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Winning 26 Games In A Rebuilding Year = Not A "Successful" Season?

Let's see Bruins lost three upperclassmen to the NBA, worked in five freshmen and upperclassmen who hadn't played as starters in previous season, and yet they almost won the Pac-10 conference and put together a season featuring 26 wins.

Coach Howland rightfully thinks we had a successful season:

"It's a tough way to finish the season, which I thought was a pretty successful season overall," Howland said. "But now we don't feel as good."

And yet Brian Dohn (a graduate of basketball powerhouse Rutgers Univerisity) doesn't agree with Howland's assessment of 08-09 season being a successful one:

The Bruins finished in second place in the Pacific-10 Conference, were ousted in the semifinals of the conference tournament and for the first time in four years didn't get through the first weekend of the NCAAs.

That shouldn't be confused with success, but it certainly was a realistic expectation entering the season. 

Dohn takes the same shot again towards Howland  at the end his "column" today:

"Even though we didn't finish in first (in the Pac-10), we had a chance to go back to the NCAA Tournament," Howland said. "Obviously, we got one of the tougher draws to get sent back. But that's the luck of the draw, too. If we had won a couple more games that we had chances to win, especially at home, we probably would have had a better draw."

So, a "pretty successful" season?

No. But an expected one.

Huh? Exactly what is the standard of success for Mr. Dohn?

Before this season started we laid out a baseline expectations of a 21+ win season based on our extensive concerns about the roster of the 08-09 season.

By my account despite the tough loss from yesterday I am all right with how this season turned out. And I feel more than at ease knowing we have one of the best if not the best coach in the country in charge of our program who has another great recruiting class coming in and commitments lineup from the class right after.

So exactly how can a season in which a team in "rebuilding" mode won 26 games, barely missed out on winning it conference can be dismissed as "not successful"?