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Don't look now: Towson's good
Amid the turmoil this season at Maryland and obscured by Navy's longest losing streak in nine years, there is a wonderful college football story developing right in front of our eyes.
Not that anyone outside the Towson University campus has noticed.
Or that Rob Ambrose is paying attention to the lack of attention for his team, which won three games in his first two seasons but is now 5-1 and ranked 15th going into Saturday's game at No., 14 William & Mary.
"I'm not involved in that. I'm involved with my kids," Ambrose said today. "I come to work when it's dark and I leave when it's dark and there's not a lot of media I'm involved in."
In terms of college football, most of the media attention in the state has been directed at first-year Maryland coach Randy Edsall, Ambrose's former boss at Connecticut. Much of it hasn't been too pleasant, with the suspensions of two starting wide receivers, the benching of quarterback Danny O'Brien and the possibility of a 2-5 record should the Terps lose at Florida State Saturday.
Some of the attention has been directed toward Navy, where the Midshipmen will try to break a four-game losing streak when they play East Carolina in Annapolis Saturday before going on the road next week to Notre Dame. Suddenly, Navy's eight-year run of winning records and bowl appearances is in serious jeopardy.
So it's somewhat understandable that Towson, coming off a one-win season in 2010, has fallen under the radar, especially in a region where even Maryland and Navy are completely overshadowed by the Ravens to the north and the Redskins to the south.
So Ambrose, who played at Towson in the late 1980s and was an assistant there before going to Connecticut, isn't really surprised.
"It's what you're used to, and this town might be used to us not producing anything of note or anything exciting," he said.
That is no longer the case. The Tigers got a little attention when they beat then No. 20 Villanova to go 2-0 and got some respect for playing Maryland tough in the first half of what turned out to be a 28-3 defeat without starting quarterback Grant Enders.
But what Towson has done the past two weeks -- coming from behind to beat Richmond on a last-second field goal and then coming from two touchdowns down in the last few minutes to win at Old Dominion last week -- has put the Tigers in position to claim their first berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs since leaving Division II in 1987.
Ambrose said that he isn't all that shocked by a turnaround that could be the most dramatic of any level of college football in the country. He said that he told people before the season began that if the Tigers stayed healthy, they could win a lot of games this seasons.
But given that Towson won its last two games without two of its top defensive players -- Jordan Dangerfield and Danzel White -- even Ambrose is a bit amazed at his team's resiliency.He is also concerned that the injuries could eventually catch up with the Tigers.
"We're definitely like everyone else - we're banged up," he said. "This is where the historical programs have an advantage because their years of quality depth build up.We're trying to break through."
A few more wins and the Tigers will find themselves getting ready for a post-season march that begins the weekend after Thanksgiving. 
That will create a different problem, one that neither Ambrose or anyone else at Towson faced the last few years.
"I don't know how they plan to feed everyone because the campus closes down," Ambrose said. "But we're not going to get ahead of ourselves."
Nor does he expect a very large bandwagon suddenly arriving at Johnny Unitas Stadium anytime soon.
But who knows, if the Tigers keep winning?
A terrific story will get even better.

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