Coach Rob Ianello said "any and all positions are up for grabs."
That's how badly Akron played Saturday in a 38-10 loss at Ohio.
Ianello said he hoped the overall lack of effort was not a "hangover" from the Kent State game. I wouldn't say it was a hangover from the rivalry loss, but rather from the realization of a larger failure. The team has talked about a MAC Championship for eight months. The Kent State game told them they would not reach their ultimate goal.
Ohio has more talent than Akron, but not 28 points worth. The Bobcats averaged almost twice the rushing yards per attempt. Unless it's MAC vs. Big Ten or FCS vs. FBS, that statistic is rare. It shows the effort differential in the trenches on both sides of the ball. If you take away a 43-yard Patrick Nicely scramble, the Zips netted just 29 rushing yards on 23 attempts.
When things get this bad, Ianello can expect the die-hard fans will take extreme positions. Athletic director Tom Wistrcill and President Luis Proenza will also catch some shrapnel.
Fans who spend their money on this product are rightfully mad. There is nothing harder to watch than a football team that is overmatched by even mediocre teams and isn't showing strides forward.
But fans should also be realistic. Hiring a college football coach is a big commitment -- one that must last at least five seasons. Every coach should have the opportunity to lead a roster full of his own recruits -- particularly a coach whose strength is recruiting.
It's no fun defending a coach who has not won a game, nor showed any signs he is more effective than his predecessor. But why belabor the obvious?
Akron won't be firing Ianello in the next three years. Being the most negative fanbase won't score any points with recruits and their parents who read ZipsNation.org.
And think of it this way: Would you trade Akron's program for any other in the long-term? I'm saying, would you swap positions with a fan from Ohio? Kent State? Northern Illinois? Temple?
The facilities Akron has will give the program a long-term advantage that will survive any given coaching defection, star player graduation or disappointing season.
The Zips' long season continues next week at home against Western Michigan.
I will be fascinated to see if Ianello follows up on his vow to reassess every position. Will that mean Matt Rodgers plays earlier in the game? Does Jalil Carter finally move back to safety?
I will break down the Broncos matchup later this week.
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