The journey from underdog to favorite is always the same.
It may happen over the course of a few seasons. Teams will catch lightning in a bottle, recruit well afterwards, but struggle for the next two seasons between all your seniors graduating and freshman maturing. We saw two in-season adventures, lucky for us.
Step One - Believe in your dreams!
It begins when your team is pasting some hapless opponent by 40. For us that turning point was Arkansas. For Tech, Kansas. Confidence is growing.
Step Two - "Holy crap. Did that just happen?"
45-35, 39-33. You are too drunk on pure joy to think rationally. We could probably beat the Detroit Lions.
Step Three - The peak
Texas' face rape of Missouri was one of the best halves of football I've ever seen. Tech took it to a good OSU squad from gun to gun. We could probably beat the Patriots, now that Brady is out.New England doesn't even have Auston English!
Step Four - Ooh, maybe not
The high has worn off, and you aren't carried by emotion and adrenaline anymore. We got OSU at home, and barely squeaked it out. Tech got OU at home and . . . everyone remembered to tie their shoes. The inevitable decline game versus a team that wants to turn you inside out and stick you on a pit. It doesn't always go well.
Step five - The let down game
We let a soft but motivated defense slaughter us for an entire half. We got a safety on our first play when an OL got pushed backwards into the carrier. That doesn't happen. NU torched these guys, for christsakes! Nebraska! The good news is that we can assume Tech will lose to Baylor. The team that punked you last week is now struggling. You made them look good.
Step 6 - Rebuilding
Teams are ready for you, they know why you're successful, and they've adjusted. They take away what makes you go. You've got to find another WR (us) or a way to move the ball without having your QB stand in the pocket for 5 seconds (them). The game isn't about peaks and valleys anymore, it's about putting your nose to the grindstone and executing.
Unfortunately, Tech had their ride during the end of the season, so their let down game will come against Baylor. They good news is that they could easily score 50, the bad is that there is no way they will be up for it. We'll see, even though I'm not holding my breath.