Everyone involved in the WMU/CMU rivalry knows whats at stake Saturday when those kids come to Kalamazoo. Theres a lot at stake almost every time we play each other, so I'm sure too much doesn't have to be said about it.
When I first transferred to WMU, I didn't understand the rivalry. Most people usually don't until they experience it a time or two. I can honestly say that nothing good has ever happened to me in the city of Mount Pleasant, other than actually leaving the city of Mount Pleasant. From the outside looking in, the rivalry looks like just another MAC game but to me and a whole lot of other people it is the MAC game.
Its been six long years since we beat Central. Six.Long.Years.
The last time we beat Central, Tim Hiller was a freshman, Greg Jennings still played in Brown and Gold, and I was a Junior in high school. Needless to say, its been a while. Now, as a sports fan, I have to admit that some of those years, Central just had the better team-- Theres nothing wrong with that; the best team won-- but some of those years, we had the better team and theres no loss that hurts more than the one(s) that should've have been a win.
Last year's loss in Mount Pleasant would be one of those losses. For those who don't know, the Broncos were leading the Chips by 9 going into the fourth quarter. Long story short, it should have been a win but turnovers doomed WMU.
Even with five turnovers, the Broncos still had a shot to win the game. Trailing by four points in the fourth, driving in to score the game winning touchdown, WMU fumbled the ball on Central's three yard line.
That loss was one of the more heartbreaking losses I've ever been a part of.
That was last year though, and we have another shot to take care of business. All preseason, the Broncos have been talking "MAC Championship" this and "MAC Championship" that. Well, hey, here it is. Of course you cant win a conference title in one game, but a win vs your biggest rival, at home, for the first time in six years, after last year's loss, and this year's potential...can go a long way.
For now though, its one game at a time. Western Michigan has a great opportunity in front of them and its one that they must take full advantage of. Its early in the season but this game is a must win for the Broncos and thats exactly what we expect them to do.