2017 Season - Put a bow on it (not in one word)

(Cary) #1

Johnny decided to do the season in one word, but I don’t think you can describe this season in one word. CMA was at a disadvantage from the word go in my opinion due to his predecessor’s success and the way that he was hired. As with most things in life some of the criticism against CMA is fair and some of it is not. Unlike CMA, Thomas “Judas” Herman was a unanimously popular hire and came into what was really a perfect situation - NFL-level talent at multiple positions, a brand new league that was still feeling each other out in strategy, and the backend of a facilities boom that allowed him a platform to go big.

This is not an excuse for CMA to go 7-5 in year 1, which I believe is mildly disappointing despite the crowd who believe this is the worst season of all time. I expected at least 9-3 with this schedule and with the talent we have, no matter who we hired. The hurricane in combination with the QB shuffling gave us a roller coaster of a year. However, the people who believe CMA should be fired and can’t be a successful HC after only one year of evidence are ridiculous, and should be called out for their stupidity or purposeful message board flaming. One season is not enough to judge a coach by, this isn’t even up for argument. CMA did not walk into the same situation as Judas did two years earlier.

If you thought CMA’s hire was underwhelming, then you almost assuredly hated his hires for coordinators and position coaches, which means you most likely looked throughout the season for any excuse to prove your initial impressions correct. With the defense, CMD was night and day different from Orlando in strategy even though it was out of the same base 3-4 scheme. I loved CTO’s defense - it was exciting, aggressive, and effective. I understand the complaints about our current scheme under CMD - it is safe, boring, passive, but unlike what some posters have tried to falsely accuse, it is also deceptively effective. I do worry and wonder about the lack of pressure on opposing QBs and what will happen when Ed Oliver eventually moves on to the NFL. That is to be seen.

The offense was an unmitigated disaster, and even though CBJ was the play caller, it had CMA’s fingerprints all over it (I think the bowl game was verifiable evidence of that). The worst things about the offense are two fold: 1) it was predictable and 2) ineffective. I believe that CMA was a pretty good OC under Herman, but I think he needs to rethink what he wants his offensive philosophy to be as a HC. The Scott and Holman Pawdcast (if you haven’t listened to the latest episode, do it!) made a very effective argument that CMA needs to give up control of the offense and bring in an OC that will run his own style and plays. I agree with their assessment 100%. The constant QB shuffle and poor play calling cost us multiple games this season, in particular Tulsa and Tulane. A more consistent offense could have been the difference between the 7-4 season that we had and a possible 9-2 season. I think we can all agree if the team was 9-2, the discussion on this board would have been much different regardless of what happened in the bowl game.

In the end, CMA’s first year was underwhelming, but not a disaster. He made some hiring mistakes, some bad in-game decisions, and some poor personnel choices. I don’t think it puts him on the hot seat for next year despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth to the contrary.

However, with the schedule next year:

at Rice
at Texas Tech
Texas Southern
at SMU
at Memphis
South Florida
at ECU
at Navy

if we are sitting at 7-5 or 8-4 at the end of the season, then go ahead and start heating’ the burners up on the stove.


Miami fans came here to berate donofrio and some people countered that he wouldn’t run the same defense he did at Miami because Orlando recommended him. Well this season proved that donofrio has t changed his stripes.

No continuity on the offense or defense.


7-5 or 8-4 with that schedule and The Axeman Cometh

(User was banned for sending threatening/abusive messages.) #4

Offense just hard to watch. What worked for us (and fits the depth of our recruiting footprint) for decades has been forgotten.

Defensive scheme just seemed off most of the time.

USF win was sweet but Tulsa & Tulane (2 a lesser extent) games cancelled it out.

If Major has another so/so year, hopefully we look elsewhere.

(Cary) #5

He’s gonna get three years y’all. Set your expectations for that, because that is what will happen.


Applewhite needs take his offensive playbook and put it in the shredder, then hire a creative OC and let him decide what kind of offense we need and what plays we should run.

(Patrick) #7

5 Star post, Cary

(Tom) #8

CMA is not winning more than six games next season.
He loses a ton rosterwise, at WR, LB , SF, QB , DL
Schedule wise , put Arizona and Tech in the loss column. We are going to be outcoached on the road at Memphis and Navy.
Split Tulsa or Tulane and toss up USF at home.

Houston coaching is blatant faulty to the bone in all faucets. More so on defense where the scheme is a designed sieve.

(Cary) #9

Depending on who he hires for OC, you could be right.

(Cary) #10

Thank you! You and I think a lot alike based upon our combined previous posts. It isn’t hard to find the posters that avoid extreme hot-takes, the flamers, and the trolls. That isn’t to say there aren’t reasonable posters that completely disagree with my point of view, but they are simply wrong. :wink:

(Cary) #11

The only thing the same was that it was a 3-4. I agree with you there.

(WRB) #12

Great post Cary!

(Mike Higdon) #13

H-town, if you keep injecting reason, you will be blocked by many. That was a very good post.


I have to respectfully disagree. no way he’ll survive a 6-6 or worse record next year. It’s moot point as IMO we’re looking at 9-3

(Cary) #15

The financials make me believe we are in this for three years no matter what, and as we have seen, Houston can recover quickly from a poor hire. However, I agree with you, barring a disastrous hire at OC, we go at least 8-4, if not 9-3.

We simply cannot keep shuffling coaches every two years, it is severely damaging to the program… I would even say more damaging than a 6-6 season. There needs to be some (for lack of a better word) continuity, even if it means you wait a year longer than you want to.

(Chris) #16

The key to our up coming season? Our OL needs to get much, much better in a hurry. This is clearly the area where we have the most issues with. Our placements, blocks, calls, fundamentals have been well below where it should be for any successful Team. Our entire offense is suffering from it. CMA’s future like many other Coaches depends on it.


Yes Sir, we’re really in a catch-22, do well and the HC is going to get poached. Have a bad or so-so season and support starts slipping back to us die-hards. IMO the next realignment go round is make or break for the program. Can’t keep up when the $$$ is such a vast divide, it’s just not sustainable. Haves or have-nots, either way I’ll support the program. The early SWC days were incredible but heck, I had some best of times with 10k of my closet friends in the CUSA/The Rob days

(WRB) #18

Blocking, blocking, blocking! Consistent, Aggressive and Sustained from every single offensive position!!!


We are 7-6 with our new coach playing in a G5 conference in a division with four private schools.

(jimmyschofield) #20

This season proves that why the star system regarding recruiting is important, it’s not the end all, be all. Most of us thought we wouldn’t have a QB issue with Allen, the former 5 star, slated to start. All we heard was how great his leadership intangibles were off the field in the past year in getting ready to take over for Ward. He proved he has class no doubt, but on the field he just couldn’t get it done (for the second time now).

After that, it was going to be a transition year-with a first year head coach AND starting QB. Applewhite’s OC hire is critical. King needs to continue showing improvement in his second full season as the starting QB (if he’s not beat out by Bryson Smith). The assistant coaches also need to do a better job in coaching the fundamentals, IE blocking. Both our OL and WR units need to improve big time. We had no interior run game and our screen game was awful.

Defensively, with as much zone as we played you would think the back-7 would have done a better job communicating. I can’t count how many times a slot receiver, RB or TE ran untouched from the first level to the second. How many long gainers did we give up where you would see a defensive back and linebacker looking confused at each other, like “what were you doing?” Of course that can get partially cleaned up if we find a pass rush. They just can’t get a QB all day to sit in the pocket and then allow receivers to roam free or we’ll continue seeing the same inconsistent play next season. The coaching staff has A LOT to clean up this off-season.