Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Unrealistic Expectations?

by NSC

Yesterday I talked about how winning seven games would be a strong year for Fresno State with respect to the 2007 football season. I have come to find out that many of you feel that setting a goal of seven wins is unjust. While I can see why so many fans feel we will win ten to twelve games I have to interject here because I am not saying I think we will seven games because that is what I want. Instead I am saying that we will win seven to eight games because I am looking at the talent of this team and that is exactly what I see. Spring practice went well; I will not put down how much fun it looked like the team had during the spring. But there is one glaring weakness that we cannot ignore: The QB position.

Many of you make very good points as to why expecting seven wins is unfathomable for the Fresno State Bulldogs football program. However do keep in mind that in 2006 this team won just four games. At the same time remember that in the last sixteen games this team has gone 4-12. I think that sometimes we forget just how bad the last year and a half has gone for this football team and that is why the expectations remain astronomical. Tom Brandstater is still our starting QB and up until now he has done very little to solidify himself as the man to lead this team. Instead of having a great amount of faith in him we generally question Tom and if he can get the job done. The problem here is not that I have reservations about Brandstater, but instead that after watching spring ball I do not see Colburn as an improvement at this point in time. Because Colburn has relatively no game experience all I can do is go off of what I saw when he played in the scrimmages and I cannot say I generally fell in love with his game. So here I sit thinking about how many games this team will win in 2007 and I cannot push myself to think ten is a reasonable amount, not with the QB play that we have seen over the last year. However, I will agree with one of our frequent posters on the board (Arx) in saying that if Brandstater can improve his game play and give us an improved effort week after week this team will win more then seven games. But you have to remember that I am going off of my impressions of what I have actually seen, not what I hope will happen with the team.

With that being said I will not belittle anyone who feels this team should win nine to ten games. If those are your goals for this team then to you they are not unrealistic. I just feel that if you set these lofty goals for a team that is not quite ready to take that step you will end up disappointed when all is said and done with. I realize that many of you feel like Pat Hill has to do his best coaching job of his life to win many of the fans back. But you have to realize Hill can do a wonderful coaching job and this team can still lose at least five games. What will you as fans do if we go into a place like Texas A&M and throw the ball forty times only to lose 38-35? What will you do as fans if the very same thing happens the week after at Oregon but you see that the offense is clicking 100%? We could very well lose both of these games but look amazing on offense. If we lose five games but our offense is firing on all cylinders does that become Pat’s fault or is it our defense’s fault and do we shift our blame from the offense to the defense? Are we still upset because Hill is not getting the job done? In 2001 we lost back to back games against Boise and Hawaii but it was not because of our offense. Does everyone on the board feel like both of those losses lay completely with Pat? I am just wondering where you will put the blame if we do indeed end up seeing five losses on our record at the end of the season.

Many of you are right when you say five losses will not fill the seats at Bulldog stadium, but that is because Fresno fans are generally all or nothing fans. As I said earlier it is quite possible this team can play great football and see five losses on their record at the end of the season. The schedule is difficult to say the least and unless the Bulldogs play lights out every week they will inevitably lose a game. As I said before I am not going to fault someone for feeling like this team should win at least nine games. Before 2006 that is what this team had led us to expect every year and if you feel we are right back to where we were in 2004 then that is your opinion. However, this team right now is no better than the 2005 team we put on the field and that team finished the season 8-5. That to me is one of the main reasons I feel 7-5 is a reasonable expectation. Whether I am right or wrong for believing that doesn’t matter in the end. All that matters is that Fresno State steps on the field, performs their very best, and completely proves me wrong.


mdg said...

I was talking to NSC and he mentioned the 2003 team.

That team beat everybody it should and lost to the teams that were better except one, vs. Oregon State in the second week of the season.

But no one could fault the 03 'Dogs for losing at #11 Tennessee, at #1 Oklahoma, at Colorado State, at Hawaii and vs. #20 Boise State.

That 03 team was average, poor QB play -- injured Grady and injured Pinegar --, poor RB play early on until D Wright emerged as the starter and a team that was overall ravaged by injuries, only 8 scholarship OL were available.

8-5 and the bowl win over UCLA gave the 'Dogs a 9-5 record and everyone was oh hum, oh well...

The 03 is far better on paper than the 07 team, minus the as long as the 07 team can stay healthy 7-5 is on target, and if they pull off a home upset over Boise State or Kansas State and don't stub their toe on a lesser foe, 8-4 and a bowl berth is a reason to celebrate IMO...

There are only 20-30 teams in the nation that can do better than .500 in games @Texas A&M, @Oregon, @Hawaii, vs. Boise State and vs. Kansas State...

and maybe only the top five in the nation could be expected to win games @A&M and @Hawaii this season

mdg said...

one more thing, thanks to NSC, this is his probably his best blog to date...every Bulldog fan should read this entry

MB said...

Agreed MDG.

Excellent post and I couldnt have laid it out better myself on my best day of blogging.

High expectations are good for those that want to feel really about their team going into a season. Everyone wants a winner and to sede that your team will be slightly better than .500 is considered weakness to many FSU fans.

While it may be weak to be predicting that record a bit of realism must be injected and past performance and team history play a role and that has been stated and documented here quite well.

I like to be surprised with success by slightly downplaying a teams ability rather than overemphasizing and being deflated.

Its true, most fans need to read this because its as close to the way it is as you are going to get.

7-5 for sure 07', maybe 8-4 and a bowl win to set up a 2 loss max in 08 with a chance of only one regular season loss if it all falls into place. That would be breakthrough QB play and clutch play from that position along with continue O-line success and great team speed on defense. Lastly, the most important factor of all health for the season.

nsc said...

Thanks for supporting me guys. I do feel like I am very straight forward and honest with what I expect out of this team. I do not feel like what I hope for is a blow to what we should expect but instead just honest and truthful. I will always understand the optimists and will always want to side with them. I just have to go with what I believe in the end even if it is not the most positive of attitudes.