It’s only fitting for UConn to enjoy its first national ranking in a year like this, when a victory over South Florida is considered historic and a win at Duke has arguably the same value as a win at Notre Dame.
That is where we are in 2007. I can’t remember a time where so many top notch college football programs have had down years concurrently. It’s the power schools’ mediocrity that has given way to the unlikeliest of successors. Teams like Arizona State and Kansas, South Florida and Boston College. And of course, the 16th ranked Huskies.
But what all of these schools, especially Connecticut, cannot forget is that their rise in prominence has more to do with the traditional schools failures than anything else. What I mean is not having Miami, Florida State, Notre Dame or Penn State the top 25 is far more of a fluke than a team from Storrs being 7-1.
That’s why it is absolutely essential for the Huskies to run the table and represent the Big East in a BCS game. The big name programs will be back. ESPN lists the Hurricanes, Fighting Irish and Seminoles as having top ten recruiting classes next year. Florida, USC and Texas, teams that more losses than they usually do at this point in the season, are all there too. If UConn wants to have a real college football program, it needs to be playing in a major bowl game, getting primetime exposure, so that major recruits will have at least know who they are.
With the best programs, recruiting is always about tradition. At a place like Connecticut, it’s always going to be what have you done lately?
Lately, the Huskies have succeeded. With a strong finish, they’ll have the chance to be a player even after this strange season.