After last Saturday's tough loss to Kansas State, many University of Miami football fans were found to be wandering around and suffering from a severe form of cognitive dissonance.
For those of you not familiar with the term, "cognitive dissonance" occurs when reality clearly and directly contradicts the previously held ideas, beliefs, opinions or values of an individual.
Most Hurricane fans including myself have completely bought into and truly believe that UM head coach Al Golden is well on his way to rebuilding and restoring the UM football program to its proud history of National Championship accomplishments.
We totally support and are committed to "The Process" that includes the core values, the mutual accountability, the UTough conditioning program and the brick-by-brick wall building analogy.
The way I now see it is that UM fans are left to struggle with embracing this thought: Things are going exactly according to plan and Al Golden is just channeling his inner Pink Floyd.
The vast majority of Hurricane fans truly believe that Golden is the man for the job and will get it done in Coral Gables. We have the utmost confidence and faith in Golden as a head coach and even more so as a visionary leader of men. This we firmly believe in spite of the loss to Kansas State last Saturday.
After the initial disappointment in the game wore off I began to think less emotionally and more analytically about The Process, the current roster, the depth chart, the 2012 season and the true impact of Saturday's difficult loss in Manhattan. I eventually came to the following conclusions:
1. Whether we want to admit it or accept it or not this team is too young and too inexperienced to handle a top 25 team on the road early in the season. The depth chart is too shallow and loaded with way too many freshmen and sophomores for the Hurricanes to handle a mature, experienced and well-coached team like Kansas State.
2. This team needed this kind of wake-up call early this season before they got too far ahead of themselves and way before they get into the heart of their ACC schedule later this month and especially later this season in October and November.
3. Against Boston College this team took two steps forward. Against Kansas State they took three steps back. How they respond next week against BCC at home in front of their home town fans will make a huge statement about their mental status and physical ability going forward.
4. The loss to Kansas State, as painful as it was, is really insignificant when it comes to the big picture for the Hurricanes this season. Winning more than six games and their division of the ACC is still within their complete control and those are the only goals that really matter in 2012.
So Miami Hurricane football fans have to sit back and do a thorough self-analysis of where they and their team stands after two games of the 2012 season have been completed. Sometimes, as painful as it may seem, you have to lose to know how to win.
UM is now 1-1 and looking at what should be a winnable game against BCC this weekend at Sun Life Stadium in the Canes first home game of the year. The goals they set out with at the beginning of the season are still in front of them and very achievable.
But to do so, this team, these players and coaches, must learn from the mistakes they made in the K-State game and move forward with a new sense of urgency, conviction and determination.
I think they can and they will.
Wouldn't it be something, if after just a few more weeks have gone by, that we all can look back and clearly see that the Kansas State game was after all, just another brick in the wall?