Look, I know you are all rolling-your-eyes at the title, but it is the off-season and a great time to ponder all the “what-ifs,” for fun about the football program we all love. As I look into it and reflect upon it, there seems to be more than just smoke surrounding the time in question. The three major players in this are Mario Cristobal of course, Kirk Herbstreit, and surprisingly–Anthony Brown. I am going to suggest that Mario had a “Miami-Plan” long before late November, and the Utah fiascos.
Normally at this time of year I like to have a little gaming fun at FezBet, yet I also had to pursue these questions percolating within yours-truly. I really do not believe the original plan was to play Anthony Brown almost exclusively for the entire season as it actually turned out. As the season began, Cristobal had an eye to the future at Oregon when the big recruiting classes came “of-age,” and he could make his move toward the CFB Playoffs. I believe the plan was to give-it-our-best in Columbus, and with a stinging loss the excuse would be provided to begin playing Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield extensively and see who emerges.
But Oregon surprised the Buckeyes, Oregon fans, and the college football world with a masterful performance. Coach Cristobal was heralded in all the media over the next week, and rightly so for bringing about a most improbable victory. Mario’s contacts in Florida were probably informing him of the “Diaz” situation, and he realized that his return to Miami could come this year, not many years later. Hence the decision to play the quarterback who gave Oregon the best chance to win now, since Mario knew–there was no future for him at Oregon after a few months from that moment.
Mario must have felt that 10 wins would get him the Hurricane HC, but that may not happen with newbie quarterbacks. So through thick-and-thin, Anthony Brown was the starter. (Could that have been the beginning of friction between Joe Moorhead and Cristobal?) However a month later–conversations between Kirk Herbstreit, Miami brass and boosters and a discussion between Herbstreit and Cristobal seems to close the early deal in my eyes.
While it came out months later, Herbstreit admitted his extensive conversations with officials at Miami in this report, and how he had a soft spot for the Hurricane program. In late October (halfway through the season) he had a conversation with Mario and Kirk remembers it as…
“Hey, dude, by the way, this whole Miami thing that’s going on, is that a possibility? I know you’re at Oregon and everything. He’s like, ‘Ahhhh…We’ll talk about that later.’ So, he didn’t say, ‘No.’ He just kind of said, ‘Yeah, maybe that’s something we can talk about later.’ So it made me think at that time, ‘Hmmm. Maybe…. maybe.’
Cristobal did not say, “Go Ducks,” as he did in earlier queries about other jobs, or flat-out deny any interest. It was what he did not say that was so damning to many of us Oregon fans. Keep in mind that this was being reported on a major Miami website, so naturally they had no problem with these reports. (Of course he would be more interested in the ‘Canes than silly Or-ree-gone!)
Read the articles linked my friends, as I believe Mario’s “Miami-Plan” began as the coach was walking off the field at the ‘Shoe. It would explain a number of things through the season that we can detail in the OBD forum, and ponder other ramifications of them. Renting a coach temporarily is fine, but he needs to keep in head in Eugene while he’s here.
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
Top Photo from Fox Sports Video
Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks, a season ticket holder at Autzen Stadium for 35 years and has written reports on football boards for over 23 years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, have a daughter Christine, reside in Eugene Oregon, where he was a Financial Advisor for 36 years and now focuses full-time on Charitable Planned Giving Workshops for churches and non-profit organizations.
He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More…
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