We've had our fun. Now let's get to what is really going to happen.
In my opinion the team underachieved throughout the entire Spaz era. I will agree with the pundits that our talent level also declined, but we were not a 2-10 roster last year. Coaching was a huge factor. Now our talent is probably worse than last year, but our coaching should be better. Where does that leave us? If Addazio doesn't double our win total, I will be very frustrated. We should do better. And this is how I think it will play out. [This is my official prediction for the season.]
What will happen
Villanova. Win. Addazio took care of business against the Wildcats while at Temple. This will be more of the same.
Wake Forest. Win. As I've been writing all summer, I am expecting a huge season from Rettig. Against Wake he helps us win a close game with a late drive.
at USC. Loss. I don't like moral victories, but this might be one. It will be tough to win on the road this early against a thin but talented USC team.
Florida State. Loss. I like our schedule, but this is one area where it hurts us. We face our toughest games in the middle of the season. We will come through it with a below .500 record. It will be on Addazio to regroup.
Army. Win. I trust Don Brown to have the defense ready. We will still score 30 on them.
at Clemson. Loss. I think we can hang with them for a little, but the Tigers pull away in the second half.
at North Carolina. Loss. Another tough game that we don't win. I don't know how Addazio is going to prepare the team but this is where he will have to earn his paycheck. Confidence will be shaken.
Virginia Tech. Win. I think Virginia Tech is a good matchup for us this year.
at New Mexico State. Win. The Spaz-Martin combo would worry me if we had kept our schemes. Whatever familiarity they had with us is somewhat negated by the newness of Day and Brown. We win.
North Carolina State. Loss. They are a bit further along in their rebuild.
at Maryland. Win. Maybe my sense of Maryland is off, but I think at this point in the season they will be checked out.
at Syracuse. Win. Entering the game we will already be bowl eligible. This game will be about pride and finishing above .500. I think we win a close, emotional game.
7-5 (4-4) never sounded so good. We would go bowling. Let's say Shreveport against UAB. We win and finish 8-5. I think it is very possible. It will obviously take a little luck and no major injuries.
I will admit a year over year improvement like this is statistically unlikely. My hope and belief is that it will happen and we will enjoy a football season for the first time in five years.