At Midseason the Owls Look for Wins…and Fans

No, our FAU Owls have not been that successful in the win column in the first half of their first season in division 1-A. I know there have been deficiencies on offense and defense. Yes, the team has been hard to watch at times, okay, most of the time. When your most valuable player is the punter…you know you’re in trouble. While all the penalties, mishaps, turnovers, and that last minute loss to Louisiana-Monroe have been disappointing, all that can will be fixed in time. The one thing that needs to be fixed immediately, however, is the interest on campus.

Owl fans: I am calling you out. You need to realize that these things take time. The football team doesn’t “suck” as I hear all over campus, they are just new. Realize that there are 50 freshmen on the roster. Kids that were in high school last year are regularly trying to match up against established and historic NCAA programs. Looking to the futureObviously it is difficult to be excited about the start to this season, but the future is where the excitement lies. Blowouts like the Louisville and Minnesota games allowed many future Owl stars to get into the game. Coach Schnellenberger has sacrificed a few points here and there in order to put the kids in some tough situations, to prepare for the future.

FAU fans should take a peek at USF. The Bulls are only in their ninth year of existence. They are now in a major conference (The Big East), and scored a major upset over Louisville a week before the Owls played them. There is not an on campus stadium in Tampa, but fans there have supported the team and it has led to success and a winning attitude.

The bandwagon is empty now…The fair weather fan attitude that infects the South Florida sports scene has become an epidemic in Boca Raton. This team almost won the division 1-AA national championship two years ago and people were excited. Now, FAU is trying to join the big time, not only in sports, but as a whole university and the bandwagon has a lot of empty seats. FAU can never become big time without fan support. Not half-hearted fan support, but crazy fan support. Look at the Cameron Crazies at Duke or the wild student interest at places like UF and FSU. If fans stick with a team through thick and thin (and right now FAU is pretty thin) it is so much more rewarding when you are eventually on top. After all, students pay more than thirteen dollars per credit hour for sports, they might as well enjoy what they are paying for.

There is hopeIt might not seem like it now but the future is actually pretty bright. Looking at this season alone, the Owls should do okay in the Sun Belt. A close loss to Louisiana-Monroe showed that FAU can compete. Also, ask anyone who was at Lockhart that night and they will tell you it was an exciting game. More tight games should follow, such as our new rival North Texas.

Hope also lies in future years as well. The Owls will do more traveling to tough places next year (Michigan State, Oklahoma State) and will probably lose. But one day that upset will come. Top recruits will notice and they will arrive. Eventually, FAU will be running with the big boys. South Florida is stocked with top athletes and the Owls are going to attract a few. The program is on the rise and an on campus stadium is in the works. The team is doing its part, now it’s the students’ turn.