I am writing this post somewhat as self therapy. For the last several weeks I have talked about the Cardinals' climb, and that the dream was still alive for a national title in football. And when I look at the carnage yesterday in college football (Clemson, UCLA, South Carolina, Texas A&M and LSU losing), I know that I was right...except for what happened in most of the second half on Friday night at Papa Johns. There is no doubt that we would be #5 in both polls today had we won. And that climb would have continued. And that thought makes me need self-therapy even more.
So what went wrong? I believe it was our schedule...perceived by many to be weak...and in fact it has been. The Cards had really not been battle tested. They had not trailed all year, due to the weak competition. They did not appear to know how to handle adversity or the momentum of the UCF team. As it became 28-21, 28-28, and then 31-28, the Cards' coaches and players didn't seem to know how to handle the situation. There were "deer in the headlights" stares by some of them as they watched the game slip away. They had not really been seriously challenged all year. So yes, blame some of that on coaching, for failure to prepare them for that possibility. Blame the offensive coordinator for some of the play calls. Blame some of that on the players for unnecessary and untimely fumbles. Blame the defense, who perhaps got too cocky after a stellar performance last week. And blame some of it on fans like me, with lofty, perhaps impossibly high goals for this team.
But now as a fan base, we must regroup and continue to support our team. We can still get a BCS bid and do what we did last year. We need some help from others, but it can happen. It hurts, and it will continue to hurt. Just like the Rutgers loss under Petrino in that special season. Just like the Kerry Rhodes drop. Yes, we would be #5 today. That is a tough pill to swallow, but we must stand strong. Once I'm able to raise my head off the table, I will try to do so as well.
I welcome anyone to reply and give out some free self therapy sessions as well.