Remember, Our Window Has Not Yet Closed
A couple days ago, Avinash wrote about the slowly-diminishing probability that the Tedford era will deliever on its promise. In the face of yet another very disappointing loss, Avinash quite reasonably wondered whether the window of opportunity was closing on Cal’s potential to reach the Rose Bowl and/or genuinely contend for national relevance. The Arizona loss was all too familiar — right down to the fact that, as in 2006, the bar I was in featured a single, highly vocal, mentally-challenged Arizona fan (this year’s edition was insisting that Arizona’s 15-point lead constituted a “three possession game”).
But let’s look at where we are. After the 2007 season ended, we all looked back and thought how silly it was that we despaired after the loss to OSU. Yes, it was a devastating setback that took us out of national title contention. But the real damage was yet to come. If Cal had rallied after the OSU loss, just about anything — including, most obviously, the Rose Bowl — was still possible. Instead, both the team and the fanbase lamented what could have been and let the season slip away one loss at a time.
Guess what. That’s where we are right now. 2-1 in the Pac-10, a half game out of first place in the conference, and still yet to play the conference favorite. This is a position we would have killed to be back in during the doldrums of November 2007 — or November of almost any year for that matter. As fans, it’s important to remember that a strong finish, including the Rose Bowl itself, is far from out of the picture. For the most part it requires only what it required at the very beginning of the 2008 season: that Cal win. It’s that simple.
I do not mean to suggest that Cal is likely to win out or likely Rose Bowl-bound. But in my opinion it’s a little early to be writing obituaries on our season. Success would require a series of highly unlikely events. Fortunately, college football is a carnival of unlikely events. Every season. Every week.
Tomorrow, Cal has the opportunity to set the second half of the season on the correct course. It’s not too late until it’s too late.
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