Four times this year, and, well, every year, NU plays an out-of-conference opponent. The question arises: who are these guys? Some people only want to know who they are in a football sense, but, to truly understand our opponents on the gridiron, you have to know where they come from, so football strategy can wait. I plan on getting to know these universities a little bit better with posts on each college, mainly with info gleaned from their wikipedia pages.
This week's victim: the Central Michigan Chippewas.
Where: Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Much like Normal, Illinois, Central Michigan is located in a town that sounds like it should be a key factor in a horror movie where a terrible axe murderer lives. I feel like I should use this as a side note that in between flipping back and forth between college football on Saturday, I noticed that the SciFi channel was having a movie marathon featuring "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead", "Wrong Turn 2: Dead End", "Final Destination 2" and "The Midnight Meat Train", which isn't a sequel but still sounds hilarious. They were all low-budget horror movies. We watched about three minutes of the opening of Wrong Turn 2, which featured a blonde chick in a bikini hitting someone with her sports car in the middle of an abandoned woods, but then when she gets out to look at the person she hit, the victim bites part of her face off, then his friend shows up and chops her with an axe, splitting her cleanly in half from head to toe, and then there's a cutaway to a picture of a nuclear explosion and then Henry Rollins starts talking. Then I changed the channel. But the point is, this is the type of thing I imagine happens in Mount Pleasant all the time. In less made-up news, Mt. Pleasant is home of the Isabella Indian Reservation - they're Chippewas, you see - and the casino that goes with it. For those of you who have ever met anybody from Michigan and know that Michiganders insist on describing where they are via pointing out places on the palm of their hand, here is where Central Michigan is on a map of Michigan:
Central Michigan is represented by the huge inky splotch because I didn't have a magic marker on me.
Size: 27,354 undergrads, or 3.21 Northwesterns. Damn.
Stadium: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, apparently so named because the state of Michigan hasn't received the hyphen yet, seats a tad over 30,000, and as far as I can tell, isn't very interesting. Maybe this segment of these posts just isn't very interesting unless JFK has ever spoken at your stadium. I'll think it out.
Mascot: The Chippewas. Chippewas, of course, are a Native American tribe, and at one point, were the only people to live in Central Michigan, but then, uhhhhh, something happened and now there's a few of them, a casino, and a bunch of white folks, and its also the name of the river that runs through Mt. Pleasant. For a while, the Chips nearly had to change their name thanks to the NCAA trying to cut down on all the dozens of schools that think it's a good idea to make Indians their mascot, but the Saginaw Chippewa tribe stepped up and told the NCAA they supported the name, and then cried a single sad tear, and the NCAA relented and allowed Central Michigan to keep the name. On the plus side, the Chippewas don't have an actual mascot, so there's that.
Mascot if I ran the school: Not a big fan of naming teams after Indians, unless you mean Indians from India, because nobody does that and it's always fun to add new racial stereotypes into the wide wide world of mascot team naming.
Notable Alums: As always, there are a few that stand out: Jeff Daniels - who you may remember as "Dumb" from the film "Dumb and Dumber" - Dick Enberg, whose sultry tones have been sprucing up various sporting events for decades now, and the later-to-be-mentioned and non-contemporary basketball combo of Dan Majerle and Chris Kaman.
Current NFL Players: Six. The noteworthy ones are Cullen Jenkins from the Packers and last year's QB Dan LeFevour, who is hoping to catch on as a rookie with the Bengals.
Difference between the amount of times Central Michigan has been to the NCAA Tournament and the amount of times Northwestern has: Four. Not much of a tradition of consistent success at CMU, having made it twice in the 70's, once in the 80's, and then taking a 16-year drought before making it again in 2003. But the 2003 appearance wasn't bad at all - the No. 11 seeded Chippewas, led by Chris Kaman, knocked off Kyle Korver and the No. 6 Creighton Blue Jays in the first round, although they would get taken down by JJ Redick and all those tooly guys in the next round. (This paragraph was sponsored by goofy white three-point specialists.)
Elsewhere in Central Michigan Sports: The Wikipedia isn't much help here: it tells me that the football team won the 1974 Division II national championship - they moved up to D-I the next year - and that the roller hockey club team came in second in the nation in 2009, but that's it. Moving on.
Tidbits: I got nothing and am bored. Peace.