Shortly after Ryan Radcliff committed to Central Michigan in 2007, he watched his first game between the Chippewas and Western Michigan.
“It was at Western; Bryan Anderson had a big game and (CMU) scored three touchdowns late to come back and win,” Radcliff said. “That’s when I realized it was special – the whole week … it’s just a different atmosphere.”
Senior CMU safety Jahleel Addae said he didn’t know much about the rivalry being from Florida.
“They harped on it my first week, but I really didn’t understand the importance and urge to it until I got into the game” Addae said. “It’s something I can’t explain – it’s a brawl out there.”
For junior defensive back Leron Eaddy, his first memory of the rivalry came on an official visit.
“It’s the game of our season,” he said. “The rivalry is so big, we have to come out with our hair on fire.”
CMU head coach Dan Enos is 1-1 playing for the Cannon Trophy – winning in his first meeting at Kelly/Shorts Stadium two seasons ago.
Enos said this rivalry stacks up with the best of them after the Akron game.
“It’s obviously very important to a lot of people, not just the programs, but former players too,” Enos said. “It’s intense; it is fun to be apart of – it is what college football is all about.”
According to WMU head coach Bill Cubit, the feeling is mutual.
He said this rivalry is one of the best in the country. Cubit was a part of various rivalries as an assistant, including Stanford vs. USC, Florida vs. Georgia and Florida vs. Florida State.
“This ranks right up there with those,” Cubit said. “You get a feeling all week. You get to the stadium and it’s just different – feels different. That’s what rivalry games are all about.”