Coming into the spring game, it's time to exorcise the demons of last year. This is gonna be tough considering the way it went, but at some point we, as fans, need to be excited again.
That being said, the bad taste is lingering in my mouth.
With the stepping down/retirement/moving on to full time Hollywood stardom of Carl Jackson and bringing in of Erik Campbell, as well as KOK getting braketized here, I've been thinking about the coaching situation again.
Last years football team could be considered successful only in that they weren't indicted for war crimes. That's a pretty low bar. By any other stretch, it wasn't good. The sheer number of losses, not showing up against Western Michigan, missing a bowl game, these things hurt. The ahem multiple contacts with the fine folks in the ICPD and other off the field losses did a wonderful job of causing many fans, myself included, to wonder what the hell was going on, as well as the occasional rending of garments. And the multiple injuries led to me actually starting at receiver for 2 games. Sure, I had the eligibility left, but getting a 30ish white guy who had never played before wasn't going to help. But it may have been the lack of observable progress or changes based on their capabilities with JC and the offense that was the most mind boggling.
My point is, by the end of the season, I think we all remember the subtle calls for KOK to be replaced. Or burned at the stake. Whichever was easier.
Since Kirk decided to stand by his man, all of us were forced back into a wait and see mode. Sure, we've had some good years...but. But. Not the last two. When you consider that we have the highest paid coach in the conference we're expecting better. And we're Iowa. We're not asking for national championships. We just want to fucking not get schooled by the cyclones. That shouldn't be that much to ask. The grumbling is there. This is a "what have you done for me lately" game, and only winning will make it go away.
So. Coach. This is what I want to say to you. You can't let it be their choice. If this next year doesn't show a marked improvement Barta is going to have to say something. He's going to have to get involved, for the sake of boosters and fans. I'm not suggesting that he would fire you, or directly be involved hiring/firing any of the assistants, but he's going to have alumni and boosters screaming at him. He's going to have pressure to do something. Anything to make it look like the administration isn't completely asleep.
You can't let this happen. It's a long off, but you need to be aware of this year like never before, and if things go to to hell, you have to be the point man. Otherwise it's going to turn into a suits vs. team atmosphere with rampant speculation on hirings, firings, and complete undermining of your authority. Recruits will run, morale will collapse, and fans will be burning effigies.
Doesn't matter the cause, this year either is successful or there has to be changes. But either way, it has to be your call. Because you can't let it be theirs.