Coming into this season, D-II Livingstone College had won a total of one game in the previous two years. In 2010, their closest loss was a 13 point loss in their season finale. In 2011 they made significant strides, with three of their losses coming by less than ten points (with one being a three point loss in overtime).
When head coach Elvin James took the job back in December of 2009, the program had the second longest losing streak in the country, and hadn't had a win in front of their home crowd since 2008.
In their first two seasons on campus, the offense ranked last in the conference, and totaled about 1,500 yards each season (1,356 yards in 2010 and 1,177 yards in 2011). In 2010, the team found the end zone just seven times. That number nearly doubled to 13 the next season.
The 2012 season has been a different story, written in a completely different book. The offense has really clicked, accounting for 3,665 yards and 33 touchdowns, while averaging 386 yards per game. Their total yardage this season eclipsed their combined total from the past two seasons. 2012 also marked the first time since 2007 that a running back had over 1,000 all purpose yards (1,073) and four receivers combined for over 140 receptions and 13 touchdowns.
Livingstone also entered uncharted territory with back to backs wins (by a combined seven points) in weeks four and five of the season. It's also worth mentioning that they're getting all this done with a freshman quarterback under center who has set numerous school records (some that have stood for nearly 50 years).
The Bears have really closed the gap on their competition on the field, and finding a way to win the close games is a mark of a program on the rise. Additionally, the play of their young quarterback and other young players shows that the staff is doing an impressive job evaluating talent and getting them on campus and coaching them up.
While 2-8 doesn't show the results that any coaching staff would like to see, it's evident that Coach James and his staff have laid a solid foundation, and the program should be in great shape moving forward in 2013.