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SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA: MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLUE RAIDERS

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General Sherman teaches Murfreesboro a lesson it should have learned over 150 years ago.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Murfreesboro, Tennessee. WE MEET AGAIN. Do you happen to recall the last time the Union paid you a visit? Allow me to refresh your memory. The battle of Murfreesboro was set up by a Conferderate withdrawal from Kentucky and ultimately General Braxton Bragg's forces were defeated by my colleague Major General William S. Rosecrans. Union control of Middle Tennessee was an essential factor that set up my original March To The Sea!

Since Murfreesboro's CRUSHING DEFEAT AT THE HANDS OF MY COLLEAGUES, what have they been up to? Apparently, establishing a university with a name that sounds like it was made up to make fun of obscure universities: MIddle Tennessee State.

MTSU is the only directional university in FBS that doesn't even have the pride to specify a direction. It's just the middle! The only good thing they've done is name their team the Blue Raiders, after the blue-coated heroes who raided the territory of the foolish gray-clad rebels all those years ago. Still, I can't help but wonder how such a reference would go over deep in the heart of a Nashville suburb. MURFREESBORO IS AURORA TO NASHVILLE'S CHICAGO.

But let's talk about football, since nothing noteworthy has ever happened involving Middle Tennessee State basketball. The Middle Tennessee Union Soldiers have been in FBS for around 20 years, during which time they've managed a single bowl win under longtime coach Rick Stockstill. The key player was quarterback Dwight Dasher, who would later have to sit four games due to questionable financial shenanigans. So how did the story end for MTSU's most important player?

Poorly.

Fortunately for Stockstill, he's now found the ultimate weapon at quarterback: his own son. Starting your son at quarterback has always worked out for every FBS head coach who's ever tried it. Just ask Dan Hawkins!

Stockstill and Stockstill were in full force last September in Champaign, playing a Bill Cubit-coached Illini team that couldn't sustain offensive drives and later found its secondary unable to contain receivers. But a strange decision to run the ball on MTSU's last-gasp drive set up a long field goal to win the game that was missed. GENERAL STOCKSTILL PULLED OFF QUITE A FEAT, FALLING TO AN ILLINI REGIMENT WHEN IT WAS DETERMINED TO LOSE. FEW CAN MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

Interim General Cubit was inspired after the game:

"I've never seen an ugly win," interim coach Bill Cubit said. "It's either a win or a loss."

But the game raised serious questions for Illinois, and Cubit admitted "We didn't play really well."

OUTSTANDING BATTLE REPORT.

MURFREESBORO, YOU SHALL NEVER RISE AGAINST MY PEOPLE AGAIN, I HAVE LITTLE TOLERANCE FOR INSOLENCE, TACKY UNIFORMS AND DIRECTIONAL SCHOOLS. GO PLAY SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE OR SOMETHING. I HAVE CAPTURED YOUR ENTIRE SUPPLY OF GEORGE DICKEL WHISKEY.

MTSU's Next Matchup With The Big Ten: September 16th, 2017. Dispatch of this directional with great haste, Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Sherman's Next Destination: Logan, Utah San Marcos, Texas