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MAC Roundtable: Week 12

MacRoundTableAdmittedly, 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 Carter from EagleTotem, the EMU blog. Normally in this space I give the host site a little good-natured ribbing but Carter’s team of choice is EMU, so really there is nothing I could say or do to make him feel worse than his team’s on-field performance already does.

1. With three weekends remaining in the regular season, two MAC coaches are already gone. Does anyone else get fired, and if so who? Do any coaches get hired away, and if so who?

I think we’ve already eradicated the conference of the lower rung folks who needed the axe, and while I’m sad to see Treadwell and English hit the bricks because those were always easy Ws for BSU, the conference as a whole needs dumpster fire programs to at least be a little bit competitive. Everyone else is either relatively new, has extenuating program circumstances, or has enough goodwill banked to not get canned. Kudos to Jeff Quinn for coaching his way out of a pink slip. For next year, I’d think a couple of folks start the year with a bar to clear otherwise they’re given their walking papers. Dan Enos, Charlie Molnar, and PJ Fleck may not want to go buying any new property in their current zip code just yet.

I would bet that’s an almost certainty that Pete Lembo moves on given the amount of offers that there may be and the lack of other quality candidates in the MAC. Carey has only been at NIU for a year, and while I don’t doubt someone will try to lure him away, he’d be better off to pick his spot after more success. Clawson may get some calls but I have to be honest, BG is not a bad place to be. There’s a lot of systemic things in place that make coaching there a little different than the rest of the MAC.

2. This year it seems that the conference has a top and a bottom but no middle; six teams have six or more wins already, while the other seven teams have three or fewer wins. Those bottom seven teams collectively have just a single win over the top six teams (Central Michigan over Ohio). Why is the divide so sharp this year?

I think it’s the case of the cyclical MAC where a program either wins for a couple of years then falls off for a couple of years, rinse and repeat or a program is just awful for long stretches. NIU and BSU are the system buckers, one being consistently good for several years and several coaches and one building on success year after year. It goes in circles so I’m sure in a few years the teams that are terrible will be good and the teams that are good will be struggling to pillow fight their way past each other. Circle of life and all that jazz.

3. Six MAC teams are already bowl-eligible, and a seventh has a fair shot (Central Michigan, with games remaining against Western Michigan, Massachusetts, and EMU). Make some bold bowl predictions!

NIU: BCS Bowl
BSU: Little Ceasars Deep Dish Bowl
Buffalo: Compass Bowl
Toledo: GoDaddy Danica Patrick Bikini Bowl
BG: Idaho Potato Skins Bowl
Ohio: Beef O Bradys Bowl
CMU: Left home

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