Quote Originally Posted by skinny_uncle View Post

I am deeply disappointed ó disappointed for our players, our coaches, our fans and for our league. Ten conference schools stood together in January and made an "unwavering commitment" to each other to play a full spring schedule. Our last two opponents have now backed out of that pledge.

Here at SIU, our players and coaches remained committed to do the right thing the entire season. No excuses. We had a freak blizzard that kept us from practicing during the 10 days leading up to our season opener at North Dakota. When other teams opted out due to weather, WE PLAYED. We started the season 4-1 and ranked fifth in the country, then lost two starting quarterbacks and two starting defensive tackles. When other teams opted out due to injuries, WE PLAYED. Last Saturday at Missouri State, we were down to five defensive linemen and travelled 11 true freshmen. WE PLAYED. Not one time this season has our team complained or looked for an excuse. We've lost two games in a row, and the experts say we're out of the playoffs, and still not one person has questioned continuing to play. We practiced on Easter Sunday. We could have taken the easy way out. WE PLAYED.

When the selection committee looks at the resumes of the teams that are still competing this spring, they will see our Top 25 wins over SEMO, Northern Iowa and North Dakota State. More importantly, I hope they see that, regardless of the circumstances, THE SALUKIS PLAYED. I am incredibly proud of our football team.
I must be missing something here. Thank you coach for pointing out that you did not quit the season (positive points for that); however, the more I read this, the more it is actually exactly what the coach claims it is not...excuses for being on the outside looking in (with a biased plea to be considered anyway, simply because they played). Congratulations! Participation trophies will be mailed to you and the other 80+ teams that did not opt out, and unless there are only 16 teams left, even the non-experts suspect playoff selection for SIU is a tough row to hoe.

The coach's statement is a locker room speech, with the addition of a plea (in blue) to the committee to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." I have highlighted nearly half of the statement which shows this. Please tell me where I am wrong or what I am missing.

Isn't the first highlighted text excuse #1? Losing to UND.
Isn't the second highlighted text excuse #2? Curb-stomped by SDSU.
Isn't the third highlighted text excuse #3? Losing to MOST.

I know this seems negative, but it is a bit tiresome giving credit to a coach for "coach-speak". All of the above said, I think that SIU was actually good enough to be a playoff team, and I am sorry that bumps in the road may have taken them out of it. I am really hopeful that no excuse making will be necessary next fall. I appreciate the intensity, but it is actually time to stop praising the coach for this rah-rah stuff, in this non-expert's opinion. There are still a lot of other teams playing or ready to play, even given their difficult circumstances.

What I will give great kudos for is SIU and SLU scheduling a game where a win doesn't guarantee anything, but a loss almost certainly takes them out of the postseason. This is actually quite praiseworthy for the coaches, players, and administrators of both schools, and the focus should now be here.