Watching the game last night, I learned some things about myself and my fandom. I claim all I want out of the Rockets is a MAC championship. If they can make the MAC championship game, the season would be a win. That was a lie. Deep down, I really want bigger things. WMU having a shot at the Cotton Bowl brought that reality to the forefront, before it was yanked away by the playoff committee Tuesday night. Along with what I learned about myself, I learned a few things about the Rockets and the Cardinals.
- Logan Woodside is finally starting to get the national recognition he deserves. During the broadcast, his Heisman possibilities were discussed. With a big game against WMU, it was suggested that he could punch a ticket to New York as a finalist. That’s a huge accomplishment that would be talked about for generations. He is sitting at 40 touchdowns on the season, so he deserves it.
- I still don’t know what to think of Toledo’s defense. I found myself completely disinterested in the game by the time the fog rolled in. WMU is up next, with what is certain to be a national audience. I am not going to lie and say I wasn’t sitting there daydreaming of the possibilities a win would bring. Top 25 ranking, better recruits, bigger bowl game and all that. They say defense is 90% emotion. Is the almost 400 yards they gave up the result of looking ahead, or are they just not that good? Sometimes I watch them this season, and think they are really good. Other times, they look like a sieve, especially right up the gut. I know they have the players. I am going to have to wait till next week to pass any kind of judgement.
- Sean Wiggins and Aaron Taylor each had a monster game in a losing effort. I was really impressed with these guys. They combined for 23 solo tackles and 7 tackles for a loss. I already knew Toledo’s offense was loaded, and was fairly certain they would be too much for the Cardinal’s defense. It wasn’t for lack of effort, especially from these two. I was also impressed with Riley Neal at quarterback. He is a gamer.
- Cody Thompson is only 68 yards away from the single season record at Toledo. On a team full of weapons, he might be the most impressive. Then again, he could be 4th or 5th. They are that loaded. Michael Roberts is only 2 touchdown receptions away from tying that single season mark. The career rushing yards record is on the table for Kareem Hunt.
- I have a love/hate relationship with weeknight MACtion. The exposure is great, and it’s nice to be able to catch most MAC games, as they are staggered throughout the week. It hurts attendance, and I wonder if that hurts bowl chances. Desmond Howard made a comment that I took to be a knock against the number of people in the stands. I could just be overly sensitive to national perception since undefeated WMU got dropped below a Boise team with a loss.
Heading into next Friday’s match up with WMU, a lot is on the line. A win gives Toledo a MAC West crown, and a possible national ranking. Three of the coaches that vote already think the Rockets are deserving. It’s possible a few more will when the rankings come out Sunday. There I go again, wanting more than a MAC championship.