A Brief Rundown of the numbers in the BIG EAST so far. The first number is national ranking in points for, the second is points against.
Rutgers: 45th 11th
WVU: 12th 37th
Pitt: 70th 51st
Cincy: 9th 15th
Louisville: 112th 13th
USF: 15th 42nd
‘Cuse: 76th 68th
UConn: 88th 44th
Now, here are the teams we have played so far this season, and their rankings so far. In the brackets are the points we scored in the games we played against them.
FIU: 64th 34th (17)
UK: 118th 84th (24)
Marshall: 117th 61st (13)
North Carolina: 59th 19th (7)
How do we look at this? Well, note a couple of things: While there isn’t a precise science to it (FIU is an outlier), we can see that our scoring against these teams is fairly consistent with the numbers: the worse the defense, the more we score, and vice versa.
So what about that outlier, then? We put up 17 points against the 34th best d out there (according to the numbers). For that we have to look at who FIU has played to understand their inflated points against number: North Texas, UCF, Louisiana-Lafayette, Duke, and Akron.
In contrast, we all know that the Devil competes in the SEC and has been enjoying a lovely year of losing to: us, Florida, LSU, and South Carolina, and those losses will soon be joined by losses to: Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vandy, Georgia, and Tennessee. And if God really cares, Jacksonville State of the magnificent Ohio Valley Conference, a FCS team.
But I digress. Marshall has been up against WVU and VT before they played us, and NC has played Rutgers, Virginia, ECU, and GT.
So the outlier of FIU is fairly well explained by their quality of competition.
Now to the meat of the statement:
Our season is done.
It makes me feel sick to say it; after all, I am almost always completely optimistic. When we lost to FIU, I was planning on a 11-1 season. When we lost to Marshall, a 10-2. But now we’re far enough in that stats are starting to even out properly, and all I can see is death.
We’ve played two of the worst ten offenses in the BCS, and we are a third. We lost to the 117th offense, and won against the 118th.
I’m not going to bother to rehash the numbers I’ve already put up above, but you can probably figure out that our best chances of 3 more wins are against UConn, Pitt, and, of course, the pillow-bowl against Syracuse (again). The Battle for the Bottom? The chances of beating any of those other than ‘Cuse are less than 50%, I’d say, and the chances of beating WVU, Cincy, Pitt, USF or Rutgers are so remote even my unshakable love of HCCS can’t give me confidence.
So what do we do? We support our team, we go to the games, we stay in the stands, we support our coaches and especially the players who are going through this year so that we can enjoy increasing success in the years to come.
Why? Because while we’re complaining and whining in the stands, TB and Will Stein are getting sacked left and right and getting right up and keeping these games close (we’ve lost by less than 8 points in all three losses). Because HCCS is running, so far, the #13 defense in the country with a ton of inexperienced players. Because I can’t even count how many times VA has been injured since his freshman year, but he’s still there and still trying. Because these guys aren’t getting paid $500,000 a year to play for us, because they chose to come here, because after this year we aren’t going to have a single Petrino recruit left on the team. Because our 4th year players came into a 6-6 team, because our 3rd year players came into a 5-7 team, because our 2nd year players came into a 4-8 team.
Because we’re on a collision course…
Because this train is rolling…