Sunday, December 10, 2006


Erickson's Here

...and it's onward to victory!

Of the available choices, he was the best fit for the position. While I can't really agree with the firing of Dirk Koetter after perusing the candidate pool two weeks ago, Dennis Erickson should more than relieve Koetter's shortcomings.

DK: Soft defenses
DE: Angry malicious defenses that hit like freight trains and laugh at the opposition's pain

DK: Leads league in penalties, mostly mental and procedural
DE: Leads league in penalties, mostly agressive and celebratory

DK: Can't seem to close out games against good teams, even with seemingly solid leads
DE: The kind of guy that, after hitting an animal with his car, will back up a few times to make sure it's dead

DK: Players were occasionally thuggish off the field but polite on the gridiron
DE: Thug life, 24-7!

I'm using a wait-and-see aproach with regards to games 1) in California, 2) against ranked teams, and 3) against teams from Tucson. The few that miss Koetter will point to his 4-2 record against the Cats, although there is no reason we should have lost any of these games against arguably some of the worst UA teams in 100+ years. Erickson is 7-2 lifetime against them, even though the biggest hole in his resume is a 29-0 loss to UA in the 1992 Fiesta Bowl. I'll take him, either way.

Erickson's detractors are quick to point to the thug reputation that his Miami and Oregon State garnered during his reign, but I'm not convinced. His Beaver team that most remember is the one that kicked Notre Dame square in the ass in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl and racked up 174 penalty yards. Most of these penalties came as personal fouls, yes, but they were celebration penalties. I'd give anything to have those kind of high-class problems at ASU and besides, you try shutting up Chad Johnson. To be honest, the Sun Devils could use a little attitude.

At Miami, this kind of behavior is more the rule than the exception, so no one can make much of a stink on that one. The problem here is that Erickson unjustly receives blame for the probation Miami endured in the mid 1990's. A man who was not not employed the athletic department was falsifying documents for 50+ athetes of several sports, not just football players, to illegally receive Pell Grants. While you can argue a "lack of institutional control" or "not knowing what his players are doing," this kind of logic caused maroon and gold lynch mobs to form after the Arizona Republic insinuated that the tragic death of Brandon Faulkner was somehow Dirk Koetter's fault. Total horsepoopy.

Let's also be sure to jump all over him for getting a DUI in 1995. Oooooo, how evil. What kind of a sick bastard would ever drive drunk? Dude it happens, let it go. It's not going to be bumper cars on Mill Avenue or anything. I think he'll fit in just fine at one of the nation's top party schools.

Welcome, Coach Erickson. Hope springs eternal.

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Love hired the best coach possible given the constraints she was working under. Yes, there are questions surrounding Erickson, but Love appears to have done her homework and you can bet she will keep a close eye on things. Even if Erickson bolts after a few years, ASU will be in a MUCH better position if/when that time comes. Love has shown she's serious about finally bringing the football program to the level where it belongs and there aren't many out there who could do that job the way Erickson has proven he can.
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