October 10th marks the second iteration of the 90 Miles Of Hate since the Hilltoppers and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, and it's a game that WKU and MTSU fans alike always have circled on their calendars. Never mind that the Hilltoppers look to be on their way to winning the East division and that MTSU is trying to ride the momentum from last year's three-overtime victory, but it'll be the first time since 2012 that the Tops have brought the Blue Raiders TO Smith Stadium.
So, one might say, there's a lot riding on this one. Well, on Monday, fans got what they wanted. Kind of. They got a time for the game, which is a start.
The Sat, October 10th @MT_FB at @WKUFootball game will kick off at 11 a.m. CDT and will be televised by FOX Sports Regional Networks.— C-USA Football (@CUSAFB) September 28, 2015
And, as always, once WKU beat writer Chad Bishop shared the news, Tops' fans shared in their dislike.
@MrChadBishop You've gotta be kidding me— Jason Frakes (@kyhighs) September 28, 2015
@MrChadBishop @CUSAFB @MT_FB @WKUFootball Last time I did anything on campus that early I lived in Barnes-Campbell. Sheesh.— Bratcher (@BratcherPOE) September 28, 2015
@MrChadBishop So the remaining home games are all at 11am. Oh joy. Should have saved$ on lighting Smith Stadium.— BobRennegarbe (@BobRennegarbe) September 28, 2015
I mean, I somewhat get the frustration, don't get me wrong. Fans like to make a day out of a game day festivities, with that day usually beginning at 11 a.m. in Bowling Green, but for tailgating and hanging out and enjoying the sights and sounds of campus that for many they aren't on all the time anymore.
But when it comes to home games, WKU fans have very little ground to complain about these sorts of things until fans start to, you know, show up. 20,320 fans showed up on Saturday for the Tops' blowout win over Miami (OH) - that's not bad by any stretch (never mind the fact it was Parents Weekend for WKU on campus). But what is bad is the fact that that was the highest attended Tops' football game since 2013 against...Morgan State - home opener in the Bobby Petrino era, and another game that ended in a blowout (as it well should have with an FCS opponent in town).
That...is troubling. That's over two-calendar years in which the highest attended game at Smith Stadium was against Morgan bleeping State (no offense to you, Morgan State). WKU didn't get a bowl game in 2013 because Arkansas State had a more loyal fan-following than the Hilltoppers. So, there you go.
The last time Hilltopper fans got a home matchup with the Blue Raiders came in 2012, on a Thursday night, in primetime. What happened? In the most uninspired WKU game I've ever seen with my own two eyes, the Blue Raiders won 34-29 in front of...17,327 fans. (The second highest attended home game that year.)
So, sure, an 11 a.m. kickoff isn't ideal, but it's what we have and WKU consistently disappoints in the stands. So, either go to the games or quit ya...nevermind.