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New Expectations

I was duped. I was told this team was going to be good. I have the premium subscriptions to all the recruiting sites. I see all the practice reports. I hear what all of the "insiders" and "observers" have to say. I read all of the glowing reports coming out of the spring and preseason and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Now I'm not saying they publish false information. I believe they published what their sources told them word for word, but those sources are distributing a particularly sweet flavor of blue and white Kool Aid. I drank it down and it tasted pretty nice, but little did I know it was laced with arsenic.

I was told #14 had turned the corner after the Outback Bowl. I was told he was beeming with confidence and taking charge in the huddle. But in the last two weeks I saw a kid struggling to come to grips with himself. I was told he could make any throw on the football field, but in four interceptions this year he has grossly underthrown the football. And he never really seems to hit anyone in stride when they're crossing over the middle. I was fooled.

I was told Austin Scott was going to have a Larry Johnson-type breakout senior year. Practice reports said he was hitting the holes and knocking the defense off the ball. This I was skeptical of, but it didn't stop me from expecting it. We soon learned the year off did nothing for his game. He still dances in the hole. He can't catch a pass. Heck, he can't even hold on to the football when he has it.

I was told Chris Bell was playing like a first round draft pick. Where has he been? He caught a long pass against Notre Dame and another one against Illinois. But then he also ran the incorrect route twice on Saturday and wasn't within 20 yards of the ball meant for him.

I was told Brett Brackett was developing into an unstoppable weapon in the redzone. Remember that one? I can't believe I thought a kid that played quarterback last year was suddenly going to score 20 touchdowns.

Now we're faced with the decision: Do we bench #14 or stick with the horse that got us here? Afterall, practice reports on Daryll Clark and Pat Devlin have been decent. But how can we trust those now?

I've learned a valuable lesson this year. Unlike the stock market, in football past results are an indication of future performance. And based on the past performance of our quarterback, running back, and offensive line I am not optimistic about the rest of our season. When we started the year I dreamed of National Championships and Big Ten titles. Now that has changed. The only game I expect to win from here on out is Temple. Everything else is up for grabs. My goals for this team now are to just win six games, go to the Music City Bowl and let's start planning for 2008.