KALAMAZOO, MI(WKZO)-- Sounds crazy huh? This team could still go down as the greatest football team in Western Michigan history? The up and down play of this year's team may make some think otherwise, but lets take a walk down memory lane.
That defense that went missing for stretches on in this season? You mean the one that held Denard Robinson scoreless and Illinois to only 23 points? Or the one that clamped down when they needed to vs UConn, causing a game ending turnover and completely shutdown Central Michigan's offense, is that who you speak of?
And what about the offense that couldn't score two touchdowns vs Eastern Michigan? You're talking about the one that has the number one receiver in the nation lining up for them with the 8th ranked passing attack behind him? Or the one that scored 63 vs Toledo and embarrased Central Michigan? Maybe you mean the one that won the coin toss, elected to receive and marched the ball down Michigan's throat on the opening drive of the season in the Big House. Correct?
Oh, did you forget? Most people probably have. With bad losses to Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois, it'd be easy to forget how this team showed up and made the city of Kalamazoo proud with their efforts at Michigan or how this is the same team got that win we all wanted so bad vs Central Michigan University for the first time in years. Some may have even forgotten about the win vs defending Big East champion UConn, at UConn. I'm glad I could remind you.
As far as where this team will rank in school history, lets look at the record books. Western Michigan's best single season records were 9-4(1988,2008) and 9-3(2000). Assuming that this year's team wins their last game vs Akron and they're expected bowl game vs whoever-it-may be, this team would finish at 8-5, one game behind the all time best records in school history.
Keep in mind, of those 5 losses would include two to Big Ten teams on the road, one in which they lost by three to Illinois who was ranked 24th in the nation at the time. Three of their five losses were by a combined 10 points.
Going 8-5 would mean coach Bill Cubit would have led WMU to three of it's first four bowl games. It would also mean Western Michigan has it's first bowl game victory in school history. Not even the teams with better records could say that.
With how ugly things have seemed at times this year, it may be hard to think about but how could it be argued otherwise? How much better is a 9-4 season with no bowl game victory be than an 8-5 season with a bowl victory?
Just something to think about.