It has been one long, dreadful weekend for many fans of Ohio sports. It was hard to stomach for many Ohio State fans watching their basketball team lose to UT-Arlington while Cincinnati Bearcats fans were watching the South Florida Bulls kick their football team around like an old pop can at an elementary school playground. Yet, for many fans like myself, there was still a shred of hope that the Buckeye football team could scrape out a win against Michigan State. Nope. This segment is usually where I try and take apart a win or loss and analyze the dynamics of how the game was played, what was done effectively and what was done ineffectively, and lastly what to look forward to moving into next year. To be quite honest, I don't have a lot of positivity to share with you this week.
The Power of Momentum
For Bearcat fans, it seemed as if it all happened too fast. One moment, you sat down on your couch for a relaxing evening of college football to start your weekend and the next, you're screaming at the television and changing the channel. For some of us, we hung around until it was 51-3 at the half before finally saying, "Maybe, just maybe we won't win this one." Others might have thrown the remote after the second turnover to start off the game. Regardless of how much patience you had as a fan, this just goes to show how quickly a game can get out of hand. Teams get into grooves, sprees, and streaks and just find ways to make plays and score points. Some days you're the team that everything is going right for (Bearcats vs. UCF) and others you're the team that nothing is going right for (Friday night vs. USF.) Momentum is a powerful force in the world of sports because confidence is usually the key to dominating a game from the first snap of the ball until the last whistle.
The game was hard to watch as a fan of not only the Bearcats but as a fan of college football in its entirety. The first half was one of the sloppiest, most embarrassing performances I have ever had the distinct misery of witnessing with my own two eyes. Everything from the quarterback play to the tackling was undisciplined and just plain lazy. Cincinnati looked like they lost a bet and got stuck playing football when they really just wanted to play videogames all night. To be down 51-3 at the end of the first half is not only ridiculous, but is the most points the Bearcats have ever given up in a first half that I was able to research. The final 65 allowed points were the most the Bearcats have given up since 2004, when they gave up 70 to the #7 ranked Louisville Cardinals. For a time reference, the most popular song was "Yeah!" by Usher. Yep, it really has been that long.
I am kind of bone-dry here. The team has lived severely below expectations and has struggled more than anyone expected. I guess a positive is that the Bearcats are bowl eligible and can go over .500 if they scratch out a win against a very good ECU team who will be at home next weekend. Other than that, the happiest thought for me is that the game is over and soon will be the worst weekend in Ohio collegiate sports in quite some time.