In the wake of Saturday night a large portion of the fan base went to that place where they go anytime something bad happens to the Bearcats. The most common refrain that I saw on twitter and in the emails that I get from fellow fans runs something like this.
"We can not afford to be losing to schools like Memphis if we want to be taken seriously as a football power. That loss will single handedly remove the University of Cincinnati from the discussion about expansion going forward"
Paraphrasing obviously, but that is the vibe I get right now in Bearcat Nation, and I hate it. I hate it when such a large subset of this fan base goes to that place after each and every loss. It makes doing this a nightmare because these people expect me to match their rage towards every set back. They go there after each and every coaching change. After each and every shakeup in the administration. I hate it because it is some of the dumbest reductive reasoning that can be found on planet earth. I can prove it too, lets do a little thought experiment together.
So hold that the theory outlined above is correct. That the one, and only, thing that kept the Big 12 or the ACC from picking up their phone(s) in Dallas or Greensboro yesterday to call President Santa Ono and invite the University of Cincinnati into their special club was losing to the Memphis Tigers. So if you postulate that to be true, and there are many Bearcats who in their darkest moments believe that to be true, losing to Memphis.
That is patently ridiculous of course, because that implies a world where today we could be celebrating the imminent arrival of a golden parachute from the Big 12 or the ACC just because we beat Memphis. Memphis. One game will not cost the Bearcats their relatively high spot in the pecking order of available teams. One bad season will not cost the Bearcats a chance to be called if the gears of expansion get cranked up again.
The belief that the Bearcats have to be at the peak of their powers in football and basketball simultaneously to get interest from another conference that is expanding is just ridiculous. Was Maryland? Was Pitt? Was Rutgers? The Bearcats are either the first or second man off of a very short bench.
The University of Cincinnati has poured billions of dollars into improving the academic and research profile of the University. When the American Association of University decides to add members UC is, once again, at the front of the line. There is a one of a kind masterpiece of a campus. A top 40 television market, a brand that is on the rise, fertile recruiting grounds. Huge growth potential thanks to a relatively young fan base and a coming avalanche of alumni as the enrollment as exploded over the last five years. UC has a lot of strong points that they can, and are selling, to other conferences. One loss doesn't diminish the strength of the assets the Bearcats are selling. A season of losses won't diminish those assets.
You, dear reader, are faced with a choice. You can choose to join the crazy people who treat every setback as a one way ticket straight back to the 80's. Those who really believe that we are secretly already back to that era after a brief shining moment in the sun. I know that they are really loud and seem like they are saying and doing important work, but they are insane.
The flip side is that you can come with us as we petition for sanity and rationality. We aren't as noisy or loud, but we sleep very well. Before you make your choice do remember that the volume with which one preaches for their cause is generally inversely proportional to the merits of that cause.