Last night I stayed up till 1 a.m. (here in the East). I'm in a bowl pool, and so I had an interest in the late game, plus I wanted to watch SNL with Jimmy Fallon, and after the volleyball championship, I had way too much adrenaline to go to sleep.
In the pool I was the only one who picked the University of Louisiana Lafayette over San Diego State, and it was more because I lived in Louisiana for a number of years and have a soft spot for the Ragin Cajuns than because I had any special insights into the game. SDState was favored.
Before the season ULL was ranked 120 of 121 teams in D-I. At 12:57 EST, their kicker--who had missed a point after and had another one blocked--kicked a 50-yard field goal and the Cajuns won 32-30. Wish I could have been on Bourbon Street last night.
So their first year coach--I don't even know his name--took them from the garbage heap to a bowl game, only the second in their history, and to their first win. Afterwards the obligatory ESPN babe asked him what he did to turn the team around. He said, I let them know that they could win. I wanted them to go into every game knowing that they could.
We're not talking Pac-12 here, and we're not talking about a program that's been inconsistent but important since the days of Jackie Robinson. But enough excuses. ULL has to recruit against one of the game's true powerhouses, LSU. It's one of a half-dozen universities in the UL system, which is similar to California's state college setup. And yet there they were, playing with energy and enthusiasm and fighting down to the last four seconds.
If they can do it, why can't we?