posted on December 04, 2012 07:32
In this Internet-age, it's hard to delineate between the volume and quantity of fans' arguments.
Not every fan posts every thought, feeling and expectation about a team online. But the ones that do are the most vocal, the most voracious and -- sometimes -- the most vile.
It doesn't mean every fan shares their opinion, but in certain cases, their thoughts are representative of a good portion of a fan base. And on Monday, that representative vocal miniority got its wish:
David Yost resigned from Missouri's staff.
"I feel like I've had a great run here and that it's just the right time to turn it over to someone else," Yost said in an ahtletic-department release. "On one hand, it's a really hard decision to make, but on the other hand, I feel good that it's the right decision at the right time for me."
I'm not here to say whether Yost's departure will fix all of Missouri's offensive struggles from 2012, a year after ranking 12th in the nation and boasting one of the most balanced offenses in Missouri's history. Certainly, there were some confusing playcalls, especially early in the season -- the end of the Vanderbilt game comes to mind, where Corbin Berkstresser ended on his back three straight plays as the Commodores rushed six or seven defenders and Missouri stuck with no extra blockers.
Missouri's offense did get better late in the season, as Yost and the staff found a balance between what they wanted to do and what they actually could do with all the injuries. The Tigers put up over 400 yards in each of the final three games after doing so just once in the first nine games. But the yardage didn't equal wins, and someone has to fall on the sword in a season like this.
But, Missouri has to replace more than just an offensive coordinator in Yost's absence. It has to replace a recruiting coordinator, a coach that organized all the graduate assistants, someone who worked upwards of 18-hour days the past few years because of all his responsibilities.
It's a "consequences must be felt now" age, and for that, Yost resigned, citing personal reasons and a desire to "turn it over to someone else." But for all the criticism he faced, there's a sadness around the football team. Yost was universally well-liked, and his presence at Missouri was more than just Xs and Os. In talking with parents some of the current players on Monday, this quote from John Beckham jumped out to me:
"He does a lot of stuff, not just being the offensive coordinator," Beckham said. "It may take three guys to replace all he does at Mizzou. The average fan in the stands can second guess his plays and plans, but Mizzou lost a great coach today."
Beckham is the father of star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who led Missouri with five touchdown receptions this season. For all the teeth-gnashing about how the five-star recruit was used early in the season, his family never doubted Yost or the plans for their son. That's the kind of trust Yost elicited from the players and the families he recruited for Missouri.
Something had to give after this season. I get that. Yost ended up becoming a martyr for the masses. Gary Pinkel said he'll conduct a national search for a replacement, as well as considering in-house options. But, whoever Missouri gets -- whether its the en vogue name like Jim Chaney of Tennessee, or an under-the-radar option like Gregg Brandon of Wyoming -- they'll have to fill more than yardage and points and hair.
It may take three guys to replace all David Yost did at Mizzou.