Sunday, September 28, 2008

What 3-1 Really Means

So we are at the point in the season that everybody was looking towards the week of the USF. Looking at our schedule during the preseason 3-1 was the worst our record could be coming into this game and that is what the record is. The way we got to 3-1 though is what the big cause of concern as to what the rest of the season is going to hold for our beloved Panthers.

Bowling Green week 1 is arguably the signature loss of a coach with a losing record. This loss took us out of the national spotlight and completely derailed the momentum we had after the shock WVU upset the season prior. Then we grab an 11 point win against Buffalo in a game that could have easily gone the other way. A one point win against an Iowa team who could lose the rest of their games. Then yesterday we saw another unconvincing win against an extremely bad Syracuse team. So that's it 3 wins against 3 teams that we should have beaten and a terrible loss. Are you ready for USF now?

Would being 4-0 really help that much at this point in terms of the quality of play we have seen on the field? Not really but we would still have some juice nationally and perhaps we would have a much more confident fanbase and program. Making every game we play difficult, no matter how bad the opponent is, has put our program under a cloud of pessimism. Nobody around the program can or should be excited about 3-1 against 4 teams we should have easily beaten.

USF on Thursday is the biggest game we have had since our BCS Bowl game against Utah five years ago. This is Wanny's one chance to have a relevant program nationally that actually has a meaningful win, our two top 25 rankings were based off nothing but hype. If we get blown out against them then all of the Wanny bashers, myself included, will have been proven right in that he can't win the big game when it matters. A win over USF would put us in the top level of the Big East and could energize us into a title run. Say USF wins by 21 like the odds makers are saying we are in the same position we have been for the last 3 years.

Don't take this game lightly at all....

1 comment:

Brian Ising said...

Biggest game since the Fiesta Bowl? I think that's overstating it a bit. WVU lost at USF this time last year and went on to win the Big East and the Fiesta Bowl and was in position to play for the national championship until 13-9.

If we lose a close game, we are still in decent position. This will be the most difficult game we play all year, so its not unreasonable to say we could still win 8-9 games, which most people would consider a success, even with a loss on Thursday.

But I do think this game is important for the confidence of this team, which is pretty fragile at this point, and justifiably so. A blowout loss would probably lead to another downward spiral. But I think a close loss will be something that we can build on over the bye week and the next few games which should be much easier than this game.