I say that because I realize, finally, that the Pat Hill era at Fresno State is grinding, slowly, to a halt. That is, by the way, as it should be.
Hill has demonstrated his inability, in the last six or seven years, to competently recruit, train, field and coach a D1 college football team that can compete with respectable D1 opponents. The Bulldogs are 4-21 against D1 teams with a record over .500. That sobering stat speaks for itself.
That represents Fresno State's last 25 games against reasonable, competent NCAA football teams... and the ‘Dogs have lost 21 of them. That is unacceptable, for the average Fresno State fan.
Nonetheless, I do understand that Pat Hill has done a TON of good things for the Bulldog football program.
He has elevated the team's outlook and the fans' expectations. He has taken his team and has played the best in the country, including Oregon, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, USC, Washington, Oregon State, LSU, Colorado, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and UCLA. Historically, these are national-championship quality teams. They were, and are absolutely the best in the country. And, for the record, Hill won a surprisingly large number of those games, including Wisconsin, Colorado, Oregon State (twice), Georgia Tech (twice), UCLA (twice), and Virginia etc.
He increased, dramatically, the national exposure of the Bulldogs, in venues like ESPN and Sports Illustrated. He made the ‘Dogs a nationally recognized force in College Football.
Unfortunately, that was the old Pat Hill – the Pat Hill of five or six years ago.
The new Pat Hill typically loses to ALL BCS schools with a record of .500, or better (see the sad stats, cited above...). I don't know, for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that something happened after that 2005 loss to USC at Memorial Coliseum in L.A. I don't know what it was, but, after that game, the Bulldogs somehow lost their moxie, their "mojo,” their swagger and their attitude.
Recently, it has become ugly. The ‘Dogs have steadily lost out-of-conference games against decent teams, and have lost a depressing number of games against WAC teams that should have been routine victories (like Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State).
This has resulted (predictably) in a rising chorus of calls for Hill's firing and/or resignation.
Since Saturday's defensive debacle, which gave up 500 yards and 48 points, in a losing effort to one of the nation's worst teams, Hill has been facing a firestorm of criticism from the Bulldog faithful. By that I mean long-time, passionate, financially-invested ticket-buying supporters who can no longer support the failure to produce quality wins evidenced, most emphatically, by this team's current 3-7 season, a litany of losses, relieved only by wins against the likes of North Dakota, Idaho and Utah State.
I have to confess to feeling sorry for Pat Hill. I watched the NMSU game, in its entirety (at the end, a friend of my wife e-mailed her, "Is your hubby screaming at the TV?" Obviously, "Yes!") I also researched various columns, blogs, and video clips from the game and post-game activities. There was a sobering report of Pat Hill, sitting by himself on the curb, in the dark, outside the locker room, after the game. One report said he sat there for something like five minutes, in the dark. Another guy said, that Tommie Boeh came over and sat down next to him, and that the two of them sat there, in the dark, for several minutes more...
Having said that, the facts remain unaltered.
The Fresno State Bulldogs are in a meltdown mode. They are now on a three-game losing streak, and are headed to Hawaii, where Hill is 2-5 (and that doesn't bode well). It will be followed by games against San Jose State (at Bulldog Stadium) and the closer at San Diego State. Tough game.
If the ‘Dogs win all of those games (unlikely), they finish 6-7. Lose all three at the result is 3-10, the ugliest scenario of all. Regardless, it is time for a change.
The ‘Dogs have one of the worst defenses in college football.
The recent record is unacceptable. New blood is needed, a new approach and new coaching is called for.
Hopefully, the powers that be will recognize that fact and take meaningful action.
Note: This column was written hours before the news of Randy Stewart stepping down from his defensive coordinator position.
Redroadster is highly regarded attorney in the Central Valley, a loyal Bulldog fan, and a regular poster/contributor on BarkBoard.com. Check in time to time for his take on games and other Bulldog athletic events in his View from the Roadster.
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