They're commonplace in the sports world.
The team that looks the best on paper doesn't always look the best on the field.
When it's our team that is pulling off the stunning result, we get all giddy and fired-up.
When it's our team that loses when it was expected to win, it stings. It hurts. We get depressed.
West Virginia University wasn't just supposed to win on Saturday, the Mountaineers were expected to win big.
WVU was a 15-point favorite over Syracuse, which had been dismantled at home the previous Saturday by Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, most media outlets already were handing the Big East Conference championship and the Bowl Championship Series bid that goes with it to West Virginia.
When West Virginia's offense produced 14 first-quarter points, it looked like things might go according to Hoyle. But Hoyle soon left the building and he must have taken WVU's offense with him.
It became a frustrating day for West Virginia's coaches, players and fans.
The unthinkable happened. WVU lost.
Lost to Syracuse, who hadn't beaten West Virginia since 2001.
The Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy, which seemed to have found a permanent home in Morgantown, was headed to New York.
This was the first time a Bill Stewart-coached team that was heavily favored lost a game in Morgantown. Stewart's other bad losses had taken place on the road, where you can slink out of town and not incur the wrath of the fans.
What has slowly happened at West Virginia is the Mountaineers have lost their national stature. Yes, WVU still is a quality football program that is nationally ranked more often than not. But West Virginia no longer is mentioned in the same breath with the words national championship.
Some WVU fans believe everything is fine. They're satisfied with winning eight or nine games and going to the Billy Beer Bowl. Others have higher goals and expectations and they've figured out those expectations aren't going to be met.
I have a hard time criticizing Bill Stewart. He is, as one TV announcer put it, "the most accommodating coach in America.'' He's a fine man who treats everyone who he meets in a first-class manner. And that, in an age where there is too much me and too much hate, goes a long way.
But I've never been convinced Stewart is the guy who can maintain the level this program achieved under his predecessor. The more the evidence mounts, the more convinced I become that we have returned to the days when the season ends in December, not January.
Are champagne wishes and caviar dreams for WVU unrealistic? I don't think so. Rich Rodriguez showed us we can be a consistent top-tier program. The fall from that level, like Saturday's upset, is hard to watch.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com