Found this in the annals of MGoBlog history. Poor guy went from some genuinely positive takes by Brian to an analytical qualifier for opposing coaches and came to define "stupid coaching decisions that fly in the face of game theory."
Zook to the Illini
Ron Zook has taken the Illinois job.
Thoughts: good move for the Illini. Zook obviously connected quite strongly with his players at UF, even though he didn't win as much as they would have liked. For all the kvetching from UF fans, Chris Leak was a freshman last year, a sophomore this year. it's really tough to win with a young QB under center. Zook brought in a couple monster classes as Florida head coach and he's got name recognition. If he can turn UI into the natural destination for the Chicagoland area he can make UI a winner.
Zook is reportedly out.
About time. Thoughts on replacement?
Highlighted in this week's somewhat abbreviated edition:
- Ole Miss/Houston Nutt
- Ron Zook
- Texas A&M
Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, WVU, Illinois, amongst others.
Zook managed this in his inimitably Zook-y way, punting on fourth and three from the Purdue 38. He was down 21 points at the time. His team ended up losing by seven. Ron Zook has no idea what connections can possibly be drawn between these two facts. Ron Zook isn't sure how much a touchdown is worth and suspects he might actually be a dolphin. To test this he is going to go mine copper. Ron Zook: not smart.
Inimitably. Say that three times fast.
I had a brief discussion about this in the Opponents comments thread, but I'm wondering if anyone can provide some advanced metrics about whether Zook made the right call last week to go for it on 4th and 3, down 10 with a little over a minute left. Heiko (as well as the announcers in the game) tore Zook a new one for this, but it certainly seems defensible to me, and probably the right call. My point from the comments discussion:
The way I see it, you need a touchdown and a field goal either way. They were in fourth and makeable, pretty close to the OSU goal line--that might be the best opportunity they have to convert the fourth down and score. If they kick the field goal there, they might face down a 4th and 10 from the 33 on the next drive, but they would have to go for that much-more- difficult-to-convert play. it seems like whenever you're down 10 and you know you're going to have to recover the onside kick, you should take the 4th down opportunity to go for it when it seems like you won't get a better one. It's not like Illinois was moving the ball up and down the field. If they kick the field goal and recover the onside kick, seems likely they're going to face something worse than 4th and 3 and be forced to go for it.
To take it to the extreme, if it were 4th and goal from the 2, no one would criticize going for it--that's your best chance to get the touchdown you're going to need anyway. By kicking the field goal, you're "wasting" all of those yards you got within field goal range. I don't see the benefit of doing the field goal first just because it's the easier one--you might only have one chance in the two possessions to get the TD, so when you have that chance, you need to take it. You're going to have to convert the onside kick either way.
It seems like we should be able to calculate a "right" answer for this, but that's much too complex for my simpleton mind. Mathlete, do you have a chart that can enlighten us?
Least shocking thing ever coming on the heels of two 1-10 seasons, an 0-4 start, a sexual harrassment charge, an assault charge, and a recruit somehow getting caught driving Locksley's car while drunk last night.
No word on Robin's (or Ron Zook's) reaction.
I can't picture too many coaches lining up to take that job.