Monday, December 05, 2005
"You'd have to say everybody thinks this is extremely disappointing"
That was a direct quote from Perry Winstead, Chief Financial Officer of the Liberty Bowl. But that quote could have come from anyone in America, especially Fresno State and Tulsa fans.
Pat Hill and the 'Dogs really have laid an egg the last two games. After the great performance at the Coliseum, Fresno State falls flat on its face at Nevada and at home against Louisiana Tech. The Liberty Bowl was supposed to be a great bowl experience for the players and fans. The first bowl berth to a game east of the Rockies, and the promise to play a conference champ from Conference USA. Those statements still hold true, but the......
....champ is Tulsa. Yes, the same Tulsa that Fresno State is 4-0 against all-time. The closest game in the series was the first one back in 1999, 28-14. The Tulsa program has been reborn under coach Steve Kragthorpe, but to many Bulldog fans, it's still Tulsa. Hill has never faced Kragthorpe, as he did not take over the Golden Hurricane until 2003 and Fresno State last played Tulsa in 2002.
The only positive I see is, Fresno State has a 4 loss season, finishes 4th in the Western Athletic Conference, but still gets a invite to their most prestigious bowl game ever. However, it should be noted the Liberty might have had some premature ejaculation after the 'Dogs took the Trojans to the wire. Inviting a 16th ranked 8-2 team that is expected to be conference champs is one thing, but I think the Liberty will be a little more cautious in the future. Executive director Steve Ehrhart was practically about to cum during the USC game and flew out just days later to invite Fresno State. Ehrhart and the rest of the Liberty board have just experienced what Bulldog fans have had to deal with since Hill's arrival.
Going to the Liberty Bowl game could really backfire on Hill and Fresno State. With three straight losses and the loss of their national ranking, the Bulldogs are hardly the national draw many thought they would be. I doubt a huge amount of Bulldog fans are willing to pay thousands to travel cross country to see a team that just gave up or see the 'Dogs play a former WAC pasty.
If the Liberty Bowl wanted the Dogs so bad, Hill should have just told them to wait and let his team finish out the season. Despite the two losses, Fresno State probably would have gotten a bid to the Emerald Bowl vs 6-5 Utah. As soon as Emerald officials found out Fresno State was headed to the Liberty, they locked up an ACC team. If the 'Dogs would have waited, the Liberty would probably have invited Georgia Tech or Virginia and the Emerald probably would have extended an invite to Fresno State.
Hindsight is 20/20, but the fact remains the Bulldogs stuck it up to end the season. I for one would not spend my hard earned money on some airfare, hotel and Liberty Bowl tickets for a team that just gave up. I do not blame the players, the coaching staff did not have this team prepared to handle the post USC hoopla.
But, if the 'Dogs were playing Utah in the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco that is a different story. I will eventually get over the fact that Hill has not finished out another season and will be excited to see Fresno State play in a bowl game. San Francisco is a lot easier to get to last minute than Memphis, and if the Dogs if get blow out, I still can enjoy the city. Even though Tulsa is a conference champ, has a better record and is a better team than Utah; the Utes carry more weight nationally after their Bowl Championship Series bowl win last year. Urban Meyer did it in two years like nothing, what the fuck is taking Hill so fucking long.
No team from the WAC is going to win a national title, so why not tone down the fucking schedule and get to a BCS bowl game, if that is what you fucking want. Utah did not exactly beat up on pasties last year. Texas A&M finished 7-5 and North Carolina went 6-6 with a win over Miami. Both of those teams went to a bowl game, and Utah also beat Arizona. Compare that to Fresno State's schedule last year, Arizona was a better team than Washington, A&M was better than Kansas State, and North Carolina was a lot tougher than Portland State. Huh? Exactly, the 'Dogs had the schedule set up perfectly for a BCS run, but blew their chance.
Already Bulldog fans are already pointing to next year, just check out the Barkboard. Everyone is putting the blame on Paul Pinegar and are glad to see him gone. Many are saying Tom Brandstater or even the undersized Sean Norton will be the quarterback Messiah to lead the 'Dogs to the BCS. If Hill could not finish the deal back in 2001 with a stud like David Carr at quarterback, what makes anyone think Brandstater will fair any better?
Overhaul the freaking coaching staff. Dan Brown, Tim Simons, John Settle, Kerry Locklin, Tom Mason, Randy Stewart don't let the door hit you on the way out.