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MAC Blogger Roundtable: Week 4

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, the stellar BJ from FalconBlog, BG’s rep in the blogosphere. Take it away, good sir…

Here’s something I wonder a lot. Everyone knows about home court advantage in basketball. Over the past 5 years, in MAC conference games, 66% of the men’s hoops games have been won by the home team. In football, the number is normally in the mid 50s, or pretty even. People still talk about home field advantage? What do you think? How big is it?
I think it’s a challenge in the MAC to come up with home field advantage for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the MAC’s calling card is parity, a parity so pervasive through the conference that each team is really capable of beating any other team. Second, homefield advantage requires a rowdy and energetic crowd. I think it’s safe to say that no team enjoys that on a consistent basis. Sure, they show up and get up for the big games but on the whole, most MAC schools don’t enjoy the sort of fervent fans that the bigger programs enjoy.

The MAC has started to run advertisements in games touting the conference’s integrity, saying that the league is “showing the way.” What do you think of this approach? Playing on a great thing in our conference, or asking for trouble?
If there’s a MAC school cheating, they aren’t doing it very well. Really and truthfully, MAC schools have no reason to cheat. Even when a team goes 12-0, they have no chance of making the BCS, so the reward isn’t even close to the risk. I think if there are integrity issues at MAC schools they’re of the minor variety, not of the major thing that would make the conference marketing hypocritical.

The MAC has been working pretty hard to step up its digital game of late, with a mobile app and more video content. What grade do you give the MAC for its online presence and why?
For the MAC… and A+. I’ve enjoyed the privilege of covering an SEC school as well, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the disparity between the SEC and MAC as recently as last year was quite cavernous. It’s getting better in really all facets. The digital feeds, the media relations, even the weekly releases sent out by the conference. For once the MAC seems like they want to be considered a respectable conference, and that’s a great thing.

So far, the MAC has only 1 win over BCS opposition and a handful of FBS wins, but a few close calls in big games. How satisfied are you with the MAC”s out of conference performance?
Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but for Ball State since we are the owners of that BCS win, I’m pleased as punch. Toledo has looked fantastic in their two close calls and are helping to raise the profile of the conference. The gap is narrowing not only in media relation, but also on the field. Whether that narrowing gap is consistently shortened remains to be seen, but I think one thing is for certain… if the MAC starts knocking off the big boys, it’s going to be damn hard for the MAC to schedule the big boys anymore.

Rank ’em.
1. Ohio
2. Temple
3. Western Michigan
4. Ball State
5. Bowling Green
6. Eastern Michigan
7. Toledo
8. Northern Illinois
9. Central Michigan
10. Buffalo
11. Miami
12. Kent
13. Akron


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