Red Towel Roundtable: Key Hilltoppers victories

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Nov 28, 2014; Huntington, WV, USA; Western Kentucky Hiltoppers quarterback Brandon Doughty (12) passes the ball against the Marshall Thundering Herd during the first half at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Wally Hughes: Where does WKU’s win against Marshall rank among all-time wins during the FBS era? Easily top-three.

I go back and forth between the Marshall victory and the two wins against Kentucky, but Marshall was the first ranked opponent the Toppers have beat during its FBS era, and that’s enough to justify ranking it ahead of every other win, in my opinion.

Don’t misunderstand me, the Kentucky wins were huge. They are the Tops’ only two wins against opponents from the Power Five Conferences, and more importantly, it showed the state that WKU is building a good program in Bowling Green. But, beating the Thundering Herd meant so much more.

Friday’s win attracted a large audience and earned national attention. It was perfect timing. At lunchtime the day after Thanksgiving, nobody has anything better to do than watch college football. When viewers tuned in, they saw a Hilltoppers team that is fun to watch, and I’m willing to bet WKU picked up a few casual fans on Friday that will be interested in watching the Toppers’ upcoming bowl game.

But the most important thing the win did was make a statement to the rest of the conference. WKU started off slow in conference play, but finished strong. By beating the conference champion, the Hilltoppers showed Conference USA they will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming seasons.

Because of these factors, I have to rank the Marshall win above all others. As a matter of fact, the only win I might rank ahead of it is the 2002 National Championship. [ed. note – That game doesn’t fall in our guidlines, Wally. But yes, that’s maybe the only other game that could rival one of the ones you mentioned]

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