That real thing being a winning streak. Of course, that might all come crashing down this coming week, as UMass travels out to Toledo, Ohio, to play a football game in a building that sounds like drug paraphernalia.
Toledo is good. They are 3-0 in conference. They are 4-3 overall, but the three losses came against Mizzou, Cincinnati, and Iowa State, so take those to mean that Toledo is a solid MAC team, and would have trouble elsewhere. But this is a MAC game coming up this weekend, so that 3-0 record (Ball State, Central and Western Michigans) is a fair indicator of Toledo’s talent.
Eastern Michigan is much worse than Toledo. So is Kent State. So the two wins in a row garnered by UMass these past two weeks might be a bit inflated. But it’s clear to see this team is much better than they were just a few weeks ago, especially in the respect of closing out football games. Plus they have confidence now, a level of which can not be understated. The UMass football team has not won back-to-back games since this year’s seniors were freshman. That year, UMass took out Central Connecticut and Delaware in consecutive weeks, the second two-game winning streak in a depressing 5-6 season.
So while the goal of the postseason may still be just a dream, it’s undeniable that things are looking up. And it’s been a while since a UMass gridiron team had this much optimism surrounding it – probably dating back to their 5-point loss against then-#20 Michigan on the road in 2010.
We’re feeling pretty good today. This upcoming weekend is another big test, and a loss against a division leader in Toledo would not be nearly as terrible as it would be without the past two weeks of success. The only thing to do is to keep improving.