We've touched briefly on the similarities between the Louisville football program's late 2006-2007 and the West Virginia football program's late 2007 up to the present, but given the events in Greenville last weekend, I think it's high time we take a look at the full checklist.
--Losing a shot at the national championship in an especially cruel and depressing fashion? Check.
--Still managing to win a Big East championship? Check.
--Victory in a BCS game? Check
--One of the most successful coaches in program history bolting for a more high-profile job? Yup.
--The manner in which the breakup occurs results in an extremely upset fan base? Oh yeah.
--A replacement is found almost disturbingly quickly? Check.
--Said replacement is a humble, soft-spoken guy who has undoubtedly referred to rap music as "crap" on multiple occasions? Uh-huh.
--Said replacement says all the right things during the offseason, and earns the adoration of the fan base by appearing like the perfect contrast to the former guy who's now perceived as untenably weasely? Check.
--The return of several starters, including a Heisman Trophy front-runner at quarterback, leads to a consensus top ten ranking and widespread talk of a national title? Check.
--The team is less than impressive in its season-opening throttling of an overmatched FCS squad, but the staggering final score overwhelms any and all of the concerns brought up in the ensuing days? I remember that.
--Positive chatter about the potential for Big East titles and BCS victories sprouting mid-week? Those were the days.
Now I know you're first instinct at the moment is to count down the days until the next game so you can get this bad taste out of your mouth, but I think the bes---look at me. LOOK AT ME! The best thing for you to do right now is enjoy every second of this bye week.
Spend as much time as you can talking about how you're still one of, if not the, favorite to win a second straight Big East title. Hell, if the mood strikes you, talk about how the presence of Auburn on the schedule still leaves you with an outside shot at playing for a national championship.
Do all this while you know you still can, because in a couple of weeks you might be just starting to recover from a 48 hour bender after an embarrassing loss on your home field, and then before you know it, this is happening.
Things don't exactly get rosier during the offseason.
The best piece of advice I can offer up is live while you still can. Live for those of us who have already forgotten what it feels like. Live before Pat White is photographed shaking hands with Greg Robinson looking like he'd rather be vacationing in Yemen.