Broncos could win first MAC Championship title since ’88

Fans cheer on the unbeaten WMU Broncos as they head to Ford Field for the Mid-American Conference Championship Game. (Dec. 1, 2016)
Fans cheer on the unbeaten WMU Broncos as they head to Ford Field for the Mid-American Conference Championship Game. (Dec. 1, 2016)


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Western Michigan University’s Broncos have rowed the boat all the way to the Mid-American Conference Championship game at Ford Field.

Hundreds of Broncos fans lined Kalamazoo’s city streets Thursday to cheer on their unbeaten team as they head to the championship. WMU fans filled the sidewalks along Michigan Avenue between Rose and Portage streets Thursday afternoon as the football team’s motorcade passed through.

“I’ve watched them my whole life and to see the community come out and support them like they did today and this season has been really amazing,” said Bronco Fan Jeoffery Stevens.

The Broncos have been in the MAC Championship twice before, but a win this weekend would be the team’s first victory there since 1988.

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, head coach P.J. Fleck said Kalamazoo is one of the most generous communities he’s been a part of and his team is happy to give back on the football field.

“It was a tough year,” Fleck said, referencing the deadly Kalamazoo shooting rampage in February and the cycling tragedy in June. “If we can give those people some hope… make those people smile for 60 minutes, then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Fans cheer on the unbeaten WMU Broncos as they head to Ford Field for the Mid-American Conference Championship Game. (Dec. 1, 2016)
Fans cheer on the unbeaten WMU Broncos as they head to Ford Field for the Mid-American Conference Championship Game. (Dec. 1, 2016)

The No. 13 Broncos will try to keep their perfect 12-0 record alive when they take on Ohio University’s Bobcats Friday in their first MAC Championship game since 1988. If the Broncos win, they’ll have a strong chance of landing in the Cotton Bowl.

“It feels great to have an undefeated team, you know, (to) brag to your friends, Michigan fans or State fans, that we’re undefeated and they’re not,” said Stevens.

Fleck says the historic run is all because of his players.

“This is what college football is all about, right here – these guys.  These guys deserve all the credit,” Fleck said.

The championship game begins at 7 p.m. Friday; tune in for live team coverage from Ford Field on 24 Hour News 8, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday.