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Tiger football fans are looking for the brighter side


If the football season were broken down into quarters like a game, it would be the end of the first. And the Tigers, well, they would be getting killed. by J.R. Moorhead
Special to the Tri-State Defender

If the football season were broken down into quarters like a game, it would be the end of the first. And the Tigers, well, they would be getting killed.

Jay Scott (7) and Ja’Gared Davis (56) of the SMU Mustangs tackle Kevin Wright of the Memphis Tigers. (Photo by Joe Murphy/University of Memphis)

Akeem Davis (24) and Charles Harris (49) of the Memphis Tigers tackle Rishaad Wimbley (29) of the SMU Mustangs. (Photo by Joe Murphy/University of Memphis)

In their first four games, the U of M Tigers have only won once. They have beaten Austin Peay State University, a non D-1 school, and by no means was it handily. It should have been a game that the Tigers won easily.

And what about the other three games? Let’s just say that the Tigers looked unprepared and unfocused. They have had 40+ points scored against them in each of the games and have only scored a combined 17 points throughout the losing efforts. The defense has given up over 1,700 yards in those three games.

Yes, 1,700. At this rate, the Tigers will allow around 7,000 total yards by the end of the season.

The latest team to trounce the Tigers was Southern Methodist University out of Dallas last Saturday; Mustangs 42, Tigers 0.

If the U of M wanted a model for success, then they should look no further than SMU. For one, SMU actually cares about their football team. Some may say a little too much at times, ahum, death penalty. But since those dark days, the Mustangs have been doing all the right things.

To start, they hired a great coach in June Jones, who most recently took the Hawaii “Rainbow” Warriors, a non-BCS school, to the Sugar Bowl before heading to Dallas. They built an on campus football stadium and their boosters have been very generous in giving to the school and its athletics. Since 1997, they have raised over $700 million.

The University of Memphis should really look into this, especially with the significant changes in conference alignment that have occurred over the last year. Or else, their all-the-eggs-in-the-basketball-“basket” strategy might leave them high and dry. Although our basketball team is an elite program, the big conferences want good football teams and, well, the Tigers are years away from that.

So what are the Tigers to do?

It just does not seem that the Tigers can compete with teams in their own conference much less an SEC school (see the Miss. State game). What is the problem? Are the players not good enough? Well, maybe not against bigger conferences, but it is really hard to believe that other C-USA schools flat out have more talent. Yet, the Tigers continue to look like a high school team a day late for their games on Saturday.

So, is it the coaching? That seems to be the hot topic of late. With the Tiger’s defense terrible at best, the U of M now has gotten rid of its defensive coordinator. Good move, right? I’m not so sure. Could it be that the problem is a little more deeply rooted in the coaching staff?

Long story short, Head Coach Larry Porter’s seat has started to simmer and it is only going to get hotter, unless this season does a 180.

With all of the negative things surrounding the Tigers, is there anything positive going forward?

On the bright side, the Tigers are headed to Murfreesboro this weekend to take on Middle Tennessee State, a game that they should win. And that’s judging solely on the fact that the 1 victory in the Tigers 1-11 season last year was a victory over the Blue Raiders. But don’t expect the Tigers to blow away MTSU by any means. It will probably be a close game decided by six or fewer points and the team that wins will not have necessarily played better for four quarters, but the team that played less bad.

Even more on the bright side for the True Blue Fan, it is one day closer to basketball season.

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