Bowling Green clearly faces some high expectations as it enters the 2014 season.
The Falcons are expected to repeat as MAC East Division champs, win the league championship game for a second year in a row, and earn the program’s third straight bowl game — all while blowing out fuses in scoreboards around the country with their high-powered offense.
Some experts indicate they even are a candidate to replace the Browns in the AFC North, depending on early season results.
Based on the personnel and coaches in place at BG, those expectations are realistic — well, OK, maybe not the AFC North one.
But those expectations bring pressure, and pressure is a funny thing. Enough pressure can crush just about anything, including a talented and experienced football team.
That is one of the reasons the hiring of Dino Babers as this team’s new coach is underrated. It is underrated not because the X’s and O’s have raised the excitement level around the team, although that certainly is a bonus.
It is underrated because he and his staff dealt with burgeoning expectations at Eastern Illinois last season — and dealt with them so well, the Panthers exceeded their performance from the previous year by every measure.
And that’s why pressure is a good thing: Pressure certainly can crush, but pressure also is what produces diamonds.