So, I started writing this post when UConn was down 24-7 with 8 minutes to go in the third quarter Saturday. I stopped when it suddenly became 24-17, not because the comeback was so dramatic and inspirational that it demanded my full attention, but rather because if I was going to write about how Paul Pasqualoni had already worn out his welcome less than two years into his tenure, I had to at least wait and see if his team could battle back and rip an unsatisfying and rather depressing victory away from an utterly embarrassing defeat.
Then it was 31-17... and the keyboard came alive once again.
Simply put, what happened Saturday is unacceptable. I don't care about the stats. The "plays of the game" mean nothing to me. This boils down to one indisputable truth: you CANNOT lose to Western F**king Michigan -- and you cannot do it two years in a row.
It doesn't matter if it was a home or road game. This thing could have been played at the bottom of the ocean without oxygen tanks and you should STILL be able to beat this team. Losing in any way? Utter embarrassment.
Look, in the interest of full disclosure, I wasn't a fan of the Paul Pasqualoni hiring. I know I wasn't alone. It has nothing to do with him as a person. I've had the chance to hear him speak twice and while he didn't exactly come across as a cross between Jim Calhoun and Vince Lombardi when it came to inspiration, he seemed like a no-nonsense, genuine man very interested in bringing UConn into the future.
But that doesn't equal wins, or a program on the rise.
I don't like to think of myself as reactionary, but I know that like everyone else I can be pretty irrational in the moment. I can call for everyone to be fired or benched with the best of them. Give me a few hours, maybe a day, and I'd like to think I can look at things with a cool head.
That's why, last year, while I came in as skeptical of Pasqualoni for the long term, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I didn't like a lot of the decisions and I certainly didn't like the play of the team, but hell, every new coach deserves at least two or three years, right?
Wrong. I am ready to cash in my chips. I'm out on Paul Pasqualoni. You barely get one Western Michigan fiasco in my book, but certainly not two.
I understand what UConn is as a football program and what it can be. I don't think any fan that isn't relying on a pharmacy worth of recreational drugs to get through the day believes UConn will ever reach the level of a big program like, say, Florida or Ohio State. Yet, there is no doubt the Huskies were on the right path in terms of relevancy. I know UConn's appearance in the Fiesta Bowl became a punch line but, you know what, it still counted. UConn was becoming legit and, as much as we all now (rightfully) despise Randy Edsall for how he left, he deserves credit for what he did accomplish.
Yet, what we all knew from watching Edsall, and what Maryland is currently finding out, is that our buddy Randy ain't what you would call a once-in-a-lifetime coach. At no time are we going to be talking about the great coaches in America and have Randy's name come up.
If Edsall could take UConn up the respectability ladder, someone else can easily keep them there or, hopefully, move them up a few rungs.
After last year and this game, it feels like the Huskies have been knocked off the ladder all together.
I'll offer up the proverbial "there's plenty of football to be played" now, because I'm pretty sure it is legally required. Pasqualoni and the boys might pull off a few big upsets. Maybe the defense finds a way to shock Louisville. Maybe PP and the boys change the equation. But I doubt it.
I'm ready for something new, something different, something NOT Paul Pasqualoni. I'm looking for UConn to find a coach that, at the very least, can figure out a way to beat Western F**king Michigan.
I don't know who they could get and, quite frankly, I don't care. It's not about the replacement at this point. It is about the guy with the job who was just embarrassed by a MAC team for the second year in a row, and is most likely leading UConn to yet another under-six-win season with no bowl appearance and no reason to believe a brighter future is on the horizon. That's a fireable offense, which just happens to be the only offense the Huskies have.