Dear Worst-Case Scenario Guide, my college football team has lost four consecutive games and stands winless at the bottom of its conference standings. How do I cope?  

Step 1 – Lean on your starting quarterback.

Remember the guy whom your head coach tabbed as “THE guy,” prior to your season opener. He earned that title for a reason. Strong quarterback play can cure many ills, so sit back and put your confidence in the No. 1 signal caller.

Umm, what if that guy went down on the season-opening drive?

Step 1a -Lean on your defense.

Okay, forget the QB. Defense wins championships. That’s your huckleberry.

Sure, but what if your best defensive player has also been down most of the season with no return in sight? And your starting cornerbacks have struggled with both injury and inconsistency? And the rest of the defense is unproven?

Step 1b – Lean on your running game

Controlling the football can actually be a big part of playing a strong defense. If your team has the football, the opposition can’t score.

That sounds good in theory, but the game callers love seeing the football flung around the field. The rushing attack has not been a priority. 

Step 1c – Lean on your backup quarterback

If your team loves passing that much, the backup must have been a starter in waiting. He’s probably completing 60-percent of his passes. Give the guy a chance.

Well, on Saturday he completed 10 passes in 22 attempts and threw an interception. He has completed 45-percent of his passes on the season. He’s also fighting a walk-on wide receiver for the starting quarterback position.

Step 1d – Do the little things

Your team’s issues are beginning to sound like something out of a bad episode of Coach. (Yes, those exist.) Nonetheless, sometimes success can come from just making fewer mistakes than the other team and converting on third downs.

On Saturday, my team picked up first downs on four-of-14 third down attempts. They have been penalized for 44 yards per game on the season. They are also allowing three sacks per game. 

Step 1e – A little luck never hurts

Okay, I’ll admit, your team has some issues. In cases like this, a little luck never hurts. Sometimes all that breaking a losing streak takes is for the right opponent to pop up on the schedule.

Next up on our schedule is Baylor, the No. 2 team in the nation.

Step 1f – Son of a…

Let me get this straight: your team has lost four straight games, is winless in conference play, lost its starting quarterback on the season’s opening drive, has battled injuries all season long, lost its best defensive player, won’t run the ball consistently, can’t rely on its backup quarterback, struggles doing the little things right, and – obviously – has no luck to speak of?

Yep. Worst-case scenario, right?

Step 1g – Look to the sideline

When all else fails, look at the sideline.

Do you see a white-haired gentleman with a hand on his hip and Nike Cortez sneakers on his feet?

You do?

So it’s not a bald fellow stomping around and shouting things like “bold and daring”?

And Sports Illustrated has not recently published an article detailing the minutiae of your squad’s futility?

Then this is not the worst-case scenario. Quit being ridiculous.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Derek Larson. You might remember me from such autobiographical blurbs as “Yo Soy Derek” and “Paste Blurb Here.” I was born and raised in the Manhattan area and I graduated from Kansas State University in 2005. Now I’m now adjusting to life in the land of husking corn. My groom’s cake was a Powercat and I was once convinced that the future of Wildcat basketball was a seven-foot volleyball player. I’ve written about K-State sports in different capacities, often without people asking me to. My hobbies include bringing more purple to Lincoln, Neb., and making vague (and not-so-vague) references to The Simpsons. Follow me on Twitter at @dereklarson.

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