No (Golden) Flash of Brilliance

AP Photo

DETROIT, Mich. — Darrell Hazell, road warrior, came out of the Kent State locker room as if trumpets were sounding.

Arms pumping and legs gulping up the ground, the second-year Kent State coach led the Golden Flashes into Ford Field for the Mid-American Conference's Championship Game against Northern Illinois looking like a sprinter after the starter's pistol sounded.

Oh, the places Kent State hoped to go!

A victory over favored Northern Illinois, followed by a spill of BCS dominoes (namely Texas and UCLA) could have put the Golden Flashes in the Orange Bowl. Creamsicle-coated Orange Bowl scouts prowled the Ford Field press box before the game.

All night, in a 44-37 loss that was one rattling roller coaster of a game.

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