If you haven't heard about UT Arlington's win over Ohio State Friday night, you either aren't a Maverick fan, have been living in a cave with no wifi or you depend on this blog for all your UTA news, and none of those options are good things.
I experienced some elation with the win just like everyone else, but I feel like there is a lot of over-reaction to this win. Don't get me wrong, it is a big one, certainly a milestone win for the program and head coach Scott Cross. Any win over any P5 team is great, especially the hoity-toity Big 10, as all P5 school's athletic budgets should make them better than UTA. But let me point out a few things that make me tap the brakes.
1) We don't really know how good this Ohio State team is. They lost five seniors and an All-American from a team that won a game in the NCAA tournament. The last time the Buckeyes lost to a Sun Belt team on their home floor, they went 6-22 for year, the worst in their history. Not saying that is going to be the case here, but this wasn't exactly a ranked team.
2) UTAMavs.com lead paragraph called this the biggest win in program history. Really? The biggest? Honestly, what did this win accomplish? I'd call the win over Northwestern State in the 2008 Southland Conference Tournament the biggest win in UTA's history. That actually put UTA in the big one for the first time. It gave us something. The win against Sam Houston State in the 2004 regular season finale, which clinched their first regular season title I could argue was bigger. In the end, if we lose every game from here on out, we gain nothing. If we win every game from here on out, we still would almost guaranteedly have to win the Sun Belt Tournament to advance and play in the NCAA's. A CIT or CBA invite is possible cause of it, but doesn't guarantee anything and we'd certainly have to win more games. Those wins I mentioned before did.
3) I read many-a-times UTA hung with the big boys. I'm sorry, are we not Division I? Doesn't that mean we are a big boy? Mid-Major I can grudgingly accept, but this wasn't a team from a division below pulling the upset. Yes, Ohio State has an athletic budget bigger than some countries GDP. Their basketball budget is bigger than out entire athletic budget, but we've been Division I since 1971. Time we start acting like it. Be glad for the upset win, but don't be surprised. It's all part of the plan.
4) We have wins over the "big boys," though certainly not many. The Mavericks have tallied three wins over TCU (though they have not been upper conference the whole time), one over Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M each. Yes those aren't the star powers that Ohio State is, but those are P5 schools. By the way, TCU still won't schedule the Mavericks. A P5 afraid to play UTA?
Again, I don't want this to sound like I'm devaluing the victory. It is a great, milestone win. But I think by over-doing it, we are devaluing the program's history and to some extent, what our plans are. We have a better arena than most schools in this country. Should we be surprised that the play is starting to reflect that too?