Chippewa football was annihilated 59-9 on Saturday at Michigan, and lost junior quarterback Cody Kater and senior running back Zurlon Tipton to injuries in the process.
It comes to a point that one might consider whether CMU’s games against power conference teams are worth it.
They are, though. But it has to do with more than the hefty fee the Chippewas are paid to be pulled into places like Michigan Stadium.
It is also the only way that the team – if it pulls off a win – can garner national attention and therefore create a memory of a lifetime for the players, open recruits’ eyes, and boost fan morale.
Not only does that do wonders for a small school, it is great for college football.
I mean, who doesn’t like an underdog? There were many in the first weekend of college football pulling off upsets.
Eastern Washington defeated No. 25 Oregon State in a thriller, 49-46, after it scored with a two-yard quarterback run with 18 seconds left in the game.
While Northern Illinois was no underdog at Iowa, it was still a game pitting a Mid-American Conference team against a Big Ten team that the Huskies won by a field goal.
The Hawkeyes are not among the best in the Big Ten, but they could place somewhere in the middle. Nobody would have known for sure if NIU was good enough to beat a team of that quality if it wasn’t allowed the opportunity.
Sadly, there has been talk of the five power conferences – the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 – giving fewer of those opportunities, filling in games on the schedule with more BCS opponents.
That all sounds well and good, but it will cause a greater divide between the haves and have-nots, and a new division for the haves. Plus, it will make college football look more like the NFL, with half of the FBS being left out of the loop.
Furthermore, opportunities like CMU had to play in Iowa and pull off a win last year was a great one. But what is even better for it is when it is having success and being able to see how it matches up against the big boys, like in 2009 when it beat Michigan State.
The Chippewas have one more game against a power in North Carolina State.
The Wolfpack are led by a head coach in Dave Doeren, who was beaten by CMU in 2011 while at NIU. Their starting quarterback might be out for half of the season, so the Chippewas have at least an extremely slim chance of victory.
A small chance for a small school is still better than no chance.