I'd somehow managed to convince myself that it was actually going to happen. I'd talked about the postgame celebration with friends, laid out the "forget the season, let's enjoy this one tonight" victory post in my mind, and actually started to think about what bowl might take us at 7-5.
I suppose the ending was predictable: The most frustrating finish to what has easily been the most frustrating season I've ever followed as a fan. The Pat White scramble, Trent Guy's shaky hands popping up again, the five-yard passes over the middle when we need to go the length of the field, Brian Brohm's continued inability to throw the ball away when he gets flushed out of the pocket, and then throwing a hail Mary from your own 40 with nine seconds and one timeout left.
Adamcards is right, the circumstances were perfect for an upset. Look at how everything played out, it was the 2005 game in reverse except the team with all the momentum fell apart in the final three minutes.
There's no denying that it was an absolutely tremendous defensive effort. Lamar Myles probably isn't going to get first-team All-Big East consideration because of who he plays for, but he deserves it. The D did everything they could to put us in a position to win the game, and deserve all the credit in the world for that.
Sure I was pleasantly surprised that we had a chance to beat the number seven team country at home and only lost by a touchdown, but would any of us have been calling this a moral victory if we saw the score on paper before the season? The time for building block wins has come and gone people. Even in 2004 when all of us - myself included - were talking about how proud we were of the team after the game in Miami, it was Petrino who came out and said that moral victories weren't good enough for this program anymore. The nucleus (yes people the nucleus, no matter how many times you wildly claim it, the cupboard was nowhere near bare) of a team that won the Orange Bowl a season ago still isn't bowl eligible after ten games.
I have so, so many issues with the way the offense is being run. The play still not getting called in nearly enough time, the ridiculous predictability, the not running a play to the marker on third down, the 3rd and 1 gives to someone other than Brock Bolen, it's all extremely troubling.
It was great to see Stripling break two of the 78 chances he got on screens, but what was up with the infatuation with him as the feature back? We had 27 rushes for 37 yards. Twenty-seven rushes for 37 yards, and Bilal Powell doesn't even get one shot at carrying the ball. It makes absolutely no sense to me. And he's flying around on special teams so we know he's not hurt. When you have talent, regardless of age or experience, you get the ball in their hands.
It's awesome that we're finally seeing progress in mid-November, and it's awesome that we fought back and nearly upset a legitimate top ten team, but all it really means is that if we don't win our last two regular season games, a handful of the best players ever to come through this program aren't going to go to a bowl game in their senior season.
It's been awful, and it's still awful, but regardless of how angry or disappointed or upset we are, we should all cheer like hell during these last two games because Brian Brohm's farewell party coming in a November home game against Rutgers would be a disgrace the magnitude of which I'm not sure this program has ever seen.
Craig James sucks.