While fans, alums and maybe even some of the players revel in Towson's march to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision tournament championship, coach Rob Ambrose has not sat back to enjoy the moment.
"[Former head coach] Gordy Combs texted me yesterday and asked me if it's finally sunk in, have I enjoyed any of it," Ambrose said Monday morning during a conference call organized by the Colonial Athletic Association. "To be honest, my answer was no. I'm still doing the job. Maybe Christmas Day. Tomorrow, I'm turning my phone off. So you're not going to be able to reach me. Maybe then. But [director of football operations] Jon Dahlquist and I are trying to figure out how we're going to get to Texas, what the NCAA wants us to do. There's a whole lot of unanswered questions that disallow either one of us from sleeping until the organizational stuff is complete. But I'm sure I'll appreciate it when it's over."
The No. 7 seed Tigers (13-2) figure to be significant underdogs to No. 1 seed and back-to-back reigning national champion North Dakota State (14-0) when they meet at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. But the program has already set several records by accumulating 13 wins in a single season, three victories in the FCS postseason and its first appearance in a FCS title game.
Still, Ambrose said the coaches have had to work on a game plan to upend a Bison squad that has won 23 consecutive games. The Tigers' schedule became a little more challenging when the team was delayed from returning home from Saturday's 35-31 win against No. 3 seed Eastern Washington (12-3) in Cheney, Wash.
"We had to find a way for a two-hour delay for our plane to get home at some ridiculous hour in the morning," Ambrose said. "I'm happy, I'm proud of the kids, but it's pretty simple. The job's not done yet. That's all there is to it. So is there a balance? No, because the job's not done yet. We'll appreciate it when it's all said and done."
The significance of the achievement has filtered down to the players, according to sophomore quarterback Connor Frazier.
"It is just a great feeling to be a Towson Tiger," he said Monday morning. "The season before, they won one game [in 2010], and my freshman year [in 2011], we ended up going 9-3 and winning our first CAA title and ever since then, we've had winning season after winning season, and the program's just really turned. I really credit it to the coaches. They're very knowledgeable about the game and put us in great situations. And all the players they've been recruiting, we're a really tight-knit group and I think this year's team is the tightest we've been. We're all joking and having fun in the locker room, and it just shows why we're going to the national championship."