Friday, October 24, 2003

Is Ralph Friedgen passing the blame?

"ThreeBee" at The Hive board posted an interesting article on the game with a comment from Friedgen

"They've got to decide what they want to accomplish for the season," he said.

Not "We've got to decide..." - it was "They". That's NOT the sign of a leader or head coach if you ask me. In business, the most effective leaders (I have seen) are the ones who freely distribute credit for good things and take the blame when things go wrong. This particularly applies with higher level executives (who are a little more solid in their place) and a head coach is a "top executive". Maybe he was challenging his team to take a long look in the mirror. Not sure, but could "the Fridge" become a victim of expectations?

Expectations are a funny thing. It is not what you do that matters. It is what you do COMPARED to what people THOUGHT you would do. Same goes for Wall Street. Dell Computer comes out and says that revenue has increased 35% in the current quarter and profits are up 50% and the stock goes down 20%. Why? Because the "experts" had projected a 50% increase in revenue and a 75% increase in profits. It's all about the expectations. I made that one up but it has happened to Dell and many other companies numerous times.

So to bring it back to football. Tech currently stands 5-3 and in a virtual 6-way tie for 2nd place in the ACC. FSU is undefeated in the conference and in the top 10 in the nation, yet Chan Gailey is probably more of a favorite to win ACC Coach of the Year. Why - expectations! Tech fans are thrilled to be tied for 2nd and Maryland fans are disgusted with the same record. Expectations. Of course the challenge of expectations is that they change over time. Maryland fans have much higher expectations after playing in 2 bowls in a row and playing so well under Fridge. Tech fans were told to expect the worst after all our tribulations and we believed it! So a .500 record would make us happy.

Of course, now the question is - what are the fan's expectations of this team now??? If we end up the year with a .500 record and a low-end bowl, will we be unhappy? It is certainly better than most thought would happen. What is our minimal expected performance from here on out? We still have a freshman QB - still are missing key players - still have little depth, etc, etc.

My expectations - beat Duke, beat UNC, a 50% chance of beating UVA and about a 30% chance of beating UGA. End the year at 7-5 minimum. 8-4 a distinct possibility, and 9-3 still a stretch (in my expectation).

What are your expectations?