Some of you like giving Coach Gregory this look. Not me, though. - USA TODAY Sports
In the past couple of years, our sports programs have rattled off some huge wins and terrible losses, and also some easy wins and expected losses. In those expected losses, we've developed a culture of claiming moral victories.
I'll start with an editor's note here. First, I'd like to apologize to all of you for the blaring lack of content in the days since last Tuesday. Here at FTRS, we've been dealing with a bit of behind-the-scenes stuff that is still in the process of being sorted out. However, the show must go on, and this week we'll do everything possible to get you guys back on schedule. I should mention to you though, that this will be MY last article as a writer at FTRS.
DISCLAIMER: I'M NOT LEAVING FTRS. THAT WAS A JOKE. (A very, very cruel joke, yes. Who ever said I was nice?) At least you're awake now though, if you weren't before. Happy Monday.
Our basketball program right now is in a very interesting spot. We're 14-12 overall, but we've only won 4 games in ACC play, 2 of those coming against a Wake Forest team that currently finds itself at 12-14 and coming off of a victory over #2 Miami (but parity in the ACC is an article for another day). We've lost 10 of 14 in conference, and yet 4 of those losses were by 5 points or less (@VaTech in OT, @Clemson, vFSU, vClemson). We had a solid recruiting class and can easily see improvements by leaps-and-bounds in Gregory's time as coach, but are still young and trying to figure out how the pieces all fit together.
What I just did was sum up the entire conversation we've had about this team this winter, and you'll notice there are a lot of positives followed by "but"s and "yet"s. (Yes, I realize that my variety of word choice leaves something to be desired, just stay with me here.) We've gotten into this habit as fans of realizing that a lot of our teams aren't phenomenal, but also aren't God-awful. (See, I did it again.)
My question to you is, are you OK with this? Is this an acceptable state for the program to be in, or should be be disappointed that we aren't winning national championships? Should we find moral victories where possible, or is a loss just a loss? Would you be happier if we were winning national championships but all of our players were more or less convicted felons? Would you be happier if we had a new coach every single year that they don't win 90% of their games? (I know some folks out there certainly would...)
As for me, I'm happy when each year is better than the last, and this is the second straight season that basketball can claim that. Remember last year, when we were hoping that we could reach 40 points per game, and the year before when we were hoping that we could get an in-bounds play right? Now we're scoring 63.5 per game, and are in the top 15% of the country in rebounds.
Football may not have won as many games as 2011 (when they won more than 2010), but played some really good teams very closely, came back from a 2-4 start to play in the ACC Championship Game (when they were a single score away from the Orange Bowl against a very good Florida State team), and finally won their bowl game. I see progress in these programs that weren't in great shape in 2010, and as long as that progress continues, it's good enough for me.
We as fans have a right to expectations. However, we do not have a right to unreasonable expectations. So, what are your expectations for our programs (basketball, football, baseball, etc)? Are you happy with where we're at? How do you measure our success?