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MAC Blogger Roundtable: Week 12

Time once again to come together with the best and brightest (read: only) sports blogs out there that dare cover the MidAmerican Conference. This week’s roundtable forays are posed by Falcon Blog, the always stellar BG blog. Off we go…

1.) Northern Illinois is having a nice season and appears to be getting stronger.  Do you think NIU is a Top 25 team as of today?
OTP: God, I sure as hell hope so since I ranked them in this week’s edition of our Blogpoll ballot and if I didn’t think they were a Top 25 team and ranked them anyway that makes me at best a MAC homer and at worst, a nonsensical douchebag who knows very little about this so called football. NIU is having a good little season, but I wouldn’t call it magical. They’ve beaten the teams they’re supposed to beat, and lost the games that most expected them to. I am a bit confused about the WMU results, as a 7-point win over WMU, perhaps the most confusing team in the nation, does not a Top 25 team make.

2.) We talk a lot about skill players, but the game of football is often won and lost on the front line.  Evaluate your offensive and defensive fronts, including your best players.
OTP: The downfall of BSU last season was the lack of experience and the injuries along the offensive line. This season has been a bit more of the same, with glimpses of steady play and consistency on the offensive side, but certainly a key injury to Cam Lowry has impacted the entire unit. Our most valuable currently is also our most experienced, in left tackle Michael Switzer. On the defensive side of the football, the d-line is paced by Robert Eddins. Eddins has thrown up six sacks this season, and the rest of the defense only eight, so clearly he’s the straw that stirs the drink.

3.) Similarly, special teams are an often overlooked part of football. Evaluate your special teams thus far this season and what contribution they have made to winning….or losing.
OTP: The special teams at BSU is actually quite good. Kicker Ian McGarvey is a very sure-footed kicker and has impressive range and power. He’s only missed three field goals all season, all of which were over 40 yards. On the punting side of the ball, Scott Kovanda continues the tradition of punter U, averaging just a smidge under 40 per, with 15 inside the 20. They haven’t made a huge difference, as they haven’t really been the deciding factor in any game, but damn I’d like to have those two missed field goals at Purdue back.

4.) To date, what is your best memory of this season?  And what memory are you currently seeing therapy to block from your memory.
OTP: The best moment this season for me was the win over Buffalo. Not only did it give us our 2nd straight win after some pretty tough losses, it was also a bit of revenge for 2008. The 08 MAC Championship Game still stings a bit, but at least the scab is starting to heal a bit. On the flip side of that coin is Western Michigan. It was an absolute embarrassment and a total meltdown after a very impressive performance and result at Central Michigan. To have Homecoming ruined by that outing was not fun. Not fun at all.

5.)  BG and Toledo have their rivalry game this week, and your team has has one on the schedule somewhere.  Do you think rivalries are important to the quality of play in the MAC, or are they a distraction that make it harder to get up for other games.
OTP: I guess our “rivalry” game is Northern Illinois, simply because of the trophy. However, I would say a true rivalry game is non-existent for BSU. The fact of the matter is “The Game” each season will vary based on the circumstances of the season. For example, in 2008, our rival was Central Michigan because we were the two best teams in the MAC. This year, it was clearly Buffalo. I don’t think it makes it bad or worse that there’s no traditional rivals for us, but I’d love it if it were so.

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

Comment in the comments section if you have thoughts… because that’s a good place for them.


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