Monday, September 21, 2009

Tudor's Take: Holtz's stock down

If there's an ironic upside for ECU's fans to the team's disappointing performances in a narrow win over Appalachian State and pair of sobering losses at West Virginia and North Carolina, it has to be that Skip Holtz's lamp has dimmed.

Had the Pirates done as some pundits expected and opened 3-0, Holtz by now would be Topic-A among the thousands of disgruntled Virginia who are sizing up Al Groh's office for a new occupant, with more schools in similar situations to soon follow.

While it's likely that Holtz (30-23 in Greenville) is still on Virginia's prospective shopping list, the fan anxiety level is considerably lower than it was at the end of 2008.

To put it another way, had the Pirates finished off Kentucky in last season's Liberty Bowl and won at West Virginia and North Carolina, Holtz by now would have been the first name on every coaching board out there.

Instead, he's caught in the first real crisis of his five seasons at ECU.

The prevailing preseason assumption was that the Pirates would have enough talent and experience to deal with a first-half schedule that included four road games and the back-to-back trips to West Virginia and UNC.

Unless his team can bounce back to beat Central Florida this week in Greenville, Holtz and his team are in direct danger of making the turn 1-5 with a remaining schedule that includes Virginia Tech, Tulsa and Southern Miss.

On paper, the Pirates still have most of what they took into preseason camp — veteran quarterback Patrick Pinkney, top-notch kickers Matt Dodge and Ben Hartman, and a senior-dominated defensive unit.

The parts are still in place to overcome the poor start and make a run at a second straight Conference USA East Division title. But the performance level has been such that the mood within the fan base has changed from urgency about the coach to urgency about the season.

-- Caulton Tudor, (Raleigh) News & Observer

11 comments:

Where-are-all-the bandwagon-fans? said...

Chirp, chirp, chirp

BIrd said...

Let's not forget the brilliant Mr. Tudor's prediction that ECU would handle UNC last weekend. Nice one there...

labtrainer said...

Why would anyone leave to go to uva? Not a powerhouse never has been just a AQ steppingstone! Holtz if and when he does leave will go to a established program that has National Championship chances! Not just a middle of the road basketball conference school.

Anonymous said...

Can all the so-called journalists now stop constantly claiming that ECU should get more respect? The Pirates have had their chances, and they've fallen flat much more than they've stepped up. Fave it, ECU is a second-rate program in a third-rate conference. Sorry to burst the bubble, but it's true.

Anonymous said...

Those "pundits" that expected ECU to be 3-0 should be stripped of the title "pundit", including you Mr. Tudor.

Anonymous said...

The ACC has been beaten enough times by ECU that they have little to prove. To ignore that is pure folly. That was still a one TD game half way in the 4th quarter on ECU's worst day. Second rate does not beat ACC champs and Big East champs but ECU did. They might not do it every year but remember they are playing at a money disadvantage yet their people come out in droves. Their TV ratings are solid too. Give the Pirates their due.

GodBlessAmerica said...

If we (ECU) are a 2nd rate program, how has our recent record against UNC, Va Tech & WVU been 1 & 1, while against State its 1 & 2(4&4 since '92).

matt said...

If Carolina fans think they have a top 20 team and they think ECU is a second rate program, then shouldn't the Heels have been up by more than 7 with 6 minutes left?

Carolina's a good team, ECU is not a second rate program...they deserve some respect.

Anonymous said...

ECU is a wanna be school and always will be... won't ever be able to compete with UNC NCSU or Wake Forest and maybe not even Duke in a couple of years... face it football in greenville won't ever be that good

ed said...

Take it easy ECU fans, it's just a few tarhole's here, you know how classy they are when they finally win a game. You couldn't have driven a nail up a tarhole's tarhole until the ACC official Ron Cherry gave 'em the game at the end.

Anonymous said...

UNC-CH fans -- arrogant, greedy, and pathetic. Thanks to the recent UNC-CH grad that served my kid a burger at the Chilis last week. LOL!