It’s been awhile since I have written one of these. The losses began to pile up and I had to give myself a bye week after the Boston College game. That was followed up by the real bye week. So, we come back and I was hoping to write this after a win, but alas, here we are again. I can’t just take the rest of the season off. But if I had a hefty buyout, maybe I just would. I don’t know that this will focus so much on the actual Wake Forest game as much as just an overall vent session. I don’t want to spend too much time on that game, since we are all looking so forward to playing Clemson, right? Let’s do this…
I was fortunate to live in Auburn, Alabama from 2008-2012, meaning I skipped town after one year of Kragthorpe and avoided the final two years. I did come home for some games, for whatever reason. The stadium on Saturday reminded me of those days, as far as the numbers in the crowd. Only the stadium has gone through two expansions since then, so it looks even worse. Those Adidas three stripes in the latest expansion have been very visible all season. And I don’t care what attendance number they announce, we know that 49,000 was close to 29,000, and then about 2,900 as the game ended.
If you bought tickets this year, you do whatever you want with them. I am not going to tell you how to “fan”. If you want to go and support the players and just enjoy a day out and be social with friends and/or family at the game, have at it. That’s how my Saturday was spent. The product on the field was awful, but I had a good time with my friends and my mom, who started taking me to games around four months old at Old Cardinal Stadium. On the other side, if you want to protest and not go to the game and let your tickets go unused, that is your right as well. I’d suggest maybe donating them to a family that may not be fortunate enough to buy tickets normally, but again, you do whatever you want.
The latest buzz is Athletic Director Vince Tyra commenting about fan attendance, by saying that the low numbers looks bad to recruits, so that, in turn, makes them not want to come here. So, he urges the fans to still come out and make the stadium look better. I am a huge fan of Tyra and 100% approve of the job he is doing, and I believe he will continue to lead the athletic department in the right direction. But I will have to respectfully disagree here. Yes, the empty stadium looks bad to recruits. You know what else looks bad? Losing 56-35 to freaking Wake Forest. What else? Losing 66-31 to Georgia Tech. What else? Blowing the game against a down Florida State team. What else? Squeaking by a Western Kentucky team that is now 1-7 on the season with losses to Maine, Charlotte, Old Dominion, and other powerhouses. A full stadium looks great to recruits. So does a team that wins. So do coaches that look like they know what is going on. Let’s fix those things. Then the wins come. Then the seats begin to fill back up. If I am part-time recruiting coordinator, I would like for my season ticket invoice to reflect that.
Tyra is in a tough spot. It does no good to do anything except back the coach and the program until the season ends, so I don’t put a lot of stock into this. Everyone makes mistakes, and I believe the words he chose here were just that. I will easily forgive him, because again, I am completely on board with things he has done thus far.
Help your QB up, maybe?
I want you to pay attention to something this Saturday. Whenever Puma Pass gets sacked or just knocked down in general, how many offensive lineman rush to help him up? The same linemen that don’t block for him because they are constructing their next tweet about the fans just kind of stand around and let him get up on his own. Of course this isn’t 100% of the time, but it has gotten to the point where when I see one go help him up, it surprises me. I’d anticipate they will have plenty of chances to help him off the ground this Saturday in Death Valley.
Not a bad season
Don’t read that headline and go crazy. This is a terrible season. What I mean is, if you look back, this is not just one blip on the radar. Anyone that is defending Bobby Petrino and saying that he deserves another year are usually the ones saying that “it’s only one bad season”. Is it? What about 2016? With the Heisman Winner and one of the best to ever play college football, you go 9-4, and that includes three losses in a row to close the season out. You go to Houston and get flat out embarrassed on national TV, followed up by losing to Kentucky at home, and then not showing up for the bowl game against LSU, where their defenders are in the backfield on Lamar as soon as the ball is.
Last year with the returning Heisman winner? Blown out at home by Clemson, dominated on the road against NC State, losses to Boston College and Wake Forest, and another bowl loss to an SEC team, this one against a Mississippi State team who just had their head coach leave for Florida. 8-5 record. How does that happen? What if we didn’t have Lamar in those two seasons? Yikes.
And I obviously don’t need to recap every game this season. ‘Bama took our soul and then we proceeded to win games against Indiana State and Western Kentucky. Since then, the team has look out of sorts. No energy on the sidelines, and that includes from the coaching staff. There has been bad play-calling, no defense played, and musical chairs at the QB position. Don’t make a mistake, Puma, or you will be benched.
Where do we go from here?
We endure it. Just take it on the chin for the next four games. It won’t be good. Clemson will do whatever they want on Saturday. Syracuse can put up points, especially at home. NC State stayed right with Syracuse on Saturday, so they will be a problem. And then Kentucky. Just take the lumps, they are coming. It’s been hell as a Louisville fan in general for the last three years when you think about all that has happened, so we can deal with losing a few more games. That’s nothing to us.
I know some people want Tyra to fire Petrino right now. You know why he can’t? No, I am not referencing a buyout. Who would take over? Is there anyone on this staff you would want at the helm? And that presents the major problem. If you don’t have anyone on your staff that could be the head coach if something were to happen, that’s a big issue. That issue will not improve next year or the year after. The staff is not good, and I have not seen or heard a thing that tells me that is going to change.
We have been through bad times before and came out of it and were able to build back up. We survived Cooper. We survived Kragthorpe. We will survive Petrino 2.0.
Go Cards…Beat Clem…nevermind. Just go Krogering.