are going to be 1st and 2nd round NFL picks this year? Three? Four? I don't remember UNC pulling in any top notch recruiting classes. Again, remind you of anything? How about 1997-2000 when the recruits Butch pulled in weren't top notch, yet created the last great run of Canes football?
The point is, Butch DEVELOPS PLAYERS. Especially on the defensive side of the ball, his strong point. All you people claiming player development is not the issue, well, I'm sure glad you're not a D1 coach. How do you think all the great coaches win national titles at prestigious programs in the dumps in their first three years (Stoops, Saban, Meyer, Carroll, Tressel)? They don't have ANY of their players yet. They win because they take their current players and develop them. Coach them up. Put them in position to make great plays, to get turnovers, to get wins.
Now, I won't argue for Butch's game tactics, they are not much better than Randy. But the tried and true Hurricane national title formula is get the South Florida kids, let them develop in the depth chart, and play lights out once it's their turn. Randy made his name off of Butch's defensive player development, simple as that.
I won't call for Randy's head after this season, unless Hocutt has someone lined up who will not turn the job down, who they're willing to pay to come and stick around. I'm more or less resigned to the fact bringing back Randy in 2011 is probably still the best route for the program. He will get his five years, something I am always for. But Randy is coming back for a do or die 2011 season where only a national title game appearance, or perhaps an undefeated ACC record, are his benchmarks to not be fired.
At this point, it's looking like adios Randy cakes.