When I first joined this great site back in August, I felt it was my job as the new and realistic Western Kentucky Hilltopper writer/fan that I perceive myself to be to bring my fellow Topper fans back down from reality a tad, and requested that we pump the brakes on the Tops.
That was then. This is now. And man oh man, is now far, far different.
I feel like I should preface everything else that follows with the following: I didn't believe, even if that article may have assumed other wise, that WKU was going to be awful, or even bad. I felt good about the team - I foresaw another bowl-eligible season, I foresaw another great season for Brandon Doughty (as actually the article suggested), and I had a good feeling heading into Vandy that WKU was going to open the year 1-0. (That, actually, was way too close for comfort.)
But, regardless of how I felt then, or how I even feel now about what I felt then, it doesn't matter. Because Western Kentucky put together one whale of a football season, and I was very very dumb for doubting them.
Wins over Vanderbilt, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic and Marshall highlighted the year (with MTSU and FAU being "revenge," wins following losses last year that, arguably, shouldn't have been), and once conference play hit, WKU was essentially unstopable.
Sure, there were some hiccups. The three-point loss to Indiana still kind of sucks, to be honest, and that LSU game, while close, wasn't as close as some actually thought (but, I'm sure the weather didn't help, plus Leonard Fournette was essentially stopped, so its kind of a win).
But what about conference hiccups? Okay, there was the three point win in Smith Stadium against Louisiana Tech, but it was a garbage time touchdown scored by the Techsters that forced the difference to that from a 10-point Tops lead. There was the kind of slow start to Old Dominion, but even that game was a 25 point victory.
When it was all said and done, WKU ran the C-USA gauntlet with an average margin of victory being 27 points, and failed to score less than 30 points in any game this season except for the two SEC opponents.
Oh yeah, a lot of this was done without stud running back Leon Allen and some time was missed by stud tight end Tyler Higbee (which, by the way, what a day he had on Saturday).
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm sorry I ever doubted you, Tops. Thank you for filling my heart with joy and making this a football season to remember.
But, I'll be damned if I let you think your job is done. One more task *for now* lies ahead. Get the job done on Saturday.