Bowl

We all hope we are past this sort of thing. The last two, no three seasons we have all started counting trying to see how we could get to 6 wins. It was important for a lot of known and discussed reasons. We got two nice bowl wins in Houston and Memphis out of that. As stated, we now hope to not be in the counting game and want better than the nice Bowls in Houston and Memphis. Still, we now have 3 with 1 more on the schedule that should make 4. That leaves 2 to go.

We all know that nothing is sure with the rest of the games, and this team while improving has some weakness. Wwe are still moving Oline around in week 3 and perhaps 4 to try to shore up problems. That is not good. The Oline must be a complete and solid unit. The secondary is better, but thin and will not be mistaken for the Broncos anytime soon.

It is good to have 3 with another as sure as possible in the books going into the SEC. Lets hope that 6 is just a number we pass on the way to bigger things. I think it will be, but I still keep that number in mind.

I used the word “hope” a lot above. I guess that is still our (my) nature.

I had some of the same thoughts yesterday about bowls. Following last year’s start 1-3 start, I figured a bowl was out of the picture. I couldn’t see 4 SEC wins. Then we won on the road at UT, beat Auburn, OM & LSU so we had our 6 with MSU & MU left. So despair in early Oct led to, well not ecstacy, but happier feelings by Nov.

Alcorn St is as close to a guaranteed win as any team can have. It’s still hard to be too confident of 4 SEC wins, but I think we’re becoming a pretty good team. I can see getting 5 or even 6. I’m not giving up hope on 8 at this point. But so much depends on what happens this week in Arlington & whether we can avoid injuries. As fans, we can afford to get ahead of ourselves, but I still hate doing it.

Right now I just enjoy being relevant again. Like being in the top 25, like that we’ll move up today. Like knowing it’s still possible we could be in the playoff (even if the season is only 3 games old–that’s not a position we’ve been in since 2011 despite our 3-0 start in 2013.)

It’s OK for fans to think this way, not for coaches or players. It must be one day at a time. The process is so important. The good news is that this is the way this coaching staff thinks, focus on the process. I think when you have experienced coaches (and that’s not just Bielema), they know to focus on the process. The process is all that matters.

I get what you are saying about counting victories. But the goal must be more than just bowl eligible. It must involve playing for an SEC West title. The good news is that one leads to the other. You contend in the SEC West, you are in a bowl.

I think Misstake is a gimme. I bet Alcorn St, Texas St, and La Tech could beat them. I don’t think Missery and Awbarn will give us too much of a problem. That gives us 7 right? (By the way my preseason picks were 5-7, shows how much can change in the first three weeks of the season)

I hate counting any SEC game as a gimme, but I agree MSU & MU should be road wins. Auburn still scares me, but not as much as it did a couple of weeks ago.

It’s interesting that our (seemingly) weakest SEC opponents are road games. MSU, Auburn, Missouri, & A&M. All are winnable & could help make this a special year. Our home games, Bama, OM, LSU & Fla concern me, but I think all those are winnable, too. But winnable & winning aren’t the same thing. It’s tough to win 6 games in the SECW, much less 7 or 8. I think we’re due for a win over Fla & I also think we can beat Bama.

I think the OM, Auburn & LSU games might depend on whether any of those teams “pack it in” after losing out on pre-season goals. OM & AU both already have two losses. OM plays UGA this week. If they lose to the dogs, they could quit. LSU plays Auburn. If LSU wins that, then 3-loss Auburn might give it up, too.

But our success mostly depends on us continuing to improve & stay healthy. I like what these coaches are doing & I’m really optimistic about the future of the program. I’m much more optimistic about a 9+ win this season than I was 2 weeks ago.

If Florida doesn’t get Del Rio back by 10/15, that game becomes a whole lot more winnable. Might be plenty winnable anyway.

We are not one-dimensional. We can run or throw on you. RWill is well on his way to 1000 yards, possibly a lot more (he’s 14th in the nation in rushing YPG, just behind Nick Chubb; third in the SEC). AA’s passing efficiency is better than Chad Kelly’s; in fact, it’s the best in the SEC. Even our much maligned pass defense is #27 in the country. And we’ve given up EIGHT more yards through three games than Alabama.