(Written by Ken Crawford)
It’s a different time and a different place… the fans are worried.
The previous coach who had showed some promise at first, but then flushed the team down the toilet, has been replaced by someone who did even worse. His last season was even worse than his first. The team had lost the last 5 rivalry games in a row. Frankly, that last good streak of winning teams seems more like an exception to a negative trend than a reason for hope.
What hope for the future is there? Should we even be playing FBS ball? There’s NO WAY we play for a Rose Bowl anytime in the foreseeable future.
Welcome to the fans of Stanford in 2006.
OK, sorry to pull that stunt on everyone…
But I was trying to find a way to show that there is hope out there. So, let’s go take a look at 2006 for a minute:
- Cal and USC shared the Pac-12 title that year and it looked like these two teams were going to be battling for the conference title every year.
- Washington was the next worst team to Stanford.
- Oregon was showing signs of collapse after their strong run in the late 90′s and early 2000′s.
- Arizona State and UCLA were perpetual underachievers.
Yes, the conference was a very, very, VERY different place than it is right now. Anyone who had predicted that Stanford would be the best team in the conference would be laughed at in 2006. Anyone who said USC was about to falter big-time would be ridiculed, particularly if it was suggested that ASU and UCLA were the ones to displace them in their yet-to-exist division. Heck, even that Oregon was going to be a powerhouse program would be met with a raised eyebrow from many.
Point being, the future is uncertain. Things change in VERY unpredictable ways and surprisingly quickly. Is Dykes the guy to take us to the promised land? It’s reasonable to argue perhaps not. But neither was Walt Harris for Stanford. At the same time, Jim Harbaugh didn’t exactly light up the field his first 3 years, going a combined 9-15 his first two seasons. Dykes might yet surprise us.
Or not… frankly it doesn’t matter (in regards to the point I’m trying to make). What matters is that this is no time to despair. If in 15 years we’re still turning out horrible teams and regularly uncompetitive games, then it might be time to talk. But even Duke has managed to turn it around after having had only ONE winning season since 1990.
And Cal’s not even in that boat. Cal has had a comparatively large amount of recent success.
So, grind away on how unhappy you are with Dykes. Talk about how horrible this team was. Moan and complain about how you hate the scheme on offense. Rip Buh to shreds for his ridiculously bad defense.
But please don’t despair. We aren’t doomed to what we saw on the field this year, forever.