It seems clear at this point that we will not finish the year as one of the best 15 teams in the country. Since 1950 only one other team that finished undefeated, untied, and #1 in my ratings set has failed to finish in the top 15 of the ratings at least once in the following two seasons. The other thirty-two teams all managed it at least once, and twenty-two of those did it in both of the two years after their perfect season. We did not finish as one of the best 15 teams in the nation last year despite what the AP poll said and it certainly doesn't look like we will this year. We will join 1986 Penn State as the only two teams to fall this far this fast. And that Nittany Lion triumph was about as fluky as a win can get. Give them credit for getting it done. Nobody can take away that great season and moment from Penn State or their fans. But they certainly weren't as dominant as the 2005 Texas team. With that in mind, it looks to me like we are in the middle of the greatest slide in the strength of a program in modern college football history.
The causes are many, of course. But as a Vince Young cultist I will simply chalk it up as one more argument in favor of the theory that Vince Young was perhaps the greatest college football player of all time. Yeah, yeah. There are other contributing factors. But none of the other factors give me a reason to look forward to football on the weekend this fall.
As for the very real possibility that we are going to lose our fourth conference game in a row this weekend, the comparisons are just as bad. It would be the first time since 1997 that we accomplished this ignominious feat. And since most of you probably guessed that we did it in 1997, the last time we lost four conference games in a row before that was in 1956 during Ed Price's 1-9 campaign that brought Darrell Royal to campus the following year.
That's a lot of historic ineptitude for one staff to string together.