Western Michigan started playing football 110 years ago in 1906. Two weeks before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 the Broncos had a 6-0 record. That was the last time the Broncos started a season 6-0. Until this season, 75 years later. In the 110 year history of Broncos football, even when they were known as the Hilltoppers, Western Michigan has never been ranked in any of the two major college football polls. Last week, they made their initial debut in the Coaches Poll at #25 after soundly beating arch rival Central Michigan. Then following the victories over both of the state of Illinois's Big Ten teams Northwestern and Illinois, last weekend the Broncos completed their sweep of all of the state of Illinois's FBS teams by stopping NIU's winning streak against them with a 45-30 victory at Homecoming. The Broncos had not beaten the Huskies since 2008. Following the victory, the Broncos finally found them ranked in the AP Poll debuting at #24 this week.
While I still believe rankings are based on a popularity contest, it does bring extra exposure and attention to the program and the community the university is attached to. It is something for Broncos fans everywhere, for the city of Kalamazoo and for the students of Western Michigan to be proud of and to celebrate. Anyway, no matter how this season turns out and hopefully it will turn out to be the best season in WMU history, it continues to be a magical year in Kalamazoo.