Recently I've noticed a disturbing trend among my green & white brothers and sisters-the notion of low expectations. It seems that the hurt from last bball season has not dissipated throughout the fanbase and many have been subscribing to a theory that there are no, or at least low, expectations for this year's team and that low expectations are a good thing. This troubles me. Perhaps we can discuss this and meet on common ground.
First I will address the notion that low expectations are a good thing. I suppose once in a while it can be nice and everyone loves the under dog story. But Michigan State University is not some overachieving, mighty mouse school that is just happy to get what it can get. We are a big time university. Big timers do not have low expectations. I don't care if that comes across as arrogant. We do not need to be sheepish about who or what we are. I can back up the "big timer" status with all kinds of examples that would take too long for me to list here.
With regards to sports, having low expectations is not a good thing. It sounds dumb and its repetative, but if you don't believe you'll fail. Though I don't know the man personally I'd bet my life Tom Izzo did not ever have low expectations for himself or any of his players. If he did.........well I'm sure people know where I'm going with this. The notion that his teams perform better when there aren't expectations is absurd. In 02 expectations were low because there were no seniors and we fresh off a magical 4 year run. In 07 expecations were low because there were no seniors and the talent level on the team was down a bit, which happens. Other than those two seasons expectations have always been up there. And there has been more good than bad. Much more good in fact.
And to those who say there are no expectations for this year's team: One of the main headlines to this season is "How will Michigan State respond to last year's disappointment?" Hardly anyone expects Tom Izzo's team to respond weakly. This is evident in that we've been picked to finish 3rd in the conference. I know it's not the finest honor in the world, but that is far from a low expectation. Especially when considering what OSU and Flop U are bringing back. They are the only teams expected to be better than us. Even with that "monumental revival" in Ann Arbor.
With the recent news of Harris' decision I cannot help but think that expectations will be sky high next year. With Appling, Harris, Dawson, Payne, and Nix as the likely starting five-Trice, Kearney, Byrd, Gauna, Costello, Kaminski, and Valentine on the bench-and Tom Izzo running the show how can expectations be low? Does that mean we're doomed? Are those fans subscribing to the low expectations theory not watch one game next year?
I saw an interview with Jamie Dixon once-he said that he's always wanted to have his program at the level where every loss is a big deal. We have that. We have one of the best, most respected bball programs in America. Accept it. Embrace it. Enjoy it.