Yesterday, over at Rush the Court, I snapped a little bit at the Washington Huskies. I’d just watched them lose to the University of Albany, a team that hadn’t beaten a BCS team since before the Washington administration. Do you get that reference? There was no presidency prior to George Washington. There’s been no prior Albany over BCS school moment.
OK, so it happened. Amidst the fire there’s plenty of truth to what I said about the Huskies not the least of which is that there’s still so much time left in this season. I could talk to you about their opportunity to right the ship but their ship’s barely out of the marina so why bother?
I bothered because this is what happened last year; early and significant losses to insignificant opponents cost the Huskies a spot in the dance. Once is a mistake, an arguable anomaly. Twice? That’s a habit and habits are bad when they consist of losing to teams in the America East.
And it appears that UCLA is doing their darndest to make a habit of struggling, at home, against inferior Southern California competition. Last year it was a losing effort against Loyola Marymount. This year it was a victory (I will not call it a winning effort) in overtime by a single point to UC-Irvine. But here I go again, picking on these teams I expect more of, playing the role of armchair hypocrite who just a week or two ago was sick of expectations and predictions.
How can I help myself? The games have begun and I’m worse than a mean girl judging the new kid. Because there are twelve new kids and that’s part of the beauty of college sports, right? The turnover gives us hope or anxiety and – particularly in the early goings – we begin to develop the true expectations of this year.
And that’s what’s bugged me about the UW hiccup and UCLA struggle. I don’t want to see these two struggle anymore. I’m a fan of the game and if I’m watching some one hundred Pac-12 games this year, I want to see the best quality product. And the brand new immediacy of that product – a combination of the season beginning and P12 Networks’ access – has me overwhelmed and, frankly, disappointed in these two programs for the time being.
But as we began, the ships have just raised anchor and are raising their sails. The wind has yet to blow and there’s only a course planned out, not yet traversed.