Saturday may have been the final straw for the fan base of the New Mexico State Aggies. NMSU hosted a Troy program that was coming off of a loss to Idaho in which they looked incapable of doing anything productive. Somehow, the Aggies not only lost to Troy, but lost to Troy by the score of 52-7.
There are acceptable blowout losses for a program in the Sun Belt. Losing to USC, LSU, Florida, Ohio State, etc. by 40 or more points is not fun, but it is an understandable part of college football. Losing by 45 points to a Troy, a team that came into the game at 1-5 with only a win over Charleston Southern, is completely different.
Let's quickly look at the game summary from this loss.
Troy started the game going three and out, but recovered a fumbled punt to keep the drive alive. After that, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, and field goal. Yes, that was six straight touchdown drives and a field goal. At the half, it was 45-7. Luckily for the Aggies, Troy backed off in the second half, otherwise things could have gotten really bad.
I know, you cannot take one game and decide a coach's future based on that. It would be insane to fire him based off of that performance alone.
Well, let's look at Martin's tenure at New Mexico State as a whole.
Martin is in his third season with the Aggies. During his first two seasons, NMSU went 2-10 and 2-10 for a 4-20 overall record.
This season, they are sitting at 0-7 with losses to UTEP, Georgia State, and Troy. Those three programs are a combined 7-13 and among the worst 20 or so programs in the nation. You could try to make the case that progress is being made with three of the seven losses being by single digits. That case is hard to make considering that the Aggies haven't won a game since week two of the 2014 season.
Comparing 2015 to previous seasons under Martin, the Aggies were only outscored by 30 or more points by two opponents in 2014. Those games were against LSU and Arkansas State. In 2013, four teams (Texas, UCLA, New Mexico, and FAU) all won by 30 or more points. This season, four teams (Florida, Ole Miss, Georgia Southern, and Troy) have all beaten NMSU by 30 or more. With five games left in the season, it would be logical to expect at least one more loss by 30 or more. That is a definite downward trend.
What is probably the most telling part of Martin's tenure is the lack of a quality win. As stated before, all four of Martin's wins at NMSU came in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Those four wins came versus Abiline Christian and Idaho in 2013; Cal Poly and Georgia State in 2014. Idaho and Georgia State both went 1-11, while Abiline Christian and Cal Poly were both five-loss FCS programs when they lost to New Mexico State.
The contract for Martin still has two years left with a base salary of $363,000. The contract was actually extended from one to two years left in February. An exact buyout amount is unknown at this time.
Each of the five previous New Mexico State head coaches have lasted at least four years with the program. Of the five, Tony Samuel (34-57, .374 winning percentage) was the most successful. Not since Warren Woodson (63-36-3) has a NMSU head coach left the program with a winning record.
Martin recently got a vote of confidence from athletic director Mario Moccia for not only the rest of this season, but for the 2016 season as well. This came after the demolition at the hands of Troy Saturday night. It seems clear that the Martin will get one more chance to fix the ship in 2016.
I am not saying that he definitely needs to the fired after the season, but there must be a discussion about results and the future of NMSU football.
What do you think? Should the Aggies make a move and hire a new head coach for 2016 or is give Martin and company one last chance to try and be competitive?