A few years ago, it became apparent that there were some quality sites out there representing the MAC in terms of their blogging chops, so what better way to bring everyone together than through a roundtable of sorts. A virtual one, for sure, as I’m not quite positive I’d want some of these folks in my home, but a roundtable all the same. Some members have come and gone, the leadership and organizational responsibilities have shifted, but it’s back this year in all its glorious wonder. This week’s question poser is the outstanding NIU blog Red and Black Attack.
1. Just when one team thinks they have a hold of the division, it seems like the next week they get upset by a seemingly lesser-talented surprise team. How do you explain the volatility in the MAC this year, with CMU beating NIU, then NIU beating WMU and EMU defeating CMU just this past week?
First and foremost, it definitely exemplifies that the transitive property most certainly doesn’t apply in football… at least MAC football. If nothing else, it’s a tangible example of just how much parity there is in the MAC. Teams with the depth and talent of MAC programs simply cannot afford a down week. A couple of turnovers or a lackluster showing on either side of the ball and defeat is a good probability no matter the opponent.
2. Going off of the last question, how emotionally involved are you with your respective team? Do you have your highs and lows or do you try and keep an even keel the entire season following your respective squad?
It’s funny how this question would have gotten a different answer just 12 months ago. After 2008 and our 12-0 regular season, I was definitely blinded by success and expected dominance and victories regardless of the multiple warning signs of the program, so 2009 was brutal. 2010 was more of the same as I mistakenly thought we had hit rock bottom and had nowhere to go but up. I was mistaken. With the hiring of Pete Lembo, I think my expectations were already a bit downgraded from years past after two years of a hard and brutal reality. Admittedly, we got a bit giddy (wrongly so) about USF but I’d say the Oklahoma and Temple games have gotten our mindframe in the right spot. There isn’t anything wrong with being just ok and that seems to be where we are at. The good news about the MAC is ok is good enough to win should the opponent not fire on all cylinders.
3. It seems like the MAC is past being a league where just offense prowess can win the league. Is that statement correct? Do you think your team has the right balance this season, or will one side of the ball have to carry the other the rest of the way?
The defense for BSU has only been gashed three times this season, against USF, Oklahoma, and Temple, all of which are respectable opponents to get ground up by. In those same three games the offense was certainly a bit less than desirable, but I’m of the opinion that had more to do with the opponent than the ability or lack thereof with the Cardinal O. I’m satisfied beyond measure considering this is a new system under a new coach with a ton of injuries and some sizable attrition in the offseason. This is the worst the offense will ever be under Lembo and they’re still one of the most efficient and mistake-free units in the conference.
4. If you could get a top recruit for one position on your team, which one would it be?
That’s a hard question to answer because it would mean I was unsatisfied with any particular position or player, and I really am not. I would like more depth across the board and the area where a standout player is most needed is a beast on the o-line, but one player on the line wouldn’t make much difference if the rest of the unit wasn’t equal. In my history with the MAC, tall and fast receivers seem to be unstoppable against the usual MAC secondary, so adding another weapon to the receiving corps would be helpful. If you know of any 6’6″, 4.3 40 guys, I’m sure Lembo has a spot for them. A Suh-esque defensive tackle would be a nice addition as well.
5. Rank los equipos
3. Western Michigan
4. Ball State
5. Northern Illinois
6. Eastern Michigan
Filed under: MAC Roundtable