As crazy as it sounds, anticipation versus expectation versus prediction aside, THIS is what I HOPE for:
(1) That KD's WCO works to near-perfection under Norvell, with BO hitting 60+% of his passes every game and Markey, Bell, and Moline combining for 180-220 yards rushing per game.
(2) That Walker's speed-fleet D forces tons of 3rd-and-longs every game and Bruce Davis leads the nation with about 16 sacks or so by Bowl season.
(3) That KD actually shows an intelligent, aggressive and imaginative strategy for EVERY game.
(4) That we slam U$C into the Mausoleum turf so hard on December 1st (my birthday, no less) that Metro Rail service under downtown L.A. is suspended for 2 weeks to allow for tunnel repairs up and down the Red Line.
(5) That we win the Pac-10 outright for the first time in 9 years.
(6) That we win a BCS Bowl by at least 2 touchdowns.
(7) That Eric Scott stays clear away from any violent or potentially illegal situations for the next 10 years and never has to worry about the legality of his actions ever again.
(8) That KD proves to us that this year is NOT a fluke, and that he wins so cleanly and consistently over the next 5-10 years that Poodle Pete Carroll starts coming under fire in this town, for a change.
That is my sincere HOPE.
My HOPE is that we never have to worry about the latest mistakes our head football coach will make on-field, off-the-field, or in the press room, and that he shows enough high-quality performance in his coaching that we can give him the benefit of the doubt, rather than continaully doubt how long the most basic benefits will last. The kicker is, I am NOT waiting for KD to show this kind of improvement and get us to the Pac-10 championship next year, or the year after that, or the year after that.
I WANT IT THIS YEAR.
I do NOT hope that the Bruins lose so badly this year that KD gets fired. I do NOT hope for that. Not now. Not ever.
If, however, we end this season with more upsets, more underachievement, more predictable playcalling, more chants of "3-0" to salvage a season, more come-from-ahead losses... THEN I will HOPE we get a better coach.
As of now, I simply HOPE for our coach to get BETTER.
To call plays BETTER.
To prepare the team BETTER.
To develop talent BETTER.
To impose on-field discipline BETTER.
To motivate the team BETTER.
To practice BETTER.
To make our TEAM, from top to bottom, BETTER.
TWENTY returning starters.
SEVENTEEN returning seniors.
THREE road opponents with winning records during last year.
TWO experienced QBs.
In FIVE YEARS, Tedford took CAL -- freaking CAL??? -- to a share of the Pac-10 title.
WHY NOT US? WHY NOT NOW?