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Posts Tagged ‘Kolton Browning’

No. 107: Louisiana-Monroe

U.L.M. has an image problem. It’s not about L.S.U., because L.S.U. is L.S.U., and that’s fine. Louisiana-Monroe doesn’t compete with the Tigers, and wouldn’t dare try, of course. U.L.M. competes with Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech and Tulane for in-state eyeballs, and as the Warhawks head into the summer, they’re losing the battle for public attention. The Ragin’ Cajuns are riding a wave of good vibes after earning their first bowl berth on the F.B.S. level, beating U.L.M. to the punch. In addition to hitting its groove under Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech is now back in the news thanks to this week’s jump into Conference USA. Even Tulane, despite suffering a setback to its hopes for an on-campus stadium, has moved back into the regional conversation since hiring Curtis Johnson in December. In a state with five F.B.S. programs, U.L.M.’s Q rating comes in last. Perhaps being last isn’t new for the Warhawks; being a distant last, however, is a recent development.

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    No. 94: Louisiana-Monroe

    It’s just the way things are, for better or for worse. The better: Louisiana-Monroe has a fine year in 2010, winning five games, and returns 19 of last season’s starters. Like Arizona State, which does the same, these two factors combine to raise expectations to a healthy level. Or is it unhealthy? The Warhawks haven’t made a bowl trip since joining the F.B.S. in 1994 – haven’t won more than six games in a season – so why should we expect this season to be any different? Raised expectations are a boon to the program, on the other hand, and it’s good, even if it feels strange, to think of Louisiana-Monroe as a program on the rise. Yet it never hurts to keep things in perspective, asking yourself if it’s really a good idea to get behind the idea of a U.L.M. bowl run when we’ve seen this program enter a year with raised expectations in the past only to find itself disappointed with the end result.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.