Ruff's and ECU's Grade
cooperitis Dec 5, 10:40 a.m.
Below is Carlton Tudor's grade from a couple of days ago:
"Ruffin McNeill, ECU, "D" Saturday, "A" Season: The 59-28 loss at Marshall put a miserable punctuation on an impressive regular season.
Among other things, the performance puts a good deal of pressure on the team and McNeill’s staff to notch a bowl win. A repeat – physically, mentally and tactically – of what happened at Marshall would amount to a disastrous way to go into a new conference.
But anytime ECU goes 9-3 with easy wins at UNC and NCSU, the purple people can’t be but so sad."
My personal assessment of Ruff's career at ECU -- (C) -- only Average.
This year -- couldn't beat the one and only good team (Marshall) that was needed to in order to take the program to the next level. Bowl game ?? Could salvage a 10-win season. But all of our 9 wins so far were(except for 2) against teams with miserable losing records. So, we basically only won the games we were expected to win (except Tulane).
Last year (8-5) -- again, couldn't beat the one and only good CUSA team (UCF) to go to the next level of playing for a conference championship. Did go to the New Orleans Bowl, but got beat by a team of lesser talent from the Sunbelt Conf.
Year before (5-7) -- lost all non-conf. games against the good teams. Lost enough CUSA games and couldn't even win the final game against Marshall to get 6 wins and become bowl eligible.
Year before (Ruff's 1st year) (6-7) -- Lost 3 out of 4 good non-conf. games (did beat NC State). Lost the final game of the season to SMU to again be denied playing for a CUSA Championship. Did manage to get the minimum 6 wins to become bowl eligible. However, got embarrassed in the Military Bowl.
Therefore I feel this season and Ruff's career deserves only a "C" average at best. We may be able to beat teams of lesser talent and losing records. But, what has happened when we have faced a game of actually meaning or a team of at least equal talent? That's when it comes down to coaching.
PirateGrad2009 Dec 5, 2:41 p.m.
Step away from the ledge buddy, it's okay. Do I get frustrated with Coach McNeil? Yes, of course. Do all fans of college teams get frustrated with their head coach? Um, YES!
Look, I believe that Ruffin is a good fit for ECU at this point in time. Is he the "best" fit? Hmmm, maybe...maybe not. The man can recruit, he has the players' respect, he has the backing of the fans, and he has had success. To tack on to my last point, it's not his fault that the C-USA is dismal and filled with cupcakes. You play who is on your schedule, that's what you do. That is also why we're moving to the AAC, a move that I believe will be a good measuring stick for Coach Ruffin: Will he be able to produce/succeed in a conference with avg/good teams?
If he cannot, ECU and Compher will find a man who will meet the challenge.
cooperitis Dec 5, 6:02 p.m.
Thanks man. I needed that !!
I too, think Ruff is a good fit for ECU and has created a great "family atmosphere" for his players who have great respect for Ruff. I was just so hopeful for this season for Ruff to prove me and my stats wrong and take full advantage of the great opportunity we had before us to take the program to the next level. I knew this was going to be our best chance (year)at winning a conference championship, a bowl win and even (dare I say) ranked in the Top 25. I mean, we started off the season in the "honorable mention" of the Top 25 -- never had that before. That was based purely on our returning talent.
The main point of my rants -- sure, we can beat all the "cupcakes", but can we win against the good teams, or the one team standing between us and greatness. So far in 4 seasons the answer is no. A bowl win this year will go a very long way of turning that around and answer the burning question of Can Ruff take ECU to the next level as we head into the new conference. I promise you there will be much more decent teams than cupcakes in that league. I also agree with you to allow Ruff at least one more year to see how he measures up in the AAC. I just hope we don't get beat to death with that measuring stick.
PirateGrad2009 Dec 6, 9:39 a.m.
"Sometimes your the dog and sometimes your the fire hydrant" <Sums up our season this year....Harvey makes a FG against Tulane and maybe we win the East outright...defense catches that INT and we win against VT. It's just the way it goes and another perfect example is the way the Carolina Panthers are playing vs last year. Sometimes you need your team to get the living daylights beaten out of them & a few close loses to mentally prepare for games down the road.
Ken D. Dec 6, 1:39 p.m.
If ECU wins its bowl game, McNeil will be 29-22 for his first four seasons at the helm. That is exactly the same record as Skip Holtz for his first four years.
Without somehow landing an invite to a power conference, that's about as good as any ECU coach can expect without scheduling cupcakes for his OOC opponents. I don't think any Pirate fan wants that. Whether that translates to a grade of "B" or "C" really doesn't matter in the big picture.
tcoutouzis Dec 6, 8:06 p.m.
I think Ruff is starting to blossom as a coach. He hired Rick Smith who has done wonders with our defense in one year. I am going to hate when Rick retires. Our defense will be even better next year. I am echoing what was said above in that he is a good recruiter and has the respect of the coaches and fans. Next year I don't think we will get 9 or 10 wins because we will be in a tougher conference. I think we will be more like 7-5 which will be fine for next year. However, we should have a solid team next year, so 8-4 seems very possible.
cooperitis Dec 6, 11:13 p.m.
Look, I'm not asking for Ruff's head by no means. I think he and his coaching staff have done some good things for the program. But is it not realistic to wish for better than just an Average team or program, especially with the talent we now have. I just feel that we squandered away (got out-coached at Marshall) the best opportunity we have had recently or will have in some time to take the program to the next level. That would include winning games against teams of equal talent, winning a conference championship, win a bowl game and possibly end the season ranked in the Top 25.
Let's just see what happens in our bowl game this year. A win would be a BIG step in the right direction. And 6 wins and a bowl game next year in the AAC would be a great beginning in a much tougher conference. I hope that's not just wishful thinking but being realistic.
lazydawg58 Dec 7, 1:02 p.m.
The pirates have improved every year under McNeill. He has a young but promising OC and an old warhorse DC. With wins over in-state rivals and a strong winning record the last two years ECU should win more of the recruiting wars here in NC. Entering the American, probably the strongest non-power conference, should help in out-of-state recruiting. I think it is much more important to look at the foundation and positive environment Ruff has created rather than an arbitrary letter grade. The potential is there for East Carolina to emerge as the best college football program in the state and a more than respectable one nationally.
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