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MAC Blogger Roundtable: Week 9

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 questions comes from the SBNation blog and Buffalo expert Bull Run. Take it away…

1) Parity, a good thing or a bad thing. Outside of Toledo at the top and Akron, Kent, Miami, and Buffalo at the bottom every team has looked about equal. Is this a good thing for the conference or would it be better to have just four very prominent teams.
Parity doesn’t bother me this year, because Ball State is one of the teams that could benefit from that parity and knock off teams that the “experts” had penciled in as losses for the Cardinals. Assuming that parity maintains for the next four weeks, it could set up a de facto MAC West title game between the Rockets and BSU, and I’m ok with that. Realistically, parity hurts the power conferences because then their champion has a couple of conference losses and demeans the conference as a whole in the national purview. For the MAC, I would argue that the opposite is true. Parity means you have a majority of the conference with something better than an awful glaringly bad record, and that helps boost the MAC profile.

2) Coaches Hot Seat. The Following MAC coaches are showing up on the ever popular coaches hot seat list. Pick one and tell us why is it or is not fair to have them there (disclaimer Clawson is on the list but I can’t imagine why so I am leaving him off)

(12) Rob Ianello, Akron
(13) Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
(15) Dan Enos, Central Michigan
For me, the name on that list that has to be front and center is Jeff Quinn. Ianello only gets the pass because of how bad Akron was when he took over. Quinn got the reigns to a Buffalo program that was MAC Champions and has turned that around in near record time. Enos gets a pass because of who CMU had to replace, even though that logic didn’t work for Stan Parrish replacing Nate Davis. The good news for UB fans is again that parity. It’s highly likely that Buffalo can notch at least one more win this season, and that will be good enough for Quinn to keep his job.

3) Best new hire. Of the four(?) new coaches in the conference who, at this point, seems to be the best hire.
I mean, of course I’m going to say Pete Lembo. Coach Lembo has taken a team that has had its share of failure, attrition, and drama and made them a confident winning team. In just his first season, Lembo has been able to beat in-state rival Indiana, land some BCS transfers, and make inroads with recruits that I’d venture to say we had no shot at last season. Most importantly, he’s Hoke-like in the area of possession control and limiting penalties, two things that more often than not in the MAC means you’re winning more than you’re losing.

4) Ron English is flying high and the EMU *EAGLES* might be going to their first Bowl if they take care of Business. Surely their Coach is going to start getting some looks from other programs (if you can win at EMU right!). Is Turner Gill’s experience in Kansas a cautionary tale to schools who look for that one new up and coming coach? How many years of winning should a mid-major coach put forth before a big time program drops millions on them.
One good year does not a good coach make, and we learned that the hard way with Turner Gill. The old adage says that some coordinators make lousy head coaches. See: Stan Parrish, Steve Kragthorpe, etc. The same is also true for levels of schools. For every Brady Hoke who catapults his midmajor success to a premiere job, there’s three Turner Gills or Dan Hawkins who fail at it. Sometimes life in that bigger fishbowl is a little harder than the MAC. For English, yes, he’s winning, but I’ve yet to see anything consistent from him. The Eagles beat WMU, and that’s all well and good, but let’s see how they do with the rest of their schedule. You don’t want to cream on your date before you see them naked now do you? General rule of thumb is three good consistent years and I’d say success is a much better bet.

5) We all know the MAC does not necessarily award Bowls to the best teams. In MAC contracted bowls the bowl committees, not the conferee, get to pick their representative. Assume the MAC is going to get four Bowls but there are five bowl eligible teams. Make a case for your team, or a team you think is likely to be that 5th wheel.
To be honest, there is no good argument for BSU to make a Bowl game unless we’re one of only four teams who are eligible and there are four spots to fill. While there would be the angle of redemption if they approach it from the undefeated-to-dog-shit-to-not-bad angle, there really isn’t a redeeming quality for the Cardinals. We don’t travel well, there isn’t a large national following, and as we’ve seen with MAC teams in the past, financial issues with bowls makes the Cardinals not a really attractive sort of participant. However, that may be the case at most every other MAC school as well, I just don’t have the intimate knowledge of every other school’s situation like I do with the Cards.

6) It’s looking more and more like either (a) Temple won’t be going to the Big East or (b) there won’t be a big east football space to even invite Temple. Is the MAC, even with UMass and Temple, a stable football conference for the next year or two?
I think the MAC is pretty well set, even if Temple leaves. Worst case, they go somewhere else and we’re at the same 13 teams we have now. Best case, they don’t and we finally have a balanced even number of teams. Both things are fine with me, and honestly, the fact that we’re stable is a good indicator of where we’re at as a conference. It isn’t that schools are loyal to the MAC or there’s some great reason to stay, it’s more like no one wants anyone in it. You don’t get a lot of credit for being a virgin because no one wants to screw you.

7) Rank’em
1. Toledo
2. Northern Illinois
3. Eastern Michigan
4. Ball State
5. Temple
6. Ohio
7. WMU
8. BG
9. Miami
10. Buffalo
11. CMU
12. Akron
13. Kent


6 Responses

  1. Are you serious with these rankings!?!? Temple behind ball state!?!?!?
    We could both make a case for TU relative to NIU and, to a lesser extent, EMU, but are you kidding with the cardinals??

  2. I calls ’em like I sees ’em. They’re more or less tied. But I don’t do ties in my power rankings because ties are for bankers and people who make power polls that aren’t as good as mine. I refuse to acknowledge the asswhooping, just like you apparently refuse to acknowledge Temple’s 2 conference losses (BSU only has 1) and after this weekend, you’ll have lost to a team that BSU beat. By the transitive property, BSU>TU or UT or however you abbreviate it.

  3. 1) Temple CRUSHED BSU, 42-NOTHING, @BSU on their homecoming.

    2) BSU only has 1 confrence loss because…

    a) they havent played Toledo- clearly the best team in the MAC thus far and a probable L for BSU later in the year (i do think temple will beat them close in championship game if TU makes it)-

    b) have played one less MAC game than TU

    3) For the record, wins only measure who was the better team THAT DAY. Do you really think temple is 38-7 better than, MD for instance?

    a) Temples second loss was the result of a let down game and would of been a different story if TU didnt miss a field goal that would of made it a 2 score game with like 7 mins left, OR if BGSU didnt score on a fluke bomb for their only TD, OR if temple had put any of its other QB’s at point in the game. (See #1)… Would anyone bet Temple would lose to BGSU if they played again?

    5) no one has dominated more in their confrence wins than TU.

    6) TU has the MAC’s signature out of conference win (MD)

    7) The Sagarin computer rankings have Temple ranked 2nd in the MAC, 47th overall. The second closest MAC team is WMU ranked 69th overall

    8) According to the F/+ ratings, Temple is the second best team in the MAC, no.24 overall. WMU is the third ranked MAC team, and is no. 60 overall.

    9) Two of temple’s loses were by a COMBINED 7 points,

    10) Temple has two shutouts where they won by a combined 76-0.

    11) Temple really had 5 shoutouts for all extents and purposes. Villanova’s, Akron’s and Maryland’s only scores came late in the 4th quarter against our 2nd and 3 rd team defenses.

    12) Even without a quarterback, temple could have been 8-0 at this point. (Loss to PSU in a game where TU dominated 3/4 of the game and lost the lead for the first time with 2:44 remaing. Had it not been for the two pics, TU wins/ Toledo was a trap game for temple coming off the historic for the pograming schalacking of Maryland. Toledo jumped out to a 15 point lead that resulted from turnovers, including a muffing of the kick off which Toledo turned into 9 points and totally changed the complection of the game… but well see if Temple wins out and meets Toledo for a rematch in Detriot/ Against BGSU, TU just looked horrible all around. The play calling and personnel decisions are still incomprhensible. If we had had any other QB in, we win that game out right, and even so, BGSU needed TU to miss a field goal that would of made it a 2 score game with 7 to play AND a fluke deep bomb to win)

    So clearly, I think temple should be ranked number 2 overall (gotta give the 1 slot to toledo for now since they did beat us by a large margin), but I can the case that could be made for NIU being ahead of temple, and could kinda understand putting EMU ahead of temple because of how theyre playing in the stronger west, but there is no way ball state is highter than TU.

    Hail the MAC!

  4. BTW, if you dont mind me asking, why is OTP for both Ball State and Kentucky? You a grad of both?
    Just seems like a wierd combo. I cant think of any connection between them.

  5. 13) well… if we like the transitive property instead of head to head: BSU vs. Buffalo = BSU win 28-25
    Temple vs. Buffalo = Temple 34-0

  6. I completely agree with TU_tuff. I would love it if you could make a case were better than TU, but i dont see it.

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