TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — FAU has $2 million in the bank and two more losses to their name, but they might be better for it.
For Carl Pelini's rag-tag team of inherited losers (1-11 record last year), overlooked freshmen and under-the-radar transfers, playing two SEC teams, on the road, in front of packed houses can be viewed as a positive experience.
There were no major injuries. That's a huge positive for a team heading into confernece play. There were major accomplishments: giving Georgia a first-half scare (which made FAU trending topic on Twitter), and ending Alabama's shutout streak. (Are the Owls better than Arkansas? I'm not ruling it out, if Tyler Wilson is ruled out.)
For a team that had nothing to be confident about heading into the 2012 season, it's surprising that they're heading into confernece play with some momentum, even if they do have a 1-3 record.
It's the little things that count. I was once told that success is doing a million little things right. Now the Owls have some little things.
That's not to say that this team isn't flawed — it is. The defense is atrocious, and even against Sun Belt teams, the Owls will have trouble getting stops.
The offense is temperamental. Save for the opening half of play against Georgia, the Owls have had what the team has deemed "rough starts." Those aren't rough starts guys, that's are rough games, finished with a hint of dignity. When the pressure is off, they execute, but at any other point in the game, you don't know what you're going to get.
FAU's feeling-out period is up after Saturday's game against North Texas. It's a confernece game, one of FAU's eight remaining Sun Belt contests, but after that home contest comes a bye week — a bye week that marks the season's de-facto halftime.
The Owls have one more game to figure out what it is that ails them. They have one more game, against an evenly-matched opponent, to work out the kinks.
This optimism surrounding FAU, following a few moral victories should be hypothetical. Yes, it could have been a lot worse than it was. No, that doesn't mean that this team is better than we thought (ok, I thought.) It just means that they could be.
And that chance alone is an improvement.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun