The oldest movie gag in the world is to have someone standing in front of a crazy scene in the background telling onlookers "nothing to see here, move along." Think a young Kevin Bacon in Animal House, telling everyone there was "nothing to see" as the end of the movie played out in chaos.
If UConn football were a movie, someone would have been standing in front of Rentschler Field a long time ago saying "nothing to see here"...except it wouldn't be a gag. It would simply be a statement of fact.
There is nothing to see here.
That point was hammered home Saturday against a Cincinnati team that easily beat up on the Huskies, winning 41-16. Sometimes we say that the final score isn't indicative of the way the game played out, but this time it definitely told the entire tale. The Bearcats ran an effective offense, passing all over the Husky defense for big chunks of yardage all game long, while UConn's defensive line barely got a hand on Cinci QB Brendon Kay.
On offense, the Huskies had some deep drives, some great catches by Geremy Davis, some encouraging throws from QB Tim Boyle, making only the second start of his career and first one on the road, and the run game, especially with Max DeLorenzo, looked promising at times. But all that offers up are some thin moral victories...some signs of promise for the future. Right now, in 2013, there's not much reason for hope. If the only reason to watch every Saturday is for the occasional great throw from Boyle and athletic catch from Davis, or to count how many times Yawin Smallwood makes a nice tackle on a running back or tight end, there's not really a compelling reason to tune in at this point.
The positive is that, in the last two games there have been some marginal improvements. The running game has gone from pathetic to serviceable. The blocking by the offensive line has gone from dangerously bad to below average. The team has seemingly played with a little more energy and life. And Boyle has given all of us a reason to believe UConn might have a legit college quarterback in the future.
Yet it's hard to imagine this team doing anything noteworthy the rest of the way. The Michigan game had us dreaming that a change in leadership could result in a change in fortune, but obviously playing what turned out to be an overrated Wolverines squad tough was an abberation, and the results seen against teams like Towson, Buffalo, and South Florida are truer indicators of what this team actually is.
How many wins does UConn end with? For the sake of Boyle and a few of the guys who will play major roles next year under a new head coach (sorry TJ Weist, but it was always a long shot you were getting the full-time gig anyway, and starting off with two uninspiring performances doesn't help the cause), you hope they can get one or two, at least. Get a sense of what it takes to win, instead of always tasting defeat. But, in truth, it doesn't matter.
If we didn't know this season was lost before (we should have), we certainly do now. It's a bad team that plays unexciting football. It's a team that will likely lose to UCF and Louisville by a combined 70 points.
The future is 2014.
This year? Well...nothing to see here.