Saving EMU football: Introduction
I’ve written plenty here about the extent to which EMU football has struggled in the last several decades, and I’m sure I’ll write plenty more. Turning around the EMU football program can be done, but it will take a lot of work. In this series, we’ll explore some of the things that the university and fans can do to make this happen.
One of the factors in any EMU turnaround will be a certain degree of luck. Luck in landing some players that “should” be going to a better program, lucking in winning some games they “should” lose, etc. Another factor that could really help EMU is if the University of Michigan’s football program continues to struggle. It has been suggested that EMU is in a “kill zone” near the University of Michigan; that Wolverine football sucks up all the money, fans, players, and media coverage in the area, effectively suffocating any other programs. To the extent that this is a legitimate issue (and I think it is), Michigan’s struggles in football help Eastern — or at least they would if EMU weren’t even worse. Structural issues at the FBS level mean that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer; a change in that structure, such as switching to a post-season tournament, would generally help Eastern Michigan, and all other non-“big six conferences” teams.
But, while acknowledging that there are some factors beyond our control, there are a number of things that Eastern Michigan University and Eastern Michigan fans could do to increase the likelihood of a turnaround. In this periodic series (I’m not promising a specific schedule or frequency), we’ll take a look at some of those factors.