Pre-N.M. State: The Great Satt Debate
- Updated: November 26, 2016
It goes down on Twitter a few times a season. And, your blogger found out, in the chilly confines of Kidd Brewer Stadium with perfect strangers.
And it always goes a lot like this: “I don’t know what the [expletive] he was thinking!” Or this: “What are you doing, Satt?” And, three Sun Belt seasons into his tenure: “He’s gonna do it again. Watch…”
Let’s face it: The man beneath the coldest visor in the #FunBelt makes some very questionable calls offensively. Some are, pardon the pun, offensive. There were several low-level offensive offenses last Saturday in App’s home finale win over Louisiana-Monroe, a 42-17 walloping that wasn’t even that close.
Just inside CFB’s no man’s land, and in position to give his redshirt freshman kicker a chance to kick into the Boone wind in live action with a comfortable lead, Coach Satterfield went for it. Points were left on the KBS field — how has that not been named for Jerry Moore, btw?! — something that has bitten Satterfield before….
…Like seven days before, when, down a score in the first quarter of a #FunBelt championship elimination game at Troy, Coach Visor had a chance to punt on fourth-and-short(ish) and flip the field on a solid Trojans offense. Instead, he went for it, called a whack play — as any self-respecting offensive mad scientist would! — and gave it back to Troy. A few plays later, the grey-clad Tojan Men were celebrating…in the end zone after driving less than half the field.
It’s a problem, folks. We saw it last year in the Biggest App Game Ever, a home loss to Arkansas State that ultimately decided the conference title race.
The undertones of dissatisfaction with Satt are overt following big losses, and more subtle after businesslike conference wins that often feel like cures for insomnia. But they are unmistakable. And your blogger has had his moments of dis-Satt-isfaction.
/OMG, see what I did there?! It’s too easy…/
Nine wins? Good. Ten wins? Awesome! Even, like last season, 11 and the school’s first bowl victory ever?! Friggin’ awesome, Coach. But you can’t win the Big Game, so get the [expletive] out!
That’s not your blogger’s opinion, but it is how sports fans roll these days. Pro. College. High school. No matter the level, being very good is lethal to the head ball coach — it’ll get him fired. His fans, his sponsors, his Athletics bosses and his administration want to be GREAT.
That’s where the App football program is. Greatness was in reach at Tennessee, but slipped away. Greatness was one dropped Troy HR ball away a few days ago, but was snatched away. In both games, Coach Visor was blamed.
Which begs a question that’s coming for Appalachian State: Is being in the mix each year with an otherwise solid coach who is a stellar recruiter worth burning down for the CHANCE that someone else MIGHT eventually — after stripping down much of the program to rebuild in his own image — achieve greatness really worth it?
Counterfactual time: After another second- or third-place #FunBelt finish next season after
defeating pounding arch-rival Georgia Southern #Stink in front of a sold-out crowd on Thursday Wednesday night at The Rock on national television ESPN-U, Satterfield unsuccessfully rolls the dice on fourth-and-six from his own 44 down 10-7 on the road at fellow conference front-runner Arkansas State early in the second quarter.
True to form, it’s not a bread-and-butter zone run, it’s not a jet sweep, it’s not even a pass to a TE down the seam. Instead, it’s a fake pitch to Jalin Moore followed by a fake option keeper followed by a five-step drop and three progressions for dreamboat senior QB Taylor Lamb.
Pick. (Maybe for six.) Imagine: A-State wins the game and another Sun Belt title by the points spawned by another bad Satterfield call.
What, oh what, does App State do then?
We don’t have to answer that question now. And we don’t expect such a decision to decide what should be a one-sided affair Saturday afternoon in Las Cruces, N.M. But what if it happens again before Santa visits, meaning in the Camellia Bowl, errrrr, whichever postseason exhibition game that’s lucky enough to have us?
Then what? Is the homegrown HC on the hot seat? Or does it get warmer only if happens yet again in next season’s Big Game?
Your blogger and Coach B will take being in the mix and a few bad play calls over the HIGH possibility — see Georgia Southern now and Troy the last half-decade — of a wildcard OC from the SEC or another Group of Five school, or even, gasp!, an up-and-comer from FCS, MAYBE doing worse.
Stay. The. Course.
(For now, at least…)
As for New Mexico State: Your blogger scrapped the usual preview. Let’s be honest, you can get that in the
mainstream lamestream media. It was time for a family discussion. The Mountaineers, if they stay focused, should hammer the Aggies, who have been kicked out of the #FunBelt. Prediction: App State 38, New Mexico State 10. #GiveEmHell