October 18, 2009
Delaware State endured the rare one-two punch Saturday: Not only were the outmanned Hornets on the wrong end of a ghastly 63-6 beating at the hands of Michigan, the most lopsided defeat in Michigan Stadium in nine years and the first 60-point effort by the Wolverines since 1992; in effect, they also suffered their second conference loss, a forfeit to North Carolina A&T, dropping DSU to 1-2 in the MEAC standings at the same time it was getting the taste knocked out of its mouth in the Big House in a game that never should have happened.
On the first, obvious level, it never should have happened because resource and talent-rich programs like Michigan should never descend on the likes of Delaware State for an easy win, even as Homecoming fodder, though the practice of paying lower-division teams for "bodybag games" continues to expand across the country. (The only I-A teams that have never played a I-AA opponent are Notre Dame, Southern Cal, UCLA and Washington, and the Huskies have just added one such cupcake to their 2011 schedule.) But Delaware State shouldn't have been in Ann Arbor, either, because it had a previously scheduled MEAC date on Saturday with NCA&T, a conference rival it had defeated five years in a row.
When Michigan called up Delaware State's administration in the spring -- when DSU was temporarily operating without an athletic director, who surely would have intervened -- with an open date and a $550,000 offer to fill it, Delaware State took the payday without a second thought. But because it couldn't find another date on its schedule that also worked to reschedule with North Carolina A&T, DSU was also hit with an automatic forfeit by the MEAC. The Hornets lose twice in the deal: Once in the conference standings, where they had a fighting chance, and once in front of the largest assembly of humans in college football, where they had none whatsoever.
The final ledger against the Wolverines could not have been more grisly: Michigan outgained DSU by more than 500 total yards despite pulling starting quarterback Tate Forcier after the first series, averaging 10 yards every time it snapped the ball while also blocking a punt for a touchdown for good measure. The Wolverines led 49-0 after two quarters and began emptying the bench at halftime to keep the margin below 100. I hope Michigan's belly is full, the Hornets are enjoying their half-million-dollar payday and the MEAC championship doesn't come down to handing a win to NCA&T, because children had to watch this.