It's been a rough week. Between the video, the game, and now the opening line (35 point underdogs against the Northwestern Wildcats), Western Michigan is in deep. Head coach P.J. Fleck now has a group of fans and alumni calling for his firing and the Broncos appear to be inept against the zone-read.
In the 97 previous season, the Broncos won only 1 game five separate times: 1906 (the first season), 1953, 1955, 1975, and 2004 (fact: I was at the lone win, a 42-0 shelling of Tennessee-Martin). In those seasons, two coaches didn't see the next year (Bill Spaulding became the coach after that first season and Gary Darnell gave way to Bill Cubit), two were in a coach's first season (Jack Petoskey in 1953 and Elliot Uzelac in 1975), and 1 was in the middle of a coach's term (Petoskey again). In fact, Petoskey has the worst record among all Bronco coaches with a dismal 8-25-2 record over 4 seasons. No other coach has finished more than 5 games below .500.
So now enter P.J. Fleck. Could he lead the Broncos to their worst season ever? Would that lead to a new Bronco coach? What would happen to all of the "Row The Boat" traditions?
In short, maybe, no, and I'd hope they'd be gone.
Today, I look at the "maybe". A game-by-game win percentage analysis of the remaining ten games on the 2013 football schedule. No 0's or 100's will be handed out, since the unthinkable happened Saturday.
Sept. 14 @ #17 Northwestern - Easily the most difficult game on the schedule. And it is first up. With the Broncos' troubles against mobile quarterbacks, this could be ugly. If WMU covers the spread, it could be a win in some eyes. Chance of win: 0.001%
Sept. 21 @ Iowa - This actually is a good match-up for the Broncos. See the Michigan State game. If the Broncos can hang around, against a weaker defense, this could be a possible win. I mean, if CMU could do it last year.......... However, Iowa won't want to lose to another MAC team, at home, for the 3rd time in 2 seasons. They'll be out for blood. Chance of win: 10%
Sept. 28 vs Kent State - Colin Reardon has been hot-and-cold in his first two games, but has shown some mobility. Plus Dri Archer should be healthy for this game. Kent State held on using some key turnovers last year in this game, but Archer was held in check. It ultimately depends on if the Golden Flashes bring their A-game. Anything less, and WMU will compete. Chance of win: 37%
Oct. 5 @ Toledo - Sure Terrance Owens has looked shaky in his first two games this year, but those were against SEC foes. This is still a very powerful offense with a decent defense that is a poor man's Northwestern. And at the Glass Bowl. Another rough game. Chance of win: 1%
Oct. 12 vs Buffalo - If Khalil Mack does Khalil Mack stuff, this will be ugly. However, it is a better match-up for the Broncos (Buffalo doesn't run the spread, right?). I don't see a win right now, but in the middle of the season, anything can happen. Remember, Alex Carder blew this game last year with 4 INTs after Cubit put in his senior quarterback in a somewhat surprise decision. Chance of win: 45%
Oct. 19 vs Ball State - Keith Wenning and Company really look scary this year don't they? The defense is coming together and despite a close game last year (WMU literally dropped the game in the endzone at one point), BSU looks scary good now while WMU looks, well, bad. Chance of win: 14%
Oct. 26 @ UMass - The most winnable game on the schedule by far. It just happens to be on the road though. And UMass will have time to figure things out. And they run the spread. In a blind test, UMass has everything they need to win this game, but then you pull back the blindfold and see UMass and chuckle. But watch the Minutemen beat the Broncos after an 0-8 start by WMU. Then watch me cry myself to sleep every night. Oh wait, it'll be hockey season by then. Nevermind. At least the other 3 home games will have been played by then to not affect attendance (you'll see why soon). Chance of win: 76%
Nov. 9 @ EMU - The first leg of the Michigan MAC Trophy starts in Ypsilanti. WMU comes off a bye week, and this is EMU we're talking about. But the same could be said last year (sans bye week). And EMU didn't look terrible Saturday against Penn State? This should be a good one, depending on who is under center by November for the Eagles. I still say WMU, but this is by far the most wavering percentage. Chance of win: 58%
Nov. 16 vs CMU - See? Final home game (even if WMU were 0-10) with plenty of attendance. Is it solely because of the rivalry? Probably. But hey, you take what you can. Obviously, if WMU is 0-fer by now, this is the last realistic chance for a win if you are keeping track of the opponents (who's missing guys?). If the Chips have a good quarterback in Cooper Rush, this game will be fun. TVT in his final home game? Match-up of styles? Rivalry game? Bring it! Chance of win: 50%
Nov. 26 @ NIU - Lynch, at home, in his final game in the wind tunnel. I'm just going to stop there. Chance of win: 0.01%
So I have 2 winnable games (>50%), 1 toss-up(50%), 2 close losses(25<x<50%), and 5 easy losses (<25%). That would put the Broncos at about 2-10 or 3-9 still. However, there is a very real possibility of an 0-8 start before the schedule lightens up to UMass and the fellow directionals.
How do you think they'll do? Do they right the ship? Vote and comment below.