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Football Sunday: Rooting guide for the outsiders

NCAA Football: Buffalo at Miami (Ohio) Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody does it, we all need an extra team or two to root for in sports. It's about that time of year where football fans do enough Google searching on random teams to see who will and won't be favored to win their conferences, then find a reason to develop an organized marriage and divorce for their upcoming football-watching pleasures. These dedications are liquid to how much patience you're willing to put up with the team, and reasons why you want to follow a team, religiously or not, are fairly variable.

Western Michigan

You could mindlessly pinball your way around Google Images searching up gifs of PJ Fleck, or even find a string of videos on Youtube to burn a half hour or so. The Broncos are winning, they're playing on television, they’ve got one of the nation’s best wide receivers, they're dominant in recruiting, but most importantly you kind of wish PJ Fleck was your cousin.

Central Michigan

You’re an outsider picking to root for CMU because your patience is thin, and it's against the popular vote. Of course you actually just tell your buddies that "they’re good" or "have a quarterback" or "I’m drafting Thomas Rawls in the first round of my fantasy draft this year." The Chippewas could change our expected talking points in late October and early November and maybe make the MAC West race even tighter.

Moreover, this year’s CMU vs. WMU might end up being more important than Northern Illinois vs. Toledo.


He’s an in-state kid; a running back that wears 45. Attended a high school, playing in a division where the population hurt his exposure. No scholarship offers, walks on as a freshman and gets a scholarship nearly immediately. Now, he’s coming off of a season where he led the team in rushing (again), and named one of team captains as a junior.

There’s that, and there’s also Frank Solich.

Miami, Kent State, Eastern Michigan

Maybe you’re the type to root for a team because you have more years of care to offer. All three are pretty big long shots to win the MAC this year, but you’re all about paying attention to the process.


NCAA Football: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl-Akron vs Utah State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green

You’re not picking just one, it has to be worth. Because if there’s anything I learned in Intro to Film Studies is that even though the third one was boring doesn’t mean that the fourth will be terrible. Well, fifth, if they meet up in Detroit since they have a regular season meet-up on November 1.


Because ***this year***, it’ll be different. Right?

... right?

... ... guys?


I’m just going to assume everybody that’s reading this portion is a Cincinnati Bengals fan and you’re interested in this Licata guy who impressed more than Matt Johnson. It’s hard to not root for a team when the coach won over 100 games for Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Ball State

The new (read: Neu) head coach was a star quarterback for Ball State before Riley Neal was born. Willie Snead went to school here, and you were too late to get him on your fantasy team, weren't ya?