Over the past few weeks the BarkBoard has been filled with threads about topics such as Fresno's scheduling and the amount of respect the Bulldogs receive from the general public and media. Yesterday I had the radio on at three p.m. here at work and Kelly Carr mentioned that Fresno State was named the third most disappointing team this season behind only Miami and Florida State. At first I reacted as most Bulldog fans would by saying "Yeah no kidding, this season has been a disaster." However, in that moment I realized something that is actually a positive for the Bulldogs team. We were named the third most disappointing team by Bruce Feldman, the college football know it all for ESPN (He actually is very knowledgeable and usually has a great idea of what he is talking about). Do you as fans realize how great this is for Fresno State? ESPN expects the Bulldogs to play with the big teams year in and year out. ESPN expects the Bulldogs to challenge the BCS yearly. In other words we have a level of respect that very few non-BCS schools have today. If Boise were 1-6 this season do you believe that they would be on the list of the most disappointing teams? I honestly think there is no possible way this would happen.
I want anyone who reads this blog to think about something for a minute. If Fresno State had Boise's schedule this season and were currently sitting at 8-0 do you think they would be ranked at #15 in the nation or higher? I personally think the Bulldogs with their past schedules would be respected far more and probably would be in the ten spot at the moment. I realize that in the past I have said that the Bulldogs need to tone down their schedule, but if this is what it is going to lead to then I have to say I am wrong. I think in the future we need that one huge road and home game yearly, but right now our team is not at the level that other teams of the past have been in. Next year's schedule of Oregon and Cincinnati on the road and K-State and Sac State at home is a perfect schedule for this team. Everyone talks about the tough out of conference schedules but I will say right now that our toughest game next season will be in conference when we travel to Hawaii. We will have such a young defense that playing a team like Hawaii with that offense will be ugly to say the least. Getting back to the respect and rankings we really owe this to Pat Hill and the way he has led this team into battle the past nine seasons (I realize he has been the coach for ten but this year has not been a good example of Hill getting his players ready for the games).
Many Fresno State fans want Pat Hill fired. I personally would not like to see him go because us being ranked as the third most disappointing team of the season is 100% because of Pat Hill and the way he has changed how others view the Bulldogs. True he needs to change, I won't argue that. He is too stubborn as a college coach and sometimes changes are needed. He has actually walked down the change line recently by putting in guys such as Jefferson and Norton to see if it will help the team in the long run. The rest of the season will be how us as Bulldog fans measure Pat Hill's success. If the Dogs can run a streak of five games in a row and beat Boise (Which I think we will) in their house no one will remember how this season started. Remember Hill has many young players out there right now trying to learn the game. 2007 and 2008 will be better years because these men will have experience and our team is going to be relatively young. Regardless of what happens though do remember that the Bulldogs are respected on a level Boise could only hope to reach one day. Their schedules over the past five years have been weak to say the least with the one tough game @ Georgia ending in a massacre. Fresno tends to hang with the big teams and quite honestly did not disappoint against LSU. I guess respect does matter, it just took me three months of writing the Bulldog blog to realize it.