During Tuesday's University of Central Florida football weekly press conference, questions were on rapid fire concerning their upcoming game at Texas next weekend.
When asked if the team could possibly get "too excited" about playing the Longhorns, O'Leary answered that what he was actually concerned about was the early play time (11 a.m.) on a nationally televised stage. When it came down to it, though, he commented that attitude "determines everything else".
Indeed it will, as psychology has either helped or hurt the Knights in each game this 2009 season.
Just take a look at the Rice blowout. The entire Knights team, offense and defense, proved that they are a force to be reckoned with, but I hypothesize that the only reason that such domination occurred is because UCF believed it could happen.
If the team was nationally recognized, the Knights would not have performed so well, just because they feel in their hearts that it wouldn't be possible.
Just look at the games lost to the hand of opponents this year. At home, or away, it doesn't matter—it depends on the perceived prowess of the team. Wins occurred against Samford, Buffalo, Memphis, Rice, and Marshall, teams that, these days, no one cares about. When playing against nationally known Southern Miss, Miami, and East Carolina, the Knights choked, despite the well groomed personnel they have.
And so, Knights fans who have been catching on to the weak state of attitude are sure of a blowout loss against Texas this coming Saturday. And the game against Houston? They're nationally ranked. Can the Knights gather the courage and right attitude to harness a win?
Even though O'Leary claims that attitude is everything for his team, he is the guiding force, and his attitude isn't so great either. When has UCF's head coach ever shown intensity, spirit, excitement? A big never. And so psychological weaknesses will continue to plague the Knights in the coming years.
Coach O'Leary will be with the Knights until 2015 , unless the university can gather a pretty large amount of pocket change from somewhere other than the athletics budget.
Yes, the Knights do have a great chance to win a bowl game this year, but isn't it a weakness for your ball club if your fans don't believe you can win any high profile games? Of course not. If UCF's football organization wants to take things to the next level, they need new personnel, and a whole new outlook on competition.