By Bob DiCesare
BOISE, Idaho -- Well, now, that was disturbing. Not because UB lost a bowl game by a lopsided margin. But because there's been a lopsidedness to every game the Bulls have played this year against an opponent with teeth.
Yeah, they almost made a game of it at Ohio State but they didn't. They were embarrassed at Baylor. They took a seven-game winning streak against dregs to Toledo and trailed 31-0 at the half. They held a 7-3 halftime lead over Bowling Green in the MAC championship game and lost the second half, 21-0. And then came the debacle that was the 49-24 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl loss to San Diego State on Saturday night. Down 35-10 minutes into the third. Good night.
Doubtless the athletic administration will console itself with "Aw, shucks. At least we made it to a bowl game. We're on our way?!!"
Is that so? Exactly where do you think this is headed?"
Jeff Quinn has been here four years. He's won two games against FBS teams with winning records and both were against Ohio. Now if they were over Ohio State and he was coaching Michigan by all means give the guy a lifetime contract. But we're talking Ohio. Just plain Ohio.
And then no one else.
UB won seven games this year against pushovers. Even UConn was in the midst of impending upheaval. Which begs the question: If this is the best Quinn could do with Khalil Mack and Branden Oliver and Alex Neutz, if this is the best he could do with five first-team all-MAC players (four post Jasen Carlson injury), then what rationale leads one to believe that it gets better from here?
This season looks pretty with spin. Eight wins. First bowl since the 2008 season. Ain't it great the AD locked up the coach with a contract extension last season?
But it's all spin. It took Quinn two years to win as many games as Turner Gill won his last season here. That's a digression. UB's eight-win season of 2013 matches its eight-win season of 2008 -- minus the MAC championship. The teams UB beat this year combined to win 23 games total, and that's with giving them the five victories of FCS Stony Brook. The '08 club beat teams with 42 wins, not an FCS among them, and knocked off No. 12 in the country in the MAC title game.
And this is supposed to somehow compare?
Danny White has fired six coaches since becoming athletic director. He let go a basketball coach who scored some pretty impression victories over the years because he couldn't get over the hump ad make it to the NCAAs. That and because, the coach being local and all, he wasn't sexy enough to market.
Don't construe this as criticism of Bobby Hurley. It's not. It is a criticism of the decision to release Reggie Witherspoon in the first place, especially given the talent he had in the fold.
If Witherspoon was shown the door with talent set to return how do the scales tip for Quinn with the bulk of his (heavily Gill-recruited) talent walking out the door? Is eight wins cause for celebration given the resumes of the victims?
Every time the Bulls played a worthy opponent they faltered. Badly. Got their horns blown off.
Maybe the AD should take stock of the whole situation instead perceiving success after a football season that, when you get right down to it, wasn't all that darn successful.
Because UB's claim to fame right now is that it's not as bad as it used to be. Whatever that's worth.
taggedCollege football | Mid-American Conference | University at Buffalo