Dubs: What is your name?
Treyomo: Tim Hein - I'm 37 and an accountant from the Milwaukee area.
Dubs: Where does your moniker come from?
When I convinced my parents to let me move away from Mayberry to go to
the University of Wisconsin, I was ill-prepared for the culture shock.
I went berserk, drinking the first eighteen consecutive nights and
burning through my year's spending cash. One night, I was playing
three-man, the dice drinking game, with a group of smokin' hot sorority
babes. I was stuck as the three-man for four turns around - with each 3
rolled, reality blurred a little bit more. The girl next to me, who
kindly offered to take a few of my drinks, had taken two semesters of
Italian, and started calling me "Treuomo", the Italian translation of
"3-Man". My dorm mates bastardized it with an American feel by dropping
the u for a y, and it's stuck ever since. My old college buddies that I
keep in touch with still use it today, 15 years later, and I'm not sure
they remember my real name.
Dubs: Where exactly is this Mayberry that you grew up in and do you think of it fondly now or not?
I grew up in Marshfield, a vanilla city of roughly 20,000 in central
Wisconsin that houses one of the finest clinics in the Midwest, but
other than was mostly blue collar. There wasn't much to do - if you
didn't hunt, fish, or drink, you were SOL. I did all of those, so I
kept myself busy. What I remember fondly is my high school class. We
weren't the brightest bunch, and the honors students were the biggest
troublemakers, but anyone would give you the shirt off their back if
you were in trouble. I still attend Brewers' games and camping trips
with a group of 15-20 classmates that regularly keep in touch. When one
guy suffered a heart attack, classmates drove from as far as several
hundred miles away to visit, help his wife around the house, and assist
as much as we could with legal matters.
Dubs: Is it better to grow up in a large town or a small community?
there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Urban life offers far
more opportunities to experience activities and be exposed to cultures
that may never be available in a small community. However, all those
activities encroach on the twenty four hours that we call a day – it’s
difficult to enjoy anything when you’re trying to do everything. My
parents knew every family on the entire block, while I haven’t met the
family who moved in two months ago because one of us is always gone.
thing I missed growing up in a small town is diversity. There was not a
single minority student that I can remember in my 300 person high
school class. I was like everyone, and everyone was like me. My father
grew up on a farm in northern Wisconsin, so all he knew of minorities
was what he heard in the news, so he was not the picture of tolerance.
When I moved to Madison for college, I had to work hard to root out the
negative stereotypes that had been learned through years of
experiencing nothing but the Northwoods Caucasian culture.
Dubs: Now that you have gotten to your alma mater so early in Dobie, do you plan to stay there as long as you are in the world?
I’ll be parked there for a long time, SIM-god willing. The Big 10 is
rough as far as coaching expectations, with four elites usually
hoarding the bulk of the conference titles. Getting in early during the
world should give me a headstart while the rest of the conference fills
up, although if gt_deuce continues to recruit the top 37 recruits in
the nation to Penn State every year, those CCs might become a distant
dream. I do think that Wisconsin can be a great location for recruiting
if Iowa, Iowa State, and especially Minnesota remain SIM for long
periods. There’s a surprising number of strong recruits that come from
southern and western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities, and the Badgers are
the only team outside of Iowa and Minnesota that can reach those
recruits without facing the major cost bump incurred while venturing
outside the 360 mile barrier. Hopefully I can be more like Barry
Alvarez and less like Don Morton. Sheesh, even after 20 years, the name
Don Morton and the thought of the veer offense still make me shudder.
Dubs: I would point out that while they do not have a team in real life, in GD, Marquette is a BCS team in Milwaukee.
Does a school that's so weak that it changes its name from Warriors to
Golden Eagles even count? Besides, as a Big East school plunked
squarely in Big 10 country with three nearby elites, it's been one of
those mostly SIM schools in the worlds I've seen. The Badger coach is
typically long entrenched before someone tries to use Marquette as a
stepping stone to a better program.
Dubs: So, there's a little nerve. Does Wisconsin have a better basketball tradition than Marquette?
As my father loved to say, I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid. It's hard
to argue that with no NCAA championships since they replaced peach
baskets with rims that Wisconsin has a superior tradition, especially
considering the depths its program reached in the mid to late 80s. When
Marquette swooned, they only dropped to mediocre. I'm concerned about
the long-term sustainability of the Badger resurgence, because it's
been so coach driven. Even during their recent tournament, the Badgers
have relied on execution drilled by precise gameplanners and brilliant
motivators more than talent. If Ryan ever leaves for greener pastures,
one bad coach could quickly revert the program back to irrelevancy.
Worse yet, once Alvarez finishes his term as AD, the University could
find itself with a chancellor who doesn't value the athletic programs
and has the guts to strip the AD of any power and leave the entire
athletic department in shambles. It's happened before.
Dubs: How important is an athletic program to the University experience?
Athletics are a source of pride that give the university a personality,
something noteworthy and controversial in casual conversation. No one
brags about his college boasting the #12 chemical engineering program
in the country, or that amazing pre-finals lecture by the up and coming
TA. When a Longhorn and a Sooner get together, they're more likely to
rip each other's balls off than discuss psychology departments.
Dubs: If you were creating a University from scratch, what nickname would you choose?
That's easy. It's a name synonymous with stubbornness, dogged
determination, and a good ol' country mean streak. Say hello to your
Fightin' Donkeys! Just think of the merchandising possibilities.
So country conservativism mixed with a Donkey mascot, that's an
interesting take. What are your favorite school mascots that you have
come across that are in existence?
Treyomo: This might be a
lil' hometown bias, but Bucky Badger is a classic mascot. The USC
Trojan is sweet - a warrior that doesn't offend the powers that be at
the NCAA, because there's no ancient Greeks around to file a lawsuit. I
dig the pre-game ceremony that surrounds the Florida State Seminole,
though I'm sure folks from Gainesville, Miami, and the ACLU may
disagree. Being fat and round with a big head immediately scratches you
off the list - Mr. Orange and Mr. Buckeye need not apply. The Nittany
Lion looks like something you'd find at a humane society shelter.
They can have their little ceremony before the game in Tally, unless
Miami or Florida are in town, there won't be a full stadium to see it.
What is your favorite sports moment from when you were growing up?
It’s in my residence contract to say the Brewers’ ’82 World Series
appearance. However, I was only 11 at the time and didn’t follow the
Brewers much then. My moment was actually three years later. In May of
’85, the Brewers were playing the world champion Tigers. I sat in bed
with a handheld AM radio jammed against my ear, quiet enough so my
parents wouldn’t know. The Brewers were down 7-1 in the 8th when they
scored 5 runs against Willie Hernandez. They tied up in the ninth and
had the bases loaded when Ted Simmons cracked a game-winning grand
slam. Brewers’ fans have been spoiled listening to Bob Uecker for over
25 years, but that is still the most memorable call I’ve ever heard
outside of the Miracle on Ice.
I was shaving by 12 and stopped
growing by 14, so my athletic career had peaked by then. In Little
League, I threw a no-hitter, striking out 17 (I kept the newspaper
clipping) and hit a home run in the same game. I had some high school
and adult summer league success, but it never got any better than that
Dubs: What are your favorite sports?
Basketball hands down. At age 37, the knees bark when I play twice a
week, but I still get out there. I love the mental aspect of the game –
setting unexpected screens to free a teammate, reading the other team’s
offense for a steal, watching defender’s tendencies to thread a pass
through traffic. Unfortunately, at 5’10”, I was blessed with the height
from my father’s side – (his high school team was appropriately named
the Butternut Midgets – try putting THAT on a jersey these days). That
works to my advantage, because younger, more physically gifted players
love to underestimate the old guys. There’s nothing better than
executing a cross-over that leaves a kid half my age in his tracks, or
baiting someone on the break to think they have an easy layup, then
sending it back at them. Just talking about it makes me want to leave
work early and head down to the Y.
NFL is king when it comes
to my sports viewing. If the family’s gone on an autumn Sunday, I can
watch from 12pm until the last snap of the Sunday night game, moving
only to check the pizza and for additional refreshing beverages.
Dubs: What are your non Gridiron Dynasty habits?
I’m a kid at heart, so I love playtime with my children, ages 8 and 6.
I’m trying to get them excited about sports, but my daughter is hooked
on bugs and horses and my son has a serious Pokemon addiction – he can
literally rattle off the entire 500+ Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Pokedex,
including abilities, weaknesses, and evolution levels. I bike a lot
during the summer to train for an annual 150 mile ride to support The
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My daughter is in remission from ALL, my
father-in-law died from CLL, and my father has non-Hodgkins lymphoma,
so the event means a lot to me.
also a (very) amateur writer. I’ve had one novel published – Net Loss
is a suspense story sprinkled with dark humor of an Internet affair
gone very, very wrong. I’ve got a couple dozen short stories in the
drawer, and I’m slowly plugging away at manuscript #2. I do it for
enjoyment, so I only write when the mood strikes. The first novel took
twelve years, and then second one will probably take just as long.
Dubs: How excited were you when you found out your first book would be published?
I was pumped, both from excitement and a gigantic sense of relief. I’m
a writer, not a marketer, and the process of enticing an agent or
publisher was a painful 5-year journey. You have a one-page letter to
differentiate yourself from the thousands of other nobodies who submit
manuscript, not to mention all the famous people putting out drivel
that takes up publishers’ bandwidth. I knew I had a story worth telling
– it was just a matter of convincing the right person. All that said,
it’s awfully damn cool to see your own name on the shelves of the local
Dubs: Is reading a good book a lost art in this society?
Ask a handful of people about the last book they read, and a majority
will respond, "I don't even remember - it's been ages." We are too busy
reading blogs and watching mediocre dancing on TV and doing zumba and
managing 17 fantasy teams to just sit back, relax, and enjoy a good
book. I'm guilty, too. Books expand our horizons, our interests, and
our vocabulary, and can be just plain fun. I recently read Homer's "The
Odyssey." You know what? If you can get past all the gods' names and
the antique speech patterns, it's a damn good story that has spots that
are laugh-out-loud funny if you take the time to think about it. But
that's the problem - many people fall back on the lame excuse that they
think all day at work, and they don't want to have to think when they
get home. Thanks to the plethora of terrible reality shows, that has
gotten much easier.
Dubs: Do you enjoy Shakespeare?
Not at all. Don't get me wrong - he was a brilliant writer. I love the
story lines and the characters. I just don't enjoy reading plays. Plus,
the way every line was dissected in high school and college literature
classes peels away any enjoyment I ever received from a Shakespearean
piece. I haven't touched one since.
Dubs: That's interesting,
because I see Shakespeare and Homer as similar and I teach both.
Though, I do think that people should think about how it would look on
stage when they are doing Shakespeare. Do you enjoy watching plays?
I should amend my previous answer. I don't enjoy reading Shakespeare,
but I do think they make the best stage productions. I've seen
fantastic versions of Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
I'm not a huge fan of the modern musical - I've seen Cats, Rent, and
Chicago on Broadway, but my favorite Broadway production was Proof, a
play featuring Anne Heche that ran from 2000-04.
Dubs: What are your favorite movies?
When it comes to the big screen, I'm a simple man. I enjoy slapstick
comedies like Caddyshack, Airplane, Slapshot, and Old School, but what
really draws me is the anti-hero, the main character who you don't know
whether to cheer or revile, the dark, mysterious man with an action
movie sprinkled with an acidic sense of humor and a willingness to
spill some blood to get his way. Falling Down, Payback, Die Hard, The
Bourne Series, Terminator II all rank high on my list, but none beats
Clint Eastwood for portraying the anti-hero. High Plains Drifter, Hang
'em High, Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, the Dirty
Harry series - I could watch those over and over.
Dubs: What is the best sports movie ever?
Bull Durham noses out Caddyshack. There's been sports movies with far
more realistic action, but that's not what I'm looking for in a sports
movie. Caddyshack is pure classic comedy, a true Cinderella story when
ranking movies of all genres, but Bull Durham is tops. The dialogue is
crisp and witty, the plot funny yet almost believable, and Kevin
Costner is the epitome of cool (too bad he hasn't made a good film
Dubs: So not a big fan of Dances With Wolves then?
Treyomo: If I hear Tatanka one more time, I might vomit.
Dubs: Tatanka. Stepping aside from vomit. Okay, so how did you discover GD?
I played an online version of the old baseball board game Stratomatic
at The Sporting News website. A few people, myself included, were
bemoaning the fact that TSN couldn't develop a playable online
Strat-o-matic version of football. Buffalo_rob, who played TSN
Stratomatic All Time Greats regularly back then, sent me a note about
the Whatif web site. I paid one visit, signed up for UW-Stout in Leahy,
and I was hooked.
Dubs: Do you play any other whatifsports games?
I've tried them all. I don't care for the SIM baseball - I've grown
used to reading the player cards at TSN Strat-o-matic, so it's not for
me. The football and basketball SIM games are decent, but you can't
play everything all the time. I hated Clutch, and HBD was too
time-intensive, with all the coach negotiations and managing of the
minor league rosters for stamina. I play HD extensively and have had
some success there, but I prefer GD because (in my opinion) coaching
decisions have more impact on the game.
Dubs: How long were you playing before this game started to click?
My time playing Strat-o-Matic baseball taught me the importance of two
things - understanding the statistics for individual players, and
understanding the logic that the SIM engine uses to make decisions. So,
I came in making certain talent assumptions based on my football
knowledge that served me well - elusiveness is more important than
speed for RBs, a DB needs smarts and good hands more than physical
gifts to be dominant, a QB can perform well without great strength, you
win with stars at key positions. I used that to build a talent
evaluating spreadsheet (because that's what Finance people do - we
analyze everything ten ways to Sunday). I also knew that understand
your opponent's tendencies and eliminating your own were key. Those
assumptions helped me achieve pretty good success early on. But it
wasn't until reviewing the rosters and "game film" of successful
coaches at DI in Leahy, experimenting with the distribution and depth
charts, and changed my recruitng strategy to be more aggressive, that I
began competing for championships.
Dubs: What are your keys to recruiting?
It’s a combination of talent evaluation, scouting, and the refusal to
accept average players. At each level, I establish minimums that I
won’t accept no matter how good the other ratings are. For example, at
DIII I won’t recruit an OL with blocking below 40, no matter how good
his strength and technique is. Blocking is the most important rating,
and even with high potential that OL’s blocking will never exceed 55,
which means he’ll never be anything more than a decent OL. I don’t want
decent seniors – I want dominant seniors. Evaluating your existing
talent is also key. Depth is critical at certain positions, but if you
have a returning core that has high staminas, filling out that depth
becomes a lower priority. There are also certain positions where I’ll
blow my budget to get a stud. Superstars at LB, DB, and RBs are key to
championship teams. Defense is all about generating turnovers, and a
dominant cover DB and cover LB can completely shut down passing games.
At DIA, it’s a little different, because 75% of plays are rushing, so I
might swap DL with DB on the superstud list, but you still need
dominant corners so you don’t consistently give up the frustrating
conversions on 3rd and 5+.
Just like in gameplanning, scouting
is key. Know what your opponent has on his roster, how many open
schollies, how much playoff cash, how many years on that school, and
other players at that position in the area. I’m aggressive off the bat
to try to discourage battles, and I don’t wait cycles to look long
distance in areas with few or no schools – that just allows other
long-distance coaches to skim the cream off the top.
wisdom when you start at a new school is to avoid all battles, wait a
couple cycles, fill all your scholarships and bank some recruiting
cash. That’s crap, IMO. I’d much rather have 9 very good players and 3
walkons than 12 good-to-average players. How many DIII titles have been
won by teams whose best RB has 57 elusiveness and 44 strength, and
whose D has less than 10 INT? I venture about zero. The dominant teams
have dominant players at key positions, and I want those dominant
players from the start, not in year 3 of my tenure. I take more walkons
than just about any other top coach, but I don’t care – I can cut 3
schlubs every year, and I take full advantage. 40-45 players I want is
plenty of depth and much preferable to 30 players I want and 20 backup
Dubs: How important is knowing where the other schools in the area are?
Huge, especially in a level and world that is nearly 100% human, for
two main reasons. At DIII, there are no schools in Florida, the
Southwest, and only Colorado College in the Rockies. At DII So. Cal is
empty. At DIAA, the upper Midwest is relatively barren. Those are huge
recruiting grounds where no one has a major distance advantage. If you
can find undecided top recruits and get them early, other coaches are
less likely to battle long-distance for any recruits unless they are
long-tenured with big carryovers. Closer to home, it helps you
understand your competition. Estimating the local schools’ prestige
gives you a feel how many can see the recruit. If you are a school with
poor recent records, and most of the nearby schools have better
prestige, they may not go after the recruit with lower overall ratings
but strong cores. If you have a strong history, and other local schools
do not, you are less likely to find battles for recruits with the
highest overalls, because far fewer coaches can see them. I definitely
do not back away from battles, but by understanding the competition and
the recruits, I’ve generally been able to avoid battles by picking
recruits wisely and hitting them aggressively early on (unless I’m
battling the other 3 Big 10 elites for the best of the best – right,
Scott, carpe, and rob?).
Dubs: Which teams have the biggest advantage at each level and why?
I think the location aspect is overrated. With the exception of a small
handful of teams – Colorado College, the few DIII Cali schools,
Humboldt State – no team has an inherent advantage just because of its
location. Advantages are built, not inherited. Any coach can create a
prestige advantage or destroy an inherited prestige advantage within a
couple short seasons. Recruit well, gameplan well, and win a bunch of
games, and you create an advantage because of the extra practice during
the playoffs and the higher prestige. Lose games you shouldn’t and
recruit mediocre players, and you’ll find yourself back with the pack.
The biggest “artificial” advantage is early in worlds, where successful
players move up quickly, recruit against and beat up SIMs, then move up
faster, and eventually reach DIA where they can build war chests before
the rest of the conference fills. But, even that can be overcome with
good coaching. I took Ohio State in Leahy, where there were established
coaches at all elites and several other programs, and took them from a
perennial 8-5 team to a CC within 4 seasons. Others have done the same
thing even quicker. It can be done.
One beef I have with GD is
the advantage that running teams have at the higher levels. You can
have a DL full of 91/92/65 Str/Tkl/T guys who outrate their OL
counterparts, and still get torn up for 7 yards per carry. It almost
doesn’t pay to pass on 1st down, because every rush is guaranteed to
get at least 2 yards, and with the new aggressiveness settings you can
go for it on 4th and 2 from your own territory, which creates long,
boring 20 play drives. Possessions are so precious, you can’t afford to
have that random sack put you at 2nd and 18 that leads to the one punt
during the game that makes the difference.
Dubs: What should be done to fix that?
The risk/reward factor for aggressiveness settings should be tweaked.
Let’s look at USC a couple years ago. I’m sure there were occasions
where inferior opponents stacked the line and threw Bush or Lendale
White for a loss, or held them to 3 yards on two carries on first and
second down. For the game, Bush and White got their yards, but not a
minimum of 3 yards a carry on every single carry. Give defenses a
bigger reward for guessing plays right – not on every single down, but
a team with 90s across the DL should generate a few negative or zero
yard plays even against a great rushing attack, and not just when the
OL and RB are flat out exhausted, which is the only time we see
negative carries now unless there’s a monstrous talent gap. Make an
offense take the risk that even with the best RB in the nation, he
might face 2nd and 12 a couple times if he doesn’t change things up
occasionally. The caveat is that the defense must be willing to accept
the chance that he’ll get burned with play action passes out of the ND
Box on 1st and 10 for big gains. That’s closer to reality, and closer
to what I’d like to see. No team should have two punts and 24 pass
attempts for an entire season, which I’ve seen at DIA and even at DIII.
Dubs: Of the 14 Elites, which one would you prefer to coach?
I don't have a strong preference for any one elite. I've coached at
Tennessee and Ohio State, both of which are in challenging recruiting
areas, and I've enjoyed both. Each elite presents its own challenges
and advantages. I'd like to try Texas or USC, because I've never
coached in their respective conferences. I've had a nice run and some
good fortune in Hayes world, so I'll probably try to grab one of those
two if my good fortune continues.
Dubs: Which team, from your coaching experience, did you enjoy coaching the least?
I really dislike coaching at DIAA. The best players are scooped up by
DIA coaches, sometimes after you’ve sunk considerable coin into that
prospect, and it costs more than 1 schollie worth of cash to knock off
a local SIM, well more than that for a distant SIM. It makes managing
your recruiting cash absolutely crucial, and that’s by far my biggest
weakness. I don’t think there’s ever been a season at DIAA where I
haven’t taken at least one walk-on. My first foray into DIAA was at
Idaho State in Leahy. The conference was very active with some great
coaches, but knowing that DIA was the goal, it was the most stressful
tenure I’ve had. Recruiting in a relatively filled world in the vacuum
known as Idaho/Montana was miserable, and I lost a bunch of close games
thanks to excruciating, poorly timed turnovers, and underperformed in
the playoffs. I was paroled after three years, thankfully.
Dubs: How much do you think taking walk ons really hurts your team? I notice you do it more than a lot of top coaches.
Where it hurts most is in recruiting battles with wary coaches. If
smart coaches see walkons on your roster, they know there’s no
carryover. I almost always take fewer than 3 per season, so they are
gone by the time next season rolls out. But conference coaches who
remember the prior recruiting summaries will know you took walkons and
use it to their advantage. As far as roster depth and management, I can
thrive on a roster of 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 4 WRs, 3 TEs, 8 OL, 8 DL, 4 LBs, 7
DBs. That’s 41 players, which leaves 9 spots for walk-ons. Obviously, I
prefer not to operate this way, but I’ve done it. Check the Iona roster
in Dobie – it’s filled with crap players (sorry, shonmurphy!), but I
still made the NC game last season. If you know how to recruit stamina,
build stamina through practice, and manage stamina through depth
charts, don’t be afraid of a couple walkons. I’d rather have 40 hares
than 50 tortoises – slow and steady does not win in GD.
Dubs: Since you opened the door, how do you build and manage stamina in GD?
I figured you might push me through that door. Since GD 2.0 release,
stamina is probably the 2nd most important rating depending on the
position, ahead of some core attributes, because poor stamina renders
an otherwise outstanding player practically useless. All positions
receive a minimum of 20 conditioning minutes, and I prefer to get
closer to 25. I’ll skimp on team practice to maximize the conditioning.
I want my best players in the game for the crucial plays, not
all plays. If your best players start in all formations, they will
leave the game when you need them most. To do this, I use a different
mix of players for every formation. My weaker QB and WR handle snaps in
running formations. My 2nd tier RB with better hands comes in for
Trips. My OL with better strength play in running formations, those
with better GI and T play passing downs. Against teams that run
heavily, my top cover corners may rest in the 5-2. I also use what I
call my 2nd and short strategy. If I have 2nd and short, I expect to
get the 1st down 99% of the time no matter the personnel I use (because
there are no negative runs). I expect my opponent will convert 2nd and
short with the same proficiency. Why use my best personnel? I will use
a third formation for both offense and defense that I never practice,
plug in all subs, and use that almost exclusively in those situations.
If I or my opponent doesn’t convert on 2nd and short, the starting
lineup returns for 3rd down. If I do convert, the starting lineup
returns for first down, better rested. The only time I don’t use this
is if I have a starting lineup with mostly 60+ staminas. I’ve found
this had made a huge difference.
Dubs: How much is improvement potential a factor in this game?
The higher the level, the less important. It’s tough to improve much on
a DIA/DIAA recruit who starts with 90 at the core skills. I’ll recruit
a player at DIA with a tapped out scouting report if his cores are in
the 90 range to start. At DII/DIII, you just can’t do that. The
difference between a low WE and low potential versus high WE/high
potential can be as high as 150 points over a 4-5 year career. That’s
huge, and it’s one of the ways low prestige teams can rise up. When I
do a rebuild of a downtrodden program, I throw out tons of scouting
reports to local kids and focus on the high potential guys with lower
ratings that better programs will ignore. One of my best DII QBs was a
below average QB with > 50 WE and high (but not STL) potential –
with a redshirt, he became a stud by his 4th year and passed by several
more highly rated QBs from his class.
Dubs: In your estimation, what is more important potential or work ethic?
Potential. I view potential as setting the range for player growth, and
WE determining where in that range it will fall. No matter how high the
WE, a player with the "won't see much improvement" scouting report will
never grow much beyond an average of 1 point per game played. Also, you
can improve the WE of a high potential player by using starts, but you
can't improve the potential of a high WE player.
Dubs: What coaches have been your biggest influence in this game?
Buffalo_rob and scottso are two who I knew from my TSN Strat-o-matic
days, so I leaned on them heavily for advice in the early days. 85bears
was also very helpful in my early CIAA days in Leahy, and alykaramazov
and I have exchanged thoughts and ideas. What probably helped just as
much was studying the rosters and playcalling of great coaches I’ve
encountered along the way. Plague, crave, carpe, some Jeopardy-winning
dude, jtrover, playmakerq, rob, scottso – there’s many others, but
those jump to mind. Seeing the ratings they valued, and how they
blended talent with playcalling, shaped my coaching style.
Dubs: How often do you discover something new about this game?
There's not a lot of uncharted territory left. My journey through the
Hayes world has emphasized how valuable stamina can be. I made
back-to-back NC appearances at DII because of a monster RB with stamina
of 70+ and a good but not great QB who set passing records and way
overperformed because of 70+ stamina, and I'm doing the same with Weber
State - Kevin Ryan doesn't have the best core attributes in DIAA (85
spd/89 str/83 elus), but with an 80 stamina he can run all day. Offense
gets easy when you have a RB who can average 30 carries at 9 YPG and a
couple 20-yd receptions to boot every game.
Dubs: What is the biggest challenge in this game?
Stopping the run, especially at higher levels. It takes the perfect mix
of talent, gameplan (both offense and defense), and depth chart
maneuveuring to slow down the top running games. They are impossible to
shut down completely - you're looking to push your opponent to 3rd and
long. If you do that a few times a game, you've won the battle. That,
though, is easier said than done. Recruiting a boatload of good DLs is
important, but it's not nearly enough.
Dubs: Do you have uses for both the 5-2 and the 4-4?
Everyone has their favorite, but I by far prefer the 5-2, because it
offers more roster flexibility for me - by carrying fewer LBs, I can
load up at other positions I consider more crucial. I use the 4-4 only
as my 2nd and short resting formation (if I have 6-7 LBs), or for
2nd/3rd and long versus the box or bone. Stopping the run, I've always
had significantly more success with the 5-2. It's likely a product of
me focusing on DL depth much more than LB depth during recruiting, but
that's what works best for me.
Dubs: Are there certain coaches
whose running games give you more problems? Do you adjust the
conservative/aggressive settings depending on who you are playing or
just on situation?
Treyomo: I have had okay luck stopping even
the hardiest all-run running games after 3-4 years at a school once I
have my defensive line depth set up. If you run always from a single
formation, I feel I can slow you down no matter how strong your running
game is. The offense I hate facing the most is the balanced pro-set.
When an opponent has no tendencies but goes 100% pro-set, I have no
idea how to attack it, and that's when a balanced defense gets
absolutely shredded by the run. TheNoodle's Purdue Leahy squad kills me
every year with that type of attack - the only chance I have is to win
Dubs: So once you have your Defensive line set up you like to guard 5-2 balanced?
Only against a balanced offense. I try to match my tendency with the
offensive tendency. If I believe my opponent will run 100% out of a
formation, I will go all run. If I think it will be 50-50, I will go
balanced run/pass mix. My aggressiveness depends on the opponents'
talent. If I am severely outclassed, I will either go conservative to
limit big plays, or take the opposite approach and go very aggressive
to generate turnovers. If the talent is fairly close or I have an
advantage, I ramp up the aggressiveness. Because I do focus on
athleticism (when possible) in my DL, I'm pretty confident they can go
side to side to make tackles even if the opponent goes aggressive.
Which attributes not listed as cores by the game do you consider to be
as or more important than the core attributes at that position?
Ya think I might say stamina here? Stamina is by far the #1 non-core
core for all positions, but especially at QB and RB. GI is important
for OL to avoid sacks and penalties and for RBs/WRs/TEs to get open as
hot reads under blitzes. And, I put extra practice for my LBs and DBs
into Hands - since turnovers are the key gamechanger between evenly
matched teams, I want my back 7 to be ballhawks for both INTs and FRs.
Dubs: What about strength on Running Backs and Tackling on Linebackers?
I excluded strength for RBs because I think the FAQs are insane for not
listing that as a core attribute. Strength is far more important than
speed or athleticism. If you have an RB with strength, elusiveness, and
stamina, you have yourself a 2,000 yard back. LBs tackling is not as
important to me. I rely on my DL to make most of the tackles. If an LB
has a huge tackle rating, but is weaker at Spd, Ath, and GI, he won't
be in position to use his tackle rating to make the tackle. I'll
sacrifice some tackling to get higher GI and T for pass coverage, or to
get greater Spd and Ath.
Dubs: Which probably stems from you running the 5-2. How important is it to pick a style and recruit to it?
It’s the most important aspect in all of GD. Recruiting talent is
great, but unless you’re one of the lucky few who can recruit perfectly
while building a huge carryover, you have to pick and choose the
positions where you will aggressively pursue studs. Overspending on
recruits who don’t fit your system can leave you short of funds for the
key recruits who would be a perfect fit. Some examples: if I run 80% of
the time, QBs and WRs become a lower priority, while blocking TEs and
OLs with higher strength are important. If I’m heavier on passing, the
QBs and WRs jump up the priority ladder, I want my TEs with more
speed/athleticism and lower blocking, RBs with great hands, and I will
sacrifice some strength in OLs to get higher technique and GI. If I do
run the 4-4 on D, tackling becomes more important for the LBs, because
they’re more likely to make tackles.
It also dictates your
depth at each position. Try running wishbone with 5 RBs with staminas
below 50 (an early mistake I made – a crappy WR ended up with almost 80
carries on the season). If you run nickel/5-2, you can get away with 5
LBs. If you use 4-4, you need 7. Also, if you’re a heavy running team
that will grind out the clock, OL and RB stamina becomes huge, while
you might be able to get away with a tad less stamina on your D,
because in most games they’ll be on the field 25 mins or less.
Dubs: Which worlds have you played in and which ones have you enjoyed the most?
I’ve dabbled in every world except Rockne. Overall, I enjoy my original
world, Leahy, the most. It’s where I learned the ropes, took some
beatings, and ran into some great coaches. I’m currently at Ohio State,
and the Big 10 is consistently the strongest conference in the world
and has an active coaches corner, with the likes of scottso, carpe,
buffalo_rob, bludluciano, thenoodle, all of whom have been there 10+
years (noodle almost 30 seasons at Purdue!). We all schedule tough
non-conf, then beat each other up in conference, so in my ten years no
team has made it through the regular season unbeaten.
enjoyed Stagg and Camp for another reason, as that’s where my two best
rebuilds occurred. Though I’ve gotten away from this recently, I love
resurrecting craphole programs. I took a Stagg UW-Oshkosh program that
had won 18 games in 15 seasons, gutted the roster (thank you, decision
cuts!), and made the playoffs in year 4. Plenty of other coaches have
done the same, but to me that’s gratifying and freakin’ cool.
Dubs: Do you have any other pearls of wisdom you wish to add before I head to the Trios?
Two thoughts - 1) You can't take it with you. Piling up cash for the
sake of having a carryover is pointless if you never flex your muscles
and use it; and 2) Never eat Mexican and drink Point beer before
attending a 2 hour orchestra concert where your seats are 30 deep into
Dubs: OK, Trios. Pick your preference among the three.
TRIO #1: Star Wars, Indiana Jones or The Godfather
Treyomo - The Godfather
TRIO #2: (Wisconsin slanted) Milk, cheese or ice cream
Treyomo - Cheese, please
TRIO #3: Blonde, brunette or auburn
Treyomo - A brunette with big, brown eyes - le pant, le pant, le meow
TRIO #4: French, Italian or Spanish
Treyomo - Italian
TRIO #5: Pizza, tacos or burgers
Treyomo - Pizza - extra cheese (naturally)
TRIO #6: Reggae, country or jazz
Treyomo - jazz
TRIO #7: Superman, Spiderman or Iron Man
Treyomo - Superman by a landslide