Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Monday, October 25, 2010

That whole GLIAC Football Divsions thing? Yep, I am down with!

When the whole GLIAC awarding divisional titles was announced at midseason, I was an out-spoken critic.

I didn't like the timing of the announcement. I found the divisions horribly unbalanced. I didn't think that winning a division title would mean much.

Well, I have gotten over the timing of the decision. The GLIAC had tabled the motion this summer pending further investigation. I am a firm believer that waiting to get something right is better than just meeting a deadline. How right this decision ends up being will have to pass the test of time, but it is growing on me.

I still feel there is a big imbalance in the divisions with the new Ohio schools being joined by the epic struggles of Tiffin and Findlay this year. But outside of those teams there is a trifecta of pretty good programs who have the potential to form blistering three-way rivalries. The Ashland and Wayne State rivalry is fueled by the close relationship between their head coaches and has been extremely heated between the players as of late. Warrior coach Paul Winters was a long time assistant to Ashland coach Lee Owens. Since Winters has arrived in Detroit prior to the 2005 season this series has become far more respectable. Ashland holds a 3-2 advantage over the last 5 meetings. Between 1995 and 2004 Wayne had only won once. Hillsdale and Wayne State have split the last 6. Hillsdale barely leads the series 7-5 since 2000. Ashland and Hillsdale fight yearly for the Traveling Trophy and have been locked in a dual as both schools believe it is the next one to make a run at the top of the league monster GVSU. Over the last 15, Ashland holds an 8-7 series lead. These three teams should provide enough fireworks between them to keep fans from forgetting about the South Division.

Admittedly, that South Division Championship trophy kind of looked like a green field day ribbon stamped "PARTICIPANT" a few weeks ago. As a Hillsdale fan and alum, it felt like we were being seated at the obligatory Thanksgiving Day kids' table as the Chargers climbed into the Top 10 nationally. On Saturday in Detroit, fellow kids' tablemate Wayne State smashed a piece of pumpkin pie square in Hillsdale's face and kicked them under the table for good measure. In the process they took the inside track to the first ever South trophy. For the rest of the weekend, this joint from Cinderella has been running through my head. Nope, you don't know what you've got (till it's gone).

Sure, Hillsdale had bigger fish to fry. Winning out and playoffs were the big goal. Wayne State knew though that grabbing that title was still important. They showed up on Saturday fighting for a championship. Hillsdale came out flat. Wayne State came out on top.

How the rest of the season plays out will be fun to see. All is not lost for Hillsdale and a lot can happen across the region and the league. The Chargers are going to need to get some help and take care of their own business. Having that South title in hand would be nice about right now. Of course, I probably would still lack the respect I have for it now.

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