Hope and despair are the emotions of a football fan. There are only 12 games in a college football season, so that means the importance of each is magnified enough that huge swings in belief are prevalent. Such could be the case after Arizona defeated then-No. 18 Oklahoma State.
With South Carolina State on deck, you'd assume this week that confidence meter on the left of our homepage -- or whatever is the equivalent in your mind -- is going to flatline after it spiked in Arizona's second game. You'd be lying to yourself. This is one of those scary games because we don't know how Rich Rodriguez's team will react to a national ranking. It appears like he's keeping his players level-headed, but even so it could be hard to get up for a bout with a MEAC team.
There are a couple of options for reevaluating the season based on what happens Saturday against the Bulldogs.A big, blowout win = Tell USC fans you're gunnin' for them: This is not deserved quite yet at all, but if you're the aggressive, loud type, by all means go for it. The Trojans have looked as good as we'd expect this season, but how much could have changed since last, when they were easily a top-10 squad but nothing worthy of championship-level mention? Arizona put up points against them last season, and USC hasn't shown that it's defense can be dominant, though two early offensive-minded opponents of Hawaii and Syracuse might be the reason for that.
With Arizona, UCLA and ASU looking legitimate -- Utah could even be in the conversation despite this week's loss -- the South Division is sure to get wacky with upsets. Some might ask, "Why Arizona?" You can ask, "Why not?"
A Toledo-esque victory = Keep the fingers crossed under the table: Maybe the Oklahoma State victory was an anomaly, but a win is a win. Even a first-year Rodriguez squad that is bland in the win column is better than expected and fun to watch as well. Six wins and a chance at a crappy bowl game? You'll take it. This scenario would be like How I Met Your Mother re-runs or Subway sandwiches. Not the most satisfying but easily good enough to keep you from looking too much toward basketball season.
A loss ... to South Carolina State = Move to Canada: Football is an evil sport, and last I checked, the only time football was relevant in Canada was when Ricky Williams was playing there. You're set. Pick up the wife and kids and move to a place where the only important thing is hockey. You can decide later if you like hockey.