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Matt Richardson confesses


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I'm Not Surprised

Matt Richardson


Father forgive me for I have sinned. It’s been two weeks since my last confession at the church of American football in Auburn. My sins are many and include unabashed faith, bovine devotion and idiosyncratic QB man-love. However none of these are as enormously inexcusable as my lack of surprise in the Bulls 21-13 win last night over West Virginia.

Yes, I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not. Not in the least.

Wasn’t this basically the same teams that met with a similar outcome last year in Morgantown? Why shouldn’t the Bulls have won last night?

We know the WV is a running team and not a passing team. We know the strength of the Bulls team is a defense which matches up well with that kind of offense. One could argue, and make a great argument, that the Bulls offense is a better unit than the Mountaineer defense. Why shouldn’t the Bulls have won?

We knew that the Mountaineer nation was going to descend on Tampa for this game, we also found out during the week, that Bull nation was bigger than what WV could bring, a lot bigger. As many WV fans that were at RayJay, and there were a lot of them, there were at least 10 times as many Bulls fans. We knew this was the first sell-out and we knew that there was going to be an emotional boost for the Bulls. Why shouldn’t the Bulls have won?

ESPN, the leader in backtracking, was all USF at the beginning of the week because it was the cool pick and not many others were on the bandwagon. However, late in the day, the geniuses in Bristol joined their fellow pundits in sports by backtracking all the way to proclaiming a WV victory. Honestly that should have been a sign right there, when everyone goes one way, go the other. In defense of the sports analyst, it’s a lot easier to gage the talent of a team in the hometown that you live in. You try to size up an Oregon St – Cal match up with any accuracy. At any rate, why shouldn’t the Bulls have won?

The only thing WV had over USF was their ranking, and now we all know they probably don’t have that anymore. But it’s that ranking that stumbles us. WV was #5, USF was, in many people’s minds, where a fluky #18. WV, according to the polls should have stomped us, but the problem is that the polls are made up by people in California, Wyoming, Hawaii, New York etc, etc. The point here is that these people don’t have much of an easier time analyzing a team in a city they don’t live in than you do. AND, and this is a big and, these people don’t necessarily have the time to analyze the 117 NCAA DIV1 (I still don’t know what it’s really called nowadays) football teams. They analyze the teams that are in the forefront of their minds.

And here we get to the crux of the issues. Of all USF has done in the past 11 years, most analysts still put USF in the cute little puppy division rather than the Big Dog division. So USF is STILL sneaking up on people. No one outside of Bull nation really believed the Bulls could beat WV because no one really believes the Bulls belong.

And it doesn’t change with this game either. The ‘Weak Big East’ excuse is going to come out, along with the ‘Pat White was injured’ excuse and whatever else the analyst needs to say to keep USF within the framework that is built into the analysts mind.

With all due respect to coach JL I am going to steal some of his mindset.

All in all, we aren’t done, we have taken huge steps but we have along ways to go

And that doesn’t surprise me either.

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:clap  Very Good.  Go Bulls! Beat FAU!

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