At 4-4, the Hilltoppers are just two wins away from bowl eligibility.
October 29, 2011
Where did this Hilltopper team come from?
WKU is now 4-4, 4-1 in the Sun Belt, after beating Louisiana-Monroe 31-28 in overtime. This was a game where you saw three touchdowns in the final minute of regulation. Three? Three. The Tops then won the game with a game-winning field goal of all things. Tonight, nobody cares about the kicking game's struggles. But sooner or later, it is going to cost WKU a win. It nearly did today.
For the past three and a half years, WKU could not buy a win. The Toppers would find a new way to lose with each passing week. Now, you are beginning to see the exact opposite.
There is no doubt in my mind that last year's Hilltopper team loses that game at ULM Saturday. In fact, they did. In 2010, WKU was outscored 28-6 by the Warhawks in the fourth quarter and lost 35-30 in Bowling Green. You nearly witnessed an reply of last year's meeting. Only this time, the Hilltoppers found a way to pull it out. And that's what it takes to be a successful team and program. A team has to be able to gut out a win when it does not play its best football. Let's be clear. WKU did not play well Saturday. The Hilltoppers let the Warhawks hang around when the game should have been out of reach midway through the fourth quarter. But penalties, a muffed punt, and a poor kicking game gave ULM new life and it almost cost WKU a win.
That said, what a remarkable turnaround for this program. WKU was 0-4 and headed for another season of maybe two or three wins. Four games later, The Hilltoppers are at five hundred and suddenly in the hunt for....dare I say....a bowl game? I think you have start talking about it now. Why not? If the Tops can beat two of their next three conference opponents (FIU, at North Texas, Troy) they become bowl eligible. Is this for real?
And at this rate, Willie Taggart should be the runaway candidate for Sun Belt coach of the year. Just a thought.
And to WKU fans, you have no excuse NOT to come to next Saturday's home game. The Hilltoppers will certainly need you against a pretty good FIU team.