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You just can't keep the Northern Illinois Huskies out of Detroit

Where hate meets jealousy.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports


You can win the division five years in a row and still not be the overwhelming favorite to win it before the season begins. May the arguments be because everybody else around you is getting better and the impact players that everybody's remembered is now either graduated or in the pros.


Maybe it's actually because nobody likes you. Quit being so goddamn greedy and share the glory. Football season only lasts a short handful of months, and the one team you care about most only plays once a week. With all the layoff that fans are forced to passionately sit and wait through require a ton of patience, and when it's finally time to play, everybody wants it to be worth the wait. More often than not, it's become a chore to sit through.


Your alpha arrogance gets under everybody's skin. You brag about going to Detroit more than a Big Sean track. Listen, we know you've gone to the MAC Championship five years in a row, we've all tuned into ESPN2 when you're facing whoever's coming out of the East to fight ya. It's not like you've won all five of your previous appearances either. Don't think anybody's forgotten what happened the first time you got there.

Do you remember what happened in 2010? I remember it. I remember the worst-to-first turnaround that became the talking point for every other program around the conference that had no light at the end of the tunnel. Let's refresh:

What about the year after you went to the Orange Bowl? That's the year Jordan Lynch was a Heisman finalist and you were just this one game away from busting the BCS one last time. Dave Clawson built up this Hercules defense was better than literally anybody gave it credit for, and there was this Matt Johnson guy that figured out your defense like a 12-piece puzzle. People finally give in and say "okay, okay, go ahead and win it. Win this game, get a better bowl game and bring in some dinero for the rest of the conference to feed off of." But no, Johnson lights it up with almost 400 yards and changed the entire landscape of the conference. (Little did we know that 400 yards would eventually become the bar we set for Johnson's single-game performances).

But your point's been made. When you were playing, we were watching from home.


Now you beat Toledo for the sixth year in a row, continually bettering your odds to take care of business. But you CMU of all teams has to be your kryptonite. CMU doesn't have what it takes to go to the 'ship, but they can figure things out against you and nobody understands what the deal is there. Then you have one task in the season finale: don't lose at home to Ohio. The Bobcats have a reputation for flopping in November, and you have a reputation of never ever ever ever ever losing at home in November.

Does rooting for PJ Fleck sound like fun? Most people hate the young Kennedy in Kalamazoo, but nobody more than you. But after a loss to Ohio, you have no choice but to root for his team, otherwise your ass is sitting at home watching the team you went on to beat at the beginning of the month in their house take the trip to Detroit that they were favored to do before the season even began. I'm sure rooting for PJ Fleck is a lot of fun when you don't want to, but that's college football tiebreakers for ya.

But you did. You rooted for the damn guy and he took care of business. Solich wasn't interested in beating you for the sake of breaking your hearts, he had his own team with their own dreams to fulfill. Fleck wasn't interested in breaking Toledo's hearts or even helping you out any. He's got his own team with their own dreams to fulfill.

It just sorta worked out that way and, still, nobody likes you because of it.


Nobody likes you because we all want to be you.