With the season coming to a disappointing end a question came to mind with respect to our football team. Do we as Fresno State fans expect too much out of our team? I think the easiest way to go about posing this question is to use the much debated quarterback position. Our past three QB's (if we forget the Grady experiment) were Billy Volek, David Carr, and Paul Pinegar. Each of these QB's had very little problem throwing the ball although Pinegar had a bit of a problem closing out close games. However, these three QB's were the kind that you never wanted to let go of. I feel like Paul Pinegar is missed far more now than when he said good bye last season. I never realized that Pinegar was so clutch on third downs during his career. Brandstater has not been able to grasp the third and long concept up to this point in his career. But do we put unrealistic expectations on our QB position or the entire Bulldog team for that matter? Is asking a mid-major school to win 8-10 games a season too much? Do we as fans put our expectations on a level the team cannot possibly reach?
To answer this question let's take a look at how the players on the team have to adapt to the Bulldogs system of football. We have used primarily the same offense since Pat Hill took over as coach. Aside 2001 when David Carr was given the chance to throw all the time we have been a run first team. Tom Brandstater knew coming into the season that Dwayne Wright would take an enormous amount of pressure off of him by running the ball effectively. Brandstater still was not able to adapt to his role as a secondary player who would have to step up from time to time. With respect to the QB position I do not feel like we expected too much, but instead I feel like we expected out of Brandstater exactly what the Bulldog offense did: For him to step up from time to time and make a play to win the game. There is no reason to cover the RB position, Dwayne Wright did the school proud and came through in every possible way in 2006. WR's in the Bulldogs offense are expected to block primarily and make catches when needed. We are not a throwing offense per se so in turn the receivers do less than most receivers in the WAC have to. With that being said, the 2006 receiving corps underachieved horribly. Fernandez dropped numerous passes and Williams could not play for half the season. The Dogs lost Fairman to injury and were forced to play Freshman upon Freshman. We all know the defense was horrendous for the entire first half of the season. The second half of the season provided us with some positives as the Dogs defense began to come around and actually finished third in the WAC in sacks.
At Fresno State we have become accustomed to 8-9 wins a season. We as fans have been told that the Bulldogs goal is to reach the BCS. We only have these hopes and dreams because that is exactly what the coach of the football team has sold to us. Pat Hill's goals are the reason Bulldog fans have high expectations. Are we wrong for it? No because that is the message that our very own hometown coach is giving us each week with respect to the Dogs. Do we expect too much out of Fresno State? Overall at this time in the programs history our expectations may be too much for the Dogs but it should not be this way. Fresno State has as much talent as anyone in the WAC. They have the players to win every week. Pat Hill has led us to believe we are a top tier mid-major in the college football world. Hill has made many of us believe that there is that chance to do what Boise State did this year. Unfortunately if Pat Hill does not change who he is (and I don't foresee this happening) we will have no chance to achieve BCS dreams. Remember we have to climb the mountain to reach the top. The first stop should be the WAC title. That is what we should desire as fans right now. Once we accomplish that then let's move onto something bigger and better. Until the WAC title belongs to Fresno BCS dreams should be put to bed which is exactly where the BCS belongs with respect to Fresno State: in a distant dream.