In the Popeyes Bahama, or maybe it was the Olive Oyl Jamaica Bowl -- does it matter -- the Central Michigan Chippewas squared off against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
The game looked to be a rout. Going into the fourth quarter, WK had a commanding 49-14 lead. If there was a "mercy" rule in college football, that would have been a good time to invoke it. The game was getting out of hand. Though my own daughter is a graduate of Central Michigan, hence I root for them -- sorta -- yours truly was reaching for the remote. Time to click before this thing gets REALLY ugly. But then something very unusual happened.
The Chippewas came storming back to rack up five, count-em, FIVE touchdowns in the fourth quarter while holding the Hilltoppers scoreless. On the last play of the game, still down a touchdown and with time running out, the Chip quarterback heaved a long pass from inside his own 20 yard line. A receiver caught it. Three laterals and a mad scramble later, they had finally tied the score as time expired. Almost. Only a gimme extra point stood in the way of sending the game into overtime. It was a comeback for the ages.
The Chippewas were rolling with momentum while the Hilltoppers were reeling. It almost seemed a foregone conclusion CM would prevail in overtime. But then something else unusual happened.
Instead of going for the tie and forcing overtime, CM head coach Dan Enos went for a two-point conversion after the final touchdown. After 97 points had been put on the scoreboard by both teams, it all boiled down to one play. There would be no overtime.
Alas, the two-point conversion attempt failed and WK escaped with a 49-48 victory. Congrats to the Hilltoppers.
But by going for the win, Enos showed some very large cajones. Though they were outplayed for three quarters, Enos, his staff, and especially the players have nothing to be ashamed of. They did their school and fans right proud in that final quarter. Quite the amazing display of football.
And when they finally had a chance to cap off arguably the most astounding comeback in college football history -- they went for it.