When Hillsdale adopted its “Unfinished Business – Leave No Doubt” motto for the 2012 season, a lot of the mentality was playoffs or bust. Those playoff dreams went bust a couple of weeks ago against Grand Valley and last week just seemed like more of the same as the Chargers never got their bearings in Houghton.
On paper this sure looked like all of the pieces had fallen into place for a big run but the meat grinder of the GLIAC North took its toll and a handful of pieces refused to fall into place. It might be easy to assume this crew is going to just “play out the string” tomorrow in Midland against Northwood. I serious doubt that will be the case.
Tomorrow is the last go for a truly great senior class including Hillsdale’s newly minted all-time leading rusher Joe Glendening. His 4558 yards may likely stand as long, if not longer than Scott Schulte’s 19 year record did. Not only does tomorrow end Joe’s college career, it ends one of the truly great amateur football careers the State of Michigan has ever witnessed. Let’s hope he and his offensive line put on a show to appropriately cap his amazing run.
A victory tomorrow gives this senior class 34 wins, the same number last year’s seniors had. 34 wins is the most of any class since a couple of groups in the 1980s had 37. A win over Northwood would also give this group a .720 win percentage.
Don’t forget either that Hillsdale might be out of the playoff hunt but they are still alive for a share of the GLIAC North crown. If Hillsdale can win and Saginaw Valley can beat Grand Valley, then the Chargers, Cardinals, Lakers, and possibly Michigan Tech (who needs to defeat Wayne State) would all share the title. It’s a shame that in this scenario none of those clubs will be playoff bound either.
Regardless of playoffs or not, this team and program’s body of work over the course of the last six years has left no doubt that Hillsdale College has clawed its way into the upper echelon of one of the great Divsion II conferences. There will always be unfinished business. Let’s see how these boys can end this season tomorrow.