It always hurts to hear this, but I honestly believe in my heart of hearts that no one has the guts to tell you, and I wanted you to hear it from me, a stranger on the internet, before someone you actually care about blindsides you with it this weekend:
You're going 0-12 this year.
Now breathe. It's not your fault. I know these words hurt, but it is only from hearing the truth that we may accept it and grow. There are a lot of factors as to why, but understand that even the most talented squad can fail without competent leadership at the top.
Your leadership has chosen to stick with Dan McCarney, who is-- pains me as it does to say-- about as talented a football head coach as I am (spoiler: I am not a football coach at all, let alone talented).
He should never have been hired, but I accept your loyalty to him because he convinced you to come play for the Mean Green, your alma mater and mine too, and you're loyal to your school. As you should be.
But he is a loser coach with five winning seasons in 15 tries, and even Lane Kiffin would shake his head at that. My point is, just because a person has a particular job on their résumé does not make them good at that job.
Look, we all wanted to believe in the new head coach when AD Rick Villarreal announced the hire five years ago, just as we all convinced ourselves, on the day Todd Dodge was announced as head coach (also by Rick Villarreal) that we BELIEVED a guy who was unstoppable at the high school level could parlay that into FBS success, which is an inane a statement as, say, "someone who is successful on TV can also be successful in movies." It feels true, but statistically proven to be bullshit.
Yes, I know, I am not an athlete. I'm 5'10" and a buck thirty soaking wet, and I'm sure you must think I can't possibly know how hard you work in preparation for the game. The sweat, the anguish of practice as you prepare for the Saturday night lights.
My friends, I am also not an auto-mechanic, yet I know a broken-down Ford Taurus on the side of the road when I see one. I have never hosted a talk show, but I know Jay Leno is a sentient fire hydrant someone taught to read cue cards. I have never coached a football team at any level, but I know you should at least have been competitive against Southern Miss last week. You were not. Not even for one minute.
So as I said in a preview earlier this season, have fun with it. Accept it as fact, and just have fun out there. As the losses mount, the math will arise to meet the precedent, and you'll realize you won't be playing for anything except the love of the game.
Most of you, like most of the mid-major teams out there, aren't going to the pros, and the chance to play FBS football is a chance awarded so few, so just soak up every minute. Wear the jersey with pride. Tell people you're a five-star recruit, but you got screwed by management (this excuse is solid, it is currently working for the Ducks, the Longhorns, the Razorbacks, every FBS team in Kansas and every NFL team in the state of Texas). You will not be lying.
Think of your favorite movie. Go look up the director on IMDb. Maybe you know it off the top of your head, say Stephen Spielberg, or maybe you had to Google it to remember Rob Reiner's name. Whichever. Now, close your eyes and imagine that exact same budget and that exact same cast, but directed by Ed Wood. Is the movie still good?
No, gentleman, it is not, but it is not the fault of the primary cast or crew. It is a poor hire made by an insane producer who has been doing this way too long, and might not even be a fan of
the movies football, to begin with. The big boys may not think much of the mid-majors, but we are the alums, we are Mean Green nation, and we've been watching since long before you went to school there.
It's time to move on. It's time for the AD to prove he's got more than just one good coach in him in the last fifteen years. Darrell Dickey rattled off four winning seasons in Sun Belt play, Johnny Jones took the Mean Green hoops team to the Big Dance, twice, and even women's basketball coach Karen Aston coached for one killer season before being snapped up by UT.
These are good hires. Does Villarreal have more in him? He's got about eight seconds to find out, because unlike when I was a student, the students care, and they have expectations. If you can't figure out the job, UNT President (the fifth since you've been the AD) Neal Smatresk will find someone who will.
Of course, I could be wrong about all this. Maybe we're all just alarmists, untrue fans, fakers, haters. Maybe you'll welcome Portland State (currently 3-1) into Denton and roll over them by 20 points and prove us all wrong, and point and laugh and tweet how we aren't true fans, and we don't know anything.
Maybe you will.
But Portland State is an FCS team, one that already beat a better FBS team than yours. And the next week you have to play Western Kentucky.
You won't win. So have fun with it.