InfoCision Stadium is really a house of shame.
"We must protect this house" has become a battle cry for some football teams. Not at Akron. "We must lay down and play dead for 60 minutes, until the opponent loses interest and takes the bus home" is more like it.
If Rob Ianello wants to build a winning program, the pride of playing in front of the home crowd must be first on the list of things to improve. The Zips defenders might as well have done a dizzy-bat contest before each play. The looked confused, lost and abused -- particularly the secondary -- in Akron's 56-10 loss to Western Michigan.
The play that epitomizes the season was a TAINT (touchdown after INT) thrown by Patrick Nicely, who was trying to throw the ball away and avoid a safety. I think more Akron fans laughed than booed. After a hearty chuckle myself, I leaned over to my friend and told him, "This is what rock bottom feels like."
After a game like that, Akron deserves nothing less than the status as the worst team in college football. I still maintain that the Zips' talent is at least mediocre for the MAC. But if the secondary plays with that sort of mental incompetence, the quarterback throws more TAINTs than touchdowns, and the team in general looks like it has quit, you've got a great case for all-time futility.
Below is Ianello's press conference. He keeps his composure publicly, but I assure you that in the lockerroom, he was hollering and saying some of the foulest words known to man. And this team deserves it.
This really is rock bottom. You don't get any worse than a 46-point loss at home to a fellow MAC team, especially the manner in which the game progressed. WMU's receivers inexplicably had 10-yard diameters without a defender. They averaged 21.2 yards per completion. I wish I had more time to research if that's the best in the nation all season.
Despite all this, Ianello must not be fired. Maybe some tweaking on the staff is required. From a policy perspective, I would never support the state (through the university) paying a coach four years of six-figure salary NOT to coach.
Akron's season of dreams continues Saturday at 1 p.m. against Temple, which is a team that, if running at its peak, might put up 600 yards and 70 points on the Zips. That is a great reason to tune in. Go Zips!