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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Give credit where it is due

Coming into the 2007 football season, many people questioned whether Butch Jones would be a good fit as head coach of the Central Michigan football team.

He lacked head coaching experience, was an assistant during a down period in CMU football, and was inheriting a team that was coming of one of the greatest seasons in Chippewa history.

Jones admittedly didn't get off to a good start, losing by large margins at Kansas, Purdue, and home to North Dakota State.

While CMU took its lumps, the Chippewas remained strong where it mattered most, the Mid-American Conference.

CMU posted 52 points on Toledo in the second game of the season and walked into Ball State and beat the Cardinals 58-38 in what was one of the biggest games Ball State has played in decades.

Jones also did a lot of firsts for CMU in a while.

The Chippewas 35-10 win over NIU was the first win for CMU over the Huskies since 1997. The win over Toledo marked the first time CMU had beaten the Rockets in back-to-back seasons since 1993 and 94.

Then there was the win Tuesday night.

Tuesday's win over Western Michigan was a defining win for Jones and his coaching staff as it gave CMU its first win in Kalamazoo since 1993 and gave the Chippewas the MAC West title for the second-straight year.

Winning last year was something special for CMU, but to win this season with the targets on their back and to clinch the title on your rival's home field is something that is so rare. Tuesday's win may go down as the greatest win in the WMU-CMU rivalry because of all that came with it.

So now Jones and the Chippewas are on the verge of playing for the MAC Championship. CMU has only won the MAC title in consecutive season on one occasion, in 1979 and 1980. The last MAC team to do it was Marshall in 1999 and 2000, and the Thundering Herd had two NFL quarterbacks in Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich lead the way.

CMU is on the verge of greatness and Jones is on the verge of winning a championship in his first season as head coach. That accomplishment doesn't occur often and Jones should be applauded for his efforts and continued success. It appears that after all the debate, he was the right fit after all.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Lisa Yanick said...

I love when the sports boys post stuff on the blog:)

4:06 PM 

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