My apologies in advance. I know we're all feeling pretty good about football for the past week, but unfortunately it's October now, and that means the Halloween horror show that is Steve Alford's tenure is about to rear its ugly head once again.
As a reminder of that fact, the preseason rankings are beginning to trickle out, and the latest comes from Sporting News. What do they think of a team that could only manage to flame out in the Steve 16 last year despite having three now-departed first round NBA draft picks on the team? Not much apparently.
Blue blood programs (Arizona, Duke, UNC, Kansas, Louisville, Florida)? Check.
Southern California school? Check.
Two Pac-12 teams? Check.
Goody! So where's UCLA ranked then?
I guess the #Daddyball led Bruins just aren't doing it for the Sporting News, but that's really no surprise. Those that still have the stomach to watch this might get spun up in anticipation of that matchup with Kentucky, the Wildcats themselves will have bigger fish to fry.
Notable games on the schedule: Nov. 18 vs. Kansas (in Indianapolis); Dec. 5 vs. Texas; Dec. 13 vs. North Carolina; Dec. 27 at Louisville; Feb. 7 at Florida.
None of this is to say that TIARA has an excuse for not challenging Arizona for P12 supremacy, finishing at least in the upper middle of that table above, and making a deeper run into the tournament. He doesn't. Not when he gets paid more money than all but six other college basketball coaches in the country. That's the performance remaining Bruin fans need to expect. Anything less is cop-out, excuse-making, loser talk. I think we recognize that these performance goals aren't likely to be reached. Tough luck. Those are the expectations. This is the bed TIARA made with his recruiting and personnel decisions last year, and now he has to lay in it.