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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Jackson’

‘Toppers Can Win, Even in (Lopsided) Defeat

I love what Willie Taggart has achieved over two-plus years at Western Kentucky, but I don’t love it that much – you know, enough to pick Taggart and the Hilltoppers to give Alabama much of a challenge on Saturday afternoon. But could it happen? Could Western Kentucky come up and bite the Crimson Tide in the same way it roughhoused with Kentucky for 60 minutes last September, eventually losing, 14-3, but raising the question of whether or not the Wildcats were actually part of the SEC? There’s a chance, seeing that the Hilltoppers did hang with L.S.U. for a half last November.

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    No. 85: Western Kentucky

    Sometime between questioning Kentucky’s manhood and losing by 30 points at home to Indiana State, the Hilltoppers learned how to play a little football. No, that’s not right. Western Kentucky’s growth didn’t occur overnight, all of a sudden, as a result of one momentum-changing win or loss. The program’s growth dates back to its first practice under Willie Taggart more than two years ago – exact date: March, 23, 2010 – and last year’s torrid finish merely represents the end result of many days and weeks in search of a winning formula. Taggart and the Hilltoppers have found the key. It goes a little something like this: run the football. That’s it. Gloriously simple, this, and wonderfully easy to follow. Just run, eroding away at the will of the opposition while keeping your defense off the field. While Sun Belt foes like Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette made noise by reinventing the wheel, W.K.U. took a page out of a decades-old playbook. Beauty points don’t matter when you’ve lost 32 of your last 36 games.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.