After that last play, it's definitively over. I can't give Cincy enough credit. Today, I expected this to be just like the USF game. Honestly, it could have been if they executed. But I cannot praise Cincinnati enough, they executed and took advantage of a big-time hangover. I'm still proud of the team however, and they have nothing to apologize for this year. Some things to work on? Sure, but so does everybody who's not Ohio State.
That being said, the team has nothing to be ashamed of. My expections for this year were 8 wins, and hopefully people no longer making jokes about the team. The incredible run started for two reasons - teams such ad UNC and Pitt weren't nearly as good as they should have been, and coach Schiano did an amazing job with the defense. Seriously, smoke and mirrors. The DL averages 6'2 260, but as of today they were leading the nation in sacks. It all comes from stunts, twists, etc...
Today, they just ran into a team that wanted it more. A team that quite frankly reminds me quite a bit of the Knights. They just have had the misfortunate of playing a murderer's row schedule with Ohio State and Virginia Tech. Eventually, yes, teams regress to the mean. That means RU loses a winnable game, and Cincy finally pulls off the upset.
Is this all bad? Not really. As long as the coach stays, the future looks very bright. If the bandwagon got any more out of control, its eventual bursting would have caused armageddon. Now it has the opportunity to sustain some more natural, realistic growth. Plus, yeah, the Buckeyes would have raped them.
This is a team that's not going to give up. Last year, first game of the season, they blew a 30 point lead to a terrible Illinois team that had no business being on the same field as them. Things ended up ok though, because that loss gave them the fire they had been lacking, and the team finally had its first winning season since 1992. And now, it's on the verge of 10 wins, and thousands of fans are hysterical. Just to think, three years ago they were 1-11.
So yeah, Syracuse, I wouldn't want to be you guys next week, because they're going to take their frustations out on some Orange scrubs. It's going to be a bloodbath. Because of the bowl deal (Navy steals the Tire Bowl because of some offseason shenanigans), this loss will likely send them to Houston unless WVU and UL both somehow make the BCS. But there's no reason to fret. The team has Desyre, and they'll be ok even if they took one on the chin tonight.
Coach Schiano was widely mocked when he took over the job 5 years ago, as the youngest coach in DI-A at the time, for a piece of seemingly insane hyperbole. He said he came home to win a national championship. Well, tonight is honestly not the end of that dream, despite how it may seem. The team is one of the youngest in all of DI-A.
No, tonight is not the end. Because we'll be back, and next time we'll deserve it.
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie highway
This is R country.