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Grading Mel Tucker - First Season

What grade do you give Mel in his first season?

  • A

    Votes: 4 2.0%
  • A-

    Votes: 7 3.6%
  • B+

    Votes: 34 17.3%
  • B

    Votes: 69 35.2%
  • B-

    Votes: 35 17.9%
  • C+

    Votes: 26 13.3%
  • C

    Votes: 13 6.6%
  • C-

    Votes: 3 1.5%
  • D

    Votes: 3 1.5%
  • F

    Votes: 2 1.0%

  • Total voters
    196
  • This poll will close: .

NY Buff

Active Member
C+. About as expected on the field. My prediction was a 4 win season, so he exceeded my meager win total. Home loses to AF, UA and the USC 4q collapse were all disappointing. We were embarrassed in the WSU, UCLA road loses. The Oregon beat down was not a shocker. In the words of Bill Parcels: You are what your record says you are. MM was fired after a 5 win season. Not suggesting that MT gets fired, but MT's record was no better than the year before. So put aside the hype for MT, and the dislike of MM, and you got the same results with the same group of players. His win total was no better than MM's. Certainly recruiting is on the upswing. But it remains to be seen what MT can do with better talent. As usual, we Buff fans are left saying "wait till next year".
 

azbuff

Club Member
Club Member
C from me. I am encouraged by recruiting and the atmosphere that appears to be present in the locker room. But, speaking purely on this year's results, we can't lose to Arizona and AFA at home. Just can't happen. The staff is clearly still figuring out the identity it wants for the program and some of the coaching decisions were downright schizophrenic. Hopeful they'll get it figured out, but disappointed in the results this season. (FTR, 6-6 plus bowl win would've earned a B or higher; 7-5 or better would have been A territory with this roster.)
 

Buffalo Brad

Club Member
Club Member
Solid C for his first season. Think he kept the team engaged and playing hard. Had some real deficits to deal with on the talent side, especially on D. Beat CSU, NU and ASU on the road. All very good. Should not have lost to AF, or AZ and USC still hurts. I think those were coaching issues and not talent at all. Part of the learning process that is a first year coach.

If we take into account recruiting, this moves to a B to a B+. Overall I am excited to see where this goes over the next 2 years. I think we have an A coach and he will only get better.
 

ZandiBuff

Club Member
Club Member
B+, mostly for direction. You can tell where Tucker wants to go, just doesn't have the horses to get there. Recruiting is on the upswing.

U$C and AZ losses were BAAAAD tho.
 

Uncle Luko

Peckerwood
Club Member
Went with a B, but B-, C+, or C is not a stretch. Our last game shouldn't have been Utah, we should be bowling.
 

Bread

I like the mask
Club Member
B-. All of my reasons for such have been stated already. I don't blame him for the disastrous depth in both the defensive line and the secondary. He was able to get bodies to fill out the d-line, not necessarily depth. Probably not possible #'s wise to do it for two entire position groups. I also don't blame him for not having any sort of QB depth to challenge Montez.

Recruiting is on the up and up, momentum and culture as well. Enough to bump the on-field performance of C for me to a B- overall.
 

The Ogre

Club Member
Club Member
I give him a B- for the year. Changing a culture doesn't always go seamlessly. There were key injuries at positions already hit by attrition and poor recruiting/balance.

Wazzu was a WTF moment (especially since I was freezing my ass on in the stands), as were AFA and UA. What impressed me was that he kept the team motivated, together, and focussed as the skid. The defense improved as the year went on, and many of the offensive results weren't. Recruiting is looking good in spite of a crappy season.
 

CUBUFF80

No Stinkin' Title
Club Member
B - Good first year, some of the losses were pretty frustrating which I do lay on the staff. Looks like Mel is a strong recruiter and I expect decent improvement in year 2.
 

manhattanbuf

Club Member
Club Member
I gave a B largely because we were one of the few teams who improved as a team in spite of sub par depth (and talent in some position groups). The boost in recruiting also gives me a rosier outlook since it looks like the players didn’t give up even though we were pretty terrible.

Also, one of the sharpest football data analysts (Ed Feng) predicted us with just around 3 wins pre-season. That we were a couple of plays from 7-8 wins and actually accomplished 5 is Coach Tucker performing well above expectation.
 

fwbuff

Club Member
Club Member
Since the OP specified not including recruiting, I left that out of the equation and give a C. There are 41 bowl games. That means 63% of all FBS teams are going bowling. Not being one of those teams merits about a D+ or C-.

But I increased the grade because I like the culture change he has fostered, how hard he works to promote the program, and the way he rallied the team for 2 nice wins in November.
 

MKBuffs

Well-Known Member
You guys are tough, I’d go B+. This was an entire culture overhaul. He has won over players, fans, admin, and turned around recruiting in less than a years time. All while inheriting no experience at the RB position, a sub par senior QB, and zero depth at key positions. Maybe my Buff colored glasses are on, but we quickly forget how bad things were. The scale steepens for years two and three, but I’ve been very impressed in the past 12 months.
 

pcbuff

Well-Known Member
C+ for what went down on game day. A+ for recruiting if he closes this class without attrition.
The number one job of a college coaching staff is recruiting. Everything else is driven by it. It is so exciting that this staff isn’t making excuses. They are out there opening doors and kicking ass!
 

GoldStampede

Well-Known Member
Thought about this more, the context of it all and everything.... This was easily the second best season of the decade, behind 2016, obviously. MacIntyre's early years with similar poor records, but steady improvement, all blur together with few notable memories. The victories over Washington and ASU this year were as complete and impressive as any of the wins in 2016, when the Pac12 was pretty down, and I'll never forget that ****braska game. Ultimately I feel better about the direction of CU football than I did at the end of 2016, even, which soured with bad losses to Washington and Okie Lite. It feels weird to give this season a B+ when I'd probably give that '16 season an A-, but that's the thing- I think Tucker has done a fantastic job of making CU football memorable and fun to watch. As fans, I'd say that's the quality we're most qualified to judge. I believe in the team, the culture, and all the rest. Keeping that faith will require steeper and steeper expectations for Tucker each year. For now, I'm happy, entertained... I think most of us will be more pumped than usual for CU football next year.
 

The Monk

Club Member
Club Member
Our almost coach Ryan Day did ok. MT throughout the season went from A to C- to about B- throughout the season for me.
 

Alfred91

Arabic numeral jihadi
Club Member
I give Mel a B+.

This wasn't an easy schedule, especially for a first year head coach who was trying to change the culture.

CSU and the nubs were solid wins to start the season, but AFA was the biggest CU trap game in years. Egg laying against UA, UCLA, UO, and WSU cannot be excused, but that's where I'm cutting him some slack for being a first head coach and trying to change a culture. Coming out, playing like ****, and/or getting blown out was a calling card of the MM CU teams. Frankly, I think, in hindsight, the culture hadn't completely changed yet, starting with the QB position.

Where he gets additional credit from me is that he was able to pull things out the death spiral in a way that tells me we're headed in the right direction. We had great defensive efforts against Stanford and UW, and let's be honest - we played pretty well against UU until they flat wore us down. Utah's really ****ing good.
 

Clean Undies

Exploring the outernet
Club Member
Offense: C- seems like talent was squandered. Inconsistency and penalties stung.

Defense: C. Knew going in depth was an issue. And it was. But finished season with scheme going in right direction.

Special teams: C. Ball security is job security. Some nice FGs and punts were peppered in, though.

Vs Season Expectations: B. Figured no bowl game was in the cards, so this one is graded on a curve. ****braska victory so sweet. Big deal to get UDub and ASU monkeys off the program’s back. AFA and USC woulda coulda shoulda. Pissed about Wazzou, Oregon, Arizona mismatches. Utah was what it was.

Recruiting: Incomplete. But currently sitting solid B

Press and Alumni: A. Loved his weekly podcast featuring former players and others. Total what you see is what you get kind of guy. Meat and potatoes guy, hard worker. Respected in the locker room, Tells it like it is. Shows up at B-ball games and in the community. Gets along with Rick, Tad, the press, and his vast coaching tree connections.

Final score: C+
 

patebuff

Downgraded to half a star
Club Member
C

There are coaches on this team who are just not good enough, IMO. Obviously, the defense progressed as the year went on, so I have no problem retaining the staff with that progress. However, if we still see a lot of the same issues in 2020, Mel needs to upgrade quickly. The money will be there and ultimately someone will underperform anyways. CU's schedule is not going to get any easier in years to come, so that can't be an excuse going forward anymore. Going .500 in conference is not that hard.

We should see a pretty big increase with the defense in 2020 but ultimately need to figure out the pass rush issues and the safety postion. If Mel can figure out those two areas, this will be a good defense.

Offense is going to have to be extremely run heavy unless they find a grad transfer. I am excited to see what a true dual threat QB can do in this offense.

6-6 has to be bare minimum for this team in 2020, regardless of schedule. If not, then there needs to be massive staff changes.
 

Clean Undies

Exploring the outernet
Club Member
C

There are coaches on this team who are just not good enough, IMO. Obviously, the defense progressed as the year went on, so I have no problem retaining the staff with that progress. However, if we still see a lot of the same issues in 2020, Mel needs to upgrade quickly. The money will be there and ultimately someone will underperform anyways. CU's schedule is not going to get any easier in years to come, so that can't be an excuse going forward anymore. Going .500 in conference is not that hard.

We should see a pretty big increase with the defense in 2020 but ultimately need to figure out the pass rush issues and the safety postion. If Mel can figure out those two areas, this will be a good defense.

Offense is going to have to be extremely run heavy unless they find a grad transfer. I am excited to see what a true dual threat QB can do in this offense.

6-6 has to be bare minimum for this team in 2020, regardless of schedule. If not, then there needs to be massive staff changes.
6-6 in 2020 seems well within reach to me.

Bohn kept Helton, so the window is still open for CU to beat USC.

With Petersen’s departure at UDub, the Huskies have to deal with regime change.

Kaleel Tate is gonzo from Zona.

ASU sacked most of their offensive coaches.

And Utah looses a lot of talent to graduation.

Put me down for 7-5, just based on some fortunate situations within other programs.

Seeing the Buffs finish strong at home gives me hope that the defense will improve enough to counter whatever challenges a new QB might bring.
 

Big Jim

WTF?
Club Member
C students don’t go to college, Juco maybe. You guys giving out C grades to Tucker should be screaming from the mountaintops (or foothills) to FIRE Tucker immediately.
 
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