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MAC Roundtable Recap

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This week’s MAC Roundtable underwent a slew of formatting changes and general procedures in order to make it easier to create for all of us in the Blogger chair and most importantly, easier to read for all of you at home. Going forward, a MAC Blog will pose questions to the group, and then as the answers pour in from around the blogosphere, do their fancy little recap on Friday. This is that day and this is that recap! We hosted this week (hence this post) and as always, the participants were Red and Black Attack, FalconBlog, Let’s Go Rockets, Fire Up Chips, Rasor on the Zips, and Temple Football Forever. To see OTP’s answers to these questions, you can check those puppies out here. The rest of the recap after the jump…

1.)Tyler Sheehan and Freddie Barnes are simply lighting up the stat sheet, the record book, and the scoreboard. Is it a slap in the face that Barnes isn’t being mentioned for some major postseason hardware? If you were the MAC commissioner, what sort of things would you do to ensure our student athletes get the national attention they deserve?
The overarching theme from nearly everyone’s answers, short of our own was sort of a resounding “Eh…” Even FalconBlog, who covers Barnes and the rest of BG:

You know, I’ve gotten so used to the MAC not getting any recognition for things that go on that I hardly even notice anymore. We’re just not at the grown up table, and when Freddie Barnes makes all those catches, it is just viewed as some kind of non-BCS freak show that could never happen in a major conference. When Heisman campaigns are run by MAC schools, the just aren’t taking seriously on a national level, and look kind of cute to the major schools.

Red and Black Attack wondered if the system he’s playing in is taking away from some of the potential lauding and celebrating of his accomplishments:

Another criticism people would put his production on would be the system that he is in. Some people even think that a ridiculous number of catches doesn’t make you any better than a guy with more yardage and a lesser number of grabs.

As for Let’s Go Rockets, it’s clear that rivalry lives in the MAC.

They should get no attention: they’re from BG. We kid, we kid… no, but seriously.

It was nearly unanimous that the MAC Conference Office has no business promoting anything like a postseason award for an individual player. It raises the question of “Then what, by chance, is the MAC Office needed for? You know… other than negotiation of a craptastic weekday television contract or another Bowl Game sponsored by a third-rate restaurant, but I digress.


2.) We’ve reached midseason, so take a moment and talk about how your team has either lived up to expectations or ridiculously underperformed. What sort of grade would you give your beloved program if you were asked to sort of give them a midsemester progress report?
The overarching theme across the MAC Blogs is “We are who we thought we were” or something to that effect. That’s probably expected since no one is having a real Cinderella season or has knocked off several major FBS opponents. Fire Up Chips does see CMU has having something to celebrate, though:

Best start in the history of the program at the D-1 level since the 70′s….I think we are doing ok. Beating Michigan State in front of a national audience in a game recently described by the Chicago Tribune as the game of the year so far….I think we are doing ok. Dan LeFevour being ranked 10th on the Heisman ballot by ESPN with plenty of games to climb into the top 5…I think we are doing ok.

On sort of the flip side of positive or celebration comes Rasor on the Zips:

I would give the Zips an F. This was supposed to be a magical season, where the team opens an on-campus stadium with a senior quarterback, senior offensive line, senior receivers and all kinds of talent on defense. The whole program did a giant belly-flop. We are very disappointed in Zips country.

Red and Black Attack can’t make their mind up, mostly because NIU gives some of the worst jekyll and hyde performances of the young season:

Which team do you want to talk about? The one that beats Purdue & WMU or the one that loses miserably to Idaho and Toledo? I’d either give this team a C or an inconclusive. I still can’t believe we know so little about this team 6 games into the season.


3.) This weekend’s Pillow Fight features winless Ball State venturing to winless Eastern Michigan. Who loses this game? Do you see them winning any other game this year, or is the loser virtually guaranteed 0-12?
While most picked BSU, almost everyone buttressed it with the qualifier of “both these teams are bad”. Fabulous. Because I don’t care to rehash what I like to call “common knowledge” let’s highlight the creative ones amongst us. For Rasor on the Zips, he has figured out, or at least knows now, that wrestling answers are a virtual certainty to get published:

I’ll take Ball State, sneaking up behind EMU, applying the cradle for a quick one-two-three count.

Fire Up Chips is hoping there are actual pillows there for said fighting.

I can’t wait. I think Miquel Lewis grabs his Ninja Turtle pillow and whacks whacks “>Jacory Stone (EMU receiver) with it. I think Jacory takes his Ice Age II: The Meltdown pillow and whacks the injured Kelly Page with it. I can totally see Stan Parish with his Partridge Family pillow giggling maniacally as he whacks Ron English on his giant chin. Of course Ball State alum Jason Whitlock isn’t going to be left out of the fun– he trundles down from the press box and starts raining blows with his New Edition pillow on Stan Parish screaming: “Youre a bum, youre a bum”…totally ruining the innocent nature of a college football pillow fight.

Finally, I shall highlight TempleFootballForever not only because it’s positive for the Cards, but also because it’s closest to reality.

Saw both teams and I think Ball State is about 10-15 points better than EMU so I would be surprised if that game doesn’t shake down that way.


4.) There are 4 teams right now with above a .500 overall record, and a whole host of teams either right at .500 or a game under. The odds of most of these teams getting Bowl eligible is fairly good, which means the odds of someone getting snubbed is equally high. Which team do you see getting snubbed and being left home for the Holidays? What are your thoughts on the current Bowl structure, the tie-ins, or the MAC affiliations?
Most sites thought the West was better than the East and it’s a crapshoot at this time of the season to speculate how many teams are going, or not going, to the mythical Bowl promised land. Red and Black Attack is optimistic the MAC will have good representation:

I think there will be some extra spots for MAC teams this year. Just a hunch, I guess. Toledo/NIU/WMU are all bunched up together in the West and at least one of those teams is going to be disappointed by the end of the season. In the East, you still can’t tell who’s good and who’s not yet, but time will tell. I’m thinking 2 bids from the West for sure and one from the East. And then another team gets thrown in there from who knows where

FalconBlog sees numerous Bowl invites for the MAC:

I would expect CMU, Temple (Temple!), OU, UT and NIU to make bowl games. WMU has an outside shot, but it will be tough. As for my general thoughts on the bowl structure, I love bowl season. The games are generally interesting and compelling. Yes, there probably are too many games. But if there were fewer games, there would be less for me to watch. I think all of us can remember when the MAC had one bowl game, and were clinging on to that. In fact, there was a time in the 70s when there was no bowl affiliation. The explosion has been good for the MAC. I like the Little Caesar’s Bowl for its geography and the GMAC bowl for having a true bowl experience. The other ones are fine. Most of all, it would be nice for the conference to win one or two of them.


5.) In terms of general college football and away from the MAC… we’re halfway through the season. What team’s have surprised you the most for overperforming? Underperforming? Which two teams do you foresee playing for the giant crystal football?
Some didn’t realize we were chatting about non-MAC action, but those that did were all over the place. Alabama, Florida, Iowa, USC, all got love from the Roundtable about their potential Championship hopes. Said Fire Up Chips:

I think it is funny when a bunch of juniors lose a big game at the end of the season and they all put their hands in the middle and say:

“We are going to come back next year and do this right! Let’s win one for the fans.”

And then they promptly lose their first game and a bunch of games after that. Yes I am talking about you Sam Bradford and Oklahoma. The same thing happened to Michigan in 2007 when Chad Henne and Co. agreed to come back and got embarrassed by Appalachian State in the very first game.

Right now I like Saginaw Michigan’s Mark Ingram and the Crimson Tide to win the whole thing over a scrub like Texas or USC.

Red and Black Attack, what say you?

The Illini are in the toilet with no signs of crawling out of it anytime soon. Iowa is good, but nobody talks about them. Ohio State is a disappointment and overrated at this point. Under-performing would be those dadgum SEC refs. Texas-Bama for the championship.

FalconBlog?

I’m surprised at the season Cincinnati is having, confirming the idea that Brian Kelly can coach. I thought they might be down a little. Houston and Miami have also been surprises. Lots of teams are underperforming, starting with the Buckeyes, OK, and Mississippi.

I predict that Florida will play Iowa for the big crystal football

Let’s Go Rockets? After lauding Cincy and bashing OSU:

We think Texas can win the rest of their schedule. They were fortunate to catch a down Oklahoma team and shouldn’t have many problems the rest of the season. A potential slip up could be the Big 12 championship game, if they come in riding the wave instead of playing Texas football. If Florida, which until they lose we almost feel required to pick, can beat Alabama in the SEC championship, then we see Gators and Longhorns for the “giant crystal football.”

6.) MAC Power Poll… Rank those teams 1-13
Some interesting things this week in the MAC Power Poll. Ohio ranked 2nd by 5 of 7, with the exception of Rasor on the Zips (#5) and Temple Football Forever (#6). CMU is another unanimous #1, and BG ranked 7th by nearly everyone except OTP and Red and Black Attack, who each ranked the Falcons 4th. The full poll:

1.) CMU (7)
2.) Ohio
3.) Temple
4.) Toledo
5.) NIU
6.) WMU
7.) BG
8.) Buffalo
9.) Kent
10.) Akron
11.) BSU
12.) EMU
13.) Miami

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