I first heard this phrase used in describing college football when I was a teenager. I’m not sure who originated this saying, but I have seen this play out year after year ever since then. We just completed the first weekend of games in November and have already witnessed BCS #1 ranked LSU defeating BCS #2 Alabama 9-6 in overtime on the road, BCS #3 Oklahoma State beating BCS #14 Kansas State 52-45 at home and BCS #7 Arkansas overwhelming BCS #9 South Carolina 44-28 at home.
This coming week features the game between current BCS #4 ranked Stanford hosting BCS #7 Oregon and on the weekend of the 25th BCS #1 ranked LSU will be hosting BCS #8 Arkansas. In addition to all those games with national implications riding on them, November is the month a majority of the in-state rivalries take place and most fans do not soon forget which teams won those games and hold all bragging rights heading into the following season.
Despite their importance and the memories created by the games played in November, one must remember that in order to make those games, games of significance, the teams involved have to win most, if not all of their games leading up to November. This is best achieved by staying in the moment each and every week, and focusing on your own improvement. If LSU was thinking about their upcoming game with Alabama in November when they opened the season against Oregon, chances are the outcome of that game would not have come out in their favor.
Far too often teams get ahead of themselves and are more focused on where they see themselves going, rather than where they are right now. This is how upsets and disappointments tend to occur. Teams that control what they can control, which is their own improvement and beating whoever they are facing each week, are the ones who are likely to be playing those meaningful games in November.
For example Florida State and Texas A & M were in nearly every preseason top 10, coming in at #6 and #8 in ESPN’s preseason top 25. But as we entered November, neither one of them was even listed in the BCS top 25, in fact Florida State only received 12 votes in the poll that came out yesterday and Texas A & M did not receive any votes at all. Now imagine how big Texas A & M’s game against BCS #6 Oklahoma would have been this past weekend had they taken care of business in all their earlier games.
Good teams avoid getting caught up in all the hype surrounding them, knowing that each game counts the same on their record. Teams that are not constantly improving themselves usually find that the only games they remember, that were played in November -other than the aforementioned in-state rivalry games- are sadly games played by teams other than themselves.
Posted in The Mind Side Blog Supertao.com
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