I have some thoughts after the first official week of college football. None are more important than the need for everyone to calm down.
What I love about the preseason is that it gives most of us hope, however, hope quickly turns to hype. Expectations then increase and while that’s not a bad thing, it needs to be proportional and realistic and those are words not often used to describe fans.
This had folks thinking Miami might beat Alabama or UNC football might be ready to compete for a national championship. Those are great long term goals, but clearly terrible 2021 expectations. Spoiler alert, the same can be said for 2022.
The annual week two college football tradition is the massive over-correction fans (and some experts) make after a strong dose of what appears to be reality.
So last week I tempered expectations of Carolina fans by expressing a few of my concerns and while all of my fears weren’t validated in Friday’s seven-point loss at Virginia Tech, enough were. If anyone ever doubts the value of a great center in football, they should watch that game.
This week, allow me to remind you all that your team likely isn’t as good or bad as you think they are. Week one is both a dose of reality and an anomaly. This is especially true this season.
Many of the players heard college football fans for the first time last week. Many are in new positions, with new teammates and coaches and plays and after one game, it is important to remember what a small sample size it is.
Only a live game can show what your favorite team has but it’s up to the coaches to figure out and develop what they are capable of. Much like at halftime of a game, the adjustments made between week one and week two are vital and allow coaches to demonstrate their value. It separates the good recruiters from the good coaches.
That being said, ECU fans should remain confident in their head coach. That is a program moving in the right direction and I believe they will show that this week.
N.C. State fans are happy now, but if they follow up last week’s blowout over USF with a victory at Mississippi State they will be thrilled and the Wolfpack will have national media attention.
Duke fans should consider rooting for Duke basketball and maybe switch to someone like Alabama for football. While I have immense respect for Coach Cutcliffe, Duke’s loss to Charlotte is an eye opener even during week one.
UNC fans like myself need to keep our fingers crossed and hope that offensive coordinator Phil Longo has a better plan, defensive coordinator Jay Bateman is interested in staying long term at UNC and Jeff Saturday has coaching aspirations.
David Friedman is a long time sports writer and lifelong believer that BLM. David can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.