Welcome back, loyal footsoldiers, to SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA. I've traveled from Tulsa to the deep south and the Louisiana city of Monroe, where I was welcomed with open arms. Monroe is alright with me:
Historian John D. Winters reported "strong Union sympathy" in both Delhi and Monroe. As the [Confederate] refugees moved farther west toward Minden in Webster Parish, many of the existing inhabitants, themselves very poor, refused to sell them food or shelter and treated them with contempt
BLESS YOU, MONROE! I'M ALL FOR TREATING CONFEDERATE REBEL TRASH WITH THE CONTEMPT THEY DESERVE. YOU'LL SEE NEXT WEEK.
So, I shall examine what happened to Louisiana-Monroe football, FBS members since 1994 but 0-1 all time in bowl games. Seven years after winning the 1987 Division I-AA National Title (such a momentous occasion that the title game was held in the center of the known universe....Pocatello, Idaho), Monroe joined the ranks of the FBS independents, working its way to the Sun Belt conference in 2001.
In 2007, this happened.
THE TRAITOROUS GENERAL SABAN OF THE VILE ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE LOST AT HOME TO THE ULM WARHAWKS AND THINGS WERE RIGHT WITH THE WORLD.
In 2010, ULM hired Todd Berry as their head coach. Here's where you might really remember the Warhawks: They opened the 2012 season with a road upset of #8 Arkansas, and followed that up with a narrow loss at Auburn and a 5-point shootout loss to Baylor. Whimsical writeups of the Warhawks and their mind-boggling dual quarterback offense ensued. They would win eight games and it seemed that the Warhawks were on their way to being one of the next big things in mid-major football and changing the way offense is conceived. So what became of that?
Two absolute pastings by the Big 12 sandwiched a narrow win at Wake Forest and would be two of six losses for the 2013 Warhawks. In each, they were held to 14 or fewer points. Another win against the hapless Wake Forest Demon Deacons started 2014, but they'd lose 7 of their last 8. Last year the wheels totally fell off and Todd Berry was fired after a blowout loss to Arkansas State. John Mumford was given the interim tag, but Mumford and Sons were predictable and repetitive. All their games looked the same, like pale attempts to keep milking that brief moment in the sun a few years back. Eventually, people really got sick of listening to them. They did manage a win over fellow cellar dweller New Mexico State to close out the year.
It seems that a lack of defense, teams figuring out the offense and adapting to it and finally the failure to replace the quarterback talent that drove the 2012 team ultimately led to Todd Berry's undoing with the ULM Warhawks.
Matt Viator was hired away from McNeese State, where he was one heroic Ameer Abdullah run from upsetting ONE OF MY VERY OWN REGIMENTS!
THOUGH YOU MAY BE IN A DESPICABLE PART OF THE COUNTRY, MONROE, I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST IN YOUR EFFORTS TO BE A MASSIVE THORN IN THE SIDE OF THE WRETCHED SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE. ESPECIALLY BIELEMA.
Louisiana-Monroe's next B1G matchup: They are too busy to scrimmage us, as they are busy with Auburn, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. GODSPEED.
Sherman's Next Destination: I shall rest in Monroe and exchange stories about humiliating Nick Saban with the locals. Then, I shall ride to Oxford, Mississippi.