Wednesday, November 7,2001 Volume 67, Issue 55


Fear factor

By Tom Carpenter
Daily Cougar Staff

The Daily Cougar's national poll, published every Tuesday, ranks the Cougars among the top five teams in the nation. As incongruous as that seems for an 0-8 team, the following facts will support our gridiron warriors' lofty standing in The Daily Cougar poll.

Max Lacayo/The Daily Cougar

Junior safety Hanik Milligan hurls his body into the pile to stop a Bull running back during the Cougars' game with South Florida on Saturday. USF joins
C-USA in 2003.

The number one reason the Cougars deserve their top five ranking, according to all the e-mail arriving at the sports editor's desk, is because nobody wants to play UH.

That's right, nobody wants to meet the Cougars on the field of battle, so the "Fear Factor" alone catapults our football heroes into the top 10.

UH now rubs shoulders with those other top-flight programs nobody wants to play like Nebraska, Oklahoma, Miami and Florida.

UH pushes the bubble into the top five because the Cougars are, without a doubt, the most dangerous team in college football today.

Every team in Division I-A dreads playing the Cougars because they know one of these days UH will win a game, and nobody wants to be the team that
gets beat by our favorite gridiron warriors.

When you consider that Cougar head coach Dana Dimel gave the team Monday off after their game with South Florida, you get the impression Dimel
thinks he only needs to fine-tune the Cougar battle wagon before hurling it at another top-25 defensive or offensive juggernaut like Southern Miss.

The Cougars stand alone at the bottom of the mountain, the only team in the cosmos with the power to make the earth tremble beneath the ivory towers
of college football's elite.

Dimel's a gambling man, a gunslinger from the days of yore. The Cougars should take advantage of their dire straits by coming out and playing with wild
abandon during the final three games of the 2001 season.

They obviously lack the muscle to compete toe-to-toe with Louisville, Alabama-Birmingham and Georgia, so how about some of that who-do you-do
voodoo magic?

What this team needs is some of that old-time razzle-dazzle, if for no other reason than to give the players on the field something to laugh and grin about
after their season ends in Athens, Ga., Dec. 1.

They may be 0-11 by then, but they're our 0-11 team.

The players deserve one of those backslapping, knee-jerking memories that begin, "Yeah, we were 0 and 11, but do you remember when we pulled off
the old (pick your play) on Louisville…" -- and so do their fans.

Give the fans a thrill, boys. Nebraska used a trick play to crush Oklahoma's national title dreams. There's nothing wrong with a bit of deception and
daring-do to rattle your opponent and win a game by hook or by crook when a national title is at stake. 

What's a little chicanery when you're trying to break a 12-game losing streak?

Nothing brings a crowd to its feet like the successful execution of a trick play that leaves an opponent's jock strap dangling from the moon.

The great thing about Cougar fans is they understand you can't win them all. 

Students who work while pursuing an education realize you must start at the bottom to reach the top. It's the perfect attitude to have while enjoying the
growing pains of our football heroes.

Now, I suggest the always entertaining and exciting flea-flicker play to shake the Cardinals from their lofty perch.

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