We've seen it already: The pre-training camp preseason predictions haven't been kind to the Huskies football team. We understand why -- the 2.5 years of the Paul Pasqualoni era were mostly forgettable -- and we won't know what first-year coach Bob Diaco has to work with until midway through the 2014 season. So for now, the UConn football program is left to take punches from the media until they can prove the doubters wrong.
Next up: USA Today's Sports on Earth's Michael Weinreb, who wrote recently about one team in each FBS conference that he'd "least like to be a fan of at this juncture of my existence."
Yep, that's right, the Huskies got the nod in the American Athletic Conference.
"Hey, remember when the Huskies made four straight bowl games under Randy Edsall -- including the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, where they were summarily mauled by Oklahoma? Yeah, I don't really, either," Weinreb wrote. "Three years of Paul Pasqualoni did a pretty solid job of obliterating any sense of optimism in Storrs. Perhaps new coach and baking enthusiast Bob Diaco can alter the attitude here, but he can't shift the unfortunate fact that Connecticut is a basketball school in a basketball region whose best all-time player is a former backup running back for the Indianapolis Colts."
Yes, UConn is a basketball school in a basketball region but the truth -- and Geno Auriemma has made this point before -- is that the football team will be the impetus for any success the school has. It's the reason all the conference reshuffling didn't include UConn; their football program was ... well, lacking.
Now it's up to Diaco and his staff to change that.