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gocards.com/mbbtickets LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.16 25 any college, chooses your team in the end. It's true that the bigger and more prestigious a school is, the harder it falls when things don't go according to plan. When stacked rosters break down and lose, the collective ego of fans expecting nothing short of sparkling success takes a temporary hit. But then next year rolls around and the next batch of super-talent arrives. Smug-and-easy street is back. I say this in reaction to reading two late-September newspaper stories about University of Louisville coach Bobby Petrino and University of Houston coach Tom Herman, both of whom head overachieving football programs for schools not among the time-tested elites (Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan). Louisville had just creamed Florida State, widely considered an elite, and Houston under Herman had won 18 of 19 games. What did those accomplishments earn their teams' respective fans? Insecurity, sparked by media speculation that one or both coaches might be lured to bigger programs with current or expected head-coach vacancies. The then- recent firing of Les Miles at Louisiana State prompted the Petrino story (could he jilt us again?), and Herman's success at a program a tier below U of L caused sportswriters to suppose him a candidate for job openings at Georgia, Baylor, South Carolina, Texas, Miami, Maryland, Missouri, Southern California and LSU. There's a general belief that he won't be back in H-town next season. A fed-up Houston student designed a T-shirt featuring Herman's likeness and the words "Come and Take Him." There's a plan to give out 40,000 of the shirts for Houston's Nov. 17 nationally televised home game against U of L. And so it goes in big-money NCAA sports. Be careful what you wish for. Blessed are the fans of non- powerhouse schools whose teams don't rise too abruptly. Better to go 9-3 (football) or 26-7 (basketball) than to lose the guy who got you there.