Battered and slightly embarrassed, the Chippewas escaped with a 30-27 triple-overtime victory. There will surely be uglier wins this college football season. But the bar has been set very high — or should it be low — right away.
Central Michigan, playing in front of a dwindling crowd, needed no less than six interceptions from Rams quarterback Tyler Harris to survive. Some of those came via tip or deflection lest you think the number is purely a testament to a dominating secondary.
The MAC team needed Rhode Island’s C.J. Carrick to push a potential game-winning 33-yard field goal wide right in double overtime in order to escape disaster. They needed former Michigan quarterback Shane Morris to track down a high snap before it turned into a walk-off turnover in the same period.
It was a brutal display of football. By both teams. The rules of engagement being what they are, one team had to win. The Chippewas managed to screw up slightly less often on aggregate.
In a binary world, all wins are created equal. But ours has nuance. Central Michigan technically beat Rhode Island. They shouldn’t exactly be thumping their chests in triumph, though. At least not until the next sickening win supplants it.