There’s generally two schools of thought when it comes time to lift the curtain on a college football season. Option one is to shoot your shot against a name opponent and hope that it generates eyeballs, attention, respect, and a win. The second option is the more popular one, where a team pays a lower-caliber opponent to come in, (ideally) take a loss, and in the process work out the kinks of your particular units before the season really gets rolling. For the Toledo Rockets, they have chosen option B and welcome the Elon Phoenix into the Glass Bowl on Thursday.
The Phoenix ride in with a new man at the helm, as Curt Cignetti took over the program last December. He replaced Rich Skrosky, former MAC assistant coach with Ball State, who went 7-27 over three years at Elon. That’s the definition of sub-optimal at pretty much every level of football. Cignetti left a successful Indiana University-Pennsylvania program where he compiled a 53-17 record over six seasons, with three Division 2 playoff appearances.
Most Rockets fans and a good portion of those in the know as it relates to Mid-American Conference football expect a good showing for the Rockets, or at least hope for that since they have become the pick to represent the MAC at the top of the football heap this season. Suffice to say a loss, though hard to imagine given the talent on both sidelines, would be absolutely catastrophic for the Rockets. But take a look back through recent history and you’ll see more than a few FCS squads that helped themselves to some headlines at the expense of a MAC member.
Toledo has the opportunity to build on the preseason headlines and actually demonstrate that they are the class of the MAC this season. It’s the opening of a season for the Rockets that could be very productive, very successful, and potentially historic. Thursday’s opening stanza will either cement or crack that narrative.
The pertinent information:
Kickoff time: 7:00PM
Stream: WatchESPN app, pending cable provider
Radio: Livestream radio coverage on UTRockets.com
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 67*
Line: Not released for FBS/FCS matchups