Saturday, September 5, 2009

Miami football

As a 17/18 year old you have to make a big decision on what college you want to attend.   For some people the decision is pretty easy because they just pick a local school that they were always destined to go to.   I really think some people (most people?) spend more time researching hotel options for a vacation than they do researching college options.   (Of course there are other students who are highly motivated and look to get in the best school possible, but I am not going to get into that.) 

I picked Miami because I loved the campus, the athletics, the reputation and everything I read about the school.   Another appeal was that it was a big school that really seemed to focus on undergraduate education.  I didn't want to go to a small school where I felt like I knew everyone, but I also didn't want to go a huge school were I felt like I was just a number.   Miami with their 14K student body was the perfect 3 Bears solution.  

One thing that I knew going to Miami was that I wasn't picking the school for its football reputation.   I had been to a Saturday night football game at Tiger Stadium and I understood the appeal of Howard's Rock at Clemson.   I knew that by picking Miami I would be picking a MAC school with no shot at a national title or even any ESPN televised games.   

Over my 4 years I was surprised to see Miami's football program rise primarily because of the talent of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.   They were playing games televised by ESPN and renovating Yager Stadium.   There was the longest winning streak in the nation and a #10th ranking in the final national poll.   Things were looking up and with the fertile recruiting ground in Ohio there was no reason to think that Miami couldn't be one of those Boise St. mid major like programs.

Then the coach (Terry Hoeppner) left for Indiana, but I tried to convince myself that the young offensive coordinator who had groomed Roethlisberger was going to keep the program headed in the right direction.   After a few below-average seasons though the bottom dropped out last year with a 2-10 season.   Now, Miami University is back to being an after thought in the college football world.   It is probably their rightful place in the hierarchy, but still for Miami fans it is disheartening.   

Today, Miami plays Kentucky in football and is down 21-0.   I know that I picked Miami for a bunch of reasons and I had amazing 4 years there, but is it too much to ask for a respectable football team?   I see everyone posting facebook messages getting excited about the beginning of football season and I find it hard to get excited for a team coming off a 2-10 season playing in a game that isn't being televised.    Still I sit here in my 2003 football season shirt celebrating the 13-1 year and hope for the best.  Like Andy Dufresne I believe in hope and that is what I hold on to with Redhawk football.   Go Redhawks.  I hope for a comeback.

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