(Warning: gamer post.)
2010 started off poorly with losses at rival Louisiana Tech (who wasn't automatically scheduled, I had to add them) and home to UAB. The next game was the conference opener against doormat Western Kentucky.
As is so often the case, WKU did everything perfectly, resulting in my first ragequit in I don't know how long. They were up 42-21 in the second quarter ... you'd think I was playing LSU instead of a team that had been in I-A just two seasons. Of course, the second time I played the game, I won easily, 45-17. (In case it bothers you, I would have won the conference anyway. Unless I ended up throwing the disc into the street.)
We ran off six wins in a row, counting that game, including a double-overtime win over Middle Tennessee State. Next was a triple-overtime loss to Florida Atlantic, 71-63. (Yeah, my defense is still terrible, even considering the boost that the sim gets on offense.) We beat Monroe to clinch the Sun Belt, upset Mississippi in Oxford, and then got destroyed at 2-10 Minnesota: no ragequit, but I did go to super sim with about half the fourth quarter left when it was clear there was no point in finishing the game; the next-to-last play was a 94-yard TD or something like that for them. Remember, the Big Ten is a tougher conference.
We lucked out (or would have, in real life) by drawing the New Orleans Bowl as Sun Belt champs, right next door in New Orleans. We led UTEP 17-0 before the sim figured out what was going on and ran off 24 unanswered points. Unfortunately for them, we scored the last 14 of the game, held them on fourth and two from the 3, and that was that.
Recruiting went better this time: 1 4-star recruit (#13 CB, a juco but badly needed anyway) and 3 3-star recruits (#24 MLB, #27 SS, #39 FS – see a pattern?) during the season. I've got soft commits from a 3-star OT (#37) and a 2-star K (#30, needed because my current kicker hit the crossbar on a 43-yard attempt in the Superdome). Leading on 4 more players, second on 2 more, including the #1 punter.
My TE won the Mackey Award, which was nice to see: he was a monster in the passing game. 111 receptions, 1273 yards, 8 TDs. I hope he doesn't go pro. (Bonus! He didn't.)
We met two of our three goals, beating ULM and getting a bowl bid. As expected, no 5- or 6-star teams on the schedule, so I didn't get a chance at that one. I got a 5-year extension offer and accepted it. BYU and Penn State came calling (JoePa got forced out, I guess), but no thanks, this is for SEC promotion.
Conference USA came calling again, and once again UAB would be shown the door. (Ha. Good thing it wasn't based on in-season results.) No thanks. I'm holding out.
No incoming transfers. (But hey, no one wanted out either.)
Ended up with 7 3-star recruits, but no punter. (Hope one of my kickers can punt.) Again, we did much better than the rest of the conference. Also, I lucked out and landed a 76 punter as a walk-on. ha ha.
This time, we do get Louisiana Tech (on the road? I think not). Non-conference games are at Kansas State, vs. Central Michigan, and vs. UAB. (What's up with that?) No strength of schedule, but whatever, I'm not ready to compete yet. Better to build my roster depth before I make a run for the SEC.
We're also picked to repeat as Sun Belt champs. C+ offense, C defense, C+ special teams, C overall. Individually, we're best at WR (B-) and worst at OLB (D+). I'll guess 2012 before we can make a run at the SEC.