This week's open thread takes a peg from — of course — the national coverage of Washington State. This is where I get all of my ideas, in case you were curious.
On Monday, Coug Center's Mark Sandritter noticed that Wazzu — a team that hasn't won 10 games in the last 10 years, and that won nine games last year partly by dint of winning five games by a touchdown or less — made a list of overhyped teams.
And while Sandritter takes some exception to his Cougars being on an arbitrary list of overhyped teams, he also has this takeaway:
A few years ago, WSU was lucky to get a single line of mention in a story in May. Now, the Cougars are among the overhyped. What a time to be alive.
Florida generally does not struggle to get covered in the same way Washington State does, for reasons ranging from geography to conference affiliation to proximity to recent success. And coming off an SEC East title, the first in six years, the Gators would seem more likely to get overhyped than underrated this offseason.
But being in a position to be overhyped helps create fan expectations that lead to things like a dumb exchange on Twitter in which fans chirping leads to a national pundit extrapolating and punching down. (Which then becomes A Headline because #Offseason.)
Being in a position to be underrated just means we get equally dumb stuff like videos made by unaffiliated parties about a #RevengeTour, and hypervigilance about slights that often bleeds into paranoia, and disservices all involved as much as haughtiness does.
Of course, the best outcome of projections and predictions would be to be projected as the best team in the country and back it up. (It must be nice to be Alabama!) That isn't always possible, though.
Given the choice of the Gators being overhyped or underrated, which are you picking?