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Western Michigan At A Crossroads

Yesterday, Eastern Michigan captured their 3rd Michigan MAC Trophy in football, the 2nd time they've won it outright.  Central has won the award 3 times also.  While seemingly meaningless to some, this is huge to Bronco fans.  Western has won the trophy just once, in 2005, the inaugural year of the trophy.  This lack of performance against rivals usually leads to whispers of firings, and I guess it is time I vocalize mine.

While being a big fan of Bill Cubit, I'm a bigger fan of winning.  The ride that was the 4-2 start of the season has crashed, in back-to-back embarrassments to Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan.  Western now sits at 4-4 (2-2), and what was "What bowl will we be in?" talks are now "Will we make a bowl?" nerves.

Western has not been to the MAC Championship game under Cubit, and this season is probably headed to be that way as well barring a WILD November.  In the seven years Bill Cubit has been coach, Western has finished 2nd just once in the MAC West (2008 I give Central the tie-break for winning head-to-head).  Let me reiterate that:  Western has just one top-2 finish in their DIVISION in seven years.

Cubit is a GREAT offensive mind.  Well, a great PASSING offensive mind.  His run games have been shaky.  His defenses even worse.  He has produced some good NFL talent (Jennings had has last year with Cubit, Louis Delmas, EJ Biggers), but never a championship team.  No post-season wins.  Two bowl games (which I can't complain too much about with today's system).  

The past two losses hurt most of all because of the start of the season.  A good half of football before a rain delay at Michigan and a close loss at Illinois were the only losses.  There were some signs of defensive problems, but they weren't that bad.

Yesterday, the defense wasn't bad, just a few big plays.  It was the offense.  It was the play calling late in the game, at the goalline.  Last week was everyone.

Western is 3-0 at home this year, 1-4 on the road, the lone win coming in the spectacular win against UConn.  But even in that game, Western had to make a huge comeback after a comfortable early lead, then had to force a fumble in the red zone to secure the victory.

Western can do little to salvage this season.  They have Ball State and Akron at home, which no doubt they should win against Akron.  Given their performance at Waldo, they should beat the Cardinals too.  They have Toledo on the road and Miami too.  Toledo will be the game to salvage this season.  Miami will be a game to not embarrass themselves.

Can I note something else?  In the two games where the O-line has came back fully healthy, Western's offense hasn't looked more pathetic.  Anyone else think that something is hugely wrong with that picture?  

Meanwhile the talks go back to Cubit's position.  Honestly, I think he'll get to stay for one last year to be with Carder and possibly work some magic barring a complete 6 game losing streak to end the year.  A loss to Akron period would spell doom for him.  

So while this season is shot, there will be next season.  Toledo, NIU, and Eastern all come to Waldo along with UConn.  Central will be on the road, and Cubit will need another win there to keep Bronco fans happy period.  Until then, Bronco fans get to go along for the ride, and spend their winter more focused on hockey and basketball rather than a pesky bowl game (*sigh*).