Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Eyes On A Foe: Horton Hears A Hoo

My countdown clock has reached 58 days, and Horton hears a Hoo. Or maybe it should be “Horton heard a Hoo”? When USC gave the announcement that the Virginia Cavaliers were added to the 2008 football schedule, there was coast to coast excitement that was nearly deafening. But here we are in July, just 58 days before kickoff, and the clash is drawing silence. The Hoos are being hurdled, as anticipation builds for the following opponent, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

I’ll credit a big part of the reduction in hype to the Virginia loss of personnel, but the media plays its role in reducing the enthusiasm for what was once slated as a battle of two coastal programs with BCS popularity. The Sporting News, Lindy, Athlon, Phil Steele, etc, have written the Hoos off, giving them absolutely no chance at pulling out this victory. At this rate, the Trojans may enter that August game as a 4 touchdown favorite.

Virginia finished 9-4 last season, but very few are projecting them to finish any higher than 5th in the ACC. Phil Steele took it to another extreme, placing the Hoos last in the Coastal division. In case you don’t know, last place in the Coastal division puts you below Duke. Duke managed just one victory in 2007.

As for the rankings, USC is projected top 5 of the preseason polls, while Virginia is being ranked in the 60s. The numbers alone will quell the excitement. But here’s to hoping the men of Troy don’t get caught in the media frenzy, because they’ve been here before. Walking in as a 4 touchdown favorite, pales in comparison to the nearly 7 touchdowns Vegas gave them against Stanford. Yes. That memory is still fresh, and just as bitter today, as it was nearly a year ago.

Fight On!

No comments: