by Tom Stosberg

Okay, so now the University of Louisville football team is 4-6 having just pulled off a win against an actual Big East team. Forget that U of L is only one point better than the league’s worst team because they are now in position to finish the season 6-6.

Hmm…  Doesn’t seem to be a lot of cheering. Hello?


Do you find it surprising when fans accept 6-6 as a winning season? It seems more like a disappointment than something to get excited about. It’s hard to imagine anyone being pleased with that kind of finish. Yet in America we tend to reward mediocrity. Then we wonder why our schools lag behind so many other countries.

But 6-6 teams can actually end up in bowl games.  At last count there were 34 bowl games. That means that 56% of Division I teams (68 of 120) get to go to bowl games even if some of those teams had basically crummy seasons.  Oh, and even though, in most cases, four of the six wins came against cream puffs.  If the shoe fits …

Last bowl season, nine participating teams were 6-6. These teams mostly went to lower tier bowls where paid attendances were less than 30,000. No big purse money with which to cover travel expenses. In fact, some schools opted not to take the band and/or cheerleaders to these lesser bowls because of the cost.  Some even cut stays short to save on hotel rooms.

It’s true that bowl appearances can help with exposure and recruiting because the games are televised. Bowl participation also allows teams extra practice time. But rewarding lackluster performance can send a message to players, coaches and fans that mediocre performance is acceptable.

Okay, so U of L is not yet 6-6. And it’s going to take two more Big East victories to get to the top of that mountain against two teams who are far better. It seems a shame to be so desperate for a win. Especially when going into the 11th game of the third year of the so-called turnaround.

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By Tom Stosberg

Tom Stosberg and his wife, Linda, also an active participant on this site, have been U of L fans for nearly 40 years. Tom is self-employed by MarketFit, Inc., an outsource marketing advisory. Tom worked in radio, television and advertising for 35+ years. His web site is located at

6 thoughts on “Six-Win Seasons Equal Mediocrity”
  1. We are at 4-6, but we are at the #42 SOS in the nation (#27 before Cuse at #), and I am sure you know we have went with 7 different secondary line-ups this season, just to scratch the surface of the lengthy injury roster.

    Not making excuses for Krag, and I highly support a new direction with the current state of football and the fanbase at HC, but our highest SOS was #26 in 2006, and we are right on line with that, with #38 USF and #34 Rutgers coming up, that will yank that SOS down to between mid-20’s to mid-30’s. When the dust settles, this year should be among the Top 3 toughest SOS we have ever faced since 1912 when we started.

    Just saying with the injuries and the SOS, it has been more than a tough year.

    Couple those factors with Stoudt on the bench, and the dink-n-dunk offense, and it spells disaster.

    The defense is looking good though. We have only given up 26 points in 2 games…….

  2. U of L seems to have more than its share of injuries during the Kragthorpe years. You can almost predict where they’re going to happen, usually at the most strategic positions. Why is that?

  3. Our most glaring weakness right now is the offensive line. Historically, the Cards have not played well at Tampa (0-3) lifetime. USF’s defensive ends have to be like kids at Christmas anticipating this game Saturday.

  4. I want a change as much as anyone, but winning @ USF where Petrino was trampled and the again back home against a hot Rutgers team seems so unlikely, if not impossible, that it would throw me in an utter turmoil of reassessment. It would be hard to deny that team is not finishing strong and improved vastly in the last 4 games. Check that! The defense and Trent Guy have improved vastly in the last two games. It would seem to be another cruel thing to do to Louisville fans. Do we outwardly cheer and inwardly pray like hell that USF continues their tradition of beating the stuffing out of us in Tampa just so the kragthorpe era would finally be over?

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