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Thread: Tom O'Brien was an enigma

  1. #1
    Administrator Derreck's Avatar
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    Default Tom O'Brien was an enigma

    https://www.backingthepack.com/2019/...-was-an-enigma

    Interesting read to kill the summer time blues until football starts...

    Here are some wacky stats that show just weird all of this was.

    TOBís winning percentage against ranked FBS teams: 64.3%
    TOBís winning percentage against unranked FBS teams: 42.6%
    TOB was 7-2 in home games against Wake Forest, Boston College, and Maryland. He was 1-8 in road games against those teams.
    TOB had fewer road wins against the ACC Atlantic than he had road wins against UNC, despite having five times as many opportunities.
    TOB was 2-0 when facing a ranked FSU team. He was 0-4 when facing an unranked FSU team.
    TOB only faced two teams that were ranked in the top 10 during his time in Raleigh. He defeated both of them.
    In 2012, TOBís Wolfpack defeated number three and eventual ACC Champion Florida State and lost to 2-6 Virginia by 27 IN THE SAME SEASON.
    "You have to understand, I grew up a NC State fan. Every State-Carolina basketball game, football game, I've been there. It's fun, and if you like to competing and I love competing... that will be extra special."

    Coach Avent

  2. #2
    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    I think practically all of the WTF factor for NC State football was established by TOB. The list of facts laid out are irrefutable and quite clearly point to a coaching staff that excels at inconsistency. Whatever that "it" factor is, the programs that win big, and consistently go to big bowl games, are those that win most every game they are supposed to and play competitively in all the games where they face even or superior talent. The staff just doesn't allow a team to win a big game and then lay an egg the next week.

    The one time I saw another staff do that was when Phillip Rivers had the ACC title in his grasp and we were beat by Maryland to lose the crown. But, in those years Maryland was a very talented team.

    My only personal interaction with Tom O'Brien was at the Citrus Bowl during Russell Wilson's final season at NC State, where we beat West Virginia. That interaction surprised me quite a bit, as in a group of fans surrounding his radio venue, he seemed quite nervous to be around people, and ultimately shook my hand in a very weak fish manner. I did not expect that, and it stood in sharp contrast to my numerous interactions with Jim Valvano. For my own money, it comes down to whether someone is comfortable being very successful, and Valvano was, and I don't think O'Brien ever was.

    That sort of body language can rub off on a team, and there is no doubt that a coach's personality, especially the head coach, carries through to his players and staff.

    Now, perhaps my experiences and conclusions have little to nothing to do with the facts presented. But, those outcomes took place over a long period of time and were very consistent. Regardless, that time with TOB was the first and still only time I ever got a limp wristed hand shake from a head coach for any collegiate or professional team.

    Ken

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