Admittedly, the MAC blogosphere has been an evolving little gem over the last several years. I guess as the MACtion on the field hit fever pitch, the MACtion on the web stepped up their game as well. What has also evolved is the MAC Roundtable. It’s not like King Arthur’s with turkey legs and wenches running around in corsets, because let’s be honest: turkey legs are a gigantic pain in the ass to eat and the service region for the MAC doesn’t lend itself well to females capable of squeezing into anything other than a giant rubbermaid trash can (Exception: the state of Indiana and BSU specifically). Have you seen some of the slumpbusters from Michigan and Ohio? Gooo. I’d rather spend an evening with a lit piece of sandpaper. But I digress.
The host of this week’s roundtable is HustleBelt, the MAC home on SBNation, the blogging network that has essentially swallowed up almost every blog site of note. (NOTE: OTP is not on SBNation, hence why I said “almost”) HB provides the MAC with a nice home over there and there are a couple of network sites like BullRun and Red and Black Attack. Though we are not a part of the SBNation empire, we do maintain some great relationships with sites over there, and even did some well-received writing for the aforementioned HustleBelt in the summertime as a lead up to MAC football. It’s a high quality site, but there’s just so much other MAC chatter. Does anyone really care about the WMU depth chart or Ron English’s weekly comments? I’m sure the dozens or so fans of those programs like it, but to each their own. On to HB’s Q’s and our remarkably amazeball A’s. Off we go…
1. It’s rivalry week with Bowling Green taking on Toledo and Miami taking on Ohio. What is the best rivalry in your opinion in the MAC and why?
Of course the best rivalry is the one between the beloved Ball State Fighting Football Cardinals and OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU. It’s for a trophy for chrissake. I don’t see a trophy for the WMU-EMU game, though perhaps they should be. Might I suggest a log? What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, or rolls over your neighbor’s dog? What’s great for a snack and fits on your back? It’s log, log, log. It’s log, log. It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s wood. It’s log, log. It’s better than bad, it’s good! Everyone wants a log. You’re gonna love it, log. Come on and get your log. Everyone needs a log. Log. Log. Log. From Blammo! But really, I can’t think of a great MAC rivalry as it really is contingent on who is good, and at least in recent memory, that’s been BSU and OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU. There’s a lot on the line when these two meet, and hell, twice in the last five years, a loss would have meant the end of BCS dreams for the programs.
2. NIU has opened up in the 18 spot in the last-first BCS standings, albeit behind Fresno State. If both teams manage to win out, should both teams bust the BCS or just one of them and which one? (put aside the MAC bias for a moment)
I have to veto the premise of the question as OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU will not, as stated, “win out”. If, and it’s a big if they both do, then OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU will probably land the BCS bid, more so because they at least played a couple of decent teams before their flaming garbage pile of conference play. Fresno’s entire schedule has been said blazing trash, so neither has a strong case but OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU has the least crummy of the two. But again, it’s a moot point because the Huskies are getting beaten on November 13th.
3. What has been your biggest surprise/storyline thus far this season and why?
Obviously I’m biased, but BSU’s performance has been pleasantly surprising. I think most thought the Cards would be good, but nowhere near the level of dominance they’ve shown. Short of an unimpressive speedbump againt Kent, and the North Texas loss, the Cardinals have looked as dominant if not more so than OUR MOST HATED RIVAL NIU and everyone is collectively messing their pants over Jordan Lynch and the Huskies both in conference and on the national level. We talked about it before, but it’s a damn shame the nation apparently only has eyes for one MAC player at a time, because Keith Wenning has looked just as good though different, from Lynch. Only one gets Heisman mentions. Only one gets ESPN splash pages. Only one gets Gameday mentions. Of course, as mentioned above, that could all change on November 13th, which makes that game and the run up to it the biggest storyline of the year in the MAC. These two programs are on a collision course for a MAC West title and it’s about to go down like a drunk freshman.