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MAC Roundtable Questions: Week 8

RT-LogoSo we’re trying something a bit new these days with the young but growing MAC Roundtable. In weeks past, you’ll remember that one blog posed the questions and then proceeded to solicit everyone’s answers, format the roundtable, and post those on their site. Since we each have different software, different amounts of time, and different abilities to sort of get this thing uniform and looking good. Because of that, we’re trying something new.

Instead of the individual blogs shooting off their answers to that particular week’s question poser, the question poser will post the questions and their answers early in the week. Each of the respective members will then get around to throwing the answers on their own site, and dropping a link to them in the comments of the post on the original site. Simple right? Oh… but that isn’t all. On Friday, similar to the post of everyone’s answers, there’s a little recap that will come from the original question poser that highlights the best of the responses, and figures up the MAC Power Poll. It’s gonna be a good time. Off we go…

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?

OTP: I think it’s certainly indicative of a couple things, neither of which are very good. At its most basic, it shows what sort of national attention the MAC generates. Sure, Barnes made the rounds on Cold Pizza and ESPN Radio for his huge day a couple weeks ago, but imagine for a moment what would happen if someone like Golden Tate from Notre Dame or Jordan Shipley from Texas had an outing like that. It would be a footballgasm from the national media the likes of which we haven’t seen for a while. Hell… Jimmy Clausen isn’t even having that great of a year and he’s on Gameday and Sportscenter damn near every night.

Frankly, it’s a damn shame, but not totally unexpected. Look at last season… the MAC gave Nate Davis virtually no promotion whatsoever for a Heisman campaign. Sure, the argument could be made that they try to be totally neutral and don’t want to show favorites… but come on. You gotta be sort of a sales rep in situations like that, pimping your players and your teams because that makes the conference more appealing and more visible.

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?

OTP: Evaluating this season is sort of like going to the dentist and expecting to have a cavity or two filled, but him telling you that you need a root canal, three teeth pulled, and a prostate exam. That’s essentially what’s happened this season for Ball State. We expected some bumps in the road, but we didn’t expect the road to flood over and drown our wagon train. The good news is we were sort of prepared for this despite the bravado and arrogance shown on this site and others by some. I think were it not for the rash of injuries and simply awful luck we’ve had, we’d have at least 1 win by now.

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?

OTP: A lot of folks will point to the injury to Kelly Page as the reason why BSU won’t win. But frankly, as bad as EMU has been against the rush this season, if this game came down to Kelly Page then we were in trouble. Quale Lewis looks to have some new life and energy, and the O-line actually opened some holes for him this past weekend against BG, so I’m looking for a monster outing from Quale and BSU’s first win of the season.

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?

OTP: This is sort of a can of worms, so my apologies for opening up Pandora’s Bowl Box. Right now there are 4 teams at 3-4. I would say it’s a safe bet that half of them aren’t going to hit eligibility. The most likely candidate from that bunch to go Bowling? Western Michigan. They have the weakest in conference schedule remaining, and should have no problem getting to their eligibility ceiling.

My thoughts on the current Bowl structure are sort of two-fold. One, there isn’t enough access to the major Bowls and subsequent major paydays to the conferences that aren’t part of the BCS. Having said that, there is far too many Bowl games and opportunities to continue the season. I’m ecstatic that from about December 15th on through January 7th I could watch football any day, but it’s ridiculous that a team that backs their way into 6-6 and finishes 8th in the Big 10 gets a guaranteed payday.

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?

OTP: I think in terms of overperforming, Cincinnati has to be at the top of the list along with Iowa. Both teams who are vying for a conference crown and an associated BCS berth, and both control their own destiny. For this season’s disappointment, it has to be Ole Miss. While not everyone had them as a Top 10 team like some, most had them in the top 20 for sure. Ole Miss has struggled all season long to live up to those lofty expectations. In terms of the national title, I’m going to go against the grain and say it will be a rematch of the SEC Title, Florida vs. Alabama.

6.) As has become tradition… give your MAC Power Poll and rank these MACtastic teams 1-13.

OTP: This week I decided to do something a little different and sort of pay less attention to actual record and more attention to who would beat whom in my opinion for a whole host of reasons… most notably the momentum around a team, intangibles, stuff like that. But the undefeateds go up top. Inexact science? Of course…
1.) Central Michigan
2.) Ohio
3.) Temple
4.) Bowling Green
5.) Toledo
6.) Northern Illinois
7.) Western Michigan
8.) Kent
9.) Buffalo
10.) Akron
11.) Ball State
12.) Eastern Michigan
13.) Miami

Bloggers, post the link to your answers in the comments section! Readers, feel free to submit your own answers and look forward to the recap post that highlights the always stellar contributions from our participants on Friday!


5 Responses

  1. Here are my responses on my Zips blog. Thanks, Alan. You run a great blog here!


  2. The Toledo Rocket answers can be found here:


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