Video: Western Kentucky's "The Playoffs"

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USA Today

USA Today

It was hard to see Western Kentucky's 2014 season ending the way it eventually did back on Nov. 1. The Hilltoppers were 3-5 and fresh off a 59-10 drubbing at Louisiana Tech.

That's when head coach Jeff Brohm essentially wiped the slate clean and stressed the idea that Western Kentucky had entered its own version of the playoffs. To extend its season, the Hilltoppers had to win. And that they did.

WKU beat UTEP 35-7, then blew out Army and UTSA by a combined 97-31. At 6-5, Western Kentucky closed the season in more exciting fashion than any team outside of Columbus, stunning then-undefeated Marshall 67-66 in overtime and then holding off a furious rally to beat Central Michigan 49-48 in the inaugural Bahamas Bowl. When's the last time a team ended back-to-back games with a successful two-point conversion and then a thwarted two-point try?

Riding a five-game winning streak (fifth best in college football) and returning 16 starters, Western Kentucky like where it stands heading into 2015. This video makes it easy to see why.