Well, I must say, my memo last week must have had a little something to do with that 63-28 drubbing of UC Davis. Man, what a win. Way to embarrass your rival; kick them when they’re down. It still feels sweet more than a week later. There’s nothing like winning a game by 35 points on enemy soil, and I’m 1,800 miles away.
Beating your rival is always sweet; it means something extra. It’s not really describable in words, but beating Davis is not just another win.
Let me hit you with a little stat: UC Davis hasn’t had a losing season in 37 years, the longest such streak in any division of NCAA football. Cal Poly not only ensured that UCD (2-5) probably won’t continue that amazing streak, but enforced the issue. When Davis looks back, this will be the first game they forget.
Kudos to Cal Poly football for dominating this team as they opened their new stadium full of alumni (like my dad), and holding that horseshoe for another year.
Well, if you look back at my first article, it would be easy to call me a genius. If you remember, I talked about a receiver who was pretty darn good. I told everyone to just watch and he wouldn’t disappoint. Those were my exact words.
But I’m not here to talk about how right I was, and how I just know talent when I see it. No, I’ll start by saying how much this team surprised me. I knew we had a solid offense, but never knew it was 63-points solid. Poly has outscored its opponents 119-49 the past two games, but that’s in the past. Now it’s redemption time.
The best part about college football is that every game means so much. Every week is life-or-death. Like it or not, that 0-2 start may come back to haunt this team. South Dakota State devastated our playoff chances last year. Key word here: “DEVASTATED” our playoff hopes.
With a 28-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the defense full of All-Americans wilted late. The final score read 29-28, leaving a shell-shocked team with stunned fans astounded by what they witnessed.
The best part about 2007 is it’s a new season – payback time. Our playoff hopes rest in every game that is played from here on out. But it’s about more this week, because South Dakota State absolutely embarrassed this school at home.
So every player who played in that game last year: never forget the way it felt. Keep this momentum going, and absolutely take it to them. It’s now your chance to embarrass them at home. Destroy them!
While we’re talking Cal Poly football, I must touch on that other “football” team on campus.
Now by no means am I a soccer guy. I actually border on the line of not calling it a sport, but I have to give the Cal Poly men’s soccer team some credit.
My praise will start and end with their leader, coach, and program rejuvenator, Paul Holocher.
From the moment he walked on campus I began hearing things about this guy.
This was my type of guy. He reminded me of Bobby Knight, with his intensity, what he demanded out of his players, bringing his winning attitude from day one.
Players complained he was too hard, yet he never stopped demanding what was thought of as the impossible, and worked them until they couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.
Players quit because they couldn’t handle the new coach; they were accustomed to losing soccer games, and winning wasn’t expected. Not any longer.
He inherited a soccer program that could best be described by one word: mediocrity. He didn’t accept this while changing the mindset and turning them into a winner.
Now, I wrote this column before the UCSB game. The score in that game is irrelevant to the message I am trying to relay here. At 8-1-1, the men’s soccer team is a contender again, and not a team that students laugh at. And he’s done it in less than two-and-a-half years.
I know this coach is the real deal, and after this game maybe the same can be said about this team.
So regardless of the outcome against the defending national champions, here’s to a coach with a vision and an attitude that things can change, and that losing should never be tolerated.