I'm sensing a "wait-and-see" attitude among UTEP's most ardent football fans. And I think it's good that not too many people are coming out with predictions of 8 wins and a bowl game.
Such predictions were ridiculous! And when UTEP didn't even come close over so many of this seasons (decades), then those prognosticators got upset and stopped going to the games because the Miners had let them down.
There really is no reason to predict 8 wins, or even 7, for this year. Too many questions. And remember the offensive and defensive lines make so much difference. Has UTEP really recruited good linemen that are better than the linemen on other teams?
No they have not.
UTEP will need some good breaks to win more than five games. And they need a good year from QB Vittatoe and they need RB Buckram to show last year wasn't just a once-in-a-career season. I personally don't think it was.
As far as Vittatoe? Many questions. Arm? Why would a senior starting QB get suspended for team violations? That's a bad sign. QBs are supposed to be team leaders. Is all OK off the field with him? We never know these things until after a career is over. Only then does stuff come out on what REALLY was going on.
All in all, though, fans are letting this year's team be (maybe that's because the guys are still tucked away in Camp Socorro?) They're letting the coaches coach and the players practice without the fanfare that comes with having a loaded bandwagon.
Maybe it's good strategy?