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MAC Blogger Roundtable, week 10

November 3, 2010

This week the MAC Roundtable questions have been posed by Kyle Warber of Central Michigan blog Fire Up Chips.

I. Northern Illinois has maintained steam from the primordial ooze of preseason rankings, while the Ohio Bobcat are building steam and look like they could make a return trip to Detroit. With only a handful of games left, which teams do you foresee playing in Detroit?

Before the season started, I picked Northern Illinois to win the MAC West, and I’m still standing by that. The injury to Austin Dantin, plus the advantage of having the game in DeKalb make it likely that the Huckies will beat the Toledo Rockets next Tuesday, and after that Northern Illinois just needs to avoid a catastrophic upset at Ball State and at EMU.

The MAC East will be decided one week later, when Ohio travels to Philadelphia to face Temple on Tuesday, November 16. I think the Owls are a little better than the Bobcats this year, though the game could easily go the other way.

II. Since it is my turn this week, I would like to bring my fellow knights of the MAC Roundtable a problem which has vexed both peasant and gentry class alike in Mount Pleasant:

Thinkest thou that Sir Dnl Enos should be banished from the Pleasant Mountain for his blaggard performance and 2-7 record thus far? There is much talk in all reaches of the Central Michigan Kingdom that he has squandered our season with a playbook so bad it must be from France! What sayest thee?

I would suggest that Enos might have stolen the playbook from Ron English, but English clearly still has his, though he did seem to misplace it for one day in mid-October. As I mentioned last week, every reasonable observer expected Central Michigan to see some drop-off from last year’s 12-2 season, but I don’t think anyone really expected the Chippewas to fall this far. Things looked OK through the first four games, but everything has seemed to fall apart since the loss to Ball State. Saturday’s loss at home to Bowling Green should be the final straw for Chippewa fans. Enos seems to be pulling a RichRod at Central Michigan; he’s taken over a team that had the pieces in place to at least be decent and absolutely destroyed it through an insistance on fitting square pegs into round holes. Michigan fans shouldn’t have tolerated it from RichRod, and Chippewa fans shouldn’t tolerate it from Enos.

III. If you accept the premise that the playing field in completely level in the MAC, then shouldn’t long time coaches like Bill Cubit at Western Michigan and Doug Martin at Kent State have to win a championship within 10 years or risk being fired?

Yes.

But I don’t accept that premise; if it were true, EMU would have more than one bowl appearance since joining the MAC nearly 30 years ago. I think the playing field is mostly, but not completely, level.

Cubit’s in his sixth year at Western Michigan, and twice they finished 6-2 in the MAC. Martin, on the other hand, is in his seventh season at Kent State, and has yet to put together a winning season. So I think Cubit’s got a little while yet to win the conference before he risks getting booted, but Martin is quickly running out of time.

IV. Who is your front runner for MAC Coach of The Year?

In my mind, there are really only two coaches in the running: Toledo’s Tim Beckman and Miami’s Michael Haywood. Each has led his team to a huge turnaround. Toledo has gone from 3-9 in 2008, to 5-7 in 2009 (Beckman’s first year), to 6-3 — and 5-0 in the MAC! — so far in 2010. Haywood has taken the RedHawks from a team that won just two FBS games in two years to a legitimate MAC contender. What’s more, both coaches have done it using underclassmen in most of their skill player positions, so they’re both likely to be back in the hunt again next year.

V. What is your favorite Michael J. Fox movie from his golden era of film making 1984 – 1986?

Given that he only had six movies released during that time, four of which were made-for-television classics like Family Ties Vacation, I find it a pretty easy choice between the two feature films: Back To The Future is much better than Teen Wolf. Honorable mention, released in April 1987, is The Secret of My Success, and my favorite of all movies he’s been in, though it was a small role, is easily Mars Attacks!

VI. Rank em’ from FIRST to WORST

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

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