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  1. #1
    AGS Voice of Reason GannonFan's Avatar
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    What Ever Happened To Youngstown St?

    Not meant as smack, but curious from those in the know what's the status of this once-great program and what's it going to take to resume it's place at the top of the IAA world? Was losing Tressel that important? Did moving into the Gateway help speed their downfall? Is there anything else about the program that has stopped it from being as successful as it once was? Always liked the trip out to Youngstown and watching a game in the Igloo and certainly they are one of the Hen's more storied opponents, just curious is there's still life in the program.
    Proud Member of the Fightin' Blue Hen Nation

  2. #2
    First Class FCS Ruler leatherneck177's Avatar
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    This is obviously an outsiders viewpoint, but I believe that since Tressel left the program has not quite been the same. I'm not sure if they are losing recruiting battles or what, but the program has experienced a significant decline since his departure, that is a fact. I think the years following his departure they may have had one playoff year, but the last two years have been rough.

  3. #3
    Major FCS Ruler Paladin1aa's Avatar
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    The dope -- Heacock,Tressel's DC, took over. 1st three classes were "stinkers" overall. Last two have been pretty good. After the 1st three work their way out,you'll see a big difference.

    Heacock is in the last of his 5 year contract. Win or else.
    Four time I-AA National Champions

  4. #4
    First Class FCS Advocate Pen Guin's Avatar
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    Just a few things for consideration:

    1. It was not really Tressel leaving, as much as how he raided the existing, and potential, staff. The the two assistants that remained, were picked up by MAC schools. Last year's OC left to assume an HC position. Coaches under Tressel became a hot commodity ... the 4th one has just became a DI HC. This is far more difficult to overcome than the loss of an HC.

    2. YSU was an independent. Picture yourself the head-coach of a team in a conference. Would you worry about a game with YSU more than your own conference? ... I think not. Any HC that spends any summer camp time preparing for an independent is a fool. Certainly your own conference foe are far more important.

    3. Along the same vein. YSu is now in a conference. For the first time, they have 7 other teams spending summer camps preparing for the Guins.

    4. YSU can no longer play the quantity of IA games they did in the past. These games (regardless of your feelings on MAC quality) gave YSU a distinct advantage come play-off time. The depth they faced against these IA teams gave them an imeasurable advantage that I-AA teams, in a conference, did not have. Look at Hofstra for another example around the same time frame of YSU's glory years.

    5. Coach Heacock. Coach H was probably one of, if not the greatest OC, in I-AA. He set numerous records in points & yardage allowed. He is now the HC & his duties are very limited on the defense any more. Does this need to change?

    6. The option game. YSU was a running powerhouse, with QB that would rather run than throw. This dimension was removed, under coach Tressel, in 1997. I think he felt the pro-set was needed to compete in the GFC. That is when I knew it was time for him to go. He tried to bring YSU into a pro-set formation ... without recruiting the players to do it. Look at the 1999 title game. How did we lose to to a 1-dimensional team like GSU (no insult intended) ... but we had a power running game they could not stop, but a defense with no experience covering the outside. All they had to do was cover the pitch man & the game was theirs ... but it never materialized ... as the players had no exposure to it. Our option offense is why we never lost to GSU prior to that game. This exposure would have been gained as an independent & the ability to schedule a few option clubs. None the less, it takes an option offense to train a defense that can cover the option. 1 week prior to a game is not enough.

    Sorry to ramble, & I do not agree with Paladins assesment of coach H's recruiting classes. With the exception of some OLine recruits that arrived injured. This was a major failure in the first recruiting attempt of the Heacock staff.

  5. #5
    First Class FCS Ruler Eagle22's Avatar
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    To this outsider, Tressel's teams seemed to have that blue collar approach and his fundamentals coaching style rarely had his team in a position where they didn't have a chance to win the game. Running the ball doesn't hurt either. If you're successful at dictating the pace and flow of the game and run successfully, you're going to win a bunch of ballgames.

    The first twenty minutes of the 1999 championship game, that was the case. Tressel inexplicably abandoned the smash mouth game near the end of the second quarter, GSU found a little separation ... and Bennie Cunningham's TD run and Ant William's punt return for a TD run blew the game open. Down so many points, it was foreign territory for the Penguins and their desperation was apparent.

    Post-game, Tressel commented to the media that he abandoned the smash-mouth game because he felt he didn't have the depth to keep it up. Frankly, I was suprised to hear the frank commentary, but he obviously felt it was the case. It sure didn't seem that way the first 20 minutes of that game. That was the only time I've ever seen Tressel appear to be fairly resigned to the outcome of a game.

    GSU was very proficient passing the ball in 1999, just didn't need to utilize that part of their game, that game.

    But back to YSU, and I'll not hijack the thread Sorry.

  6. #6
    Master FCS Advocate FU97's Avatar
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    Seems to me the biggest loss was the loss of the money from the Pharmor guy to pay players.......

  7. #7
    Major FCS Ruler Paladin1aa's Avatar
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    Poor PenGuin & most Guin backers. Folks here have had a difficult time accepting reality. Here's the facts -- Heacocks seasons & recruiting -

    8-3 , 1st class is undersized
    7-4 , 2nd class a repeat
    5-7, 3rd class not much better
    4-7 , 4th class outstanding
    2005 TBD, incoming class looks pretty good as well.

    My projection is with many of the poor class players still around, this year will be 5-6 or 6-5, unless they play heavily the underclassmen. Heacock has to win this year.

    With a good recruit class next winter, YSU could make BIG move in 2006.
    Four time I-AA National Champions

  8. #8
    Top FCS Ruler Kill'em's Avatar
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    It is a shame. They may have been the team of the nineties.
    "I'd rather be clotheslined by a high bar than trip over a low bar." - Chris Hatcher
    http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d1...llemavatar.jpg

  9. #9
    Major FCS Ruler GoGuins's Avatar
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    YSU was the team of the '90's, 4 NC's and 2 runner-ups. That is ancient history now. YSU has not been to the playoffs since 2000, Tressel's last year, and lost in the first round to Richmond on a late game INT return by the Spiders on that cold, rainy day in Richmond.

    IMO YSU hasn't kept up with getting IA transfers and JUCO players like the rest of IAA. Sure YSU in the past and present has gotten IA transfers but they are mostly local guys coming back home to play. PJ Mays was an exception as was QB Nick Cochran in '92. As Eagle said, Tressel always knew how to dictate a game and have his teams in position to win. Control the clock with smashmouth, no TO's, and great special teams play, that was his motto. If you watch Ohio State today, it's like watching YSU from the past. QB's aren't flashy but they're smart, don't commit costly TO's, & sacrifice to get the job done. Our current coach Heacock, does not have the intangibles Tressel brought and he knows his job is on the line this year being the last on his contract. No playoffs and he should be gone. This is his first YSU team with no Tressel players on it.

    Eagle- I still scratch my head to this day why Tressel abandoned the run after 1.5 qtrs in the '99 title game up 14-10. YSU was pushing GSU down the field getting 5-7 yards a pop & I don't buy it either they didn't have the depth to continue. Those 2 returns for TD's were the back breakers and YSU couldn't recover, a snowball effect.

  10. #10
    Major FCS Ruler DTSpider's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=GoGuins] YSU has not been to the playoffs since 2000, Tressel's last year, and lost in the first round to Richmond on a late game INT return by the Spiders on that cold, rainy day in Richmond.QUOTE]

    Unfortunately that was the last time the Spiders had much to celebrate.

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