ROMULUS, Mich. — As you’re old Uncle Mel places the old-fashion phone receiver down and back into the cradle, he looks up toward the ceiling fan and reaches for the arms of his comfortable Lazy-Boy recliner and gently sits down shaking his head back-and-forth in disbelief.
Uncle Mel is in a state of shock!
With the Editor of the News Gathering Compound which is located in the city that welcomes all of the visitors that fly into the great state of Michigan. Looking at Uncle Mel with great concern, he reached into his pocket and pulled out and flipped open his cell phone to call for a rescue squad to assist.
Uncle Mel assures everybody concern that he is going to be all right, he hands the hardcopy to the editor, they both look at each other in disbelief. News that will turn the stomach of the many football fans that follow Eastern Michigan University football.
Uncle Mel is just unable to believe this news!
With an overall record that is an impressive 6-6, and finishing in fourth place in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference with an even more impressive 4-4, conference record including a victory against the Eagles.
Central Michigan University is the seventh team from the MAC to be extended and accepted an invitation to play in a 2012 bowl game.
Uncle Mel can’t believe it, nieces and nephews!
“This has been an historical year for the MAC with seven teams earning bowl bids, including Northern Illinois University to a BCS game,” Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Executive Director Ken Hoffman said. “We are excited to be having Central Michigan once again in our bowl game.”
Oh man, please give Uncle Mel some smelling-salts!
Central Michigan University has accepted the invitation to play in the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, December 26, 2012 at Ford Field in downtown Detroit.
So over the holiday season, Central Michigan University football coach Don Enos and his team will be busy with game planning, practicing, packing their overnight bags and fueling up the team busses for the short two hour bus ride to see the bright neon and Christmas lights that will be shining in the city of Detroit.
Enos is finishing his third year directing the Chippewas football program and while turning a deft ear to the complaints and he is turning down the heat from the hot seat. Enos and the Chippewas won the last four games out of five and will be heading into the bowl game with a three-game winning streak.
This a tough and bitter pill for Uncle Mel to swallow!
The opponent facing the Chippewas will be a team with a cool nickname and cool-looking uniforms.
Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers will be traveling from the city of Bowling Green, Kentucky and you know what, nieces and nephews this will be the first bowl game in the history of Hilltopper football.
“Western Kentucky will be making their first bowl trip and we’ve had a successful formula of that over the years,” Hoffman said about Western Kentucky accepting the bowl bid. “They are bowl hungry and we expect them to have a nice following since they are within a drive away.”
“We should have gone to one last year,” Western Kentucky University offensive lineman Robert Rainy said. “So, it’s about time they let us in one.”
Western Kentucky University will represent the Sun Belt Conference, the Hilltoppers finished the season with a conference record of 4-4, they have a player that Enos will have to keep a close eye on and come up with a game plan to contain Antonio Andrews.
This season, Andrews has ran for 1,609 yards and he is just 274 yards away from placing his name at the top of the NCAA record books for all-purpose yardage for one season. He has gained 2,977 yards of all-purpose yards this season and he will be back next year for Western Kentucky University and football coach Willie Taggart.
The Chippewas did have a notable win this season by defeating the University of Iowa 32-21, in front of 70,585 inside the historic Kinnick Stadium back on September 22, 2012 in Iowa City, Iowa.
Taggart will have to make a defensive game plan that will center around containing senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff and running back Zurlon Tipton both players are remembered for their contribution in defeating Eastern Michigan University 34-31, in which continued the Eagles unsteady course of a season that included crashing and burning back on November 10, 2012.
The Eagle defense proved to be no match for the Chippewas offense. Ratcliff threw the ball 34 times and completed 20 passes for 284 yards. The defense did not fair any better at trying to stop Tipton.
Tipton ran through the Eagles 21 times for 116 yards and one touchdown.
Radcliff, Tipton and the Eastern Michigan University defense that day provided all the headache and upset stomach for Uncle Mel and for Eagles football coach Ron English that November afternoon.
Uncle Mel is still feeling faint!
Central Michigan University and Western Kentucky University will provide the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl with quality entertainment and a pretty good football game.
Both teams will have a chip on their shoulders and looking for respect but both teams are rising teams and both are looking to make a statement.
Western Kentucky University won the Football Championship Subcommittee or the Division 1-AA national title 10 years ago under legendary coach Jack Harbaugh and have only been playing FBS since 2008.
The Hilltoppers in 2009 finished the season 0-12 and now three short years ago and now they have made it to a bowl game.
This is making Uncle Mel really upset!
Why can’t Eastern Michigan University find any of this kind of success, last season the Eagles finished 6-6 but no bowl game came knocking on the door or calling?
The answer is simple, it had to do with the schedule that was in place for the Eagles.
You see if you play FBS football you can’t have more than one FCS team on the schedule, the Eagles played and defeated two, Howard University and Alabama State University-great wins but in the end they were no help.
It will take some time for recovery to get over the shock of Central Michigan University wearing the shoes and being in a bowl game that Eastern Michigan University could have and should have been making plans to play in but for now it is back to the same old routine-waiting for next football season.
Eastern Michigan University Note:
Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English fired offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Ken Kaercher from his staff December 4, 2012 and an immediate search will start to find a replacement.
Kaercher served on English’s staff since 2008.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.