Let's make sure we are all talking about the same thing here:
The Narrative: Louisville's schedule is not good enough, all of their wins and stats are discounted because of the teams against whom they are playing, and not only are they not the best team in the country regardless of whether they go undefeated, they are not even worthy of playing in a game against the best team in the country, and teams with losses are better than they are regardless of who they lose to.
The Backlash To The Narrative: Louisville fans attacking national media outlets who analyze everything related to Louisville within the framework of The Narrative. The backlash has been going strong since the spring, and built to its most intense this Saturday when Georgia and Stanford lost, and teams like Texas A&M, Clemson and Baylor struggled in closer-than-they-should-be wins, and Alabama failed to score in the first quarter against UK. It peaked this morning when the AP decided to keep us at 8 and have LSU and A&M jump us despite their less-than-impressive wins and A&M's frankly miracle finish against Ole Miss in a game Ole Miss basically choked away.
The Backlash To The Backlash To The Narrative: Louisville fans trying to refocus on the positives, and who point out that the AP poll is the most meaningless thing in a sport filled with meaningless things. For instance, Keith went in this morning:
I hope this weeks AP poll gets people to stop caring about the rankings and just enjoy the season. The respect won't come. Not a big deal.— Keith Wynne (@go_cards_guy) October 13, 2013
We're in a spot where people will continue to look for reasons to discredit as opposed to finding excuses to praise. Can't win that battle.— Keith Wynne (@go_cards_guy) October 13, 2013
The defense as a whole. Teddy. Receivers. Calvin and Preston. Mauldin and Smith. Plenty of reasons to enjoy and love this season.— Keith Wynne (@go_cards_guy) October 13, 2013
We get to watch one of the greatest players to ever suit up for our favorite team this year. Take advantage and enjoy the hell out of it.— Keith Wynne (@go_cards_guy) October 13, 2013
We're watching a team that could have 7 guys drafted this spring. Enjoy these guys while we can and be proud of this team.— Keith Wynne (@go_cards_guy) October 13, 2013
There's nothing that says you need outside approval to enjoy your team. We all know we can't control it. We as fans set the narrative.— Keith Wynne (@go_cards_guy) October 13, 2013
So, ya, what he said.
And I'm guilty of being part of the backlash too. All season I've tried to point out when the double standard is applying, tried to point out when other teams get the benefit of the doubt that we don't, etc. Jon Bois wrote an awesome post for the mothership after the Ohio game, and I commented on it disagreeing in part. Heck, I even wrote an entire post battling with the backlash and saying that it wasn't going to bother me.
Maybe it was the Temple game, that I didn't watch but only experienced through Twitter, and the Rutgers game (see below) but at some point I fully gave over to the backlash to the backlash. I stopped worrying awhile ago. But now I have fully stopped caring, and I have decided I love the narrative because I finally realized that it is not something that can be defeated. No matter how we looked in our games this season, no matter what the final score, our schedule is not changing. It doesn't matter that UCF barely lost to South Carolina, they still lost and they are still UCF. It doesn't matter that Rutgers matches up really well with us and a 2-TD win in a game that was really never in doubt, the win was not good enough.
Here's The Thing: Nothing we do will ever be good enough to overcome The Narrative.
So let's start to embrace it. The Narrative is the second worst thing about college football (the first being the conference realignment bubble and the third being the amateur/profiteer issues). College football is so dumb because there is no tournament! People compare teams that never play each other every year, year after year, and the most important factor is how good teams from those schools were in the 1960s, 1970s, and mayyyyyybe the 1980s - 1990s. At the end of the season, 2 teams are picked to play against each other and like 60 schools play essentially meaningless exhibition games. Like I said in response to that Bois masterpiece:
No matter what you do, you are assumed to have only done it because you did not face anyone better than you, and if you beat someone better than you, it’s because they didn’t really care, and if you beat someone better than you who cared, then you are told that sure, you did it today, but you could not do it again. And you never get a chance to prove any of those statements wrong.
College football is so dumb! So dumb!
Finally, Here's What I'm Saying: Embrace the Narrative. We've seen enough after 6 games to know that we are really good. And who cares what anyone else thinks. No matter what we do, we will NEVER get a chance to convince anyone that we "belong" this season. Even if we play in the BCS championship game against Alabama, people will say Oregon or Ohio State should have been there. Or FSU or Clemson. We just have to beat all the teams on our schedule, preferably in dominating fashion, but we can't play perfect every game, so if we go 12-0, that's enough. By doing that and then taking whatever we get at the end of the season and not caring what anyone says, we can show how dumb this system is. Assuming we finish 12-0, no matter whether we play in the championship or not, we will show how dumb the system is one way or the other. It's so dumb, they are changing it next year!
This is the best team we have ever seen at Louisville. Not just Teddy. DeVante Parker is the most underrated wide receiver in college football and he may be gone. Calvin Pryor is freaking awesome. Our defensive line and corners have been playing about as well as they could all year. We will miss Preston Brown so much.
Keith James Burgess will be a superstar. We have so much talent and they are all playing really well right now. Screw the system of college football, these guys are really good and we know it, and they can never, ever take that away from us.
And the more we embrace the The Narrative, the more ridiculous it becomes.
cannot thank Loverofthegame (@Loverofthegame_) enough for the photoshop.