COLUMN: A strange, up and down regular season ends with bowl eligibility

It began dim with an underwhelming win over Southeast Missouri State and a deflating, lopsided loss to Michigan State in front of a record crowd at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

A huge upset win at Iowa was followed with five losses in six games – including a Western Michigan loss at home. But a three-game win streak against some of the Mid-American Conference bottom dwellers has the Central Michigan football team bowl eligible for the first time since 2009.

So how do you define it?

Most comments on CM Life football stories are still knocking the team, and attendance has not increased outside of the MSU game.

But, on the other hand, this team did win the games they were supposed to at the end – something that hasn’t been done in recent years.

Weird, confusing, thrilling, boring, frustrating, irritating, exciting and erratic are all words to describe the inconsistent 6-6 regular season for the Chippewas.

One thing undisputed is it was memorable. Falling on its face for the most anticipated game in program history against the Spartans will stick in fans hearts, while a game-winning field goal by David Harman to beat Iowa was a rare Big Ten upset for the program.

Even against three teams combined 7-29, finishing the season on a three-game winning streak to become .500 and bowl eligible was no easy task after losing to the Broncos a month ago. It may have even cooled the hot seat on head coach Dan Enos.

If the Chippewas do receive an invitation to a bowl game, it will be the team’s seventh Division I bowl appearance and a win would be the third for the program.

Any bowl game for CMU would be a tremendous victory for recruiting and the practices alone throughout December. No doubt it would be memorable to fans, students and alumni to be able to watch the Chippewas, win or lose, represent the conference and school in the postseason.

Were all the 2012 goals achieved? Absolutely not.

Is this team as good as the 2009 CMU bowl team? Absolutely not.

Could this team win a bowl game and end up with seven wins this season? Absolutely.


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