So, How's Sonny doing at SMU?

7,075 Views | 59 Replies | Last: 3 yr ago by oskidunker
Cal8285
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Fyght4Cal said:

wifeisafurd said:

Fyght4Cal said:

Cal8285 said:

59bear said:

25To20 said:

I'm glad you asked. SMU lost to that college football juggernaut, North Texas in Sonny's debut, 46 - 23. The Mustangs were shutout through 3 quarters. Looks like Sonny's got that same defensive mindset he had at Cal, and is perhaps a little less excited about offense than he was here.
Meh! The man is no longer our problem, proof that Mike Williams did at least one thing right. Go Bears!
Certain posters pick on Mike Williams way too much, but I have trouble looking at the Sonny dismissal as something that MW did right. Screwing up less than he could have is not the same as doing something right.

MW signed Sonny to an extension that MW never should have agreed to, and then a year later, hoped Sonny would leave on his own or provide good cause for termination instead of just firing him right away, in the (futile) hope that Cal wouldn't be stuck with the payout that was a result of the stupid extension. As a result, the termination happened at least a month later than it should have, making life more difficult for JW in terms of both hiring staff and salvaging what he could of the recruiting year.

Sonny is no longer our problem, and Mike Williams is no longer our problem. Outside of our general propensity to think about both the good and the bad of the past, we don't need to think about either one (good grief, in thinking about the past I still think about Bob Bockrath, who makes Mike Williams look like a dream by comparison). But while I'm glad Sonny is gone, MW screwed up getting rid of Sonny almost as badly as he could have, so I have a little trouble saying that Sonny being gone is proof Williams did one thing right. Sure, it would have been even worse if Sonny had been HC in 2017, but just because MW could have screwed it up even worse doesn't mean he didn't screw it up.
Looking back, at what point should Williams have fired Dykes?
if its 2017, sometime well before the recruiting class deadlines are occurring so the new coach (Wilcox) would have time to recruit. I know what finally caused Williams to act, and Williams could have gone through that process far sooner. In any event, it is just dust in the wind. Only thing that now matters is finding an offense and beatign BYU.
That's when it became clearer to me that he needed to go. However, my friend 8285 may have an earlier time in mind. I've valued his thoughts for about 40 years now, so I'm eager to read his views on the contract extension. Especially considering that w/o the extension Dykes may have appeared to be a dead man walking, to my mind. I'm confident that 8285 can show me the error of my ways.

Go Bears! Beat the Cougars!
In terms of when Dykes should have been let go after the 2016 season, I think that you, wiaf, and I are all on the same page, it should have happened earlier, Williams shouldn't have waited in hopes that Dykes would leave on his own or created good cause for termination. But Williams wouldn't have cared about waiting if he hadn't given the extension. The mistake of the extension was a significant cause of the mistake of firing Dykes at least a month too late, but still, it was a screw up not to fire at least in early December 2016.

I disagree that Dykes needed an extension because he would have appeared to be a dead man walking without one. If he only had one year left on the contract, then it is a bad look not to give one, but I don't think having "only" two years left on the contract would have been a big problem. If no extension had been given, the problem for recruiting wouldn't have been that Dykes only had two years left, but that that Dykes had a wandering eye. That potential recruiting problem remained after the extension, because in this day and age, signing an extension isn't exactly a sign that the coach won't leave -- how many coaches have signed an extension and then taken another job within a month? If a coach has a wandering eye and signs an extension, other coaches will still use that against him in recruiting, and it is easy to prove that signing an extension doesn't stop a coach from leaving. The extension is more a sign that the school is committed to the coach than that the coach is committed to the school (even if the school can still fire the coach a year later, as Cal did with Dykes). Dykes raised the questions on his own about how committed he was to Cal.

I think somebody looking closely at the program would have wondered whether it made sense to fire Dykes after the 2015 regular season, even if Dykes had "improved" things, going from 1-11 to 5-7 to 7-5 with a bowl bid (albeit a lousy bowl). I think most fans and the media would have thought Williams crazy if he fired Dykes then --some BI posters would have been happy, but most fans would have been scratching their heads. But if Williams had talked to the right people in the program, I think he would have at least been really worried about whether Dykes was the guy long term. It would have been a bold, gutsy decision to fire at that point, looking beyond wins and losses, and I can't say Williams should have fired Dykes then, but Williams should have been worried about keeping Dykes long term.

But I will say an extension was wrong. If you're at least seriously worried about whether it makes sense to keep someone long term, granting an extension is usually going to be wrong. In December 2015, there were four possibilties, in order that I thought were most likely -- 1) Dykes stays without an extension, 2) Dykes quits for another job, 3) Dykes stays with an extension, and 4) Dykes gets fired. I was rooting for 2), would have been shocked but OK with 4, and could tolerate 1). The only one that was a mistake was doing number 3, it showed some combination of giving into leverage that Dykes didn't really have and a lack of understanding about some of the underlying problems with the Dykes program.

I can't say how things would have played out if Dykes didn't get the extension, so I can't say what Williams should have done, other than not give the extension. There is no saying that Williams should have fired Dykes earlier than early December 2016, but he shouldn't have given an extension in December 2015.

GO BEARS!!
RonO
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I'm watching Sonny tonight against TCU. ESPN2 at 5pm. Here's the kind of guy I am - I'll cheer every TCU touchdown and SMU punt!
Cal Strong!
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Not a single Cal asst. coach joined Sonny at SMU. Either he hired weak coaches here and didn't want to employ them in the future, or they no want to work with weak head coach again in Texas.

Probably a little bit of both.

Big C
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wifeisafurd said:

Big C said:

wifeisafurd said:

Fyght4Cal said:

Cal8285 said:

59bear said:

25To20 said:

I'm glad you asked. SMU lost to that college football juggernaut, North Texas in Sonny's debut, 46 - 23. The Mustangs were shutout through 3 quarters. Looks like Sonny's got that same defensive mindset he had at Cal, and is perhaps a little less excited about offense than he was here.
Meh! The man is no longer our problem, proof that Mike Williams did at least one thing right. Go Bears!
Certain posters pick on Mike Williams way too much, but I have trouble looking at the Sonny dismissal as something that MW did right. Screwing up less than he could have is not the same as doing something right.

MW signed Sonny to an extension that MW never should have agreed to, and then a year later, hoped Sonny would leave on his own or provide good cause for termination instead of just firing him right away, in the (futile) hope that Cal wouldn't be stuck with the payout that was a result of the stupid extension. As a result, the termination happened at least a month later than it should have, making life more difficult for JW in terms of both hiring staff and salvaging what he could of the recruiting year.

Sonny is no longer our problem, and Mike Williams is no longer our problem. Outside of our general propensity to think about both the good and the bad of the past, we don't need to think about either one (good grief, in thinking about the past I still think about Bob Bockrath, who makes Mike Williams look like a dream by comparison). But while I'm glad Sonny is gone, MW screwed up getting rid of Sonny almost as badly as he could have, so I have a little trouble saying that Sonny being gone is proof Williams did one thing right. Sure, it would have been even worse if Sonny had been HC in 2017, but just because MW could have screwed it up even worse doesn't mean he didn't screw it up.
Looking back, at what point should Williams have fired Dykes?
if its 2017, sometime well before the recruiting class deadlines are occurring so the new coach (Wilcox) would have time to recruit. I know what finally caused Williams to act, and Williams could have gone through that process far sooner. In any event, it is just dust in the wind. Only thing that now matters is finding an offense and beating BYU (next team up).
Okay, wife, you brought it up, so now you gotta tell us (or at least give us a hint or a direction). I'm pretty sure this is a board etiquette guideline. What finally caused Williams to act?

Some folks say I'm morbid or need to stop dwelling on the past, but I've always been fascinated by the inside facts about Cal coaches' hirings and firings. In this case, was it financial? Sonny's job searching? Lack of ability to hire a top DC? Personal? Something else?
Exit interviews with graduating players were awful, and that was the last straw (sorry about the half-metaphor). Recall Williams making the point that participating in Cal athletics s/b a good experience when hiring Wilcox. I think Sonny was great with alum outreach and some other areas, but he was aloof with players, and morale was low. Wilcox has yet to prove himself on winning games, but he has turned around the player experience from everything I have heard. Williams ultimately made the correct decision, but he set the program back by taking too long to pull the trigger.
Interesting info (and, though not surprising, not the answer I was expecting you to provide). Thanks.

Player morale/satisfaction is a key component. The coach can be "respected more than liked", but the players need to feel positive about their experience in the program. For example, our basketball coach seems to have the existing players feeling pretty good about things, despite the situation. If he were to lose them, it would be time to go.
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
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I thought it was mainly due to season ticket renewals being significantly down in comparison to the same time in the previous year.
Cal89
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Nasal Mucus Goldenbear said:

I thought it was mainly due to season ticket renewals being significantly down in comparison to the same time in the previous year.
Yes, and donations too, which I and others did, with a note as to why...
Sig test...
LACalFan
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TheSouseFamily said:

Current whereabouts of the rest of Sonny's first staff he brought to Cal:

Tony Franklin- OC. Middle Tennessee
Pierre Ingram - AHC Fujitsu (Japan) Frontiers
Rob Likens - OC, Arizona State
Andy Buh - DC. Maryland
Garrett Chacere - OC New Mexico Highlands Univ
Barry Sacks - DL Coach, Montana
Randy Stewart - Safeties Coach, Cal Poly
Mark Tommerdhahl - ST Coach, Purdue (recent- had been at Utah State)
Damon Harrington - Head Strength Coach, Grambling


Japan! Ingram is still that untouchable? Too harsh for his crime, imo. He looked to be a promising coach and recruiter. I guess his history might affect the latter. Winning over the moms would be a challenge.
northendbear
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?noredirect82gradDLSdad said:



My favorite Yenser tidbit: while I'm watching our OL start every play in a two point stance Yenser is up on the Memorial minitron exclaiming to his troops during a filmed practice, "Low man wins!!". I was flabbergasted.
I just had a flashback to the days of the Vertical Set (aka "See who can get back the QB faster, You or the defensive lineman in front of you")

I was this close to moving on, putting those days and the experience behind me, and then this thread pops up.

?noredirect
dajo9
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tequila4kapp said:

Another Bear said:

The thing is, just hire a decent DC. Is it really that difficult? Harbaugh found a few DC's online. This level of incompetence is mind boggling.
I think it's a lot more than that. He just doesn't care or prioritize defense.
My favorite Sonny comment was after a scrimmage when the offense pounded on the defense and the reporter asked about concerns for the defense and Sonny simply said, the offense is really good.
An old white dude
dajo9
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RonO said:

I'm watching Sonny tonight against TCU. ESPN2 at 5pm. Here's the kind of guy I am - I'll cheer every TCU touchdown and SMU punt!
I can't believe that this is the only thing to watch tonight from college football or the NFL. I guess I will root to see Sonny pouting on the sideline.
An old white dude
BearBoarBlarney
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The death penalty back in the '80s didn't quite kill SMU, but bringing in Sonny Dukes just might finish 'em off for good.
oskirules
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I don't hate Sonny. I'd like to see him pull this one out or at least keep it interesting in the 1st half. Tired of seeing the same teams on top, including TCU.
HighlandDutch
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Same old Sonny.



Another Bear
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I don't hate Sonny, but I don't exactly respect a guy who doesn't play half of a game. That's just boneheaded and lacking in wisdom and it's lazy. If you want to win, and win consistently, you play all aspects of the game. Not fielding a "reasonable" defense is just dumb. If he could prove otherwise, he would have already.
going4roses
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Is our offense respectable now?
KenBurnski
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The only thing stopping Sonny right now is the creator. Game currently in weather delay.
PTBear
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if by respectable you mean not historically bad, or just one of the worse in the nation for this year, then yes, we are definitely above that.

Sonny's defenses when at their best were just bottom 10%. We were historically bad other years, Doesn't even compare to what our offense is like now.
BearsWiin
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KenBurnski said:

The only thing stopping Sonny right now is the creator. Game currently in weather delay.
SMU could very well become the first football team to give up two touchdowns during a weather delay
oskirules
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20% of the fan base is watching this game?
oskidunker
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why dont they just cancel it. is there a problem with lightning or just rain?

They are really going to start the game at 8:50 pm local time?
Go Bears!
dajo9
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Game starting. Do you take the over or under for time until first TCU touchdown. Set at 4 minutes.
An old white dude
82gradDLSdad
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northendbear said:

?noredirect82gradDLSdad said:



My favorite Yenser tidbit: while I'm watching our OL start every play in a two point stance Yenser is up on the Memorial minitron exclaiming to his troops during a filmed practice, "Low man wins!!". I was flabbergasted.
I just had a flashback to the days of the Vertical Set (aka "See who can get back the QB faster, You or the defensive lineman in front of you")

I was this close to moving on, putting those days and the experience behind me, and then this thread pops up.

?noredirect



:-)
TheSouseFamily
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Speaking of flashbacks, I had one of going to a game in that stadium back in 1993 when Rice played SMU just after I graduated from Berkeley and was dating an SMU student. Rice didn't throw a pass the entire game. They ended up rushing for 483 yards that day and steamrolled the Mustangs.
piemelon
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I have a soft spot for SMU. I'm 77 so obviously this was a long time ago. I had a crazy Uncle who wanted to go to college. He heard he could get a scholarship to SMU if he agreed to become a Methodist minister. I guess he told them he got the calling because he a got a free ride and was ordained. He lasted long enough to marry my parents and babtize me but then got caught didling a young choir girl and and was summarily dispatched from the church.
oskidunker
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Sounds like a plan
Go Bears!
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