football

Hot Takes with Hinners

Magical season, take two - the 2017 Blue Raider football edition

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USA Today Sports

The 2017 Blue Raider football schedule was announced recently.

For those who missed it here are the opponents this year:

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MT Media Relations

I saw this and first thought in my head was, “MT could go undefeated… oh, wait, Western Kentucky…that’s a loss.”

Jokes aside, the schedule aligns really well for MT with the exception of the WKU game being in Bowling Green. And while the road team has been the one having the most success in the series of late, let’s go ahead and mark that down as a loss. And it’s a loss that could still keep MT from winning a Conference USA championship. Hypothetically, fans could be looking at an 11-1 regular season with no trophy to show for it. Par for the course, I suppose.

Looking over the other entire slate and I would have liked MT’s chances with last year’s team, let alone next year’s squad. The beginning of the schedule is a little daunting, but Vanderbilt is beatable, they absolutely are. Syracuse should be improved, but you get a sense that they might still be in rebuilding mode. And, who knows what to expect with Minnesota next year. You get wins at Vandy through Minnesota and you’re well on your way.

The Blue Raiders will get a look at two high profile coaches next season, too. P.J. Fleck just took the Minnesota job, and while he may have some initial issues recruiting (administration not having the players’ backs and all) he did have a very successful run at Western Michigan. MT will also welcome of the biggest coaching hires in C-USA history, Lane Kiffin, to the fold as FAU’s first conference opponent of the year. It will be very interesting to see what the Owls do to the CUSA environment. Could they throw everything on its head in Kiffin’s third stint as a collegiate head coach? Unfortunately, MT gets both of these coaches away. Bummer.

Anyways, back to the magical season. After Charlotte, MT is sitting at 10-0, its first 10-win regular season ever. The fans are hyped, Murfreesboro is rockin’, (again, this is hypothetical… both team and fan base) and then the mighty Blue Raiders go to Bowling Green. Middle can beat Western Kentucky, just not when all the chips are on the table and everything is on the line. They just can’t – not recently, anyways. So, I am of the notion that I will believe it when I see it. I have not seen it, so it’s a loss.

What makes it worse, WKU’s schedule is very favorable as well, so that one loss ends yet another shot at a magical season. WKU captures the conference again and MT fans are left wondering do they celebrate 11-1, or does not having a championship to show for such a season make it mute? That’s a really awkward place to be in. What team dominates 99 percent of the season and has nothing to show for it?

I’m probably wrong here, but would anyone actually be surprised if this came true?

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