One of the hot topics of the 2014 football season has been the collapse of the Big Ten conference. No team was able to win the marquee games of the nonconference season, and worse yet, they have been losing games that should have been walks in the park. Last week for instance, two Mid-American Conference foes upset Big Ten teams when Northern Illinois toppled Northwestern and Central Michigan clobbered Purdue.
Surely, this week would be better, right?
Indiana came into Bowling Green hoping to salvage some Big Ten respectability. An early kickoff had Falcon fans rubbing their eyes and clutching their coffees. The Falcon Marching Band held their “Pre Flight” performance at 10 AM and kicked it off with the theme from Back to the Future. By the end of the game, Indiana would wish that it owned a DeLorean.
A quick 14-3 start had Hoosier fans believing that their team would take care of business. But, Bowling Green kept chipping away, and during the second half, the lead changed hands like a pendulum. Momentum was slippery, and it was becoming a game of “who would have the ball last?”
Bowling Green was down by four with the sand in the hourglass draining quickly. But, the brown and orange that filled Doyt Perry Stadium grew louder and louder as the fourth quarter came closer to all zeros. The mercury continued to rise on everyone’s anxiety meters as Bowling Green marched their way down the field. Even Freddy and Frieda Falcon were nervously chewing their talons.
With only 9 ticks left on the clock, QB James Knapke threw a fade to the corner of the end zone that was met by the receiver successfully. The crowd released their anxiety with a roar into the air, and Bowling Green upset the Hoosiers entrenching the Big Ten conference deeper into inadequacy. One Falcon fan near me yelled out, “My tuition dollars have to go for something. I’m taking those goalposts!” There was no need to dramatically rush the field, however, because once given the all clear, fans at The Doyt are allowed to celebrate with the team on the field post game. Many joined in and celebrated long after the game with the victorious Falcons.
This game wasn’t a fluke. Bowling Green earned it. But for now, the Big Ten conference is making the MAC look like fields full of Russell Wilsons.