The MAC West title will be decided this Saturday when Western Michigan heads to Muncie, Indiana to take on Ball State.
"The goal is to play well enough over a month or two so you can get that opportunity to be there," WMU head coach Tim Lester said.
The Broncos are there for the second straight season. Last fall they lost the regular season finale at Northern Illinois which cost them a chance to get to Detroit.
"It's a process," Lester said. "It's a learning process as you start continually being there so I am proud of this team for getting ourselves in this situation again."
Western dropped its first game of the year last Saturday to Eastern Michigan but that had no bearing on the MAC Championship because Ball State won at Central Michigan. Even is the Broncos were still undefeated, they'd need a win over the Cardinals this week to get to the MAC Championship game.
"We were looking at the score, Ball State got way up," Lester said about last week's game. "We do have so many banged up guys we were trying to figure out if we wanted to sit some guys just to get them healthy knowing that if we would have won by 50 or lost by 50 it wouldn't have mattered."
Lester thinks the loss could work in his teams favor.
"After a loss normally they get dialed in," Lester said. "I don't want them to read that they are five and oh before the most important game of the year so this could be a blessing in disguise, I've coached a lot of teams that an early loss or a midseason loss is probably the best thing that ever happened to them."
One concern for WMU would be the defense which allowed 53 points in the loss to Eastern.
"It's a good thing to learn from," Lester said about last Saturday's loss. "We do want to turn the page but the most important thing about when you lose is learning from it, losing is learning. We don't lose much but when we do we learn from it."
Saturday's game is scheduled to kick off at noon and can be seen on ESPN plus.