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Why Western Michigan fans should not be worried


Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Bronco fans,

It has come to my attention that the panic button has been pressed in regards to our beloved Western Michigan football team. What's the matter? "Row the Boat" doesn't have the same ring as a few weeks ago? Wait, is it the whole Georgia Southern thing? Is that all? Well, forgive me, but you may be willing to use the remaining oil from the Kalamazoo River to burn down this ship, but I will not take part in this Brown and Gold Mutiny.

The boat didn't capsize in 2013 after a loss to Nichols State, so why would it now? I won't lie to you though, when Tyler Van Tubbergen's pass was picked off at the goal line, I went from "this is fine" to, "ZOMG FIRE EVERYONE" in a blink of an eye. In fact, had the university the next morning announced it slashed athletics to re brand as Michigan's (second) Polytechnic University I would have signed up to pay extra tuition. I was being irrational though, and now - now we're all being even worse.

Saturday sucked. I mean, really sucked. I'm not sure what an actual sucker punch feels like - and I don't feel like asking Geno Smith - but I imagine this weekend was a Bronco fan's equivalent. But sucker punches come from nowhere, so let's try to keep in mind who dealt the Broncos this bloodbath. This wasn't Nichols State in 2013. This was a conference champion, on its home field, coming off of an embarrassing performance of their own against West Virginia.

We should apologize to Georgia Southern for disrespecting them with our outrage and for being surprised. They are a really good football program with a championship pedigree. Perhaps we should read less into their short history of 44-0 losses, and more into their long history of beating the ever loving shit out of everyone at Paulson Stadium.

In Georgia Southern's five home games last season, the Eagles were victorious by an average score of 45.6 - 14.6. That should look familiar. Maybe we were shocked, but the Eagles carry out this kind of unadulterated tail kicking all the time, and they weren't making any exceptions for Western. That took a bit of the sting out of the loss for me, knowing that other fan bases have had to wonder, "what the hell just happened?" after playing Georgia Southern.

If knowing that the Broncos are not the only team to ride into Statesboro under a hanging cloud of certain doom doesn't calm you down, maybe knowing that this is pretty much the same team on offense as last year. Same coaching staff, same players, same everything. Corey Davis is still here. Jarvion Franklin is too. And can we let Zach Terrell have just one bad game? I mean, Connor Cook does it all the time, and he's going to the NFL. Besides, the MAC schedule starts out pretty favorably. Get excited about that.

If winning a MAC title is the goal, then the game against Georgia Southern is meaningless. Check out this opportunity to start MAC play 5-0:

Opponent Date
Central Michigan 10/10
@ Ohio


Miami 10/24
@ Eastern Michigan 10/29
Ball State 11/5

I see five extremely winnable football games because A) WMU has beaten four of these five programs before, B) Miami, and C) I truly believe this team lies somewhere in the middle of the team we thought it was Saturday before kickoff and the team we think it is now, meaning it can't possibly be worse.

Let's recap: We've been in worse situations before and came out okay in the end, Georgia Southern picks on everyone, don't be so sensitive, that game was meaningless anyway, and the Broncos should start 5-0 in MAC play given their schedule.

You're not sold on that last part, are you. Here, let me try this again:

Central Michigan: How will we ever stop the run against a team that managed 74 yards on the ground versus Monmouth?

Ohio: Sure, they beat Marshall, but Rakeem Cato isn't their quarterback anymore

Miami: Who's Billy Bahl?

Eastern Michigan: You think our defense is bad?

Ball State: You think Eastern's defense is bad?

See? All better. It may have been hard to make out through the god-awful ESPN3 feed, but what you were watching on Saturday was not the Bronco Titanic snapping in half in the North Atlantic, but rather a Fourth of July pontoon ride gone terribly wrong. Everyone's okay, just a little embarrassed. Let's put the glass shield back over that big, red panic button and save it for after a MAC game or two. If things are still bad in mid October, well, maybe I'll tell you where the life boats are.