The Washington Times - September 17, 2008, 10:29AM

There was certainly talk that Middle Tennessee’s victory over Maryland was the biggest in school history.

The Blue Raiders did own three wins against Vanderbilt. They had done well in the 1980s and 1990s in the Division I-AA playoffs.

SEE RELATED:


But a case could certainly be made for the toppling of Maryland being at the top.

And the same would be true Saturday if Eastern Michigan could come into Byrd Stadium and stun the Terps. At the least, it would be the Eagles’ biggest victory since defeating San Jose State in the California Bowl in 1987.

Why’s that? Well, Eastern Michigan is 13 years removed from its last winning season. That trip to Fresno in ‘87 marked the school’s last bowl appearance, when the nickname was the Hurons, not the Eagles.

How about this rundown: A full list of the Hurons’/Eagles’ games against BCS conference opponents since 1983 (it can really go back further, but I’m capping this exercise at 25 years):

1988: L, 55-0, at Arizona
1990: L, 37-6, at Indiana
1991: L, 49-3, at Purdue
1992: L, 52-7, at Penn State
1993: L, 48-6, at West Virginia
1993: L, 31-28, Temple
1994: L, 56-0, at Wisconsin
1995: L, 66-30, at Pittsburgh
1995: L, 52-24, at Syracuse
1996: L, 28-24, Temple
1996: L, 24-3, at Wisconsin
1996: L, 47-0, at Michigan State
1997: L, 44-24, at Missouri
1998: L, 59-20, at Michigan
1999: L, 51-7, at Michigan State
2000: L, 41-6, at South Carolina
2000: L, 49-40, at Temple
2001: L, 50-3, at Maryland
2002: L, 56-7, at Michigan State
2002: L, 45-3, at Maryland
2003: L, 37-13, Maryland
2004: L, 49-10, at Florida
2005: L, 28-26, at Cincinnati
2005: L, 55-0, at Michigan
2006: L, 52-20, at Michigan State
2006: L, 14-6, at Northwestern
2007: L, 27-3, at Pittsburgh
2007: L, 30-7, at Vanderbilt
2007: L, 33-22, at Michigan
2008: L, 42-10, at Michigan State

That, friends, is a llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllot of losses. Thirty, to be precise.

A quick sorting includes:

* Yielding 40+ points in 20 games

* Scoring less than 10 points in 17 games

* Playing six games decided by less than 20 points.

To the Eagles’ credit, one of those relatively close games have occurred in each of the last three years. And since this is their last meeting with a BCS conference team this year, the streak would need to be extended on Saturday to hold up.

As for a win – it really wouldn’t be a stretch to say it would mark one of the finest moments in program history.

Patrick Stevens