I bet you never thought you’d see us lose like that against a team like Central Florida.
How is this team worse than the Huskies teams that were transitioning from FCS? Would you believe me if I told you that UConn was once ranked 16th in the country at football?! I swear, look it up.
How could we have fallen this far?
Mac is right. This game is not worth recapping, and I too am starting to worry about Andrew Callahan. After having to review the Cinci debacle, on top of mistake filled losses to Towson, Buffalo and South Florida, I’m concerned this week’s film breakdown might make his head explode.
We’ve been outscored 103-33 in our last two games. A ranked opponent is coming into the Rent next week where this trend will undoubtedly continue.
Amidst all the failure, I’m sure a lot of fans are worried that irreparable damage is being done to the program- a sentiment which I think is a little extreme. I'm here to slap some sense into everyone. Step back from edge of the cliff people, I promise things aren't as bad as they seem.
I’m not ready to act like the sky is falling because we lost badly to a ranked team. We knew UConn would lose, and we knew it would be by a lot. Unfortunately we lost the right to care about the scoreboard this year when Warde Manuel fired Paul Pasqualoni and we trotted out a true freshman at QB knowing he would take his lumps. I like that Boyle is getting experience against tough teams. I like that the players are learning what it’s like to be outclassed on the field- hopefully it’s motivating. Would you rather Chandler Whitmer lead us to a 45-24 loss so it doesn't hurt as badly?
Believe it or not, teams with little in the way of football tradition have managed to pull themselves out from the bottom. Mac mentioned Boise State and even UCF as examples; I think our best role model is actually Temple. For years they were a laughing stock, consistently among the worst teams in college football. Then Al Golden took over and completely turned things around. Their resurgence slowed when Golden left after four years, but the point is that there is hope and that we aren't dead.
It is critical that we bring in a good head coach, and unlike Temple, we need to make sure he’s in it for the long haul. We have to hope that Boyle doesn't decide to transfer; if he sticks around I think we have a chance to get back to respectability (7-8 wins, bowl appearances) by the time he’s a Junior or Senior. I know that sounds insane right now, but all it takes is the right coach.
Get it out of your heads that this isn't an attractive opportunity for head coaching candidates. There are only so many head coaching jobs out there, and even though we’ve been relegated to ‘mid-major’ status, assistant coaches at major programs will want a chance to be top dog and rumored candidates who are currently head coaching in the MAC or FCS will certainly see the UConn job as an upgrade. There is nothing structurally that is so unattractive about the school. Warde Manuel seems to be a good AD and we have world class football facilities. Yes the conference situation is not ideal, but if I'm Warde, I'm selling UConn as a school that will be in the ACC or Big 10 within five years. The goal is to upgrade and this UConn job affords the opportunity for a new head coach to bring us there. Losing badly to UCF isn't going to scare away quality candidates.
Yes, that loss was embarrassing. Yes, we are in for more of the same the rest of this year. Unfortunately, none of it really matters until we get a new head coach. For now we just have to hope that Boyle does get better and that this young team can at least put a solid performance together against the likes of SMU, Memphis and Temple.
12 days until basketball season….