My 21 year old son is on the bus, one of six I believe, headed from the Buffalo suburb of Amherst where the University at Buffalo’s North Campus is located to Detroit. Why you may ask? He is one of approximately one thousand who have bought tickets to attend the MAC Championship Game at Ford Field tonight.
UB Bulls are the MAC East champs. They have played hard this year and are currently 7-5. They have played a lot of close games, a lot of overtime games. They will face undefeated, number ten ranked Ball State. Ball State is the MAC West champion. Ball State has won all its games so far this year, but only one by single digit points. Ball State has just turned down an invitation to the Humanitarian Bowl – a post all on its own as I don’t know what the people at Ball State were thinking when they said no.
Tonight, all the season needs to be aside. All the close games need to be behind the student-athletes. All the not-so-close games need to be behind the student-athletes. Tonight, the season and the post-season are on the line. Tonight, Ball State may wish, when the night is over, that they had taken that invitation to travel from Indiana to Idaho. Tonight, the UB Bulls can make history and become the MAC Champs.
If you are like me – my children would say sort of a loser as it is a Friday night and I will be home with hot cocoa and ESPN2 – and have nothing to do tonight, turn on ESPN2 at 8 pm ET. Watch two exceptional teams of college student-athletes and the fans that travelled with them compete. Watch one of these teams win and become their conference champion.
UPDATE AT 2:19 PM ET – One bus out of four broke down about an hour ago. The people on that bus have been put on the other three buses. They left Amherst at 12:35 pm and are not out of NY yet due to lake effect snows south of Buffalo.
UPDATE AT 5:23 PM ET – They are about thirty miles east of Sandusky, Ohio. At that point, they need to change drivers as the bus drivers can only drive six hours at a time. If all goes well, they should pull up in front of Ford Field about 20 minutes prior to game time.
UPDATE 8:16 PM ET – The buses made it for the kickoff. I have seen my son on TV – briefly. Two possessions, one for each team, no score yet. If UB can hold this pace, they may have the game in their sights.
UPDATE 6:55 AM ET DEC 6 – The buses and students who went to Ford Field just arrived back at UB. The Bulls upset Ball State, 42-24.