Friday, October 27, 2006

The Respect Level of Fresno State

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.


Anonymous said...

One of your best posts on the blog nsc, keep up the good work. We were 6-0 in 2001 and ranked #8. If we beat Boise and UH we are challenging for the Rose Bowl. If Boise goes undefeated with their scedule they are still questioned on whether they should even be in a BCS game. They may reach a BCS game this year, but I can hardly say they truly challenged themselves and earned it on the field. You shouldn't earn a BCS game by scheduling from the AD's office.

Anonymous said...

Great points. Thank you.

This season is only a minor road bump in the grand scheme of things. The program has come a long way and will continue to do so. There's no need for any knee jerk reactions.

nsc said...

I think what happens with most fans is we have a losing season and they don't know how to react to it. I have to admit that I cannot recall the last time the Dogs could be on the losing end more times than they win (Maybe 1997?). However, I feel like sometimes a bad season is necessary in order to develop a winner. I know the Florida schools had been good for the longest of times, but look at Florida State and Miami right now. They are having terrible seasons and I am willing to bet they will only improve next season.

Look what this terrible season has brought us. Sean Norton is a great addition and there cannot be one person that follows the Dogs that doesn't agree that Chastin West is better than we all thought he would be. Bear Pascoe has been a great posession receiver and I believe in time Moore, Crawley, and Ciccone will only get better. Shirley has finally come around on defense and I feel like him and Clutts will be very good next season. Jefferson has plenty of talent on defense as does Owens. I almost forgot to mention how great Miller has looked at running back.

So yes it has been a tough season but there is plenty to look forward to. I just dont think one bad season is reason enough to walk away from the Dogs, we have plenty of great seasons left, these guys just need to develop together.

Anonymous said...

Let me remind everyone that not a single poster on any of the blogs I read--and this includes me--ever said, implied, or intimated that the 'Dogs should be abandoned. Quite the contrary! We love the Bulldogs, many posters are alumni, and we want the best for our team.

Also, I support Pat Hill, and appreciate what he has done for our football program. That does NOT mean he gets free reign; people who are paid enormous sums have to produce amazing results. So let's not forget the "what have you done for us lately" rule aptly applies here, as in any business. And make no mistake, a salary of $1,300,000 each year puts Hill in that category.

Don't feel sorry for PH, require the best from him. Don't always look at what he has done, but also at where he is headed. If you believe the road he is taking our team is the path to success, then say so. If you think changes are in order, then loyalty to our school demands you raise your voice to express your opinion; doing so does not amount to mutiny!

I am far more loyal to Fresno State, my alma mater, than to any one person at the university.

Steve Burnes

nsc said...

I feel like Hill has the team going in the right direction. I know many fans feel like Hill has lost his fire but this young core of players should put that energy right back into Hill. Next season and 2008 are going to be good years with 2008 being the big one. We will have a very strong 2008 team and if Hill can go out and find some prospects we should be good for years to come. Hill has started on the JC trail because we need secondary help right away and I feel like Hill will get this for us.

As long as Hill realizes change is important to the future we will be fine. We may only win 4 or 5 games this season but it will only get better next year and even better the year after. You have to start somewhere as every team has an off year. This will be our only one, trust me on that one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, and the optimisim, NSC. I hope you are right; we will all know soon enough. At this point I would be happy with "4 or 5 wins."

And really, now with the pressure off to have a terrific season and a D1-capable quarterback, we could win that many.

I guess that Utah State game just really shook me--no way we should have lost that contest.

Keep the faith, NSC and others.

Steve Burnes

Anonymous said...

I think also that it is very important to schedule the big game against a tough foe very late in the season. This has always been a very emotional team that will feed very strongly off of a win or a loss. By putting the BCS game at the end of the schedule, the team will get a chance to shore up before having to face the big guy. Just a thought anyway. If you look at the losses, they got bigger and bigger as the team went more into the tank. one TD against oregon (a good team), one point against Washington (a not as good team), then so on unill a loss to Utah State. It was a snowball effect that keeps going. But playing easy teams early might have the opposite effect.

pleasewintheWAC! said...

Yes, Fresno State is name in college football. They are known. This is because of PH is a great publicist. 1-10... Maybe it's time to start taking a few more risks on the field and stop playing it so safe.

formerdog said...


Amen brother. I couldn't agree more!