So much for that so-so year.
The 2014-15 mint of Fresno State athletics finished nowhere in particular Saturday after nine months of doing mostly nothing in particular. Which is really too bad, because even the most curmudgeon-iest of us former students are suckers for a good ol’ postseason ride.
We hoped the Fresno State baseball team would save the live-long day. But no, coach Mike Batesole’s cup of sunshine ran dry against somebody-or-other in the Mountain West Conference consolation-less bracket Saturday.
Add it up, and what do we get under Athletic Director Jim Bartko’s inaugural half-season of a watch?
No NCAA Tournament or bowl victories in the team sports that require turnstiles: football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and softball.
And, we didn’t say go crazy and win said titles. We said win one game that points in general direction of a second NCAA postseason weekend.
If there’s been a more unmemorable Bulldogs year this century, we are dying to know.
What we would give for a first bowl win since 2007, or a first March Madness men’s run since 2001, or NCAA Regional advancements in baseball or softball. We want the postseason rush of the Al Bohl Era, and sweet mother of Boyd Grant, did I actually just type Al Bohl era in a real-life sentence?
Think that’s asking too much? Then excuse those of us who once paid tuition at Fresno State for expecting a little more than this from our local institution.
Want to settle for less? Fine. Because nothing eats away at the net worth of a framed bachelor’s like lowered expectations.
As for the rest of us, please excuse us as we wish for something more.
We love that the Fresno State football team overcame a month’s worth of Big School disembowelments to make it to the MWC championship game.
One hundred days from now, we’d just the same like the Bulldogs to reach a bowl game on the merit of being good, and not just by virtue of being less bad as all the other bad teams.
The men’s basketball kept us interested after New Year’s Day for the first time in years. Coach Rodney Terry had us thinking they just might go glass slipper on the Mountain West tournament.
Baby steps are great, but the problem with taking baby steps is that, no matter how many steps you make, your program is still in the baby stages. Next winter, let’s pull up a seat at the grown-ups table, even if it’s the one at the NIT.
It’s great to know the softball team can make the NCAA Regionals from this side of Margie Wright’s retirement. The women’s basketball team didn’t last two games in the Women’s NIT, but getting there provided hope enough for next time out.
We trust Mr. Bartko has a plan to turn Fresno State into something more than this. Maybe not the next Oregon, but Oregon’s south satellite campus would be nice. We also trust there is more to his plans than spamming our emails with surveys and more surveys.
It’s got to get better than this, and all hands on deck have got to know it by now. Just because it wasn’t half-bad, is it too much to want something more than half-good?
David White: @bydavidwhite