So the Texas State Bobcats football team did not have a good season, winning only three of their 12 games (which included a win over lowly Prarie View A&M). Will Butler, our intrepid Texas State writer, has been doing yeoman's work all season long to demonstrate how stuck in the mud the entire athletics department tends to be, and how this disappointment of a season should be bringing about the winds of change.
It is not, and I think we now have firm and undeniable proof that athletic director Larry Teis is the reason why. Observe, from the San Marcos Daily Record's Joe Vozzelli:
I've received quite a few inquiries lately about why #TXST AD Larry Teis hasn't commented publicly about HC Dennis Franchione's status.— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) December 9, 2015
Here goes. When I asked Teis earlier this week, if he could say definitely that Fran is staying, he sent me an e-mail. Excerpts to follow...— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) December 9, 2015
Teis: "We always have to stress academics and compliance first, then focus on wins and losses on the field." (1/3)— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) December 9, 2015
"We have just completed our 3rd full season in the FBS. We are competing against not only SBC schools but other schools in Texas." (2/3)— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) December 9, 2015
Teis: "Our goal is to recruit student athletes that are excited about a college education, will always operate within the rules." (3/3)— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) December 9, 2015
Well what can I say, Larry.
Do you want a gold star for doing your goddamn job? Seriously. Responding to criticism over the poor performance of your highest-revenue-generating sports program with "hey, we've been academically and otherwise compliant for all three years of our FBS membership" is kind of the equivalent of saying "y'know, I got a free toy in my Happy Meal" or "oh yeah, well I've managed to put the straw in my Capri Sun three days in a row now."
Side note: 2012 was a transitional year, but it was still FBS. So you completed your fourth year at the FBS level, Larry, not your third. Let's keep this all straight. The WAC happened, man, don't try to deny it.
As one reply on Twitter pointed out, while you may focus on academics first and athletics second, your job as d-i-r-e-c-t-o-r o-f a-t-h-l-e-t-i-c-s is to do BOTH. Many dozens of other programs successfully do so.
Alright, so maybe academics are more important than athletics. But the problem there is that the financial engine of your athletics department is your football program, the financial engine of your football program is your boosters and donors, and those folks are more likely to support a winner. What do you have to say about that?
Lastly, Teis makes comparison between #TXST and schools in SBC, C-USA and AAC from past three years.— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) December 9, 2015
Teis adds: "We should be disappointed that this year we failed to do only what Houston and Arkansas State have done the past three seasons."— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) December 9, 2015
Correction: UH and Ark. State only teams with winning records during that span. TXST, UL Lafayette and Rice all had one losing season.— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) December 9, 2015
O.K. If I'm reading this correctly, Teis is essentially making the point that within their conference (the Sun Belt) and compared to the Texas schools from other G5 conferences, Texas State has just missed on being one of only three teams (alongside Houston and Arkansas State) to post three-consecutive winning seasons.
There are about forty bajillion things wrong with this statement, so let me work my way through.
"We were *this close* to being one of three teams to achieve this arbitrary benchmark" isn't really a shining beacon of success when you're only talking about a group of 13 teams. Yay! We almost finished in the top 20 percent!
It's also factually wrong. Houston had three straight winning seasons totaling 28 wins, Arkansas State had three straight winning seasons totalling 24 wins. According to Teis Texas State missed on three straight winning seasons... but has only posted 16 wins in that span.
Let's do some basic math for a minute. If you play 12 regular season games a winning season will get you to a bowl game and a minimum of seven wins. If you win three games this season, then for you to have "just missed" three consecutive winning seasons you have to win at least 7+7+3 = 17 games in that span. Since 16 is less than 17, that statement is just flat-out garbage.
Even barring that, you're talking about Teis narrowing the scope of who the Bobcats are competing against and shifting the goalposts of the measurement of success in order to look as successful as possible. If you look at those three conferences as a whole, in the past three seasons Texas State is 18th in wins, and there are 14 teams that have had more winning seasons than the Bobcats.
It's become increasingly evident to us here at Underdog Dynasty that Larry Teis and the people who support the idea of him keeping his job do not support a winning football program. Not just in terms of on-field wins and losses, but also from the standpoint of caring how they appear to the people who pay their paychecks. Suffice it to say, we will have something more direct to say about that in the very near future. Until then... *sigh*