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The loss was a turning point - washingtonismoney - 11-14-2011

Fans are now so interested in the program, they are now irrationally calling for coaches' heads: http://www.quora.com/Should-Stanford-fire-head-coach-David-Shaw

In true Stanford fashion, we're taking to Quora to do it; I'm sure Bob Bowlsby doesn't mind as he counts the cash.


Re: The loss was a turning point - yvonne - 11-14-2011

The first thing that jumped out at me was that the second vote listed under Keith Rabois post was a yes vote from Sean Rouse, a rabid UC East Bay fan (i.e. an anti-"the school I wish I had attended" type who regularly spouts off the typical weenie, "They're rich kids who got their education through Daddy's money" garbage) who graduated from the school across the Bay in 1988. If he wants Shaw fired, then Shaw is obviously doing a very good job. Rabois is the only poster listed with commentary in favor of firing Shaw.

That question is even crazier than the one I asked yesterday.


Re: The loss was a turning point - FarmBoy - 11-14-2011

I must say, I'm pretty shocked/disappointed by some of the comments from Stanford "fans" I've seen about this game. On Wilner's blog, a few have gone so far as to say:

Quote:[The football team] has gone downhill ever since [Harbaugh] left. Shaw is a nice guy, but not a very inventive coach.

and

Quote:I have to say that Luck is incredibly overrated. He chokes in all the big moments, throws horrible interceptions, and can’t hit wide-open receivers.

Jesus Christ. The team has gone downhill? What, 9-1 at Stanford is supposed to be a sign of the Apocalypse? Personally, I do agree that Luck is overrated (only because he's being touted as the next football god), but to say he chokes in all the big moments is patently absurd.

Most of the fans are pretty even keeled, but there are definitely some nut jobs out there.


Re: The loss was a turning point - Farm93 - 11-14-2011

As I left the game, I actually heard Stanford fans say that Stanford was out coached and that the team is not that very good with this new coach.

The loss was not Stanford's best day, but the team is CLEARLY the second best team in the conference.  I guess we have come quite a long way if people can be disappointed with the team for the losing to a one loss, top 10 team that appeared in the BCS Title game just 10 months ago.  Oh, and the loss was to an Oregon team that might ultimately vacate this entire season at some point in 2012 or 2013, but that is a different story.


Re: The loss was a turning point - oman - 11-14-2011

I'm pretty bummed about the loss, but boy, to play the blame game with Shaw is just dumb.  If we are giving up anything with Shaw as opposed to Harbaugh, then so be it.  Shaw is an incredible face for the program.  He is going to have to do pretty awful for me to want him out, and I am not even going to consider that for a few years.

I feel bad because it feels like this group of kids peaked with the Orange Bowl, but then again, VaTech can make you look good.  Nevertheless, last year felt like it was a bad half, whereas this one felt like we just didn't have the defensive horses.

Hope the kids shake this off and have fun for the rest of the year.  That was a lot of pressure everyone was putting on them. 


Re: The loss was a turning point - washingtonismoney - 11-14-2011

Well, to add to this:

I would agree with the idea that Shaw got outcoached this game. It happens, even to St. Harbaugh--feel free to consult UCLA 2008 or Cal 2009 for example--and we'd hope he learns from and develops his game. That said, it's erroneous to say that Shaw isn't aggressive generally (I mean, the swag involved in calling this play disproves the idea completely: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:7168863) and he's plenty inventive (while people have often said "THERE WAS NOTHING NEW" that's not quite true--we unveiled the old Indianapolis Colts stretch play from our jumbo formation for the game. It worked for modest gains, IIRC).

Inventive enough? Aggressive enough? Good enough at learning and developing? We will see.


Re: The loss was a turning point - 76lsjumb - 11-14-2011

Unless/until he calls for a punt on third down, I'm not going to start criticizing Shaw's play-calling...


I agree with WIM - Redrum - 11-14-2011

Better in-game decisions on the sideline would have helped.  But rather than nitpick FG vs. go for it on 4th down and saving timeouts for another rainy day while letting UO drain the clock....what interests me is Shaw's own learning process.  Does he really incorporate lessons learned,  or do coaches just get pretty much locked in by the time they take over teams?

But  it was more than coaching.  Oregon is elite on the speed and athleticism scale.  They can be beaten,  but even a near-perfectly conceived scheme with near-perfect in-game adjustments  just keep us in the game.  Then the breaks can be the determiner.


Re: The loss was a turning point - bulldogbigred - 11-14-2011

(11-14-2011, 06:59 PM)Farm93 link Wrote:As I left the game, I actually heard Stanford fans say that Stanford was out coached and that the team is not that very good with this new coach.

Just a bunch of bandwagons. They probably don't know what number Steve Stenstrom wore.


Re: The loss was a turning point - george - 11-14-2011

(11-14-2011, 06:59 PM)Farm93 link Wrote:As I left the game, I actually heard Stanford fans say that Stanford was out coached and that the team is not that very good with this new coach.

(11-14-2011, 07:58 PM)washingtonismoney link Wrote:I would agree with the idea that Shaw got outcoached this game.

I agree with you WIM.  As much as I hate to say it Chip Kelly is a really good coach and he showed it on Saturday.  I think we were also out-coached last year in Eugene by the same guy with Harbaugh at the helm.  So I think that at least Shaw is in good company.

Jim Harbaugh is a fantastic football coach -- you just need to look at what he's done with the 49ers to realize he's one of the best around.  While I would love to hold David Shaw to the same standard, I don't think it's realistic.  I would argue that getting Jim Harbaugh as a coach was more of a once-in-a-generation moment for Stanford than Andrew Luck as a quarterback.  He was exactly what the program needed to pull us out of the wreckage of the two previous regimes.  But to think that we were going to be able to keep him or be able to sign his equal is foolish.

That being said, I actually think that David Shaw is a better face for the program.  There isn't a hint of controversy in his personal life and as a Stanford grad himself, he is the embodiment of Stanford Athletics.  They say you can learn more from your failures than your successes, so I'm excited to see how David Shaw and the team respond to last Saturday's disaster.  How we play big game may be a much more reliable bellwether for the program's future than the Oregon game.

I look at how some of our colleagues across the bay have turned on T.edford or how quickly the Irish turned against our former coach, and I hope that we always remember who we are and where we've been.  Certainly the success of the program has brought in new blood which is great, but I don't ever want us to become the school that's demanding a coach with a 90% career winning percentage to be fired.  I enthusiastically supported those of us Stanford fans who needed a facebook page telling us how to support that team.  At the end of the day, it is those same fans who will look at the bigger picture when evaluating David Shaw.


Re: The loss was a turning point - jayasena - 11-14-2011

(11-14-2011, 08:35 PM)76lsjumb link Wrote:Unless/until he calls for a punt on third down, I'm not going to start criticizing Shaw's play-calling...

To me, that seems like setting the bar extremely low. I don't think it's completely unreasonable to criticize some aspects of coaching and play-calling in this game. As WIM said, we were clearly out-coached.

Of course, that does not justify calling for Shaw's head. He may not have lived up to cupcake-fed, outsized mid-season expectations but, provided we win the remaining regular-season games, he will have handily outperformed pretty much every reasonable person's preseason expectations. That's no mean feat, even in a down year for the conference. Kelly has clearly turned out to be one of the best strategists in the college game (plus he seems to have Les Miles' "mad hatter" gene) but even he looked completely lost at times during his first season (anyone remember the disaster that was their season opener at Boise State in 2009?)

(11-14-2011, 07:12 PM)oman link Wrote:If we are giving up anything with Shaw as opposed to Harbaugh, then so be it.  Shaw is an incredible face for the program.  He is going to have to do pretty awful for me to want him out, and I am not even going to consider that for a few years.

I'm always a bit uncomfortable when people point to "incredible face of the program" (or something of that sort) as the primary consideration. It's certainly a prerequisite at a place like Stanford but not a substitute for performance. Otherwise BuddyTeevens would still be our coach.


Re: The loss was a turning point - garvin - 11-14-2011

Quote:Otherwise BuddyTeevens would still be our coach.

Exactly. I think Shaw, though not perfect, has done a very good job this year. But if he hadn't, it wouldn't matter squat to me that he's got a friendly smile and a big vocabulary.


Re: The loss was a turning point - Spiny_Norman - 11-14-2011

Quote:Unless/until he calls for a punt on third down, I'm not going to start criticizing Shaw's play-calling...

I did have horrible flashbacks when Stanford ran an inside shuffle pass on Saturday. 


Re: The loss was a turning point - fullmetal - 11-15-2011

The shuffle pass was a terrible idea.  How did we get away from smashmouth football?  I thought we were going to go hurry-up with a healthy dose of run game to wear down Oregon's defense...


Re: The loss was a turning point - JohnR34231 - 11-15-2011

I'm all for smash mouth football, but you've got to throw the defense a change of pace every once in a while.

Reminds me a little of 2009, when every time we called an offense play not involving Toby that didn't work, people said that we should have given him the ball.


Re: The loss was a turning point - OutsiderFan - 11-15-2011

Is there any video of the Shaw post-game presser, or any transcription?  I am real curious to know if Shaw was asked about how Kelly took risks and he didn't, and if he thinks he may need to be more aggressive and take more risks in the future to beat teams like Oregon.

It is fair to criticize Shaw for how his team played and how he called the game, but he deserves the chance to show how he learned from his first loss before people draw too many conclusions about his fitness as a Head Coach.

To me, the biggest problem he had was his team played tight and scared, not loose enough.  I watched the UW-USC game Saturday.  USC was playing very uninspired in the game until Kiffin called for a fake punt.  USC converted and the team was totally energized.  It was the turning point of the game.  Harbaugh did an onside kick on Sunday.  Kelly took chances last year against Stanford, not in 2009.  The common denominator here is none of these coaches were in their first year as a Head Coach when they made these roll the dice decisions.

Everyone just assumes Stanford will roll this week and next.  The reality is the Oregon loss is a of immense proportions let down for the team.  You can tell by how the fans are reacting, like the season is lost.  Shaw should get a lot of credit if he prepares his team to win the next two games.  If he does, he'll have duplicated what Harbaugh did, with much more difficult circumstances - no Skov, no Howell, no Ertz, no Baldwin, no R. Whalen, or effective Owusu, and lots of expectations.








Re: The loss was a turning point - yvonne - 11-15-2011




Re: The loss was a turning point - Spiny_Norman - 11-15-2011

The shuffle pass is a vestige of the anemic era of Buddy-ball and the Coach-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.  They seemed to be in love with the play and called it several times a game.  You could hear a collective groan in the stadium every time Stanford ran the shuffle pass.  Along with punting on 3rd down, I consider it a symbol of the prior era and would like to bury it deep in a toxic waste dump.


Re: The loss was a turning point - terry - 11-15-2011

(11-15-2011, 11:08 AM)Spiny_Norman link Wrote:The shuffle pass is a vestige of the anemic era of Buddy-ball and the Coach-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.  They seemed to be in love with the play and called it several times a game.  You could hear a collective groan in the stadium every time Stanford ran the shuffle pass.  Along with punting on 3rd down, I consider it a symbol of the prior era and would like to bury it deep in a toxic waste dump.

The shovel pass went for a TD against Washington State earlier this season.


Re: The loss was a turning point - cardfan09 - 11-15-2011

Harbaugh called a shovel pass to Gaffney that went for a touchdown against Cal last year.  I thought it was a brilliant call.