Sunday, August 22, 2010
Today was Tiger Football Media Day
This was the crowd at the Elna Roane Field House as Tiger football fans got autographs from U of M football players and coaches. This is Coach Larry Porter's first year as a head coach, and I hope Tiger fans will cut him some slack as he rebuilds a program that Tommy West had improved, then let deteriorate.
I'm not hopeful they will win their opener on the road at Mississippi State. I believe that their second game at East Carolina, the conference opener, will be crucial for the season. Win that, and they are 1-0 in Conference USA, and give Tiger fans a reason to come out for the home opener the following week against MTSU. (Note: UM has not beaten MTSU since the 1950s. Seriously. Oh, and MTSU is the pre-season favorite to win the Sun Belt, the conference Tiger fans look down upon, and whose teams did REALLY well against UM toward the end of the West era. Full Disclosure: I am an A-State fan of longstanding.)
Tiger fans will be looking for more disciplined play this year, something I fully expect to see under the new coach. They're going to need it.
Coach Porter has a mission, and that is to win Conference USA in Football. It won't happen this year, but it MUST happen soon, because if we can't win C-USA, how the hell can we compete in a BCS league? It is a Catch-22, because the Tigers would find it easier to compete with the extra revenue that a BCS league would bring. However, they won't get there if they can't win the league they are in.
As a Memphian, I root for the Tigers as much as possible (but NEVER against ASU, sorry) and I want them to win, especially since I have lived within walking distance of campus for a quarter of a century. This is arguably the most critical period in Tiger football history, but it won't happen overnight.
However, it had better happen within the next five years, or we may have to decide if it is worth it to try and compete in football at all.