Monday, September 11, 2006

Post-UNT thoughts

Allow me to describe my Saturday afternoon. I wander back to my Vegas hotel room around 4:00 or so. I have early dinner reservations down the strip. Wife is in the shower I an watching the Georgia-South Carolina game with my eyes glued to the ticker. SMU-0 UNT-0. A few minutes later: SMU 0 UNT-7. Awe, crap. UNT scored. Shortly thereafter, I began flipping back and forth between UT-Ohio State and well, the ticker on the bottom of the Georgia-South Carolina game.

At this time, it is important to note that the line of the UNT-SMU game was going up. There was money on this game and it was on the SMU side.

SMU 0 UNT-7 1st.

SMU 0 UNT-7 2nd.

SMU 0 UNT-7 half.

Shower; shave; get dressed.

SMU 0 UNT-7 3rd.

“Honey, we have to go.” “Wait. They are giving the score of the ECU-UAB game, the SMU score is coming up.”

SMU 6 UNT-7 3rd.

“Hey, SMU scored! It must be between the touchdown and the extra point; they couldn’t have made two fieldgoals that quickly, or … they missed the extra point.”

And there it stood until we got to our restaurant, conveniently next to the casino sports book, an annoying sports book where they only post scores at the end of quarters.

SMU -------0-0-6
No. Texas -7-0-7

“Awe, !@#$%^&. Waiter, I will have another drink.” We are right next to the sports book. Throughout dinner, you can hear the roar of the crowd watching UT-Ohio State.

Midway through dinner, I said, “I have to use the restroom.” “If you go check the SMU score, I am going to gouge your eye out with my butter knife.”

SMU -------0-0-6-0-----6
No. Texas -7-0-7-10----24

So now, I am depressed, my wife is PO’d, I am in pain and wearing an eye patch, but I don’t care because I am so freakin’ irritated with SMU, my whole night is ruined regardless of how many blackjack hands I play (ESPECIALLY WHEN ALL YOU KEEP GETTING ARE 8-5 AND KING-2! Seriously, I got so many 12’s and 13’s, I thought I was R Kelly)

When I came in this morning, I hadn't read the paper. I hadn't read the message boards. I hadn't reviewed the box score. The recaps and box scores do not paint a pretty picture.

Rather than link to the recaps and the box score, here is what’s Scott Farrell said before the game:

An SMU win evens its record at 1-1 and quiets any rumblings leftover from a disappointing start last week at Texas Tech. A key to any team's schedule is to beat the teams you are supposed to beat. And SMU, favored by a field goal, is supposed to beat the Eagles today based on preseason assessments and how the teams matchup.

A loss for SMU today, however, could send them reeling down a slippery slope that could quickly lead to a losing season. At 0-2, the team and its supporters risk losing the sense of promise SMU had going into the season. A win by UNT would also have a large ripple effect in recruiting circles.

That pretty much sums it up. You now have to take whatever assumptions you made about this team, wad them up in a little ball and throw them out the window. You absolutely have lost the right to count any game as a win, including the I-AA game against Sam Houston State. This doesn’t mean SMU is going to lose that game, but nothing can be taken for granted at this point. As I said before, a 2-2 nonconference record will be a disappointment; 1-3 would be a disaster; we have not reached “disaster” status yet.

I go back and forth on whether to address the coaching “situation.” It is what it is. This team did not play well. This team made mistakes. Multiple personal fouls and multiple special teams mistakes do not instill confidence. I think it is fair to call into question the ability of this regime to coach on game day and the ability to prepare from week to week. Four years in, you are supposed to be able to beat North Texas.

Orsini can give the proverbial “vote of confidence,” but what else is he going to do? You don’t fire a coach two weeks into a season. Anyone suggesting otherwise is a fool. As long as the coach has the opportunity to turn it around, he needs to be given that opportunity. Let me put it this way-Don’t even look in Orsini’s direction until after the East Carolina game on October 21st.

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