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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Murphy’

No. 114: Middle Tennessee State

Middle Tennessee State was fairly competitive for six weeks. The Blue Raiders took Purdue down to the wire in the season opener, losing on a late field goal. Two weeks later, Middle Tennessee lost to Troy, 38-35, in the Sun Belt opener for both teams. That was followed by a win over Memphis, which was followed by an overtime loss to Western Kentucky; by December, the Hilltoppers would be recognized as one of the most improved teams in college football. Two weeks later, following a bye, the Raiders would beat Florida Atlantic, 38-14, to move to 2-4 at the midway point. With only Sun Belt play and a trip to Tennessee to go, M.T.S.U. was in a good position to earn a third consecutive bowl berth. What followed, from Oct. 29 through Dec. 3, was the program’s worst stretch of play since moving up to the F.B.S. in 1999.

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    No. 91: Middle Tennessee State

    First it was Troy. Now it’s Florida International? There’s always some impediment to Middle Tennessee State returning to the top of the Sun Belt, it seems, even if some of these roadblocks are put up by, say, Middle Tennessee’s own starting quarterback. That was the case in 2010, at least. Perhaps asking for a repeat of last season’s 10-win output was a tad misguided, seeing that the Blue Raiders are the only Sun Belt team to do so even once, let alone twice. But last season was a disappointment, bowl run or no, and closes a window on a period of time where it seemed Middle Tennessee was the clear class of the conference. The last time this happened, the Blue Raiders went 5-7 in back-to-back seasons.

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      The Countdown

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